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Ever wonder what that warning light means on your dashboard? You’re not alone. Modern cars are equipped with many sensors and warnings that alert you, the driver, when something is awry. There’s nothing more frustrating than worrying if there’s something wrong with your car. The good news is we’re here to help.
Dashboard warning lights can come on for a variety of reasons. They can alert you to low tire pressure, a burnt-out light bulb, low oil, airbag faults and many other issues. One of the most common dashboard warning lights is the check engine light, or what some call the malfunction indicator light (MIL).
The check engine light is triggered by a variety of sensors in your car that notify your car’s computer that there is a fault in the system. It can come on for a variety of reasons, ranging from a loose gas cap to a seriously misfiring engine.
A good rule of thumb with warnings lights is if a light is flashing, pull over immediately. A flashing light is a notification of an issue that should get addressed immediately. If not addressed quickly, you may do damage to your car and potentially hinder its ability to transport you safely as intended.
The best course of action for when a warning light comes on in your car is to safely stop your vehicle, look up the light’s meaning in your owner’s manual and call your local authorized dealership. Dealerships are equipped with the appropriate tools to scan your car’s computer and properly diagnose the problem.
Q: I have a flashing light on my dash. What should I do?
A: If a light is flashing on your dash, your car likely has an issue that needs immediate attention. Safely pull your car over as soon as you can, shut down the engine and consult your owner’s manual to determine which light is illuminated. Then contact your authorized dealership to schedule a diagnostic test.
Q: My warning light is on solid. Should I get it checked out?
A: A warning light doesn’t come on unless something is wrong with your car. While the cause of a solid warning light may not be as severe or need as immediate attention as a flashing light, you still need to get it checked out. Issues left unchecked often lead to bigger issues down the road. If your light is on solid, contact your authorized dealership to schedule a diagnostic service.