Dashboard Lights – What they mean to you
Pause, Stop, or take it to the shop
Check Engine Light
In most cases, when your check engine light comes on, there’s no reason for alarm. Be concerned, but don’t panic. It’s a common problem and often indicates something minor – it could be something as simple as a loose gas cap – but more typically, there may be an issue with your emissions. While your car won’t pass an emissions inspection if the check engine light is on, this won’t cause your car to stop running. In fact, it’s very rare that the check engine light, called a malfunction indicator lamp in the service world, signals an actual engine problem. So unless the light is flashing or you notice other signs of an engine problem, such as your car running sloppily or making unusual noises, you do not need to stop your car. Just call us to make an appointment to come in when it’s convenient. We can run a scan to determine what caused the light to come on.
Yellow vs. Red Indicator Lights
An easy way to remember which lights indicate the most severe problems is by color. Just remember that yellow means caution and red means stop. Since your check engine light illuminates in yellow, you should use caution, but don’t get alarmed unless you notice other problems with your car. On the other hand, an indicator light that illuminates in red is a warning that there’s a problem that needs immediate attention. Some typical indicator lights that illuminate or flash red include brake, temperature and oil indicator lights. When these lights illuminate or flash red, you should pull the car off as soon as you can find a place out of harm’s way, and stop the car. Then immediately call ToyoTechs.
Here are some problems that the indicator lights below could signal when they illuminate red:
- Temperature – Your car could be overheating and there’s the potential to fry your engine.
- Oil – Your car might have low oil pressure, which can cause your engine to throw a rod bearing or worse.
- Brake – Your brakes may not be working properly.
- Battery – There could be an issue, such as an alternator malfunction, that could lead to a dead battery. The alternator is the component that keeps the battery charged and supplies voltage for other systems while the engine is running.