Photo by Alex McCarthy on Unsplash

Warning lights: not to be ignored!

A dashboard display is often the first sign that a car needs care.

Most motorists aren’t aware that the average car has two dozen complex computer modules working to make sure that the vehicle runs smoothly. Each comprises an intricate system of sensors and electrical wires. Not surprisingly given this complexity, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. And when it does, the dashboard warning light is the first sign that the car needs care.

Although most drivers are accustomed to keeping an eye out for the petrol light, and possibly even oil and water, there are many more signs to watch out for. These include: 

  • The engine management light, which indicates that something has gone wrong with the engine and should be rectified at a workshop as soon as possible.
  • The battery light, which shows that there is a problem with the wiring, alternator, or alternator drive belt. It is vital that motorists avoid driving if this light is showing – because the battery is not charging, it is not safe to drive.
  • It’s equally dangerous to drive if the oil level warning light shows because this is a sign that there is no oil pressure in the engine. If the light continues to display after the oil level has been topped up, it’s time to book the car into a workshop, as it is likely there is a problem with the oil supply – possibly a blocked oil filter or oil pump. Driving with such issues could lead to engine damage.
  • Brake warning lights usually come on if the hydraulic brake circuit has failed. It is critical that the driver pulls over immediately and gets professional help, although they may still be able to drive to a workshop if brake fluid levels are at peak levels.
  • Although the Anti-lock braking system (ABS) warning light isn’t an emergency, it should still be checked out, and drivers should be particularly careful when driving in wet conditions.

Motorists should be aware that if a warning sight is glowing red, they need to have the problem attended to as a matter of urgency.