Some of the signals on your dashboard have obvious meanings, but a lot of them are downright perplexing. What in the world is that horseshoe with an exclamation point in it? It’s even more alarming when you don’t know what it means, so here’s a guide to identifying the more confusing dashboard signals.
1: Check engine light The check engine light looks like a squiggly square-ish thing. Luckily it’s the only one, so just look for the thing that looks vaguely like an engine. The check engine light can mean a million things, so it’s probably safest to take it to the shop to get it checked.
2: Water temperature warning This is the little flagpole sort of symbol with two squiggly lines underneath. This means your coolant isn’t cool enough, and you need to pull over before you risk your engine overheating.
3: High beam indicator This one looks like the letter D with 4 lines coming out of it. It just means your high beams are on, and they probably shouldn’t be, unless you’re far away from any other cars.
4: Low tire pressure warning The horseshoe with the exclamation point! Okay, it kind of looks like a tire, but only if you squint. If your tire pressure is low, check it with a tire gauge (preferably not the one at the gas station) and fill it up as needed.
5: Low oil pressure warning This light looks like the canister Dorothy used to oil the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, which makes sense since it’s the signal that you have low oil pressure. This one is critical because it may mean there’s not enough oil lubricating the pistons in your engine. Your best option is to pull over and call the service department.
Simply identified by the word “BRAKE,” this warning light indicates you could have a serious brake problem. In Canada, this warning light is a circle with an exclamation point in the center. If this light comes on, don’t panic just yet. This light also comes on when the emergency is engaged. If your emergency brake is disengaged and the light comes on, contact a service department. Continuing to drive could be hazardous.
7: Charging system Depicted as a LEGO brick with negative and positives signs (left to right), this light indicates there could be a serious problem with the vehicle’s charging system. If this light comes on, pull off of the road and come to a complete stop. Your vehicle will stop running soon and the last place you want to be is in heavy traffic. There are two possible problems: a bad battery or a failing alternator. In a worst case scenario, the alternator could cause the battery fail. If the word “MAIN” appears beneath the charging system symbol, the vehicle’s hybrid battery is the problem and needs to be serviced as soon as possible.
8: Seat belt reminder One of the simpler lights, the seat belt reminder warning light is simply a vehicle’s occupant with a seat belt on. There’s no major problem here other than someone that isn’t wearing their seat belt. This light may flash if the vehicle is in motion so keep an eye out. Remember, seat belts save lives so click it or ticket!
9. Low fuel Located around the vehicle’s fuel gauge, this indicator looks like a gas pump and its meaning is fairly obvious. If you’re running low on fuel, this light will pop on to let you know. If you just refueled and the light is still on, make sure your gas cap is shut tight!
If one of these lights are on, and you need help diagnosing the problem further, give us a call or stop in and see us at El Cajon Mitsubishi. Our service department works on all makes and models and will be happy to assist you.