Brown's Alignment Auto Repair

Dash Warning Lights

?Common Dash Warning Lights:

Below is a list of some of the most common Dash Warning Lights used by auto makers today. Not all dash warning lights are the same for each auto maker.  SSo, always refer to your owner’s manual t verify exactly what the light indicates.

These dash warning lights illuminate to give you notice that something is not working properly within one of the vehicle’s systems. Most of the time the light is telling you which system has the problem but not the specific cause. Many times it will take some type of diagnostics to identify the exact culprit of a given light.

** All these lights normally illuminate while you are starting the vehicle and then go out with in a few seconds. This is normal and gives you a chance to verify all the light are working. You only have a problem if the light stays on after the car is running.

Check Engine Light MIL Malfunction Indicator Light dash warning lights  Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light   (MIL): Lets you know your car’s computer has stored or set a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the computer’s memory. Requires a diagnostic scan tool to read and check the stored code.   Here at Brown’s we can diagnose most check engine light problems.                              Read more about check engine lights – click here.

dash warning light fog lamp   Fog Light : More of an information light – letting you know your fog lights are on. We repair any light bulb or wiring problems, including fog lamps.


windshield washer fluid low Windshield Wiper Fluid: Informing you that your wiper fluid is low. There will be a tank or reservoir under your hood to fill. sometimes the tank may not be visible but you should be able to see the fill cap. The cap should have the windshield picture on it.

** There are different types of washer fluid rated for different climates. Be sure the fluid you buy is not going to freeze. If the fluid freezes it can not spray and has a good chance of cracking your fluid reservoir.

Air Bag, SRS, Safety restraint system, lightAir Bag or Safety Restraint System (SRS): When this light stays on the computer has detected a problem and has set a code in memory. A scanner is needed to investigate further. We recommend the car dealer for air bag problems.


 Coolant temperature dash warning lightTransmission Fluid Temperature: If the transmission fluid level is low this will cause the fluid / transmission to run too hot. If you add fluid be sure to used the recommended type. Many times the fluid type is stamped on the metal part of the dipstick. If you are not sure of the type fluid or where to fill it is better to visit Brown’s Alignment then to guess. Many vehicles run transmission lines through the radiator so the coolant can cool the trans fluid. So, be sure to check and make sure your coolant / antifreeze is full too.


Antilock Brake System ABS dash warning lightABS – Anti-lock Brake System: This is a safety feature that works in conjunction with your normal brake system. If this light is on the the computer as stored a code that will direct a technician in the direction of the problem. Once the tech knows what part of the ABS system is having a problem then he can test the components in that area to verify the actual problem.  Here at Brown’s Alignment we can access some vehicle systems while others we may have to refer you to the dealer.

**NOTE: ABS keeps your brakes form locking up and helps prevent your car from skidding. If the light is on your your ABS may not work properly.

Traction control dash warning lightESP – Electronic Stability Program / Traction Control: This is part of a vehicles traction control system. When the light is on it is letting you know the system has been activated.  Usually appears when road conditions are slippery.


Battery Charging System das warning lightCharging System / Battery: Results from the battery not being charged properly usually from low voltage. This can be caused by corroded battery terminals, broken alternator belt or bad alternator. You can have a bad battery where the other components are working fine and the battery light may not come on.

TPMS tire pressure monitoring systemTPMS – Tire Pressure Monitoring System:  Usually means air is too low in one or more tires. The light can also come on if one of the tire sensors is no longer working. The tire sensors have batteries in them which usually should last five to seven years. The batteries are not serviceable so the entire sensor must be replaced when the battery fails.

Brake System dash warning lightBrake System Warning: Illuminates when the emergency / parking brake is on. Will also come on if the brake fluid level drops too low. Fluid becomes too low because the brakes are worn out or there is a brake fluid leak in the hydraulic system.  Sometimes a problem with the ABS will also make it illuminate.

Security System dash warning lightSecurity System:  This light indicates a fault in the cars anti-theft system. If it comes on while driving  — it may not start again after car is shut off and then tried to restart.


Coolant Temperature dash warning lightCoolant Temperature: Temperature of your engine coolant. If the coolant is too hot then your engine is too hot. If your engine overheats it can do serious internal damage. Coolant can get too hot if it’s level gets too low, the thermostat is not working properly or the coolant fan is not operating properly. Do not drive a car if the needle heads into the red area of the gauge or the light comes on.

Loss of Power dash warning lightEngine Power Reduced Light: This is only used by a few car makers. Comes on when the computer identifies that the car is loosing power or performance.  Turning off the engine, wait a few minutes and restart will sometimes allow the car to reset itself and ill run properly again.

Cruise Control dash warning lightCruise Control symbol: Lets you know the cruise controls has been set.


Over Drivedash warning lightOver Drive light: Lets you know the over drive is turned off. This is usually done by a manual switch.


Door open / ajar dash warning lightDoor Ajar:  Informs you that a door or back hatch is either open or not closed properly.


Oil Pressure dash warning lightOil Pressure Light: Lets you know the oil pressure is low. Too low of oil pressure can damage your engine. Immediately stop and check our oil level. If it is low be sure to use the correct oil grade to top it off.  If the oil is full  then it is probably safer to not drive the car. Have it towed to Brown’s Alignment 🙂 and let us check the pressure for you.