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18 Common Car Warning Lights: What Do They Mean?

Car Warning Lights

Here are the 18 common car warning lights to watch for:

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  1. Engine Temperature Warning Light
  2. Oil Pressure Warning Light
  3. Tire Pressure Warning Light
  4. Airbag Warning Light
  5. Security Indicator Light
  6. Traction Control Alert Light
  7. Anti-lock Brake System Warning Light
  8. Traction Control Malfunction Light
  9. Engine Warning Light (Check Engine Light)
  10. Seat Belt Reminder Light
  11. Fog Lamp Indicator Light
  12. Washer Fluid Indicator Light
  13. Brake Warning Light
  14. Lane Departure Warning Light
  15. Transmission Temperature Warning Light
  16. Battery Alert Light
  17. Low Fuel Indicator Light
  18. Automatic Shift Lock or Engine Start Indicator Light

Have you ever been in a situation where you are driving and suddenly see a small symbol Illuminating on your dashboard? Many of us feel nervous about the warning symbols, especially if they are related to Major internal problems.

These warning lights are just away from your vehicle to communicate with you and grab your attention to see what's going on. Ignoring these lights is never a good idea because if you can fix a problem once you detect it, you won't be able to do so if you ignore it for a long time. 

Even very experienced drivers might not fully understand all the warning lights on the dashboard. Some of them might be intuitive and easy to figure out why all those are a little bit more complicated.

This article highlights the 18 most common car warning lights and explains to you what each warning light means. 

Note that after dealing with any of these warning lights, you'll have to do an action, and it's typically some type of repair. However, before you spend money on the repair, it is critical that you evaluate the situation and think about whether your car is worth the repairs or you should sell it instead.

If you ended up selling your car with problems related to the warning lights, we highly encourage you to reach out to Cash Cars Buyer, who will pay you the top dollars for your car and get it removed in no time! All you have to do is to give us a call at 866-924-4608!

Change Oil Lights

18 Common Car Warning Lights: What Do They Mean?

There's a long list of warning lights that you might experience during the lighttime of your car. However, some of them are more likely to get triggered more frequently than others. Therefore let's take a look at the 18 common car warning lights that Automotive Experts put together:

  • Engine Temperature Warning Light

The first and most common warning light you will experience is the engine temperature warning light. As the name suggests, this warning light tells you about what's going on with the engine temperature, especially if it goes higher than the maximum threshold. 

In other words, this warning light tells you that the engine has a lot of temperatures and you should take an action immediately. It could be a problem with the cooling system or probably with the application.

Potential repair options:  Overheating problems are typically related to either coolant or oil leaks. Obviously, there are some other potential culprits you want to explore to confirm there is no leak.

  • Oil Pressure Warning Light

The oil pressure warning light is very critical because it tells you how much oil is in the oil system. As you might already know, oil is required to lubricate the engine and prevent overheating. When the oil has any problem that impacts pressure, the engine will not receive the right level of lubrication, and that's when you deal with significant problems that could cost you the entire engine.

Potential causes of triggering the oil pressure warning light might be related to an internal or external oil leak. It could be a problem with very old oil, indicating that it's time for changing your oil. Check with your mechanic and have him perform a thorough inspection before making a conclusion.

Potential repair options: Depending on the culprits triggering the oil pressure warning light, you'll have fixed the issue. For example, if you can find that there is an oil leak, your mechanic needs to look closely and find the location of the leak to fix it. On other hand, if the issue has to do with a time for an oil change, you'll have to do so immediately.

  • Tire Pressure Warning Light

The tire pressure warning light is a very common one, and you probably had to deal with it sometime very recently. Obviously, this warning light indicates that there is no sufficient pressure in your tire, and you'll have to take care of it.

Potential repair options: to fix your tire have to inspect it and see what's going on. in other words, if you confirmed that there is some hole or any puncture in the tire, you'll have to fix it for it even replace it a tire in some severe situations.

  • Airbag Warning Light

The airbag warning light is another critical warning light that you have to pay clear attention to. It indicates that there is an issue with the Airbags.

Obviously, you don't want to drive a car that doesn't have a perfectly running airbag. Otherwise, you might put yourself in a very risky situation, especially if you get involved in major car accidents.

Potential repair options: To fix this issue, you have to have the mechanic perform a thorough inspection of the airbag system and detect what's going on. It could be a loose connection or probably something else that requires further investigation.

  • Security Indicator Light

The security indicator light has to do with the security system in your vehicle. In other words, it's triggered, it means that the vehicle is not safe or is used by the wrong driver. Those, if you could know for sure that this shouldn't happen because you were the actual owner of the car and you have the keys, then this means that there's a problem with the system.

Potential repair options: you can check with a security system manual or visit your mechanic to have him inspect the system. You want the system to work properly, especially if you park in dangerous areas and want to keep your vehicle secure.

  • Traction Control Alert Light

The traction control alert light is triggered whenever one of the wheels spends more than the other. It is important because it is activated only when your vehicle uses the anti-lock brake system, and it's helpful when you're driving on snowy or rainy days. 

Potential repair options: typically, you don't have to do anything about this light because it is activated depending on the road environment. However, if you know that you're driving in good condition. It does not require activating the traction control, you might want to check with your mechanic to see if there's anything wrong.

  • Anti-lock Brake System Warning Light

The anti-lock brake system warning light is triggered when there is a problem with the braking system. Typically, every time you hit the brakes hard, the ABS prevents the brakes from locking up. However, when the warning light comes on, you'll have to check with your mechanic about what's going on.

