Today's vehicles are very advanced and your dashboard warning lights are very important. Your car will have many different sensors that feed information directly into the vehicle's computer system. When potential problems are detected, one of those warning lights will illuminate and you may need to take immediate action.
The most important dashboard warning light in any vehicle is the "check engine" light. It can represent any number of problems relating to your engine and it should never be ignored. Here are a couple of different scenarios that can and will happen.
The Check Engine Light is Flashing
If your check engine light is flashing, it means there is a major problem. You should pull off the road immediately, turn off your vehicle and call for roadside assistance. If you don't do this, you can risk even more damage to the engine or a complete blow-out. Needless to say, engine repairs can be very expensive and driving with a damaged engine can be dangerous, so you'll want to play it safe and get help from a professional auto repair technician as soon as you can.
The Check Engine Light is Illuminated (But Not Flashing)
When your check engine comes on and stays on, it is usually less urgent than when it is flashing.* Still, it's a good idea not to push your vehicle much further. Get off the road as soon as you can and get the problem checked out. Bring your vehicle into LightHouse Automotive for diagnostic testing and a thorough inspection, and we can pinpoint exactly what triggered that check engine warning.
A lot of vehicles these days will have sophisticated dashboard warning lights that will illuminate in different colors depending on the severity of the problem being detected. Consult your owner's manual for more specific information about your car, truck or SUV. In general, yellow means less severe while red means urgent/major problems that require immediate attention.
Other Important Warning Lights
Your car will have many warning lights and it's important to understand what each represents. The two most important (beyond the check engine light) will be your oil pressure light and your temperature gauge. If your oil pressure light comes on (especially if it is red), get off the road immediately or you may risk a complete blow-out of your engine. The temperature gauge is connected to your vehicle's cooling system and will let you know if the car is overheating or about to overheat. Again, you'll want to pull over and let the engine cool down. You may need to add coolant or water, but be careful when you touch/open that radiator cap. There will be a lot of heat and pressure built up if your car is overheating.
We hope you find this article helpful. Our goal at LightHouse Automotive is to provide you with the information and insight you need to get the most out of your vehicle's maintenance and repair needs. Understanding your dashboard warning lights is important.
If any of your warning lights come on, call LightHouse Automotive at (719) 465-0302 or schedule an appointment. We can run diagnostics and perform an inspection to find out exactly what's wrong. Then, we can provide a repair estimate that will help you decide what you want to do.