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Understanding What Your Engine Warning Lights Mean

Each day we receive enquires regarding what issues the various dashboard warning lights can relate to. Some of these lights can be easily disregarded, but others require a bit more investigation or possible repair by one of our Bosch accredited master technicians.

Last thing we want in our busy lives is a visit to the garage when it may not be necessary, but more importantly we don’t wish to be stuck at the side of the motorway if the warning light issue develops into something more problematic, so here is a guide that helps you to better understand what fault, if any, your car maybe suffering from.

For instant assistance with your engine warning light conundrums please call us on 0113 236 2910.

Oil Pressure Warning – this light will illuminate when the oil pressure sensor detects low oil pressure, the vehicle’s engine should be switched of immediately to avoid severe engine damage and the oil level checked to ensure correct quantity in the engine. Professional help should be sought if oil level is correct and light continues to show. Amber light’s can also be used in some vehicles to warn when the oil level is getting low and a top up is required.

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Battery Warning – This means the vehicle has stopped charging the battery and will eventually go flat. Seek professional help to resolve the issue.

Brake System Alert – this light indicates a low brake fluid level and professional help should be sought to rectify any issues, leaks or low brake linings are a common cause, this light is sometimes used when a vehicle has an ABS fault (see below).

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Front Airbag – Indicates a fault with the airbag system and disables the airbag function, this is now an MOT failure when presented with the light illuminated. Amber light informs the driver when a passenger air bag has been switched of manually.

Temperature Warning Light – it warns the driver when the engine is overheating and usually demands the driver to stop the vehicle and seek attention to rectify the fault.

Rear Fog Light – Is activated and remains on once the driver turns on the rear fog lights. A green or yellow icon represents the front fogs.

Seat Belt Reminder – active as long as the vehicle is moving and the belt remains unfastened. Fastening seat belt will switch off- the light.

Open Doors Indicator – this symbol is usually turned on just after the driver starts the engine and informs them that one or more doors are closed incorrectly. Safely check all doors are shut properly.

Hazard Warning Lights – activated by the driver to indicate a problem with their car to other motorists.

ABS Warning Light – ABS Warning Light – this light will show when you have a fault in the ABS braking system, this will not result in losing your brakes but additional safety features will have been switched of by the control module, professional help should be sought to resolve the issues. Note: The light illuminates briefly on engine start up but switches of automatically.

Engine Management Light – this light illuminates when the vehicle detects a fault with the engine management system usually related to emissions or running concerns. Can cause the vehicle to go into limp home mode when illuminated with a loss of engine power, this light require’s immediate professional attention to prevent damage to expensive exhaust components.

Powertrain Malfunction – this light will illuminate when the engine management system detects a fault that requires the engine to be shut down and requires immediate attention by a qualified technician.

Traction Control Light – this light will illuminate along with the ABS light when the vehicle has a fault in the system. It will also flash when the system is operating to warn the driver of hazardous conditions.

ESP/BAS Light – similar to the ABS indicator, but especially installed to inform the driver about a potential problem with the Electronic Stability Program technology.

Glow Plug Warning – used on Diesel vehicles, no attempt to start the vehicle must be made until the light is extinguished. The light is also used with the engine management light when a fault has been detected.

Warning Light – this light will illuminate with other lights and is usually accompanied by an error message in the display.

Tyre Pressure Monitor – consult your owner’s manual and re inflate the tyres to correct pressure, then reset the system to extinguish the light, 32 psi is a good pressure if they are not available.

Bulb Failure – indicates a problem with one or more of the vehicles bulbs. Pop in and we will gladly replace the offending bulb.

Rear Window Defrost – this is turned on once the driver presses the rear window defrost button. When window is clear turn of to save on fuel consumption.

Child Safety Lock – if alight, the symbol shows you that the child safety lock has been activated. Remember to switch off when no longer required.

Cruise Control – this light is turned on if the cruise control system is activated; note that it may differ by brand and car model.

Electronic Throttle Control Light – briefly enabled when the driver starts the engine, the indicator shows a malfunction in the Electronic Throttle Control system.

AWD – this light indicates that the All Wheel Drive system is activated, mainly found on 4×4 vehicles.

Overdrive Indicator – it shows the driver that the overdrive system has been turned off.

Low Fuel Notification – this panel is switched on if the fuel level gets very low. Refuelling is urgently required.

Turn Signals – without a doubt the most known instrument panels, the turn signals are activated once the driver changes direction and uses the indicators.

High Beam Light – is shown once the driver activates the high beam mode of the headlights, should not be switched on when traffic is approaching from the opposite direction.