A Guide To Instrument Cluster Warning Lights

Dashboard warning lights are like silent messengers from your car's internal systems, alerting you to potential issues that need attention. Understanding what these lights mean and their severity can help you stay safe on the road and prevent costly repairs.

In this blog post, we'll summarize 18 of the most common dashboard warning lights, explaining what they signify and the severity of the issues they indicate. Refer to the images above and the corresponding line in the chart below to learn more!

Light Meaning Severity
1. Check Engine Light Indicates a problem with the engine or emissions system. Can range from minor issues like a loose gas cap to severe engine problems. It's best to address it promptly.
2. Battery Light Alerts you to a potential issue with the charging system. Ignoring it can lead to a dead battery and a stalled vehicle. Get it checked soon.
3. Oil Pressure Light Indicates low engine oil pressure. Low oil pressure can severely damage the engine, so pull over and check the oil level immediately. 
4. Coolant Temperature Light Warns of engine overheating. An overheating engine can cause severe damage. Stop driving and let it cool down. 
5. Brake Warning Light  Indicates issues with the brake system.  It can range from low brake fluid to brake system failure. Don't drive if this light is on. 
6. ABS Light  Signals a problem with the Anti-Lock Braking System. While your brakes may still work, it's essential to get it checked to ensure optimal safety. 
7. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Light  Warns of low tire pressure in one or more tires.  Low tire pressure can affect handling and fuel efficiency. Check and inflate tires as needed. 
8. Airbag Warning Light  Indicates a malfunction in the airbag system.  Safety is compromised by a malfunctioning airbag system. Have it inspected immediately. 
9. Seat Belt Reminder Light  Reminds you or your passengers to fasten seat belts.  Always buckle up for safety. This light is informational, not indicating a problem. 
10. Fuel Level Warning Light  Alerts you when your fuel level is low.  Running out of fuel can leave you stranded. Refill the tank soon. 
11. Transmission Temperature Light Signals high transmission fluid temperature.  Overheating can damage the transmission. Pull over and let it cool. 
12. ESP/BAS Light Indicates issues with the Electronic Stability Program or Brake Assist System. Reduced stability and braking assistance. Get it checked for safety. 
13. Glow Plug/Heater Plug Light (Diesel)  Warns that the glow plugs are warming up for a diesel engine.  Wait for the light to go out before starting the engine in cold weather. 
14. Cruise Control Light Indicates the cruise control system is active. Not a warning light, just an indicator of cruise control status.
15. Fog Light Indicator Shows that your fog lights are on. Not a warning light, but it's essential to use fog lights in low visibility conditions.
16. High Beam Indicator Signals that high beams are active. Not a warning light, but use high beams responsibly to avoid blinding other drivers.
17. Trailer Brake Light (Towing) Alerts you to issues with the trailer brake system. Critical for towing safety. Address it before towing.
18. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Light Indicates when the lane departure warning system is active. Not a warning light; it's an informational indicator.

Got Dashboard Warning Light Issues? ISS Automotive Can Help!

Dashboard warning lights are your car's way of communicating with you. Ignoring them or misinterpreting their severity can lead to accidents or costly repairs. Regular maintenance and addressing these warning lights promptly can keep you safe on the road and prolong the life of your vehicle.

If you've got questions about dashboard warning lights or about the function of the instrument cluster gauges, ISS can help. In addition to our low prices, we offer a fast 48 to 72-hour turnaround on all repair orders with free shipping in the lower 48 states. Plus, all our repairs and exchanges come with a limited lifetime warranty.

If you have questions or want to know more about our services, call us or contact us online.