Your car’s warning lights are there for a reason – to get your attention and warn you when something isn’t working quite right. And although all of your warning lights are important, some require immediate attention are more serious than others.
So, here are the top 6 lights on your dash you should never ignore:
- Air Bag SRS Warning Light: When your air bag SRS warning light comes on, it means that if you were to get into a car accident, your airbags wouldn’t deploy on impact. And without working air bags, you and your passengers’ safety is at risk. Usually, this is caused by either an impact sensor malfunction or a shortened electrical connection. So, while no one ever expects to be involved in an accident, this should be handled as quickly as possible.
- Battery Charging System Warning Light: When your charging system warning light comes on, it means that something is wrong with the system that charges and runs your car battery. Although you’ll be able to drive for a short while, maybe 30 minutes to an hour, you’ll need to stop in at your local auto garage as soon as possible to have it looked at.
- Brake Warning Light: When your brake warning light comes on, it could mean a number of things. First, be sure to check your parking brake. If that’s not on, then it’s important to take your car in to a mechanic immediately to have your brakes and hydraulics inspected.
- Engine Temperature Warning Light: When your engine temperature warning light comes on, it means your engine is overheating. And when your engine overheats, serious problems can occur. So, as soon as your engine temperature warning light comes on, be sure to roll down your windows, turn your A/C off and your heater up. It sounds strange, but doing this helps cool your engine by transferring the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment. If you’re near a body shop, drive straight there. If not, pull off onto the shoulder of the road and turn your car off. And if you’re looking under the hood yourself, be sure not to open the radiator cap until the engine has completely cooled to avoid scalds and chemical burns.
- Oil Pressure Warning Light: When your oil pressure light comes on, it means either your oil pump or bearing is malfunctioning, or your oil is running low. This is one of the most often overlooked warning lights, but definitely not one to ever ignore. When your engine experiences low oil pressure, it can lead to engine failure and extremely expensive repairs. So, as soon as this light appears on your dash, be sure to stop in at your local auto shop and have a mechanic check your oil level and condition.
- Tire Pressure Warning Light: When your tire pressure warning light comes on, it means either your tire is flat, overly worn or has low pressure. All of these situations create dangerous driving conditions, and you should have your tire tread and pressure checked immediately. Driving with underinflated tires can have a huge impact on your overall safety. Underinflated tires have less traction, especially on rainy roadways, and put you in serious risk of tire failure and losing control of your vehicle. In addition to this, under inflation also contributes to the irregular wear and tear of your tires.
So, when these six warning lights appear, be sure to pay attention and take the proper precautions. And if any unfamiliar lights come on, it’s always a good idea to bring your car into a mechanic to let them check over your car for any critical issues or serious problems.