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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Vehicle’s Dash Warning Lights

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Vehicle’s Dash Warning Lights

A warning light in a car can illustrate a variety of problems. When you know what each indicator means, you can avoid breaking down while also saving time and money. Nothing’s worse than dismissing a faulty auto part then having to dedicate more time and money in the future. Take a look at the top four warning lights you should be aware of.

ABS system / low-brake fluid warnings

If either your anti-lock brake system (ABS) or brake fluid warning lights appear, it means there’s a fault with your brakes. This could be your brake pads being low on material, a broken sensor or – in the case of the ABS light – it means the system which stops your wheels from locking is broken, which could mean your vehicle’s brakes lock up under heavy braking. This means you could lose steering control, as a skidding tire is not able to turn effectively.


“Check Engine” light

Unlike other warning lights, the “check engine” or “service engine soon” light doesn’t signal a specific fault; it simply tells you there’s a problem with the engine’s performance or emissions system. Something as simple as a gas cap that is not tightened enough (simply retighten it) or a thermostat that is stuck open can trigger the warning light, so you should be able to drive home safely. But make sure to book in with a mechanic as soon as possible. Be sure to know what the other warning lights do by looking for that section in the owner’s manual. Some other lights, such as low oil level or low oil pressure, and a temperature gauge showing an overheating engine or transmission must be dealt with immediately, or else severe engine or transmission damage can occur.


Diesel particulate filter warning light

In diesel vehicles, soot can build up in the exhaust’s particulate (soot) filter and cause a clog. Vehicles will have a built-in ‘regenerator’ which burns the soot and removes the build-up, but this only happens when driving at certain speeds. If you fail to remove the soot build-up in your exhaust, it’ll reduce the airflow and start to impact your vehicle’s performance. If the diesel particulate filter warning light shows on your dashboard, continue driving safely and find the nearest fast road and drive for around ten minutes at 40 mph or higher (on suitable road types) to trigger the regeneration system.


Airbag warning light

Your airbag warning light will come on if there’s a problem with your airbag system, or possibly your seatbelt mechanism. This will usually mean your airbag needs resetting or that there’s a problem with the battery or the wiring in the airbag system. As soon as you see the light turn on, either pull over safely or drive cautiously to a repair shop, if there’s one nearby. If you’re involved in a crash while the airbag warning light is on, your airbags won’t deploy for you or your passenger, which could prove fatal, so it’s not recommended you drive while it’s on.

About Spirit West Motor Carriage

Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair is a family-owned and operated company founded in April 1977. We take great pride in teamwork and our commitment to making sure our team receives training on the latest innovative state-of-the-art equipment and collision repair techniques.

We are proud to say our team is family and we treat our customers like family, too. Be assured that your car will receive this treatment, and upon completion of the repairs, you will drive away safe and satisfied!

Give us a call today to see how we can get your car back into shape and back on the road.


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