AUTORIDE

Red symbols in a car: What to do when they light up?

Dashboard warning lights
Publié le Traduit avec l'aide de l'IA à partir de notre article original (source : autoride.sk)

Red symbols on the dashboard, unlike other warning lights, indicate a serious problem that must be solved immediately. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a red warning light comes on, don't ignore it!

It can be an applied handbrake, an opened trunk or door, low oil pressure, or engine overheating. In any case, you should pull over and, if possible, solve the problem. Every minute counts, and if you don't want to risk damage to the engine or other components, you must act.

If the problem cannot be solved, or if you do not know how to do it, it is better to call a mechanic, but in some cases, it is necessary to turn off the engine as you stop your car.

AdBlue warning light

AdBlue warning light

The light signals a low level of AdBlue additives. In most cases, the warning light also displays information about the stated range, and you cannot start the engine after the additive has been used up.

Airbag fault warning light

Airbag fault warning lightAirbag fault warning lightAirbag fault warning light

This light signals an error in the electronics of the airbag system. It may happen that the airbags do not fire or fire on their own during an impact. We recommend rather a quick visit to a car service center.

Airbag OFF

Airbag OFFAirbag OFF

This symbol is almost identical to the warning light that indicates a fault in the airbags. However, if the airbag symbol is crossed out (i.e., the red circle contains an "X"), the airbags are disabled manually by the driver. We do not recommend doing so since if the collision occurs, the airbags won't be functional.

Air suspension malfunction

Air suspension malfunction

This red symbol indicates a malfunction of the air suspension system, either due to air leakage or insufficient inflation. As with suspension shock absorbers, driving carefully and going to a car service center is recommended.

Battery warning lightEn savoir plus

Battery warning lightBattery warning light

You may have noticed this red light upon starting your vehicle. If the light remains on, it might either be an alternator failure or a torn alternator drive belt. With such a malfunction, you can only go to the service center if your engine does not run after the battery is discharged. However, a much better alternative is to call a tow truck immediately.

Bonnet

Bonnet

Illuminates when the bonnet is not correctly closed. Contact an authorized car service center if the warning light remains on after adequately closing the bonnet.

Boot lid

Boot lid

Illuminates when the boot lid is not correctly closed. Contact an authorized car service center if the warning light remains on after adequately closing the boot lid.

Brake pads faultEn savoir plus

Brake pads fault

This symbol indicates a problem with the brake pads or their excessive wear. In any case, we recommend an immediate replacement, as the brakes may not have sufficient effect.

Brake warning light

Brake warning lightBrake warning lightBrake warning light

If the red brake light is on, you probably have the handbrake applied, in which case you should release it immediately. If the light continues to illuminate, stop and check the brake fluid level (top it up if it's below the correct level), as the brakes may stop working.

Cruise control warning light

Cruise control warning light

This indicator lights up in red if the maximum set speed is exceeded or there is a malfunction in the system.

Distance warning light

Distance warning lightDistance warning light

The light signals that the vehicle in front of you is too close! In such a case, you must immediately slow down and maintain a safer distance.

Doors open warning light

Doors open warning light

This light comes on if the door is ajar or insufficiently closed.

Electronic parking brake malfunction

Electronic parking brake malfunction

The electronic parking brake has malfunctioned, and it is necessary to go to the car service center immediately. A warning light without a wrench symbol indicates that the parking brake is engaged.

Engine coolant warning lightEn savoir plus

Engine coolant warning light

This red light comes on if the coolant level is below the minimum level or the engine is overheating. If this happens, you should stop and check the coolant level. If the coolant fluid needs to be topped up, you can do so only after the engine has cooled down to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). It usually means waiting a quarter of an hour or more, depending on the outside temperature.

Suppose you don't have coolant fluid or distilled water at hand. You can also use ordinary water in an emergency but must visit the service center later.

A damaged water pump, a cracked head, leaks in the cooling system, or a cracked radiator can cause coolant leakage. If the coolant is not leaking, a malfunctioning switch or fan can cause the engine to overheat.

Engine oil pressure warning lightEn savoir plus

Engine oil pressure warning light

This red symbol warns of insufficient engine oil pressure, one of the reasons may be that the oil level is too low. You should stop the car immediately and turn off the engine, as the lubrication is not sufficient. If the warning light remains on even after topping up or the oil level is normal, turn off the engine and call a tow truck. Otherwise, you risk seizing the engine, as the oil pump may be damaged.

