Whilst we’ve all seen the low fuel dash light, or probably a tyre pressure sensor warning at some point in our driving lives, there are some dash warning lights that you’ll likely never have come across, or have a clue what they mean.
When you next turn the ignition in your car, take a moment to look at the dashboard light up like a Christmas tree and (all being well) swiftly go out again. This is the car running a series of checks before you start the engine to ensure everything is as it should be and you’re safe to carry on. If any of those warning light remain on, then you need to pay attention.
Dash Warning Light Colours
A giveaway from the start as to the possible severity of the problem. Depending on the colour of the light is a good indicator as to what you need to do. Manufacturers generally adopt a traffic light system where the colour indicates the issue;
RED: Generally signals a warning, something you need to be aware of that requires immediate attention as could be a safety issue. Common dash warning lights include the battery light which could indicate a flat, or low battery charge, the brake warning light indicating a potential fault in the braking system or the engine oil light indicating low engine oil. All issues that you should address before embarking on your journey.
AMBER: Advisory lights are used to notify you that whilst not critical, you should be aware of. The most common being low fuel level (although most cars have at least a 20-30 mile range when the fuel warning light comes on to allow you plenty of time to find a fuel station) and the tyre pressure warning light that indicated low tyre pressure or a potential puncture.
GREEN: Information lights are generally green (although often white or blue also) and illuminate on the dash when a particular function is being used. The most popular being indicator arrows (usually flashing green) or headlight / high beam (usually white / blue).
If you don’t know what a dash warning light means you should refer to your owners manual or seek professional advice, particularly if it’s a red light that required immediate attention. See here for information on common dash warning lights or a complete guide here.