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Warning Lights: What To Watch Out For

By: James Ruppert
Warning lights on dashboard what to look out for

Warning lights on your dashboard are something no one wants to see. They usually mean that something bad and expensive is happening under your bonnet. Here are the most important/common car warning lights you need to know.

Never ignore warning lights on your dash and contact MotorEasy to arrange a diagnosis and repair. If you've got a warranty, even better, it's possible that the problem causing the light to come on is covered, saving you a large repair bill. 

If your garage has quoted for a repair, check it is fair by giving MotorEasy a call. Our engineers can look thorugh what is being charged and advise the best way to bring costs down.

For more information head to Lost In Translation hub

Warning Light 1: Oil

This is a bad light to come on and you must stop the car immediately and get recovered to your nearest workshop.

It's usually due to a noticeable increase in oil consumption and you should always check your levels regularly or for oil dripping when parked. 

This could mean engine oil leaks. The solution depends on where the leak is; when new gaskets or seals are required then this is a reasonably simple garage job.

However, increased oil consumption and noticeable blue smoke from the exhaust, could mean a worn engine which is burning oil. A garage may need to fit new valve guide seals, or more seriously new pistons and rings, or even a new engine.

Read our guide to maintaining your oil

 

Warning Light 2: Airbag

Why is this one serious? Because it suggests that the airbag may not go off in the event of an accident. It's an instant MOT failure as well. This could be a simple sensor failure but it's essential that you get it checked out by MotorEasy.

 

 

 

Warning Light 3: Engine

If the engine or ECU (electronic control unit) warning light comes on it's likely that the engine is suffering from a lack of power or making a strange sound.

If not it could just be a minor sensor failure. Either way you will have to stop driving and contact MotorEasy to get the problem diagnosed.

Why has your engine light come on?

 

Warning Light 4: Brakes

Another potential serious failure. It may be and indicator of seriously worn brake pads or some other fault with the system. There could be a leak in the brake fluid system itself. Make sure you head to MotorEasy for a diagnosis.

Read our full guide to brakes

 

 

Warning Light 5: Power Steering

If this light comes on then it's likely that until you get the problem fixed your power steering will be disabled which could make driving harder.

There could be a leak in the hydraulic system, or a sensor fault within the electronic power steering system. This can sometimes be fixed by turning the car on and off again, but if it reilluminates then there is definitely a problem.

 

Warning Light 6: DPF Filter

Here's an increasingly common warning signal related to the Diesel Particulate Filter, which could be blocked by soot and is often accompanied by smoke from the exhaust.

This could be an expensive problem, but it could just need a regeneration. Either way you should consult MotorEasy

What Is A DPF And Why Do I Need It?

 

Warning Light 7: Coolant

This comes on when your engine has sensed that it's getting too hot and is at risk of damage from overheating.

There could be leaks from hoses, maybe even the radiator and could lead to overheating. Best to stop driving, check the levels, top up with water to get you to where you need to be and speak to MotorEasy.

Prevent car repairs with our 7 simple checks

 

Warning Light 8: Battery

This light comes on when battery levels are dropping rapidly. In most cases the battery is due for replacement. Especially if your car is sluggish and the headlights are dim or go out when starting.

The battery may be flat and in need of a charge. Batteries have a lot to do these days, but usually the warning sign is just that.

It's not too serious, but you shouldn't ignore it and you do need to contact MotorEasy to get the battery checked. Always keep a pair of jump leads in your car in case the worst happens.

How to check your battery

 

Warning Light 9: Tyre Pressure

This light comes on when the pressure in your tyres is too low and could cause unsafe driving conditions.

Usually it can be caused by a leak or slow puncture. It's best to stop driving until you have identified which tyre is the problem.

Remember both over and underinflation can cause premature tread wear and possible tyre failure. 

Read everything you need to know about your tyres

 

So keep an eye on those pesky warning lights and never ignore them. When in doubt contact MotorEasy.

 

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