6 Most Common Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

Most Common Dashboard Warning Light Explained

There are commonly two types of drivers: those who ignore their warning lights until the car presents a problem you’re forced to correct and those who immediately panic and fret about what is wrong with their car.

We’d like to present the option for being a third type of driver: the one who can recognize a dashboard light, identify the problem, and calls their local auto shop in Silver Spring to get the error corrected promptly.

Let’s examine the most common dashboard warning lights so you can be driver number three.

Are your dashboard warning lights already on? Call our car repair shop in Silver Spring, MD and we’ll help you diagnose and correct the issue!

check engine light diagnostics

Oil Pressure Light

check oil light meaning
The problem:

This indicates that your vehicle is low on oil or the oil pump isn’t circulating the oil properly. In either scenario, you want to visit a local auto repair shop to have the problem diagnosed.

Damage that may occur:

Low oil or inadequate oil pressure leads to friction in the engine, causing warped parts, broken seals, and an overall decline in engine efficiency. Your entire motor could be damaged if you have improper oil levels or oil pressure.

The fix:

Most commonly, you need an oil change or a change in oil viscosity to keep the motor running smoothly. Hoffmaster’s Auto Care in Silver Spring can help you identify the issue and fix it fast.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

tire pressure light meaning
The problem:

The air in your tires has been indicated to be above or below the recommended PSI. This can be due to a change in temperature (especially cold weather fluctuations in Maryland), a puncture in the tire, a nail in the tire, or other damage.

Damage that may occur:

If your tire has too little or too much air in it, you are at risk of a serious accident. Tire blow-outs and flat tires render your car immobile, which is extremely dangerous if it happens suddenly at high speeds, in crowded traffic, or on back roads.

The fix:

Test your air pressure (recommended PSI is between 30 and 35) and either reduce the air pressure or add air. If you notice damage to the tires, a tire replacement may be needed. Our auto mechanics in Silver Spring can help identify why you’re losing air and how to correct it.

The Engine Temperature

engine temperature meaning
The problem:

Your engine is overheating! This may be due to a cooling system leak, low antifreeze/coolant, faulty radiator, broken water pump, or clogged hoses.

Damage that may occur:

An overheating engine can cause warped parts, a cracked engine block, oil leaks due to cracked hoses or other warped parts, and long-term engine damage that renders your motor useless.

The fix:

The immediate fix is to turn off the A/C and crank the heat so the hot air is pulled off the engine. Pullover to a safe location, wait for the hood to cool down (otherwise you may sustain burns), and check your coolant level. Top off the coolant if it is low. 

Long-term you need to contact an auto repair shop near you (like Hoffmaster’s Auto Care in Silver Spring) so the root cause can be identified. Waiting on an overheating engine can severely damage your vehicle.

Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) Light

abs light meaning
The problem:

There is a malfunction with your anti-lock braking system. ABS prevents your car from skidding or sliding when you hit the brakes.

Damage that may occur:

Faulty anti-lock brakes mean your brakes are not working properly. This can result in major accidents when you go to press the brakes and don’t receive immediate or proper braking.

The fix:

The ABS light can indicate a variety of problems that can be fixed with a simple sensor reset, or it could require more mechanical work. Hoffmaster’s Auto Care in Silver Spring helps diagnose the problem and identify timely solutions so you don’t need to worry.

Check Engine Warning Light

check engine light solutions
The problem:

A check engine warning light could indicate any number of problems. That’s why auto shops in Silver Spring have diagnostic services to identify the issue. It could be anything from major engine trouble to a small fix. This is why dropping by a mechanic near you is important to find the source of the issue.

Damage that may occur:

Most people think that they can drive with the check engine light on, since it doesn’t indicate a clear problem. However, our auto shop in Silver Spring has seen cars with serious damage due to ignored engine lights. You may experience decreased engine efficiency, warped or damaged parts, cracked seals, problems with belts, wires, or tubes, and more.

The fix:

A diagnostic check. This will help local mechanics identify the problem and propose a solution. Don’t ignore the light! A lot happens beneath the hood that you don’t notice, and the check engine light is the car’s way of notifying you that something is not operating properly.

Battery Alert

check battery light meaning
The problem:

The battery warning light does not always mean the issue is your battery. More commonly, it’s something faulty with the battery system, like your alternator belt, or the overall charging system. It can range from faulty wiring to bigger issues.

Damage that may occur:

A malfunctioning battery system is bad for your car. You’ll notice dimmer lights, a radio that doesn’t work properly, and you may even lose power entirely to your vehicle. This may require you to jump-start your car and it may leave you stranded.

The fix:

Sometimes the quick fix is as easy as getting a new battery. If that doesn’t work it could be the alternator, corrosion, or other issues. Don’t be shy about contacting your local Silver Spring mechanic and asking them how to fix your car’s battery.

Car Repair in Silver Spring Can Help with Dashboard Lights

blinking check engine lightPeople often assume that taking their car to a mechanic for a dashboard light is a bad idea, because the car isn’t showing obvious signs of damage – yet!

Hoffmaster’s Auto Care is dedicated to honest, affordable work. If one of your dashboard lights is on, take advantage of diagnostic services and a professional crew that will only recommend repairs your vehicle needs.

Yes, some of these lights indicate problems that aren’t emergent, but it’s impossible to say without proper testing what can wait and what needs attention right away. There’s no harm in stopping in for diagnostic services and receiving an estimate. It’s better to know what’s happening under your hood!

Give us a call today or check out our reviews (straight from real customers) so you know you’re in good hands.

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