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Dashboard warning lights can seem vague to even the savviest drivers. Hence, Marland Enterprises in Cazenovia shares this practical guide to clarify the meaning of dashboard warning lights. Read on!

Give your car a synthetic oil change to enhance engine operation while preventing breakdowns. Call the oil aces at MARLAND ENTERPRISES in Cazenovia to get appropriate products according to your vehicle's demands. Call them at (315) 727-4645 or visit their online shop to place your order.

Dashboard warning lights can warn drivers about the operation of car devices or alert them to possible faults in the vehicle. This last point makes it crucial to understand their meaning to avoid major breakdowns. Keep reading this post to interpret the meaning of dashboard warning lights.

To Keep in Mind

First, you should know that each manufacturer can use different types of warning lights. However, the vast majority use identical signals for the most common alerts. Either way, it's always a good idea to read the manufacturer's manual to learn more about your vehicle. Second, it's fair to assume that your car's warning lights can come in three colors, depending on their warning level. Finally, remember that the car's warning lights come on when you start the vehicle. The problem arises when they stay on, so you should stay alert to your dashboard in case this happens.


The green lights indicate the power is on and highlight the correct operation of the vehicle's systems and devices. The clearest examples are the warning lights that demonstrate the use of the car's lights. These indicators can also be white or blue, depending on the car model.

Yellow or Amber-Toned

The yellow warning lights are alerts about a possible failure in some mechanism or device of the car. They don't require immediate attention, but it's advisable to tend to these faults as soon as possible.


Red warning lights indicate a severe fault in some mechanism or device of the car. It's not recommended to drive with a red light on. Now that you understand the variety of the car's warning lights, let's dive right into the meaning of dashboard warning lights, or at least the most common ones.

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The "check engine light" indicates some engine failure. Although this doesn't mean that the car is unusable, it will be best to take it to the nearest mechanical workshop to have it checked by a professional. This warning light can be challenging to decipher as it can turn yellow or red. The latter can indicate a more severe failure due to the complexity of the engine. It's difficult to determine the precise fault, but the most common ones are:
  • Injection system
  • Ignition system
  • Gas emission system
  • Vehicle electronic system
  • Ignition system

If the Check Engine Light Is Flashing

On some occasions, the check engine light may flash. This indicates a more serious mechanical failure, so it will be necessary to take it to the mechanic as soon as possible.

Oil Level

The light that resembles a leaking teapot indicates the car's oil level.
  • It can be yellow, indicating a low oil level, and red to denote the empty oil tank.
  • You must maintain the recommended oil levels so the engine can remain adequately lubricated.

Car Temperature

The symbol that looks like a thermometer underwater indicates the car's temperature. It may be yellow to warn the driver about possible engine overheating. Still, it can also turn red in the worst-case scenario, as it indicates a temperature that can affect the engine. This warning light can also mean something is happening with the temperature or antifreeze fluid levels. There can be many causes of increased engine temperatures, such as radiator failure, lack of antifreeze, or leaks. It's possible to drive if the warning light is yellow, but if it changes to red, it is best to stop the car, wait for it to cool down, and then check the antifreeze or take it to a trusted mechanic to prevent further damage.

The Battery Light

This warning light indicates a fault with the battery. This flaw can be attributed to either a low charge or corrosion in the joints. It can also mean a defect with the car's alternator preventing the battery from charging correctly.

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