Vehicles are filled with electronics and packed with sensors to monitor both how your vehicle is behaving and to make our motoring life easier. But when something does go wrong, it can be a difficult task trying to work out exactly what that warning light flashing away on your dashboard is trying to tell you. It is important to know what the car dashboard warning lights actually mean, though, not least because they can pre-empt a breakdown or full-on failure, potentially saving you from an expensive repair bill and meaning you stay safer on the road.
Your vehicle’s brakes are arguably the most important feature on your car, so if there’s a warning light flashing on your dash highlighting there’s something wrong with the braking system, it’s best to get it checked out right away. This could mean there is an issue with the brake system, so make sure to adjust your driving accordingly.
If your engine warning light is illuminated, often it’ll be accompanied by some unusual symptoms – these could include a lack of power, as the car has gone into safe mode to protect itself; an intermittent stuttering as you press the accelerator, caused by a misfire; or another fault which could alter the normal response from the engine. Sometimes this can be down to something as small as a faulty electrical sensor, although sometimes it can be a larger mechanical issue.
If your car’s power steering warning light – often known as the EPAS light – is illuminated, it means there could be something wrong with the steering system. If the system fails, the steering could go heavy, meaning more effort will be needed to make the car change direction. If the light starts blinking, make sure to pull the vehicle over as soon as possible and turn it off. This can help prevent further damage to the vehicle.
You should see your battery charge warning light when you first turn your car on, but if it doesn’t go out a few seconds after the engine starts, there could be a problem with your car’s electrical system. This could be to do with a faulty alternator, faulty battery, a bad connection or damaged cabling somewhere in the engine bay. If your car isn’t charging its battery when moving, then you could eventually run out of electrical power. No matter what light you see illuminate, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.