What do all those warning lights mean

Check_Engine_fourOne of the most frustrating occurrences while driving is to see a warning light on your dash. While we probably would like to know about these problems before they get worse, it's no fun to think that something's wrong.

Especially if you are off to an important meeting or on a family vacation!


It's true that today’s cars have more warning lights and computer systems that are 100 times more powerful than the Apollo spaceship. So it's no longer obvious what to do if a light comes on Today we are going to discuss six of the most common lights on your dashboard and what they mean:

SRS_RedThe air bag light is connected to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) ensuring the proper function of seat belts and air bags. If it comes on, it indicates that something is wrong with your car’s air bags and/or the seat belts. Have your car checked since this light warns that you might not be protected properly.



Low_Oil_Lamp_RedHow's your engine oil? This light should be paid attention to quickly as it is one of the most important warning lights indicating that your car is not getting enough oil to the engine. Don’t drive with the Low Oil Light on as you can damage your car’s engine.



Tire_Pressure_AmberThis light comes on when your car’s tire pressure is too high or too low. It is tied to the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), available in many newer models, and it basically warns you that if there is an imbalance in the tire pressure, you are in danger of a tire blowout while driving. Tire pressure that is too high or too low will lead to uneven tire wear and decrease in gas mileage.



Red BattWhen the Battery Light comes on, it means that your battery is not getting charged, which means that when the battery is drained, your vehicle will stall and not start. When this light is on you should turn off any excessive electrical loads such as radio and the A/C, then visit your auto repair shop as soon as you can.



SVS_Words_AmberThe Service Vehicle Soon Maintenance Light is not the same as the Check Engine Light. This light reminds you that your vehicle is due for basic maintenance service such as oil/filter change, engine/cabin air filters need to be replaced and tire rotation performed. When this light comes on, you may want to schedule an appointment as soon as you can to have your car maintained properly. The light will be turned off on the day of service.



Check_EngineThe “Check Engine Light”, also called Service Engine Soon Light, signals a problem with the emission system. When this light comes on, it can mean many different things as it is connected to 80% of the systems of your vehicle. It can mean something minor such as a loose gas cap or referring to a major problem such as with the catalytic converter. This light warns you that gas mileage might be reduced or that something is not working properly leading to costly car repairs. If this light is blinking, you need to get to your repair shop as soon as possible to avoid major mechanical damage.

Now that you know about these warning lights, you can drive around smarter and safer!

For more information or for help with your car's performance, call us today at Finishline Automotive in Mission Viejo, CA. (949) 380-8511

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