Dashboard Warning Lights

Your car will try to communicate with you at pretty much every step along the way as you drive it. Most of the time when we look at the dashboard of our car, we will be doing it to check our speed, revs and fuel levels. However, on occasion looking at the dashboard will throw up something else altogether, in the form of a warning light. Otherwise you will be doing damage to your car, and risk an accident.

Not every car has the same warning lights, so the best thing to do is sit and look at the dashboard lights when you are in the car. When you start the car, all of the lights will illuminate.

One light which is on every dashboard in a modern car is the brake light. This light demonstrates that there is something wrong in the braking system of the car. Don't panic. You may be driving with the handbrake on. If there is no problem there, then stop the car, get out somewhere safe and check your brake fluid. If neither of these steps cures the problem, then you will need to get the car to an auto shop immediately - driving with compromised brakes will be a dangerous lottery.

Another light which makes its fair share of appearances is the oil light. If this comes on then the chances are that your engine oil level has dropped dangerously low. Stop your car, get out and check. Top off the oil if necessary. If the light persists, however, then you may have a problem with the oil pump and the car will need looking at. Call a tow truck, and don't try to drive if at all possible.

Other problems which are advisable to check but not necessarily emergencies include the Engine light, which indicates a problem with the engine that is not likely to affect performance unduly; the Air Bag light, which is more or less self-explanatory, not an emergency but should be checked; the battery charge light, which could indicate a problem that will make the car difficult to start.