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Vehicle maintenance lights

If you’ve ever wondered what those lights on the dashboard of your vehicle indicate when they suddenly illuminate, here’s a brief description of what some of them will be telling you…

BATTERY WARNING LIGHT

Indicates that the battery’s voltage level is below normal and that the vehicle’s charging system may not be functioning properly.

Check the battery terminals for corrosion and the alternator belt for slippage; make sure the battery contacts are clean and tight. Have the condition of the battery checked by a professional.

   

BRAKE WARNING LIGHT

Indicates low brake fluid level, alternatively that the parking brake is on, or that the brake linings are worn.

Check that the parking brake is not on. Check the level of fluid in the brake reservoir. If low, top up with correctly specified brake fluid. Have the discs, pads and hydraulic system checked by a professional.

   

BULB FAILURE

Indicates one or more of the vehicle’s lights are not functioning.

Inspect bulbs and fuses and replace those that are blown.

   

OIL PRESSURE WARNING

Indicates a loss of oil pressure in the engine. An amber-coloured light may illuminate when the oil level is low and a top up is required.

Stop the vehicle. Check the oil level. Seek professional help if the light stays on or if the oil level remains consistently low.

   

MAINTENANCE REQUIRED

Indicates maintenance is required according to the vehicle’s mileage.

Check the owner’s manual for maintenance and service schedules.

   

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT

Indicates that a vehicle system – which could encompass ignition, fuel or emission control – is not operating properly.

The cause of a glowing or flashing check engine light should be inspected immediately by a certified technician.

   

COOLANT TEMPERATURE WARNING

Indicates that the engine’s cooling system is overheating.

Stop the vehicle and turn off the engine. Check the coolant level in the reservoir, but DO NOT open a hot radiator cap – you could be scalded by boiling liquid. The engine’s cooling system should be inspected by a professional for leaks, and the fan checked for proper operation.

   

TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM

Indicates that one or more tyres on the vehicle is underinflated.

Immediately check tyre pressures to avoid a possible blowout. Always ensure that tyres are inflated to pressures recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. By doing so, you will reduce tread wear and improve fuel consumption.

   

WASHER FLUID LEVEL

Indicates that the fluid in the windscreen washer reservoir is low.

Fluid should be added to the reservoir to ensure that the windscreen can be properly cleaned by the wipers to maintain visibility. Seek professional help if the level remains consistently low – there may be a leak in the system.

 


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