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Decoding Your Dashboard Lights

Image by Tekton from Unsplash 

Decoding Your Dashboard Lights

You're cruising in your car, music up and the sun shining when a light on your dashboard catches your eye. It's happened to all of us. Time to make an appointment with Elk Grove Transmission & Auto Repair? Maybe! In this article, we’ll list a few of the most common dashboard lights we see in the shop. If you’re ever concerned, you should pull over and give us or a professional a call. 

The Importance of Dashboard Lights

It helps to understand what these warning lights indicate and how severe the problem could be. Depending on your vehicle type, there are many warning lights on a car dashboard. Some are more serious than others—a check engine light is usually a cause for concern. In contrast, an oil change indicator light isn't as big of an issue (unless it comes on while driving). 

 

Luckily, in this day and age, you can look up just about any warning light and what it means on your phone. However, your manual should also have information about your vehicle's various warning lights. 

Check the Engine or Service Engine Soon Light

The check engine light is a standard warning light on the dashboard. It can indicate a minor problem or mean you need to take your car in for service.

 

If you see this light come on, it's best to have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic before driving it again. It could be a safety issue, an emissions issue, or even a non-safety-related problem that needs attention (depending on your state). At Elk Grove Transmission & Auto Repair, we can help you decipher this one with a diagnostic vehicle inspection. 

ABS Light

The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is designed to prevent skidding in low-traction conditions by preventing individual wheels from locking up during braking, which would otherwise cause the vehicle to slide out of control. 

Battery Alert

If the battery is low, the starter will not have enough power to turn over and start your engine. A low-voltage warning light will illuminate in this instance.

Brake System Warning

The Brake System Warning light is a significant one. It will illuminate when you press down on your pedal, and it doesn't seem like your vehicle is slowing down as quickly as it should be. It's important to check this light if it comes on because you may not have enough braking power until the issue is resolved. This could be due to a brake issue, or it could be the result of a flat tire. If this happens, pull over immediately, check your brakes and call for help if necessary.

Coolant Temperature Warning

The coolant temperature warning light indicates that the engine is overheating, typically caused by low or dirty coolant or a faulty thermostat.

Tire Pressure Warning

When you see this light, it means your tires are underinflated and can be dangerous. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly as recommended by your vehicle owner's manual. Always when the tires are cold, not after driving. This is especially important in winter because driving on snow or ice can increase tire pressure.

Traction Control Light

When you see a traction control light, your vehicle is in a situation where it needs to help you maintain speed and stability. If this light comes on while driving in slippery conditions, keep the car under control by slowing down gradually and avoiding sudden movements with the steering wheel or accelerator pedal.

Keep your vehicle running at its best by having it serviced regularly and knowing the warning lights on your dashboard.

If a light is on, you should have your car serviced. You should still have your car serviced if a light is not on. Vehicle maintenance can help prevent lights from coming on by keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. Elk Grove Transmission in Elk Grove, California, is here for all your needs!

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