Understanding All Your Car’s Warning Signs

Modern cars are indeed an engineering marvel to behold, as they effectively operate thousands of systems simultaneously. If one of those systems falters, then everything else also starts tumbling down.

For example, the brake system – It’s just one of a thousand, yet the repercussions can be devastating if it fails. Even the World Health Organization has warned that driving an unsafe vehicle is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents worldwide.

Thankfully, modern cars are designed to give us a warning light if they notice something is amiss. Let’s dive in and find out more about these warning signs – how serious they are and what you can do to fix each.

High Severity

If your vehicle shows any warning signs, contact your dealership or a registered mechanic immediately. Attempting to operate vehicles in this condition may be harmful to you and others.

Check Engine

The check engine warning usually appears as a tiny engine symbol on your dashboard. This is arguably the most infuriating warning sign, as it can mean a whole host of things. It can appear because of an electrical error or because there’s something seriously wrong with your engine.
Whatever the case, you should contact your dealership as soon as it appears. At best, you’ll have to deal with an annoying warning symbol flashing at all times; at worst, it becomes a ticking time bomb – leading to serious damage later down the road.

Brake Warning Sign

The brake warning sign appears whenever you hit the brakes. It’ll appear as either the word “BRAKE” or an exclamation mark in a circle. As far as warning signs are concerned, this one is harmless, so long as it goes off once you release the brakes.
If the brake warking sign persists even though you’ve released the brakes, it likely means that one side of your brake has lost hydraulic pressure. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle if that happens, as the vehicle is effectively a hazard past that point.

Improper Serial Number & Hologram

All good car parts must come with a serial number or hologram declaring where they were made, the model of the car, as well as authorization from the manufacturer. If traced back, these serial numbers will lead back to the manufacturer.
On the other hand, the serial numbers on fake car parts are gibberish, and since many customers don’t care to trace them back, counterfeiters often get away with it.

Service Vehicle Soon

This warning sign means that you’ll have to service your vehicle as soon as possible, as it’s likely suffering from one or more serious issues. It may be a problem with your strut assembly and general suspension system, it may have something to do with your brakes, or it may even be a problem with your ABS.
The Service Vehicle Soon symbol usually appears as a wrench overlapped on a car, although on some cars, it may even appear as text.
Brake warning sign alerting driver to potential car issues

Battery Charge Warning Lights

If your battery is low on power, or if there’s a problem with your alternator, then the battery charge warning light appears. This is probably one of the worst warning signs to receive, as it means that starting your vehicle will be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

You should be able to start your car with jumper cables; however, a trip to the shop is inevitable if that doesn’t work. Battery issues are common with aftermarket batteries, so we advise you to use OEM parts exclusively.

Medium Severity

These warning signs are issues that should be resolved eventually. However, in most cases, they’re not a pressing concern. You should still try to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, as they may degrade your car’s performance and shorten its lifespan.

Oil Pressure Warning Lights

The oil pressure warning lights appear whenever your car detects an issue with its lubrication system. It can either mean that you’re low on oil or that there’s a loss of oil pressure.
Whatever the case, it isn’t that big of a deal, nor is it one of the worst warning signs. Make sure to refill your oil at the next gas station, and you should be good to go.

Engine Temperature Warning Lights

Just as with the check engine sign, this, too, can mean a whole host of things. It can mean that there’s a problem with your fan, with your coolant supply system, or with your radiator cap. But more often than not, it just means your engine is running hot.
This warning sign is more prevalent during the summer when temperatures are the hottest. As far as warning signs are concerned, this one is mostly harmless. Just give your engine a rest for a bit, and it should go away on its own.

Catalytic Converter Warning

Catalytic converters are the car parts most likely to be stolen. If you see this warning sign on start-up, then someone’s likely nabbed your catalytic converter. However, aside from the theft aspect, this is one of the more harmless warning signs.

Oftentimes, it just means that there’s a minor issue with your catalytic converter. It’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible, as driving a car without a catalytic converter is illegal. If you need a replacement, you can always visit A Plus Auto Parts and choose a high-quality car part from our wide selection.

Low Severity

These warning signs are the least serious; you can often simply ignore them. However, avoiding them for too long may cause certain parts of your vehicle not to function properly.

Low Fuel

The low fuel warning sign appears whenever you’re running low on fuel. Each car is different, so it can either mean that you have a few hours left or a few minutes. As long as you notice it on time and refill it at the next gas station, you should be fine.
Low fuel warning sign alerting drivers they’re running low on fuel

Safety Belt Indicator

This warning sign indicates that someone in the vehicle hasn’t put on their safety belt. In rarer cases, this might prevent you from starting the vehicle, but in most cases, it’s just an eyesore on the dashboard.

Key Fob Battery Low

The key fob battery low warning sign appears whenever the battery of your key fob gets low. This can happen once every few years, so it’s understandable if you don’t recognize the symbol immediately. It just means your key fob needs a recharge to continue optimally functioning.

Let Us Help You Out

At A Plus Auto, we’re here to help you fix any problems your car might have. Whether the warning lights on your dashboard are telling you about big problems, small issues, or just reminding you to buckle up, we’ve got the right parts to help. Don’t wait around if your car is trying to tell you something. Stop by A Plus Auto Parts to find everything you need to get those warning lights turned off and keep your car in good shape. Remember, dealing with car warnings quickly helps avoid bigger problems later and keeps you safe while driving.
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