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When it comes to dashboard warning lights some are much more serious than others. Some are alerts for things that should be inspected, and some are telling you to get to a mechanic right away. This will be the first instalment of “Warning Lamps” and it is focused on the most urgent warning lights that appear on your dashboard. Red lights tend to be reserved for truly serious warnings, yellow lights for areas of caution, and green lights for indicators that highlight systems currently in use. Have a look at these four warning lights and mouse over with your pointer to get a better look.


Engine Oil Warning


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This is the Oil Level or Oil Pressure warning light or symbol. A wavy line below the oil can indicates the oil level is low. Without the wavy line, your engine is telling you that the oil pressure is low. In either case, the oil level must be checked. The text symbol Oil Level is used by some manufacturers and is also an alert to check the oil. In either case, if the oil level is good, the engine needs servicing as soon as possible.


Engine Coolant Temperature


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This light indicates quite simply that the engine temperature is too high. If you see this light, your vehicle should be stopped and the engine turned off as quickly as possible. Turning on the heater to the highest setting will remove some of the heat as well. Contact your dealer for service as soon as possible.


Charging System Warning


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This symbol indicates a serious charging system problem. The vehicle should be brought to a complete stop as quickly as possible. Roadside assistance will be necessary. Note that if the word Main is seen beneath the battery image, the light is actually a Hybrid Battery Trouble Indicator. The vehicle’s hybrid battery must be serviced by your dealer as soon as possible.


Brake Warning


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This brake trouble light is specific to Canada. The look of the Canadian symbols involving brakes are supposed to resemble the physical appearance of brakes. The word ‘brake’ may appear at the top of the image. Note that the symbol of a circle with “brackets” on either side, broken or otherwise, represents brake components. What is shown inside and the details of the “brackets” and color specify the nature of the problem. We covered a major cause of the brake light coming on in our article about the ABS system. Check it out right here.

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