Blinded by the dashboard light
Are you confused by the warning lights on your dashboard? Let's discuss some of the reasons why these appear...
ABS Warning Light
When the ignition is switched on this light will illuminate temporarily. If this remains illuminated when driving it indicates a malfunction. Normal braking (without ABS assistance) will generally be maintained in many cars enabling you to continue to drive on, but not in all cases. Consult your vehicle handbook for advice and arrange for your vehicle to be inspected as a priority.
Battery Charge Light
This light should illuminate when the ignition is switched on and should extinguish as soon as the engine starts. If it does not illuminate at all or illuminates whilst driving your battery is not being charged and there is a fault with your charging system. Immediately move the vehicle to a safe location and switch off the engine. Do not restart the engine and seek advice.
Air-Bag Warning Light
This will illuminate when the ignition is switched on but will extinguish once the engine is started. If the light remains illuminated it indicates a problem with your airbag system. You can continue to drive the vehicle but we recommend you seek advice as early possible to ensure the safety of you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
Brake System Warning Light
This light will remain illuminated when the handbrake is engaged. Illumination after the handbrake is released could indicate a brake fluid problem. Refer to your vehicle’s handbook and check the brake fluid level. If the brake fluid is too low and brake pedal travel is distinctively longer than usual do not continue your journey and seek professional advice.
Engine Warning Light
Illuminates when the ignition is switched on and should extinguish as soon as the engine is started. If this illuminates whilst the engine is running this indicates a malfunction with the engine management system. Have this checked as soon as possible.
Tyre Pressure Warning Light
Illuminates when there is a loss of air pressure in your tyres. Check your vehicles manufacturer handbook for the correct air pressures for you vehicle and ensure your air pressures are in line with these recommendations. If the light remains illuminated this could indicate a more serious tyre problem which you should have checked immediately by a tyre expert.
Engine Coolant Warning Light
When illuminated this light indicates that the coolant level is low. Stop as soon as possible and wait for the engine to cool. Check the coolant level and top up as necessary. If the problem persist seek advice immediately from a car care expert.
Glow Plug Light
With diesel engine cars this light will be illuminated when you turn the ignition on to indicate that the glow plugs are being heated. You should wait for the light to be extinguished before starting the engine.
Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Warning Light
The diesel particulate filter traps soot in your car’s exhaust. As with any filter they have to be emptied regularly to maintain performance. The illumination of the DPF warning light indicates that the system is partially blocked. If the light is amber, refer to your owners manual as you may need to take the car for a short drive at higher speed to prevent the filter from fully blocking. If the light is red, seek assistance from a HiQ car care expert.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
When there is no oil pressure in the engine, this light will illuminate. Oil is needed in your car, at the right pressure, to keep your engine lubricated.
Seat Belt Indicator
This light will come on if it is detected that the driver or one of the passengers do not have their seatbelts on but will go away once all passengers have their belts on. If the light stays on
Your fuel light will come on when your fuel levels are low.
This light will come on if atleast one of your doors are open or not closed properly. Pull over and check all of your doors if this comes on while you’re driving. If you’ve checked all the doors and the light stays on, it could be a fuse issue which is best to get checked by a HiQ mechanic.
Power steering/EPAS warning light
This light indicates there is a problem with the power steering system. This is usually due to low power steering fluid – once topped up the light should go away. However, if the light stays on or feels heavy and slow, contact your local HiQ Centre.
Washer Fluid Indicator
This light will appear when the washer fluid is low and needs refilling. The light should go out immediately once refilled. It may not be crucial in the running of your car, but a clean windshield ensures you can see properly and you also risk failing your MOT if your washer fluid is low!
How serious is the check engine light?
The check engine light is a signal from the car's engine that something is not right. If your light begins flashing it means something is wrong.
What do lights on the dashboard mean?
Red: Stop the car as soon as possible and turn off the engine. Follow the instructions in the manual and call for assistance if needed.
Yellow: An action is required. Stop the car and turn off your engine. Follow the instructions in your instructions manual and drive to your nearest garage if you can.
Green: Used for information and requires no action on the part of the driver.
Is it safe to drive with the check engine light on?
The check engine light means there's a problem somewhere in your emissions system. You are safe to drive for now as long as the car is still performing normally, however you should take it to your nearest garage to be looked at.