Your car’s dashboard has a myriad of icons which light up to either let you know something is operating or to warn you when something has gone wrong.
The average car has around 25 dashboard icons, while feature packed cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class can have more than 40. The more complex the car, the more potential there is for mechanical or electronic carnage.
While many annunciator lights are easily recognisable, some icons are specific to certain cars, such as diesels and hybrids or four-wheel-drives. To add to the confusion there are also many new icons introduced along with new technology such as driver assist functions.
The first thing to take note is the colour as not all lights signify a problem. Red means something that requires immediate attention ranging from a door being open to low oil pressure, that can damage your car engine. In any case stop the car immediately and attend to the problem.
Orange usually signifies something that requires monitoring, such as low fuel, while green, blue and white generally show when something is switched on or operating automatically.
Think of it like traffic lights where red means stop, orange is caution, and green is go.
Here's an extensive list of dashboard icons below.
- Front Fog light on (can also be green)
- Power steering fluid low
- Rear fog light on
- Windscreen washer fluid low
- Brake pad warning
- Cruise control on
- Direction indicators
- Rain and light sensor problem
- Winter driving mode
- Information indicator
- Glow plug/diesel pre heat warning
- Frost warning
- Ignition switch warning
- Key not in vehicle
- Key fob battery low
- Distance warning (to car in front)
- Press clutch pedal to start car
- Press brake pedal
- Steering lock warning
- Highbeam headlights on
- Tyre pressure low
- Side/parking lights on
- Exterior light fault
- Brake light fault
- Diesel particulate filter warning
- Trailer tow hitch warning
- Air suspension warning
- Lane departure warning
- Catalytic converter warning
- Seat belt not on in an occupied seat
- Park brake is engaged
- Battery/Alternator warning
- Parking assist
- Car due for service
- Adaptive lighting
- Headlight range control
- Rear spoiler warning
- Convertible roof warning
- Airbag warning
- Brake warning
- Water in fuel filter
- Airbag deactivated
- Fault problem
- Dipped beam headlights on
- Air filter needs cleaning/replacement
- Eco driving mode engaged
- Hill decent control
- Temperature warning
- ABS warning
- Fuel filter warning
- Door open
- Bonnet open
- Low fuel
- Automatic transmission warning
- Speed limiter engaged
- Suspension damper warning
- Oil pressure low
- Windscreen defrost
- Boot open
- Stability/traction control (can be yellow)
- Rain sensor
- Check engine (serious if red).
- Rear window defrost
- Auto windscreen wiper engaged
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