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The Significance of Automotive Warning Lights


By Sarahbeth Kluzinski

There are several types of warning lights for a vehicle. The Federal Motor Safety Standards requires these warning lights to be easily visible and accessible for drivers. They are important because they tell a driver when something is not quite right with their vehicle. The automobile controls can detect a problem with a certain area of a car and then relay this message to the warning lights displayed on the dashboard or navigation screen of a vehicle. This allows drivers to fix an issue before it becomes a more costly and tedious repair. Continue reading to learn about all the different warning lights of a vehicle and what their significant purpose is for us drivers.


Automotive Maintenance

The main purpose of vehicular warning lights is to notify a driver that something is wrong with their car or truck. The secondary, but equally important, purpose of motor vehicle warning lights is accident prevention. By addressing a problem or needed repair in a car, a driver can significantly reduce the likelihood of a car accident, as well as, reduce the need for expensive and extensive repairs. There are many types of warning lights that let a driver know a problem is brewing. There are warning lights for brakes, the engine, oil pressure, the battery, and even tire pressure. Older model vehicles may only have one or two of these warning lights, while newer model vehicles are manufactured to have most, if not all, of these signals. Keep reading for a quick description of each type of vehicular warning light.

ABS Lights – ABS stands for anti-lock brakes. This means when a driver needs to suddenly apply the brakes, the ABS system will prevent the wheels from locking and losing traction on the road. It allows a vehicle to retain tractive contact with the road in order to come to a sudden stop. The ABS system is an important one for all vehicles because it significantly reduces the chances of wrecking a car or causing an accident. It is also great for winter weather and precipitation.

Check Engine Light – Most drivers are familiar with the check engine light. When this light illuminates, it could be for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor to serious. For example, a lit check engine light can signify something small like a loose gas cap, or it can signify something much more serious like a needed catalytic converter replacement. If this light comes on, have your vehicle inspected by a licensed car mechanic as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended to not drive a car when the engine light is on.

Oil Pressure Light – This light comes on when a vehicle’s oil levels are low. A car needs motor oil to keep the engine lubricated and prevent overheating. Without proper oil levels, a car or truck can experience significant and irreversible damage to its engine. This is a very costly repair that can easily be avoided with regular factory scheduled maintenance.

Battery Lights – There are several reasons why a vehicle’s battery light may illuminate. It could signify a problem with the alternator drive belt, the slack starter, or complete alternator failure. These are serious and should be addressed immediately before driving the vehicle again.

Tire Pressure Lights – When this light comes on, a driver can assume that their tires need more air. Low tire pressure can reduce gas mileage, but more seriously, can cause tire blowouts, hydro-planing, and car wrecks. Always be sure your tires are in good condition and full of the appropriate amount of air. Never over-fill tires with air because it can cause them to pop or blowout as well.


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Phone: 757-627-4630

Article Source: The Significance of Automotive Lights.

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