What Does this Dashboard Warning Light Mean?

What Does this Dashboard Warning Light Mean?

Oh, dashboard warning lights and the anxiety they can induce. One moment you’re driving along listening to an epic podcast when suddenly, a light comes on in your dash. Some drivers are familiar with most, and some are not. Either way, we’ve got your back. For many, knowing what every single warning light is not at the top of their mind. After all, who really has the time to read the entire manufacturer manual? Fortunately, Casey’s team in Chantilly, VA, is here to help guide you with a simple break down of the most often seen dashboard lights.  First up, the dreaded check engine light. 


ENGINE CONTROL UNIT (ECU) – CHECK ENGINE

Unfortunately, this puzzle piece-looking light can be representative of a number of issues. It could be something as simple as a faulty electrical sensor or something major like a head gasket problem. This light cannot be ignored, and you should get your vehicle into Casey’s as soon as possible. Here are 5 things you can do when your check engine light flicks on.


POWER STEERING 

When a power steering warning light engages, you might notice that your vehicle is a bit harder to steer. Power steering is necessary for driving most modern vehicles. This light could be telling you the vehicle is low on power steering fluid or that there is an issue with the system itself. If the car or truck is difficult to maneuver, you’ll want to get it serviced immediately. 


COOLANT WARNING

Often referred to as a “floating comb,” this is a coolant warning. It can mean your coolant fluid is low. It can also be telling you that your vehicle is overheating. Learn the warning signs of an overheating vehicle here.


OIL WARNING

No, you are not about to have 3 wishes granted, but this light is one of the most common to crop up. Vehicles need their oil topped regularly, and if this light appears, it could be telling you that your engine needs more. It can also tell you that you are leaking oil. If you have recently had your oil changed, you might want to check under your vehicle for a leak.


BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL

It might look like a robot is flirting with you, but this light could be telling you that your battery is on low power. It could also be telling you there is an electrical issue within your system. If the battery is low on power, there may have been other warning signs such as slow start-up or dimming lights. When this light comes on, bring your vehicle into Casey’s in Chantilly, VA, for a battery test.


TIRE PRESSURE

It looks like it is an emergency, and it very well could be! This is the Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor (TPMS) warning light. It might come on when the temperature outside shifts causing your tires to lose air. It can also come on if you have a flat. Listen to this exclamation point and check your tires before continuing your drive. 


TRACTION CONTROL MALFUNCTION

When the traction light comes on, it means the traction system is experiencing an issue. Use caution when this light engages as you are at risk of fishtailing or even spinning out. If the light stays on even though the drive doesn’t feel slippery, you need to bring it in for service ASAP. 


BRAKE SYSTEM

This light is telling you there is a problem with your brake system. Make sure you get your vehicle into Casey’s Chantilly, VA location, as soon as you possibly can. In the meantime, you will want to be cautious by giving yourself plenty of room to come to a stop gradually. 


ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM (ABS)

The anti-lock system does exactly what it sounds like; it stops the wheel from locking by reducing braking pressure. This is important as it is meant to keep the wheel at the point where it’s about to stop rotating, making it a smooth stop. The ABS light engaging could mean a sensor issue or something worse. Please don’t ignore it!


AIRBAG INDICATOR

The airbag light is a tricky one. There can be a few different reasons for it to engage, such as an issue with the seatbelt or even the airbag system itself. The thing to remember here is, if it stays on, you need to bring it into Casey’s for a diagnostic test immediately.


THE CLUTCH PEDAL

No, your car isn’t complimenting your shoes. Instead, this little light is meant for manual vehicles. These days there aren’t nearly as many manual transmission vehicles as there once were, but we see those who do! If you drive a stick and this little light pops on, it is reminding you to step on your clutch pedal!

 


Warning Lights and Diagnostic Testing at Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, Virginia

At Casey’s, we understand how frustrating having to take time out of your day for automotive maintenance can be, and we aim to make it less stressful. Every vehicle that comes into one of our shops is subjected to a complimentary inspection covering over 42 points of your vehicle. The inspection report is sent directly to you via text or email, and helps keep you informed! Our customer waiting lobbies are stocked full of free coffee, soft drinks, snack, and WiFi to make your wait all the more bearable. We even have dedicated kids play areas! Can’t take the time to wait? We also offer complimentary shuttle service and loaners. If you aren’t sure about a light that has come on in your dashboard, contact our team for an appointment today.