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A vehicle’s dashboard has an array of helpful information placed right in front of the driver. In the present time, the average new car has several computer modules and sensors working together. The dashboard sensors illuminate specific lights to give information regarding the health of the vehicle. Some symbols are more obvious than others, but it’s important to be familiar with them all in case of an emergency. Below is a guide with information on common dashboard lights and what they mean.

ABS Light
If the ABS light is on, this can indicate a problem with the anti-lock braking system. This sensor can be triggered by a voltage loss or even a dirt wheel sensor.

Brake Light
If the brake light is on, make sure the parking brake is down. If it is, the brake light could be indicating a variety of issues from low brake fluid and worn brake pads to a hydraulic pressure issue. While it’s tempting to just top-off the brake fluid and keep driving, low brake fluid can indicate a leak in some circumstances. And leaks should be fixed right away to prevent engine damage.

Battery Light
If the battery is dying, a wire is loose, or there is a major electrical issue, the battery light may come on. If the battery light comes on while driving, it may be best to keep the vehicle running because it may not start again if you turn it off.

Check Engine Light
If a vehicle’s onboard computer system detects an issue, the sensor for the check engine light may be triggered. The check engine light can be on due to a problem as simple as a loose gas cap to something hazardous such as the engine misfiring. If the check engine light comes on, you should have your vehicle serviced right away.

Temperature Warning Light
If your vehicle is overheating, the temperature warning light will come on. Low coolant due to coolant leaks can cause the engine to overheat. If this light comes on while driving, immediately pull over and seek professional automotive attention.

Tire Pressure Light
If one or more tires drop in air pressure, this light will illuminate. Low tire pressure can indicate a hole in your tire that needs to be repaired.

Oil Pressure Light
If there’s low engine oil, it may be time for an oil change. Make sure to regularly pop the hood and check the quality of the oil to prevent engine damage.

If a sensor light has illuminated on your dashboard, your vehicle should be inspected right away. Fast Lane European has ASE certified automotive specialists at our San Jose automotive repair shop who would be happy to give your car a full comprehensive inspection.