1000 × 444There's no denying the fact that modern vehicles are very complex machines. In fact, the average car coming off of the production line has over two dozen computer modules that assist in running the vehicle and all of its included features. With so many components, it's no surprise that many things can go wrong.

Check Engine Light

Probably the most common dash light that you'll have come on is the check engine light. This light is intended to warn you of engine-related issues. However, it's not overly specific about what the problem may be. This could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or as serious as an engine misfire. You'll notice this light by a red or amber color that features an outline of an engine. On some newer cars, the dashboard display will say "Service Engine Soon" or "Check Engine."

Engine Coolant Temperature

You'll notice this indicator light by a red thermometer. When this light comes on, it means that your engine is overheating. This is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed before you continue to drive your vehicle. It's best to pull over and turn off your vehicle so that it can cool down. Your car can overheat due to a number of issues, including a broken head gasket, stuck thermostat, broken water pump, leaky radiator, or a hole in your coolant hoses.

ABS Warning Light

The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) warning light is one of the most identifiable. It features a yellow or red-colored circle with the letters "ABS" in the middle. This light will illuminate when there's a problem with your anti-lock braking system. An ABS system is intended to help enhance your braking performance on slippery roads by pulsing your brake pedal so that it doesn't lock up. A very common reason this light comes on is a faulty wheel speed sensor.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

Your tire pressure warning light is a yellow light with an exclamation point surrounded by a tire. This light signals that one of your tires is underinflated. Some vehicles may show you exactly which tire is low in pressure, while others may not. It's best to stop in a safe location and assess the condition of your tires. This light can alert you when you have a low tire due to a puncture or simply seasonal temperature changes. If your tires are not below the recommended pressure, you may have a faulty tire pressure sensor that needs to be replaced.

Stability Control

Another component of your anti-lock braking system is electronic stability control (ESC). The whole job of stability control is to keep your vehicle heading in your intended direction. It monitors your wheel speed and steering inputs and applies your brakes in the way necessary to prevent spinning or sliding off your vehicle. This dash light will come on when the ESC system kicks on. It will stay on if there's a fault in your ESC system.

Seatbelt Warning Light

The seatbelt warning light comes on when you don't have the seatbelt engaged, but there is weight on the seat. It features a person wearing a seatbelt so that you clearly understand the warning. Some vehicles may have an indicator for the driver and passenger seats. You'll want to ensure that the seat belts are buckled properly. If they are, this light could mean that you have a faulty belt buckle or under the seat sensor.

Airbag Warning Light

The airbag warning light is described as a red light that has an airbag icon. Some vehicles may not sport an icon. Instead, they have the letters "SRS" or "AIRBAG" that come up on the dash. All of these warnings indicate that there is a problem with your airbag system. This is a problem that you should get checked out sooner rather than later as your airbags are unlikely to deploy if you're involved in a collision.

Low Fuel Warning Light

When you see a red or amber-colored gas pump, it indicates that you're running low on fuel. Some older vehicles may simply utilize an amber-colored light that is positioned near the "E" mark on your fuel gauge. Depending on the type of vehicle that you drive, this warning light will come on when you have between one and two gallons of fuel left in your fuel tank.

Brake Warning Light

This indicator light can be displayed with a red circle with an exclamation point inside it or a "P." Alternatively, it may simply show the word "BRAKE" on your gauge cluster. This light means that your brake is currently engaged. It's meant to be a reminder to release your parking brake before you try to drive.

Maintenance Required

The maintenance required light, also known as the service light, goes off when your vehicle reaches a set mileage. This light simply means that you need to get your vehicle serviced with an oil change, new spark plugs, tires, etc. This light will come on with the words "MAINT REQD", "SERVICE ENGINE SOON", or an amber-colored wrench.

Contact Us Today

If you have a warning sensor on your Toyota that you're unfamiliar with or need assistance with, contact us at Rice Toyota today. Our knowledgeable service technicians will be more than happy to assess the indicator light and fix the issue with your Toyota.

Categories: Service