The dashboard is the control panel that controls the vehicle and its numeration operations and features. It gives you information regarding the speed, fuel, steering wheel, and air conditioning status of the vehicle.
Dashboards in modern vehicles also have features that provide information regarding oil pressure, audio system, weather, open doors, and GPS control system, among others.
Since this automotive feature is designed to provide a ton of information daily, you may end up ignoring some of it. After all, you may not care too much about the temperatures outdoors or using the GPS since you know your usual routes by heart.
Although you can ignore some alerts on your dashboard, it is not safe to do this to all of them. Failing to heed certain warning lights can make your vehicle unsafe to drive.
Moreover, disregarding them for a long time can cause you to pay more when you finally deal with the issues you are being alerted with.
Dashboard Warning Lights You Shouldn’t Disregard
Trusted car maintenance experts from Dubai share below the six dashboard warning lights you should never ignore:1. Oil pressure warning light
The oil keeps all parts well-lubricated and functioning properly. When the oil pressure warning light starts blinking, it is a sign that it is too low to help the engine operate safely.
There are several reasons why your oil pressure warning light is on. It may be due to the oil viscosity being too thin, oil contamination, a worn oil pump, or faulty oil pressure sending unit.
It can also be caused by low oil levels due to a leak or oil consumption. This is the easiest issue that you can check since you only need to use the engine dipstick to determine the oil level.
Whether you are already on the road or have only left your home and notice the oil pressure warning light blinking, you should bring your vehicle to a mechanic immediately, especially if you hear some clattering, ticking, or rapping noises from your engine. Failing to do so will cause more internal damage.2. Brake warning light
The brakes are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. Ignoring the light that indicates it is not working properly, therefore, can be disastrous.
Your brake warning light will turn on if there is a leak in the wheel cylinders, master cylinder, brake hoses or hose lines. Additionally, it can be caused by a faulty brake switch or when the brake fluid is low.
The brake warning light will also start blinking if the pressure differential switch cannot activate the brake.
In such instances, you need to bring your vehicle to a car service center right away since you need a mechanic to fix these issues.
However, if the brake warning light turns on because you did not fully release the parking brake pedal, simply fix this issue, and you’re good to go.3. Check engine light
A blinking check engine light can signify a harmless emissions fault, such as a loose gas cap or faulty sensor. However, it can also indicate something more serious, like an electrical, mechanical, or engine problem.
If you don’t know the exact source of the problem, go to a service center as soon as possible to find out what it is.
Remember, if you keep driving your car while the check engine light is on, you will only increase the severity of the issue. As such, have it inspected and repaired by an expert immediately.4. Battery warning light
The battery is responsible for starting and giving your vehicle the power to run. If the battery warning lights are on, it means that there could be a problem with the charging system or a damaged wire.
It could also be telling you that the battery itself is about to give out.
If your car is old and you have not changed the battery for a long time, replacing it can fix the issue. However, if your vehicle is fairly new, have a mechanic check it to pinpoint the exact problem.5. Tire pressure monitoring system or TPMS light
Maintaining the good condition of your tires is also crucial in keeping a safe, roadworthy car. Because of this, you should never ignore the feature that tells you that your tires are not working properly.
The TPMS light turns on if one or more of your tires is running low on pressure. This can be due to a leak from a punctured tire, or a damaged valve stem which can cause air pressure loss.
If you ignore the TPMS light and continue to use your car, you will experience uneven traction, faster fuel consumption and tire wear. Moreover, this issue can cause a tire blowout.
To maintain your tires (and prevent the TPMS light from blinking), make it a habit to inspect them before using your vehicle while they are cold. Do this before going on long trips as well.6. Engine temperature warning light
The temperature warning light turns on when the engine is overheating. As such, you should never ignore it when you see it blinking.
The temperature warning light illuminates when the radiator is clogged or dirty, there is a stuck thermostat, bad water pump, and the coolant level is low.
If you see the temperature warning blinking, turn off the engine straight away. If you don’t and continue driving, your vehicle may incur other damages such as a piston scuff and valve stem galling.
Once you have pulled over, open the hood. Next, inspect the heater hoses, engine, and radiator for coolant leaks. Check the coolant level in the reservoir as well.
Avoid opening the radiator cap while the engine is hot since the steam pressure coming from it is dangerous. Wait for at least 30 minutes before doing so to ensure it has cooled sufficiently.
If the coolant level is low, simply add more if you have the product at hand. If this is not the issue, call a towing company and have your vehicle towed to the nearest service center.
These warning light features on your dashboard are not there for decorative purposes. When they are activated, take your vehicle to a trusted automotive service center immediately.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche TechnikService Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.