What Do the Lights on My Dashboard Mean? {Part 3}


Have you ever turned on your engine, only to see a brand new icon light up and utter confusion follow closely behind? Our vehicles are complicated and it’s important to know what all those lights and icons mean so you can maintain your car’s health and ensure its safety. Maybe you’re new to driving or perhaps you’re a seasoned driver who just needs a refresher. Either way, our new series “What Do the Lights on My Dash Mean?” will hopefully provide some insight on what all those many confusing icons are and what they mean about your vehicle and driving experience, so you can look out for potential problems!

If you’re new to our series, check out Part 1 and Part 2.



Unlike the “change engine oil” light in our previous blog post, this light doesn’t refer to an impending oil change. It instead indicates that the engine oil level is low and requires a top-up immediately. If flashing, the oil level may be empty or at critical levels.

24 25 26 2728
The most common warning, the check engine light (CEL), is a catch-all light that may refer to an engine issue, loose gasoline cap or faulty sensor. If illuminated in yellow or amber, take your car to a mechanic at your earliest convenience. If it’s glowing red, take your car in immediately.

This light refers to a convertible’s power retractable top. The light will most likely be illuminated when the roof is opening and closing. If it remains lit at all times, chances are there is an issue with the roof.

303132 33
These lights signify that the vehicle’s engine coolant level is low. The first light on the far left may refer to any coolant-related issue.

34 35
These two lights indicate the vehicle’s coolant is too hot and overheating. If either of these lights come on, pull over as soon as possible before any more damage occurs.

These lights mean the cruise control is turned on. It may not actually be active, but it is ready for use. The light can be any colour, but usually illuminates in green, yellow or orange. If the light is on even when the system is turned off, there might be an issue that needs to be looked at.

This light is found in modern diesel vehicles only. It indicates that the additive fluid used to help control diesel emissions is low and needs to be topped up. If it remains on after the top-up, there may be a larger issue.

Another light that is found exclusively in diesel fueled vehicles, these ones also relate to emissions controls. The particle filter that’s part of the exhaust system is most likely clogged and requires attention.

One of the more obvious dashboard lights, these refer to a door being left open. In some vehicles, this light may illuminate if the rear hatch or trunk is open as well.

More of a gimmick light than anything else, a lot of newer vehicles come with eco-indicators like this that inform drivers how efficiently their current driving behaviour is. Whether it’s on or not, there is no real concern with this light.



Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or tweet us at @Advantage_Ford!


This information was shared from AutoGuide’s 2015 article called “What Does That Light on My Dash Mean?”

Please follow and like us: