Understanding Dashboard Light Colours

No driver wants to see a dreaded warning light pop up on the dashboard and understanding exactly what your vehicle is trying to tell you with these lights can be complicated. As well as there being various lights for different issues, these lights are also colour coded depending on the severity and type of warning.

It is vital that drivers are aware of what each dashboard light colour means so that you can react appropriately. These dashboard lights will depend on the vehicle but are usually red, amber, blue or green.

Red Dashboard Lights

If a red dashboard light appears while driving or when you switch your engine on and doesn’t go away, then this indicates a serious problem. Red is the most severe of all the dashboard warning lights and is telling you there is a potential safety issue.

If you see a red warning light appear, you should stop driving immediately and identify the issue. Do not continue driving until you are confident that it is safe to do so. Red warning lights include but are not limited to:

  • Battery warning
  • Brake system alert
  • Hazard warning light
  • Oil pressure warning
  • Seat belt reminders
  • Power steering warning
  • Doors open reminder
  • Transmission fault
  • Airbag fault alert.

Amber Dashboard Lights

An amber or orange dashboard light is a signal to operate with caution. It isn’t as severe as a red dashboard light but is likely to indicate that something needs to be serviced or repaired in the near future.

If an amber light comes in, you can continue using the vehicle with caution, but the issue should be closely monitored. If an amber dashboard light is ignored, it could develop into a major problem. Amber warning lights include:

  • Check engine light
  • Low fuel warning light
  • ESP fault warning light
  • Traction control system activated
  • Low oil level indicator
  • Change in tyre pressure
  • Low on coolant
  • ABS warning light.

Green or Blue Warning Lights

Green dashboard lights are often not there as a warning or sign of an issue but instead to indicate that something is on or operating. They notify you of certain information that you should be aware of while you are driving. Green or blue dashboard lights include:

  • Parking sensor in operation
  • ECO mode activated
  • Headlamps on
  • Fog lights on
  • Full beams on
  • Interior light on
  • Coolant system too cold
  • Indicators on
  • Window wipers on
  • Stop/start system.
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