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What do the symbols on the car dashboard mean?


The dashboard lights of the car are pictograms that illuminate to give information about the vehicle and our driving. It is vital to know what they mean.

Knowing what the majority of the symbols on the car dashboard are for allowing you to recognize alert situations, make the most of assistance systems, and, therefore, make better decisions in an unforeseen situation. It is not complicated; it is just a matter of paying attention to these indicators and always keeping your message in mind what you should know.

It is clear that no technology is a guarantee of absolute safety and that the way someone drives a vehicle will always have the last word. Still, the number of pictograms that monitor the car and anticipate a malfunction that damages the car or puts us at risk has been multiplied, and it is good to take advantage of their “service.” We share a list with the most important signs that may appear on your board.

Car dash lights

Although the location varies according to the makes and models of each car, the symbolism is universal and easy to remember. To begin to internalize ourselves, the first thing we can do is divide the signs by colors, since they usually alert about the level of danger or urgency of the attention call:

– Yellow or orange: caution or risk.

– Red: problem or situation that requires immediate attention.

– Green: informational signs.

It is essential to clarify that most of the dash indicators light up when we start the car, which does not present any warning: they only indicate that they are working. Of course: if any of them continue to stay on during the journey, either blinking or steady, something may not be going well.

The Lease Car UK has created an excellent quiz module to test your knowledge on the car warning light. By answering this quiz, you can be sure about the score of your understanding of these dash lights.

Here we are describing some of the warning lights that may appear in your car dashboard.

Oil pressure

This indicator always appears when we put the car in contact, but we have not yet started the engine. Then when we begin, the light should go out. If this does not happen, it means that the oil pressure is below normal.

Battery indicator

Vehicles have a rechargeable battery that enables the engine to be started through the starting system. This battery also keeps the lights and the radio on and allows the windows to be raised and lowered, even without the vehicle being switched on.

Hand brake

This symbol appears as soon as we apply the parking brake and disappears when we remove it. We have to take the precaution to verify that it is properly deactivated when we start because driving with the parking brake on can cause serious problems.


The ABS brake system, named after its initials in English (stands for Antilock Braking System), constitutes an additional safety element in the vehicle. During braking that presents a risk of blocking one or more wheels, ABS will act by adapting the level of fluid pressure in each wheel brake, optimizing the stability, braking distance, and maneuverability functions.

Seat belt

It is the most common and one of the most important indicators, which we should never neglect. If you start your car and you or the passenger have not put on your seat belt, it will immediately activate and will not disappear until they put it on. It is to take care of you, and you have to respect it strictly. 


The car’s temperature gauge is crucial. If it turns on, it may be a warning of an overheating of the motor. You must stop the vehicle and wait a few minutes for the temperature to drop.


If this indicator stays on after a while, after you start your car, there may be a problem with the airbag on the driver’s side. You must review it so that it can fulfill its function well.