Top ten warning lights in your car - and what they mean

By Aaliyah Rugg

Motorists can rightly feel stress and anxiety whenever a warning light pops up on their dashboard while driving - but not many people know exactly what each light means.

The experts at have analysed the top ten warning lights people in the UK have looked up on search engines for in order to try to understand and remedy the problem before taking their car to a garage.

A spokesperson said: “It can cause a great deal of worry when a warning light comes on while you're driving but while it can interrupt your journey, they are necessary and are helping the motorist by giving advance warning of a problem.

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“It can help to diagnose the problem more easily in the event of poor performance of a vehicle or even when a breakdown so that you can get the relevant assistance to get back on the road. It is therefore useful to know what some of the most common searched for warning lights mean.”

Here are the top ten warning lights that could pop up, and what it means for you:

1) Battery warning light

Battery warning light (

An illuminated battery light could be due to a number of issues, including: A loose or corroded battery cable, a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator, damaged cells or plates inside the battery.

2) Brake warning light

Brake warning light (

When this light comes on, it means one of two things. Either the hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) in the master cylinder is low, or the parking brake is engaged. If the system springs a leak, the fluid level will drop. A leak can cause your brakes to fail.

3) Engine oil warning light

Engine oil warning light (

If the oil light comes on while you are driving, get to a safe place and turn the engine off immediately. It is important to stop driving your vehicle because you may have run out of oil.

4) Engine temperature warning light

Engine temperature warning light (

When the coolant temperature warning light goes on, the engine is seriously overheated, which can be caused by overheating, lack of cooling water or a cooling system that is having trouble.

5) Engine management light

Engine management light (

This light is connected to your car's engine control unit (ECU), and is the first indicator of issues with the engine's electronic network. If the light stays on when you turn on the ignition, there could be a problem with your engine.

6) Brake pad warning light

Brakepad warning light (

The brake pads are getting low. Without any pad material, the brakes won't stop the car as quickly so waiting too long is dangerous and increases the risks of getting into a collision.

7) Low pressure tyre warning light

Low pressure tyre warning light (

Indicates low pressure in the tyres. If the pressure is extremely low, it does become dangerous to drive, especially at high speeds.

8) Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) warning light

Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) warning light (

The ABS on a vehicle prevents the wheels from locking up when a driver slams on the brake pedal in an emergency situation or on a wet or slippery surface and when it is lit, this indicates a problem that needs looking at.

9) Airbag warning light

Airbag warning light (

There may be an issue with a crash sensor, SRS module, or other airbag component. This is important to get checked out as quickly as possible.

10) Power steering warning light

Power steering warning light (

In hydraulic power steering systems, a leak in the system causing a low fluid level is the most common cause for this problem. The cause may vary according to the type of power steering system in your car.

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