What Do the Symbols on a Car Dashboard Mean

It’s important that you get to know your dashboard lights. Many of them are an indication of faults inside the system – so you need to know the car light symbol meaning. The warning lights display in a variety of colours and vary from vehicle to vehicle. To get your car warning lights explained properly you’ll need to read your manual. However, you’ll get a brief insight here. What do the symbols on a car dashboard mean? Read on…

General Colour Codes

See some car warning lights and meanings below:


This tells you that there may be a potentially serious safety issue or problem which needs urgent attention. In newer cars this may be a reminder of an upcoming service – but red lights always need to be checked out immediately.

Orange or Yellow

This is often a sign that means part of your car needs repair or servicing. You’ll need to get in touch with your dealership or garage to make arrangements for the repairs to be carried out.

Green or blue
These dashboard lights just let you know that the systems are all working properly.

Specific Colour Codes

Car warning lights meaning can be seen here:


  • The engine temperature warning light indicates the coolant is overheating and you need to stop and let it cool down.
  • The oil pressure warning light shows loss of normal oil pressure which may mean you need an oil top-up, or it may mean engine problems.
  • Brake warning lights that come on when you’re driving could mean a break fluid issue which needs urgent attention.
  • Battery charge warnings tells you of a problem with your battery. You may need to turn off air conditioning, the radio, and anything else that takes battery power. Find somewhere safe to stop in case your car won’t start again once you’ve turned the engine off.
  • The seatbelt flashing light indicates you’re not wearing your seatbelt.
  • An airbag flashing light may mean there’s something wrong with the airbag, so you need to take your car to your dealer.

exclamation sign

Orange or Yellow

  • Tyre pressure warning lights indicate you need to check tyre pressures and adjust them accordingly.
  • Engine warning lights can indicate issues from minor electrical to major problems, so need checking out.
  • Traction light control means there could be a problem with the traction control system, particularly if you have no grip when driving slowly.
  • The fog lamp indicator simply means your fog lights are switched on.
  • The anti-lock braking system symbol coming on when you’re driving means the system isn’t working properly and you’ll need the problem fixed by a mechanic quickly.
  • Low windscreen fluid lights indicate you need to top up the windscreen washer fluid bottle.
  • Low fuel lights show you need to fill up with fuel at the earliest opportunity.


Green or Blue

  • A blue engine temperature symbol means the coolant is at the required temperature needed.
  • High beam light indicator shows your high beam is in use.
  • The engine start indicator means you need to start the ignition to take it out of the neutral position.

Need Help from an Expert?

When any of your car warning light symbols are displaying and you really don’t know what to do – switch off your engine and call in the professionals. You’ll be able to get a trained and qualified engineer to your location quickly.
Whether you need roadside assistance or breakdown recovery you’ll get a free quote without any obligation. And someone will be with you whatever time of day or night.