Dashboard Warning Lights

Your car will try to communicate with you at pretty much every step along the way as you drive it.

It does this by means of the vehicle dashboard. Most of the time when we look at the dashboard of our motor car, we will be doing it to check our speed, revs and fuel levels. However, on occasion looking at the dashboard will throw up something else altogether, in the form of a warning light.

Warning lights not to be ignored

If they come on to display then there is something wrong with the way the car is running, something will need to be addressed before you continue to drive it. Otherwise you will be doing damage to your car, and risk an accident. Knowing what the different lights are telling you is therefore very important. Not every car has the same warning lights, so the best thing to do is sit and look at the dashboard lights when you are in the car. When you start the car, all of the lights will illuminate. This does not mean that there is a range of things wrong with your car; it is just the manufacturers' way of demonstrating that the warning light bulbs are still working.

If at a later point they come on, that is when they ought to become a concern. Still, the important thing is to not panic. Usually, the problem will be something that can be fixed routinely.

Dashboard brake light

This light demonstrates that there is something wrong in the braking system of the car. Don't panic. You may be driving with the handbrake on. That is the first thing you should check.

If there is no problem there, then stop the car, get out somewhere safe and check your brake fluid. If that is low, then top it up. If neither of these steps cures the problem, then you will need to get the car to an auto shop immediately - driving with compromised brakes will be a dangerous lottery.

Car dashboard oil light

If it comes on then the chances are that your engine oil level has dropped dangerously low. Stop your car, get out and check. Top up the oil if necessary. If the light persists, however, then you may have a problem with the oil pump and the car will need looking at. Call a tow truck, and don't try to drive if at all possible.

Other problems which are advisable to check but not necessarily emergencies include the Engine light, which indicates a problem with the engine that is not likely to affect performance unduly; the Air Bag light, which is more or less self-explanatory, not an emergency but should be checked; the battery charge light, which could indicate a problem that will make the car difficult to start. In any of these cases it is wise to get a mechanic to look over your car, but in most cases it'll be safe to drive. You can find other helpful advice and information regarding expert tips about car brakes.