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Vehicle Dashboard Light Guide – Warnings and Indicators

As a vehicle owner, you’re aware of the various indicators and symbols that light up on your dashboard in different situations. If you’ve ever been confused about what any of those dashboard lights mean, you’re not alone! So, we’ve created a vehicle dashboard light guide so that you can stop wondering what that obscure light means, and start caring for your vehicle with actionable steps. While each car, truck, SUV, and crossover is different, reference the Velde Ford Dashboard Light Guide to learn the meanings and warnings behind each dash light. If have any questions at all about your vehicle’s warning lights, don’t hesitate to contact us at (888) 221-2804. Or if you think one of your dashboard lights is trying to tell you about a problem with your vehicle, don’t wait! Schedule a service appointment today!

  • Vehicle Performance Lights

  • Standard Notification Lights

  • Optional Feature Lights

Vehicle Health Warning Lights

If you see any of the dashboard warning lights below illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard, they could indicate a problem with health or performance of your vehicle. To protect your vehicle, we recommend scheduling a service appointment to address any potential problems before irreversible or expensive damage occurs.

  • Service Engine Light

    The service engine light is very important, however there is no need to panic. There are many reasons this light may illuminate, but generally it means your vehicle needs to be serviced as soon as possible. Some vehicles are designed with a built in maintenance schedule based on vehicle mileage, so the service engine light could simply mean it’s time to make an appointment for routine maintenance, such as an oil change. Keeping up with routine maintenance will help keep your vehicle safe and will help to extend its performance for years to come. If you think it’s time for an oil change or other routine maintenance, schedule an appointment at the Velde Ford Service Center.
  • Battery Light

    If your vehicle’s battery light comes on, seek service right away. This could mean that your car’s electrical system has malfunctioned, which can lead to engine failure if left unchecked. It could also mean your battery is lacking the power it needs to start your car or power electric components. Our expert battery techs are on site to assess the situation for you, and provide a solution in a timely manner.
  • Check Engine Light

    The Check Engine light, like the service engine light, can also mean a number of things. However, to identify the exact problem, a diagnostic tool is required. The warning can range from an exhaust issue to a major engine malfunction, so it is important to bring your vehicle in for service right away. Our expert auto techs at Velde Ford in Pekin, IL, are here to help diagnose the issue and get you back on the road safely!
  • Oil Warning Light

    If your oil light illuminates, your vehicle could be trying to tell you that you have low oil pressure or a low oil level. It’s important to find a safe location to pull over and check the level of your oil. Do not continue to drive with a low oil level! This could cause serious damage to your engine. Your vehicle’s oil is crucial to its safe and healthy operation, so schedule a service appointment as soon as possible to identify the issue.
  • Brake Warning Lights

    There are multiple dashboard warning lights that can indicate a problem with your brake system. If the ABS warning light turns on, there is likely a malfunction within your anti-lock braking system. In this case, your regular brakes will continue to work without the ABS function. The brake system warning light could also indicate that your parking brake is engaged or that you have a low brake fluid level. Because your brakes are such an important part of your safety on the road, have your brakes inspected as soon as possible.
  • Engine Coolant Temperature Warning

    If the Engine Coolant Temperature light is illuminated on your dashboard, it’s warning you that your coolant temperature is too high. Coolant keeps your engine functioning at a safe temperature, so this warning light could be a sign of a serious problem. Turn your vehicle off as soon as possible to avoid over heating the engine, and seek service resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Optional Feature Indication Lights

The Standard Dashboard Vehicle lights are those that are seen in most cars, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers on the road today. Each indicator plays a role to inform the driver when a standard vehicle feature is in use, or to provide a reminder on a standard vehicle function.

  • Turn Signal Indicator

    The dashboard turn signal indicators flash when your vehicle’s turn signals or emergency flashers are in use. If your turn signal is flashing faster than usual, it means it is time to replace a bulb! Simply schedule an appointment at the Velde Ford Service Center and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
  • Cruise Control Indicator

    The dashboard Cruise Control light illuminates when the cruise control system on or is in use. In many vehicles, the cruise control light will illuminate when the system is turned on, and then will also change colors when the system is set to a specific speed.
  • Door Ajar Light

    The Door Ajar light acts as a safety feature to alert you that one of the vehicle’s doors has not been closed properly. In some vehicles, the indicator will also specify which door specifically has not been closed properly. Before proceeding onto the road, be sure to close the door completely.
  • Trunk Ajar Light

