What Do the Dashboard Lights Mean? The Indispensable Guide!

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The lights are there to indicate the status of your car.

They are also called: signals or indicator lights.

The worry is that not many people know exactly what all these psychics mean!

To help you recognize all the symbols on your car, use our dashboard indicator light guide.

Print out and keep in your glove box! Look :

Guide: What do the dashboard lights mean?

Click here to easily print this guide and have it always with you in your glove box!

What do the indicator lights on the instrument panel mean?

Car dashboard red and yellow warning lights.

The dashboard lights help you to drive safely. Use this guide to recognize alarm, alert, and signaling symbols. Be aware that they may differ slightly from car to car.


Attention danger ! Indicators in red indicate a serious malfunction which must be checked immediately.

If in doubt : look at your car owner’s manual. There you will find a visual of the dashboard with the position and explanation of all the warning lights.

Low battery

Low battery indicator light

Abnormal coolant temperature

Abnormal coolant temperature warning light

Abnormal engine oil pressure

Engine oil pressure abnormal warning light

Brake failure

Brake failure warning light


These symbols vary in color depending on the manufacturer. They indicate that something needs to be considered and revised. Better to check what is wrong without delay!

Seat belt not fastened

Seat belt not fastened warning light

Airbag deactivated

Airbag deactivated warning light

Airbag failure

Airbag failure warning light

Automatic transmission failure

Automatic transmission fault warning light

Towing hitch failure

Tow hitch failure warning light

Depress the clutch pedal

Indicator light to press the clutch pedal

For manual transmissions, serves as a reminder that the clutch must be depressed before the engine can be started.

Anomaly detected

Anomaly detected indicator light

Do an interview as soon as possible.

Hand brake applied

Handbrake on indicator light

Motor failure

Engine failure warning light

This warning light indicates a malfunction of the ignition, injection or depollution system.

Catalytic converter fault

Catalytic converter fault warning light

Tire pressure

Tire pressure warning light

Indicates that a tire pressure check is required.

Brake pad wear

Brake pad wear warning light

Power steering failure

Power steering failure warning light

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) fault

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction warning light

Faulty bulb

Faulty bulb indicator light

Safety distance alert

Safety distance warning light

Air suspension fault

Air suspension fault warning light

Change the fuel filter

Warning light to change the fuel filter

Risk of ice

Ice warning light

Shock absorber failure

Shock absorber failure warning light

Failure of the ESP electronic stability control system

ESP fault indicator (electronic trajectory control)

In yellow, this symbol indicates that the car’s electronic trajectory control is active. As a rule, it gets active on wet and slippery roads. Drive carefully, avoid any form of emergency braking, and take your foot off the accelerator to reduce your speed.

Steering lock fault

Steering lock fault indicator light


Green, blue, orange and more rarely red, these warning lights indicate the operation of an on-board system.

Hood open

Hood open warning light

Open chest

Open trunk warning light

Door open

Door open warning light

Key not detected

Key not detected indicator light

Minimum fuel level

Minimum fuel level warning light

Minimum level of windshield washer fluid

Minimum windshield washer fluid level warning light


Service indicator light

Do an interview as soon as possible.

Rear window defrost

Rear window defrost warning light

New information

Information indicator light on on-board computer

Consult the messages on the on-board computer.


Front fog lights

Front fog light warning light

Rear fog lights

Rear fog light warning light

Manual height adjustment of the light beams

Indicator light for manual height adjustment of the light beams


High beam indicator light


Low beam indicator light

Exterior lighting failure

Exterior lighting failure indicator light

Side lighting failure

Side lighting failure indicator light

Adaptive lights

Adaptive light indicator

Direct the light beams according to the direction of the steering wheel

Automatic lights

Automatic lights warning light

The lights come on or go off automatically depending on the outside light, without using the stalk.

Left and right turn signals

Left / right direction indicator light


Speed ​​limiter

Speed ​​limiter warning light

Speed ​​regulator

Cruise control indicator light

Assisted parking

Parking assist warning light

Winter mode

Winter mode indicator light

Anti-skid system for automatic gearboxes.

Brake control system

Brake control system warning light

Problem with ignition system or car key

Electrical ignition on indicator light

Lane Departure Warning

Lane departure warning light

ECO mode activated

ECO mode activated indicator light

ECO mode is a function that optimizes fuel consumption by controlling your acceleration.

Rain sensor activated

Rain sensor activated indicator light

Low key battery

Low key battery indicator light

Automatic wiping activated

Automatic wiping activated indicator light

Retractable spoiler

Retractable aileron indicator light

In green, this symbol indicates the retractable spoiler is activated. In red, it indicates a system failure.


Glow plugs

Glow plug indicator light

This warning light indicates that the spark plugs have warmed the engine sufficiently to start the car. Wait a few seconds for the warning light to go out before starting your car. If the light does not go out, your glow plugs may be burnt or defective.

Particulate filter saturation

Particle filter saturation warning light

Presence of water in the diesel filter

Diesel filter indicator light

How to decode the colors of the indicator lights

Red dashboard warning light.

The witnesses are represented by colored pictograms and are classified into 3 categories. The little mnemonic trick to remember this is to think of sighted people like a traffic light:

– Red or flashing: Danger ! Play it safe, stop your car and switch off the engine. These warning lights indicate an engine failure which must be checked immediately.

Yellow or orange: these warning lights mean that something must be taken into consideration and revised without delay, but without immediate danger.

Green : these warning lights indicate the activation of the onboard systems during their use.

Your turn…

Have you used this guide to all dash indicator lights? Let us know in the comments if it worked for you. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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