Front Assist warning light

Front Assist warning light

This symbol lights up if the Front Assist system has detected a risk of collision. Brake immediately or take evasive action to avoid collision! The Front Assist should disappear when the risk of a crash is avoided. A malfunction might occur if it remains lit even under normal conditions. In such case, you should visit a car service center.

Gearbox malfunction

Gearbox malfunctionGearbox malfunction

This warning light indicates a severe problem with the gearbox. Pull over immediately and call a tow truck. Continuing to drive can cause fatal damage to the gearbox, which is very expensive to repair.

Gearbox temperature

Gearbox temperatureGearbox temperature

This symbol indicates that the gearbox is overheating due to the excessively high gearbox oil temperature. Park the car immediately and let it cool down. If you continue driving, you may cause fatal damage to the gearbox, the repair of which is costly. If the warning light appears again or does not go out even after cooling down, it is necessary to call a tow truck.

Hazard warning

Hazard warning

This symbol alerts the driver that the hazard lights are activated. Don't forget to turn them off when you don't need to use them anymore, so as not to confuse other drivers.

Ignition switch malfunction

Ignition switch malfunction

This symbol may indicate a problem with the ignition switch or the key. If it comes on, do not turn off the ignition because you might be unable to turn it back on. Immediate visit to an authorized car service center is recommended.

The ignition switch symbol also has an orange variant, indicating the same problem. Although this may not call for immediate action, it is wise to schedule a visit to an authorized car service center.

Key FOB warning light

Key FOB warning lightKey FOB warning lightKey FOB warning light

The key FOB symbol with an exclamation mark can have several meanings. It might indicate a weak battery in the key, a faulty antenna receiving the signal from the key, or a failure in the vehicle's security system. For cars with keyless start, it can alert the driver to place the FOB key near the ignition for safety reasons.

Low brake fluid level

Low brake fluid level

This warning light comes on when the brake fluid level is too low. Stop the vehicle as quickly as possible, check the brake fluid level, and top it up if necessary. Brake fluid can leak for various reasons, but do not continue driving with insufficient brake fluid as the brakes may stop working altogether.

Low engine oil level

Low engine oil levelLow engine oil level

It is similar to the oil pressure warning light, but this red symbol indicates a low oil level. Stop the vehicle immediately and turn off the engine. If the warning light remains constantly lit even after topping up the oil, turn off the engine and call a tow truck. Otherwise, you risk seizing the engine since the lubrication is insufficient.

Parking brake

Parking brake

This warning light indicates that the parking brake is engaged. Stop the vehicle and release the parking brake before continuing to drive. After disabling the parking brake, the warning light should go out. If it continues to light up, leave the car parked and contact an authorized car service center.

Power steering wheel warning light

Power steering wheel warning lightPower steering wheel warning light

You will encounter this warning light if you have a problem with the power steering. The fault may be in the electrics or the servo pump. Driving such a vehicle is possible, but you have to put up with the reduced or zero effect of the power steering.

Red triangle warning light

Red triangle warning lightRed triangle warning light

The red triangle symbol with an exclamation mark may be on or flashing and is often accompanied by an acoustic warning, while other warning lights may also illuminate. WARNING! Park the car immediately, and do not continue driving.

This is likely a severe problem, such as a lack of operating fluid. Depending on the situation, you may also need to turn off the engine, for example, with low oil pressure in the case of an internal combustion engine. If you can't solve the problem on the spot, it's better to call a tow truck.

Seat belt light

Seat belt light

A seat belt light signals an unbelted passenger. In addition, a loud beep should alert you as well.

Start/Stop warning light

Start/Stop warning light

It lights up if the start-stop system has turned off the engine. After pressing the clutch, the engine starts. In the case of an automatic transmission, the brake pedal must be released.

Steering lock malfunction

Steering lock malfunction

Stop the vehicle immediately and call a tow truck. Otherwise, there is a risk of a complete steering lock while driving. If it lights up in orange, you should plan a visit to a car service center.

Wrench warning light

Wrench warning light

This indicator has various forms depending on the manufacturer. It lights up when the service check is needed. It could be a planned (set interval) check, an unexpected malfunction, or the need to go to the service center as soon as possible.