    The Trunk Ajar symbol is similar to the Door Ajar light, in that it will illuminate to alert you that the trunk has not been closed properly. It is unsafe to drive with your trunk open, so be sure to shut it properly before proceeding.
  • Hood Ajar Light

    It’s particularly important to address an illuminated Hood Ajar light. For your safety, the Hood Ajar light will alert you that the hood has been popped open or was not closed properly. Driving while this light is illuminated, presents the risk of allowing the hood to open on the road, impairing your vision, or even breaking your windshield.
  • Seat Belt Warning

    The seat belt warning light will illuminate on the dashboard when a minimum weight is sensed in either of the front seats, and the seatbelt for that seat has not been fastened. The alert will continue to remind the driver and passengers to fasten their seat belts, before turning off once the seat belts have been fastened.
  • Airbag Malfunction Warning

    The Airbag Malfunction Warning light illuminates when there is a problem with one of your vehicle’s airbags. Seek service as soon as possible to diagnose the problem, as it could mean that your airbag may not deploy properly in the event of an accident.
  • Low Fuel Level Light

    The low fuel light indicates a low fuel level in your vehicle. If this light illuminates on your dashboard, you will want to refuel as soon as possible.
  • Low Tire Pressure Light

    This dashboard warning light indicates low tire pressure in one or more of your vehicle’s tires. This could be due to a leak or a change in air pressure due to the exterior temperature. Bring your vehicle into our service center today to have your tires inspected for any potential punctures or leaks.

Standard Dashboard Vehicle Indicators

Depending on the type of vehicle you own, your car, truck, or SUV may be equipped with optional features that have associated indication lights that appear on your dashboard. In some cases, these lights may indicate a problem, but more often they are used to inform you that a feature is in use or not in use.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

    If your vehicle is equipped with adaptive cruise control, which is the ability to set a specific speed that your vehicle will cruise at without the driver’s foot on the pedal, the cruise control light will illuminate when the system is on, and will generally change to another color when the cruise control is in use.
  • Blind Spot Monitor

    If your vehicle is equipped with a Blind Spot Monitor system, this dashboard indicator will illuminate when the system is turned off to let you know it is not in use. When the system is in use, you will also notice indicator lights on your side mirrors, which will alert you if an object is in your blind spot when the system is turned on.
  • Lane Keeping Aid Indicator

    If your vehicle has lane assist technology, which works to notify the driver if they begin to drift out of their lane without using their turn signal, this light will illuminate on the dashboard when the system is in use. If the system is off, the guide lights will not illuminate on your dash.
  • Powertrain Fault Warning

    The Powertrain Fault Warning light will illuminate in the event your vehicle detects a malfunction in your powertrain or AWD system. For the safe continued operation of your vehicle and to avoid costly damage, it’s important to bring your vehicle to our Pekin Service Center as soon as possible for an inspection.
  • Stability Control Indicator

    If your vehicle is equipped with stability control, the indicator light will illuminate on the dashboard briefly when the stability control system is active. However, if the light remains on, your vehicle is trying to tell you that there may be a malfunction within the system that requires professional attention.
  • Electric Park Brake Light

    If your vehicle is equipped with an electric park brake vs. a manual parking brake, the Electric Park Brake symbol may illuminate when the feature has malfunctioned. Simply schedule a service appointment to have the problem resolved for the continued proper function of your vehicle’s parking brake.
  • Auto Start-Stop Light

    Some vehicles are equipped with an automatic start-stop engine feature that shuts down the engine when the vehicle stops in order to save fuel. When the driver removes their foot from the break, the engine starts again. If the Auto Start-Stop light is on, it is to notify you that the auto start-stop system is in use.
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Schedule a Vehicle Warning Light Service Appointment at Velde Ford Pekin

While some dashboard lights are simply standard notifications to inform you about your vehicle’s operation, some can be indicators of a serious problem. This is why it is important to take these warning lights seriously. If you think your vehicle needs to be inspected or serviced, schedule a warning light maintenance appointment at Velde Ford Pekin online! Our trained service professionals will be happy to diagnose and fix any issues you may be experiencing! Remember, the best way to prevent costly vehicle damage is to have routine maintenance performed on your vehicle often! If it’s been a while since your vehicle has been in for service, visit our Service Page to schedule an appointment online, or read our Auto FAQs for more information. If you have any questions about your Ford’s dashboard lights or what they mean, call us at (888) 221-2804, and we would be happy to answer any of your questions!