Understanding Your Vehicle's Warning Lights
We all cringe when we see a warning light illuminate on our dash. Some of them may mean something serious, but most are just precautionary alerting you of an issue that needs attention. Here we will help you understand some of the most common warning lights and what most would mean. Of course, always refer to your owner's manual for specific information as some manufacturers have different meanings or recommendations. As always, feel free to contact us at any time to help at 1-800-848-YARK!
Check Engine Light:
Your check engine light can come on for hundreds of reasons. It can be anything from a loose gas cap to a misfire in the motor. We will not know what is going on until we plug into the vehicle and run some tests on your car. It is ok for you to drive the vehicle but you want to get it into the shop as soon as possible.
Note:This light will come on when the car is in the run position but should turn off when started.
Flashing Check Engine Light:
If your check engine light is flashing then the malfunction is happening right now as it is running. You should not drive the vehicle when the light is flashing. Call us as soon as possible and we can help you fix it.
Tire Pressure Warning Light:
On most newer vehicles each has a sensor that monitors the tire pressure. When the vehicle senses one of your tires drops in pressure this light will illuminate. There are a couple reasons why a tire has a pressure loss: 1. There is an object that has punctured the tire like a nail or screw; 2. The "bead" where the tire meets the rim becomes unseated or is not properly sealed; 3. The "valve stem" where air in placed in the tire is worn or leaking; 4. There is a dramatic change in outside temperature that required the inside tire pressure to be adjusted. Make sure you take a tire warning light seriously! Low pressure can affect steering and braking of your vehicle. Any puncture or leak could cause the tire to burst and loss of control of the vehicle. Stop by and see us so we can check your tires for leaks and adjust the pressure as needed!
Flashing Tire Pressure Light:
A Flashing Tire light can mean 2 things. It can mean an immediate and rapid loss of tire pressure in one of your tires. Slow down as safely and quickly as possible and move the vehicle to a safe place. Visually check all your tires and see if you can notice any visual difference in your tires. If you do observe any visual issues with your tires, there could be a malfunction with one of the tire pressure monitors. Either scenario is serious. Call for immediate assistance and do not drive your vehicle unless the issue is addressed.
Oil Change Required Light:
This oil change required light comes on when it is time to get the oil and oil filter changed on your vehicle. It is crucial the the health of the engine that you service it when it is due. Ignoring this light for too long can cause severe internal engine damage. Stop by and see us to maintain your vehicle!
Oil pressure warning light:
The oil pressure light illuminates when the vehicle is operating at low oil pressure. Driving is not advised as low oil pressure can cause EXTREME internal engine damage. We recommend immediately turning off your vehicle and having your vehicle towed to the dealership. Give us a call at 800-848-YARK and we can help you set that up
Charging system Light:
The charging system light comes on when there is an issue with the electrical or charging system on your vehicle. This could mean the vehicle may need the battery serviced or replaced, the alternator replaced, or that there is an issue with an electrical connection to any of these components. We recommend having your vehicle towed to the dealership for diagnosis.
Windshield Washer Fluid Low Light:
The washer fluid level low light alerts you to low or no washer fluid in your vehicle. Do NOT fill up with just water. Washer fluid systems are typically made of plastic and rubber components. In cold climates, if just water is in the system these components can break and leak fluid to the ground. We recommend only approved washer fluid that has a special anti-freeze in it to keep it from freezing in the system. However, even in extreme low temperatures, this fluid can freeze up. We use only approved washer fluid as recommended by our manufacturers. Stop by for a top off!
Coolant Temperature Warning Light:
The coolant temperature warning light means your vehicle's engine is running at a higher than normal operating temperature. The system could have a loss of coolant, improper coolant mixture, a malfunctioning engine thermostat or another issue. This can lead to major engine problems, overheating, and stranding you and your vehicle. We recommend having your vehicle towed to the dealership for diagnosis.
Transmission temperature warning light:
The transmission warning light illuminates when there is internal transmission issues. The issues could be a higher than normal temperature in the transmission fluid, gear issues, programming issues or another issue. This light is a serious issue and we recommend coming to a safe TRANSMISSION is running it a higher then normal temperature then it is designed to. Failure to get this looked at can cause major internal transmission problems. We recommend immediately turning off your vehicle and having your vehicle towed to the dealership.
Brake System Warning Light:
The brake system warning light refers to malfunctions in components in the braking system. It could also simply mean you have left your parking brake on. Braking is very important to the safety of you and your vehicle. Check your parking brake first, if it is released and the light is still illuminated, call us for assistance.
ABS Fault Light:
The ABS Fault Light illuminates when a wheel speed sensor is malfunctioning. By tracking the speed of each wheel, your vehicle determines when to apply the ABS feature of the braking system. When a sensor is not working properly, the anti-lock braking system is inoperative. You can drive, but must do so with caution as this is a safety feature of the vehicle. We recommend servicing your vehicle as quickly as possible to keep you as safe as possible.
The traction control light signifies may have several meanings depending on your vehicle. When the light is illuminated, it means the vehicles ability to control traction, sliding, or braking of the vehicle is limited or not computer assisted. Sometimes, it is just a setting in the vehicles software menu, or that the traction control 'off' button was presses. If none of these items have manually turned the system off, then there is a malfunction with the components of the system. The car is drivable but this safety feature is limited or off. Refer to your owners manual for more information of give us a call for assistance or an appointment.
Most vehicles do not come with a stabilization program in their software systems. This program measures a variety of information to determine if your vehicle has the potential for sliding or loosing control. The system can independently reduce the engine speed and/or brake individual tires to reduce or correct the vehicle from a potential spin out. It is not absolute in its ability to keep you out of every potential spin situation, but it is incredibly successful in keeping vehicles safe. When this system is activated, most vehicles will flash this light to let you know it is assisting in correcting a potential spin. If the light is solid, there is an issue with the system itself. Refer to your owner's manual for information relevant to your specific vehicle.
The airbag light illuminates when the vehicle is first started as the system performs a systems check at each start of the vehicle. If the airbag light remains illuminated, it means there is a malfunction in the system and part, if not all of the system will not activate in the event of a crash. This does not prevent your vehicle from operating, but it does affect the safety of the occupants. Please schedule an appointment with us as quickly as possible.
Cruise Control Active:
This light illuminates when your vehicle's cruise control is on and ready for use. Use your controls to set, resume or turn off the cruise control.
*This is purely an information guideline. Not all manufacturers or vehicles have the same warning lights. We have listed the most common lights here. Please refer to your owner's manual for the most accurate information about your vehicle.