Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights!

Reading time 4 Min.

Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights!

Warning signals in the car: When a light comes on in the instrument cluster, it's getting serious! The risk, however, is that when a dashboard warning light comes on, you tend to just keep driving because you might be in a hurry. You think it will hold up to your destination or to the workshop. For some faults that may indeed be the case, but there are also warning lights that you should stop the car immediately.

When is it better to stop?

Basically, the light symbols on the dashboard can be interpreted in a similar way to a traffic light: Green means everything is fine, free travel. Yellow signals caution, an inspection or an early visit to the workshop should be planned. At Red becomes critical and rapid action is required. Whether you should stop immediately, however, ultimately depends on the respective symbol. Basically, it should be noted that the car's owner's manual usually provides information about the problem that the warning light is signaling. However, the symbols do not have exactly the same meaning for every vehicle.

Red does not necessarily mean immediate stop!

Not every A red light means that you have to stop immediately - for example the seat belt warning: if it lights up, it shows that an occupant is not buckled up and should do so immediately. There are only a few exceptions to this Seat belt compulsory. The temperature warning light behaves completely differently: if it lights up, the engine is in danger of overheating. Now you should stop as soon as possible and let the engine cool down. Only after it has cooled down can it be checked whether there is too little cooling liquid - beforehand there is a risk of scalding. If there is not enough coolant, you can often top up with tap water – the operating instructions tell you whether this is possible.

Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights!

Pay attention to the red oil can!

Quick action is also required when a red Oil can is displayed with a wavy line below: In this case, you should check the oil level as soon as possible - but only after waiting a few minutes after turning off the car. If only a red oil can is visible, it may already be too late. This is a sign that the engine oil pressure is too low. It urgently needs to be refilled with oil and sometimes even a visit to the workshop is necessary afterwards. And there are also symbols that can have multiple meanings.

Among other things, the red exclamation mark in a circle. Most people know the sign. It shows that the handbrake is still on. However, if it continues to light up even though the handbrake is released (it can sometimes freeze in winter), it can be dangerous: The light can also indicate an impending brake failure because the brake fluid has dropped or the brake pads are already worn.

Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights!

But yellow indicator lights should not be ignored either. Here are the most common:

  1. Engine block indicator light: There are many reasons why it lights up, such as a marten bite on a cable. As a rule, only a workshop visit helps here.
  2. ESP indicator light (car incl. wavy lines): If this is permanently on, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is deactivated or broken.
  3. Tire warning light (tyres incl. exclamation mark): It means something is wrong with the tire pressure. However, there is also the possibility that the air pressure sensors are not calibrated. If in doubt, a look at the vehicle's operating instructions will also help. And even if the car doesn't have sensors, there are certain signs that you should be wary of a flat tyre.

Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights!

Of course, that wasn't the end of it!

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Yellow = attention, red = danger: do not ignore warning lights! 

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About Thomas Wachsmuth

Thomas Wachsmuth - He has been an integral part of since 2013. His passion for cars is so intense that he invests every available penny in them. While he dreams of a BMW E31 850CSI and a Hennessey 6x6 Ford F-150, he currently drives a rather inconspicuous BMW 540i (G31/LCI). His collection of books, magazines and brochures on the subject of car tuning has now reached such proportions that he himself has become a walking reference work for the tuning scene.  More about Thomas

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