Seeing red? If your dashboard lights up with these, you shouldn’t ignore them- you might be sorry!
If you’ve only recently passed your test, or have been driving for a few years, we hate to say it, there may be gaps in your car knowledge. Theory & driving tests are harder than ever, but we can’t be expected to know everything, all the time. So to help out, here are three lights you never want to ignore- don’t say we didn’t warn you!
- Oil Pressure
One little light couldn’t be that bad, could it? Well, ignoring this warning sign could lead to serious engine damage. Oil lubricates the engine parts, and without it your engine would overheat from the friction of components rubbing together. This light is shaped like an oil can (or genie’s lamp?) and will light up when you first turn on the engine, but should turn off immediately afterwards. If it stays lit- or comes on mid-drive- it means your oil pressure has dropped. You should immediately stop & check the oil pressure using the dipstick (give your engine a minute to cool down first). If the dipstick shows the oil pressure is correct, contact a mechanic before driving anywhere.
A circle containing an exclamation mark (“!”), this could be really serious if it comes on mid-drive. Low brake fluid can be a real risk to safety and requires a visit to a mechanic. If this light appears, pull over and switch off your engine- you’ll need to call roadside assistance immediately. This is sometimes accompanied by a yellow ABS light. If this light appears and you feel a change in the way your brakes are performing, it’s definitely time to stop & contact a mechanic.
This is a rectangle with “+” and “–”- basically a car battery. Like the oil it will light and then dim when the engine is first started. If you see it any other time it could mean the engine is not charging the battery- possibly because the drive belt could be broken. In any case, serious engine trouble could result if it isn’t checked out- you may need roadside assistance and definitely consider calling a mechanic.
Warmsworth Service Centre provides high-quality service for all makes of car, specialising in German engineering. If you drive a BMW, VW, Mercedes or Audi, our specially-trained staff can offer expert service, as well as the best value on parts compared to a dealership or chain garage.