The symbols that occasionally light up on your dashboard are nothing to ignore. While some symbols are fairly innocuous and easily fixed (e.g., a gas cap symbol that indicates a loose cap) others can indicate serious car problems that require a professional scanning and diagnostic reading. Ignoring certain symbols on the dash could mean brushing aside a serious problem like an overheated transmission, lower than normal voltage on your car’s battery, or a sudden drop in your oil pressure.

All Around Auto Repair helps to address all of these issues and provides everything from scheduled maintenance and oil changes to engine work and topping off your fluids. Most auto experts will tell you that you need to have your car, truck, or van serviced about every 12 months, or every 10,000 miles. Those are rough estimates: Go by your owner’s manual and if you see one of the more serious dashboard symbols found below suddenly come up, take your vehicle in to All Around Auto Repair right away.

Engine Temperature Warning Light

Vehicle dashboard showing gas mileage and speed in green and a red light indicator showing 'service engine soon'This light being on likely means that your engine is overly hot; often the root cause is low coolant levels in your vehicle. A lot of people are already familiar with what this light looks like: Two waves on the bottom with something that looks like a thermometer with three prongs indicating heat. This symbol is usually by the H-and-C meter on your dashboard that indicates your engine’s heat.

A coolant temperature warning symbol that’s lit up could mean that your radiator cap or fan is on the fritz, or it could mean that there’s an ongoing coolant leak in your vehicle. These are car problems you can’t ignore. Get it professionally diagnosed.

If you’re driving and the engine temperature warning light comes on, then pull over immediately and turn off your engine. Continuing to drive with this light illuminated could mean causing serious car problems and engine damage.

Car Battery Symbol 

This light on your dashboard is easy to spot and depicts a battery with a “+” and “-” indicating your positive and negative battery terminals. A circuit in your car basically determines the voltage that your alternator is generating and, if the voltage is too low, the battery light will come on. The typical cause of this light coming on is a malfunctioning alternator belt.

Your Check Engine Light 

Some people think that this light looks like a yellow submarine. Trained mechanics know it depicts an engine, and this light staying on could mean a misfiring engine and terrible fuel economy. If your check engine light is blinking that almost always means your car needs immediate attention from a trained mechanic!

Oil Pressure Warning Symbol 

This light is pretty easy to decipher since it’s the one that looks like an oil can with a drop of oil dripping out on the right. When this light comes on it usually means that your oil level or oil pressure is low or dropping precipitously. Either a pump malfunction or just low oil level in your vehicle could be the root cause.

Some vehicles can distinguish between low oil level and low oil pressure, but if your vehicle can’t or if you’re not completely confident in your ability to effectively and safely use a dipstick to check the oil level, then take your car into All Around Auto Repair for an oil change and diagnostics.

Car Problems? Contact All Around Auto Repair 

Dashboard symbols often have more than one meaning, but can indicate serious car problems. Contact All Around Auto Repair for scheduled maintenance, diagnostics, and peace of mind.