Potential repair options: check with your mechanic and have him inspect the antilock brake system to see if there is any problem with it.

Coolant Temperature Warning Light

  • Traction Control Malfunction Light 

The traction control malfunction light does not necessarily impact your everyday driving. However, it is critical because it has to do with activating the ABS.

Potential repair options: as we indicated earlier, of this light that does not impact your vehicle's driver ability every day but checking it and making sure that nothing is going on wrong with the sensors in the traction control system is extremely important, especially if you drive in Slippery environments.

  • Engine Warning Light (Check Engine Light)

What's more critical than engine warning lights?! Although we should have started with this warning light, We thought we should highlight some of the uncommon lights that you might experience during the lighttime of your car. 

Clearly, when the check engine warning light is triggered, it indicates an internal problem in your engine. Unfortunately, it is hard to say what exactly could be going on and end unless you perform a thorough inspection.

It is critical for you as a driver to take this warning light seriously because it might impact the level of effort and money you are going to spend fixing the problem. As Automotive Experts always say, the earlier you were at the problem, the easier it is to fix it, and the cheaper repair costs are.

Potential repair options: to fix check engine warning lights, your mechanic needs to scan the internal computer and get the internal code. This code represents the internal problem, and the mechanic can translate it into a list of potential culprits and potential repair costs and options.

  • Seat Belt Reminder Light

This warning light is one of the very simple ones that is triggered every time you get into the car without buckling up your seats.

Potential repair options: while we shouldn't say it's a repair option but to get rid of this warning light, all you have to do is to buckle up your seats.

  • Fog Lamp Indicator Light

The fog lamp indicator light is triggered every time you're using the fog lights. Obviously, you shouldn't use this light unless you have issues with his ability where you can't see more than a hundred yards in front of you.

Turning on these lights can be uncomfortable for other drivers because it's very bright as mine impact their visibility and is there for their safety.

Potential repair options: Clearly, to get rid of this route light, you'll have to turn off the fog lights unless you're turning it on intentionally for some visibility reasons.

  • Washer Fluid Indicator Light

As the name suggests, the washer fluid indicator light means that you were running low on washer fluid.

Potential repair options: to get rid of this light, you'll have to top off your washer fluid by the required amount to hit at least a minimum amount of required fluid.

  • Brake Warning Light

The brake warning light is a critical one if there is an issue or it could be a simple reminder that you have the parking brakes engaged.

Potential repair options: the easiest thing to get rid of this one in light is to check if you are engaging the parking brakes. Turn off your vehicle and take a look at the parking brakes. If they're not engaged, then this means that there's a problem with the baking system which is extremely critical because it can impact your safety.

Thus, you'll have to consult your mechanic and have him perform a thorough inspection of the braking system to determine where is the issue coming from.

  • Lane Departure Warning Light

The lane departure warning light might not be obvious to all drivers because it's either less coming or associated with certain Vehicles models.

What this means is that your vehicle is drifting away from its Lane. Typically this is a more advanced feature that comes with modern cars. Thus, whenever you notice this light, you should pay attention to your driving and focus on making sure your car is not drifting.

Potential repair options: Fixing your driving and making sure that you should get rid of this light, sometimes if there's a problem with your system or with the vehicle Itself, it requires reaching out to a mechanic to resolve the issue.

Traction Lights

  • Transmission Temperature Warning Light

This warning light is very similar to the engine temperature light. Basically indicates that your transmission is overheating and you'll have to get rid of this issue immediately before you deal with complicated problems.

Potential repair options: your mechanic needs to determine what's going on in the transition and what exactly is causing this increase in temperature. It could be that there is no in off transmission fluid running around the transmission to bring the temperature down or it could be something else more complicated. Whatever the reason for triggering this transmission temperature warning light should be taken care of immediately.

  • Battery Alert Light

While this light is called the battery alert light, It doesn't necessarily have to do with only the battery. This warning light is triggered whenever you have a problem with the charging system.

Potential repair options: you'll need to take the car to the mechanic so he can figure out what's causing the charging system not to operate properly. It could be a problem with the battery, but also it can be an issue with the alternator or the connections. Once the culprit is detected, your mechanic can determine whether you should replace it or fix it.

  • Low Fuel Indicator Light

This Is a very common warning light. You might come across it all the time. Flight means. See running low on fuel, and you should have a visible gas station as long as possible.

Potential repair options: To get rid of this warning light, you'll need to add more fuel from the gas station. A problem with the fuel pump or some internal sensors might also trigger this warning light in some rare situations. Therefore, if you realize that the wondering why did not go away after you top off the fuel, you might want to visit the mechanics and infirm there is nothing wrong with the fuel system.

  • Automatic Shift Lock or Engine Start Indicator Light

A warning light is triggered every time you shift gears or turn on the ignition system without pressing the brake pedal.

Potential repair options: to get rid of this warning light, you'll have to press the brake pedal and then try engaging the gears or turning on the ignition system.

Brake Warning Light


Warning lights are a way for your vehicle to communicate with you to bring your attention to start internal issues. These warning lights can be triggered because of a problem, but also they can be triggered because of a misuse of certain systems.

Drivers need to understand all these car warning lights to take the right action to resolve the issue before it gets more complicated. Keep in mind that in most scenarios. You'll have to do some repairs, and these repairs range from very cheap ones to wear expensive ones.

Thus, before making a final decision about fixing your car, you want to evaluate the situation carefully and make sure that your vehicle is worth the repair. Otherwise, you'd better sell this car and take advantage of its ability to purchase a better vehicle. 

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All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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  • Accept the quote 
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