7 Important Car Warning Lights to Know

October 16th, 2023 by

Modern vehicles make it a very strong point to let their owner know when something is going wrong. It is much easier to self-diagnose any issues yourself these days. With that being said, many car owners get caught off-guard by most of the specific warning lights that cars present to the driver.

As a part of October’s Car Care Month, we’re highlighting important car maintenance things that all vehicle owners should know. So let’s break down 7 important, and often unknown warning lights that you might see on our car.

Check Engine

Every driver should be familiar with the check engine light. And even though this might be the most alarming warning light to see, it can also be the most ambiguous. There are a number of issues that this light can be alluding to. Possible issues could be related to anything with the car’s motor and emissions system. It could be as simple as a loose wire or gas cap. But there’s always potential for something much more crucial going on. It’s always important to get your vehicle inspected if this light comes on and remains on.


This light mostly appears when your battery is unable to start your vehicle. This either comes from being fully dead or simply being drained and in need of a jump start. However, it is possible for this light to come on while your car does start up. This could indicate a long-term issue that needs to be looked into. There may be an issue with the wiring that is preventing the battery from properly performing its duties of powering your car’s components.


Coolant Temperature

The issue here may end up being with the sensor gauge, rather than your coolant itself. But this can still cause your vehicle to perform suboptimally, or simply not detect a major temperature issue. One example of a performance hindrance this may cause relates to fuel consumption. Since cars require more fuel when they are cold and less when warmed up, you may be accidentally wasting gas if your temperatures aren’t being read properly. On the other end of the spectrum, you may actually have an issue with your coolant levels or even a damaged radiator. These can be very serious issues that can severely harm your engine. So getting your car checked is a safe bet, whether the issue ends up being the sensor or the fluid.

Transmission Temperature

Transmission systems are not fun to replace, mostly in terms of the cost. So this is one to look out for and address as quickly as possible. A transmission warning light turning on could simply mean that you are working your transmission too hard at the moment. For example, towing a heavy load for an extended period will put heat and wear on your transmission. But the two main issues that could cause this light to remain turned on are fluid levels or excessive wear. Luckily, the transmission fluid is easy to refill for an affordable cost. But if your transmission system is worn down to the point of needing replacement, this is something you’ll want to do sooner rather than later.


Oil Pressure Warning

This light could indicate that your oil needs to be topped off. But a more serious issue such as a leak or a broken oil pump could also be behind the indicator light. Your first action can be taking your car in for an oil change. This should give you a fresh start and ensure that you are at optimal levels of oil. But if this turns the light off, and then it comes back on in the next few days, you most likely have a leak or a deeper issue that needs to be fixed.



Brake System

A simple mistake could turn this light on. If you accidentally start driving with your parking brake engaged, you’ll see this red exclamation point indicator light.

If you notice that this light is still on even if you’ve checked your parking brake, then the problem could be low brake fluid levels. You should absolutely avoid driving your car until the problem is identified and fixed. Your car may have a brake fluid leak or overly worn brake pads. The last thing you want is to be driving when your car completely loses its braking ability.


Traction Control

This indicator, similar to the brake light, can also turn on when something is operating properly. In this case, you may see this light when you are driving somewhat fast on a rainy or snowy road. Your car has activated the traction control system to prevent slips and slides.

However, if this light appears while you’re driving on dry roads, there may be an error to identify. A typical culprit for this error is the wheel speed sensor. You can adjust your driving mode to prevent this setting from turning on when it’s not needed.

Washer Fluid

The final indicator light on our list is also the least problematic. If you see an icon showing a windshield shape with a jet of water, your washer fluid may be low. This is worth taking care of. But so long as your view through the windshield isn’t obstructed, you’re fine to rectify this at your own pace.