Article Index

Car warning lights Blogcar dashboard lights a

Our vehicles dashboard or instrument panel has become more complex over recent years and is a highly technical source of information for the driver.

Whilst once it contained simple Gauges and a few lights, modern-day vehicles utilise the instrument panel to alert the driver of the vehicle to many different situations, hence what was once a fairly simple piece of equipment is now quite complex.

One particular area of the instrument panel is its warning light functions, these are designed to alert the driver of situations that require attention.

They usually fall into one of these 3 areas

  • Items requiring immediate attention
  • Advisory items
  • Informational

Immediate Attention Warning Lights

These warning lights are usually the most important requiring urgent action of some sort to rectify.

Ignoring them could result in engine damage and possible risk of life.

They includeIISTD Oil Light On a

  • Parking brake light
  • Door ajar
  • Low fuel level
  • Bonnet open
  • Hazard lights on
  • Seat belt indicator
  • Distance warning
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Oil pressure warning
  • Battery charge warning
  • Engine temperature warning
  • Brake system warning
  • Steering wheel lock
  • Power steering warning
  • Catalytic converter warning
  • Ignition switch warning
  • AdBlue tank is empty
  • AdBlue malfunction


(Your vehicle manual will describe the functions of the various warning lights that are applicable to your own vehicle)Whilst some are easily rectified i.e. plug in the seat belt, turn off the hazard lights, refuel the vehicle many require the attention of your local Future Auto Service Centre to investigate the issue and rectify.

Advisory warning lights

These Warning lights are often amber/yellow and indicate issues that require you to book the vehicle in for inspection to prevent potential damage.

They typically include

  • Automatic gearbox warningService light on dash a
  • Transmission temperature
  • Oil change reminder
  • Service vehicle soon
  • Clogged air filter
  • Reduced power warning
  • Tyre pressure warning
  • Fuel filter warning
  • Check engine light
  • Brake fluid warning
  • Brake pad warning
  • Brake lights warning
  • ABS (anti-lock braking system) problem
  • ESP/traction control fault
  • Powertrain fault
  • AWD (all-wheel drive) issue
  • Airbag deactivated
  • Side airbag
  • Exterior light fault
  • Lamp out
  • Security alert
  • Press clutch pedal
  • Overdrive light
  • Child safety lock
  • Key not in the vehicle
  • Traction control/electronic stability off
  • Traction control/electronic stability on
  • Hill descent control (HDC)
  • Cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive suspension dampers
  • Adaptive light suspension
  • 4WD (four-wheel drive) lock indicator
  • Rear fog lights
  • Automatic windscreen wipers
  • Washer fluid reminder
  • Rain and light sensor
  • Windshield defrost
  • Rear window defrost
  • Glow plug indicator

The items in bold require the services of your local Future Auto Service Centre and should be seen to urgently.

Informational warning Lights

These lights don’t warn you about issues, they provide important information about the functions of your vehicle that need to be observed, ignoring them can lead to other issues

Typically they include

  • Press brake pedalLane departure light
  • Information warning light
  • Icy road warning light
  • Electric park brake
  • Low beam indicator
  • High beam indicator
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto high beam
  • Sidelight indicator
  • Internal Fan indicator
  • Signal indicators
  • Recirculated cabin air
  • Parking with park assist
  • Lane assist
  • Eco-driving indicator
  • Brake hold indicator
  • Blind spot indicator
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Start/stop warning
  • Speed limiter
  • Seat temperature

As you can see most of these are to alert you that a particular vehicle function has been switched on and is currently active. The majority of these lights we use regularly in our everyday driving.

Whilst this blog doesn’t cover all the warning lights now fitted to modern vehicles, it is clear to see that they perform many different roles.

The important thing to observe is that if you suddenly have a warning light illuminate that you don’t usually see when you are driving, your vehicle is telling you there is an issue that requires inspection by a qualified technician.

At Future Auto Service Centres, our staff are trained in vehicle diagnostics so we can carry out an inspection and advise you of our suggested course of action.

One of the most important warning lights is your “Service due” indicator, keeping your vehicle well serviced is the key to hassle-free motoring.

TipService light on dash a

If you wish to get the best from your vehicle working best, do not ignore warning lights.

Book Now - Choose Your Branch