Dashboard warning lights — what are they?
To help keep you safe and your car running down the road, auto makers use warning lights to alert you to problems. Here's what these lights do (and don't) mean:
- Maintenance Issues: Most cars and trucks have a light that says "Maintenance Required." Usually, that means it's time to get your oil changed. When you get the oil changed, the light goes off.
- Check Engine Light: The engine light is a sign to take your car or truck in for service. It can mean anything from a loose gas cap to a serious engine misfire that can cause expensive repairs. If it's yellow, you can probably get to it in the next week or so. If it's red, get to any of our stores for a free check immediately.
- Fuel Warning Light: You're running low on gas when this light comes on. A gallon or two may remain in the tank, but you need to get gas soon. If it starts blinking, you're really low. Stop at the next station, even if it's 3 cents more a gallon there.
- Brake Warning Light: The brake warning light could mean there is a problem in the brake's hydraulic system, the brake pads are low or the parking brake is on. In any event, get it checked soon. Brakes are too important to ignore this warning.
- Door Issues: The door light means a door is not latched. Some door lights show you which door; some make you guess. If you have a hatch, check it, too.
- Battery Warning Light: The battery light may not mean there's a problem with the battery itself. The problem may be with the alternator, which recharges the battery. When you see this warning light, turn off as many electrical systems as possible, such as stereos and air conditioners, and have the issue checked as soon as possible.
- Seat Belt Light: A seat belt light indicates that not all occupants are wearing a seat belt.
- High Beam Light: The high beam light reminds you that high beams are on, which may be a hazard to oncoming traffic.
Warning lights worrying you? Bring your car or truck to any of our stores, and we'll check it for you. Many warning light checks are free.