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Dashboard lights explained

17th April 2023

What are dashboard warning lights?

In modern cars, there are multiple electronic sensors that can monitor how well your vehicle is performing and when something is going wrong. These are known as dashboard warning lights that light up to alert or inform you when there is a problem with a particular component in your vehicle. Whilst there are a large variety of warning lights, it is important to be aware of the five most important symbols that could prevent you from breaking down or a hefty repair bill.  

What do the colours of dashboard warning lights mean? 

Generally, warning lights can be divided into three colours: 

Red warning lights – this signifies serious and potentially dangerous issues that may need immediate attention by a mechanic. If a red dashboard light appears, you should stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so.  

Orange warning lights – this indicates that something may not be working as it should be and serves as a reminder to take extra care.  

Green warning lights – this generally means that your vehicle is currently in use, or your system is working correctly. 

Brake Warning Light

If this symbol appears, it could signify a problem with your braking system if your handbrake or parking brake is off. This could be due to: 

  • Low brake fluid 
  • Worn brake pads 
  • Faulty anti-lock braking system  

We recommend to visit your local Merityre specialists where a mechanic can take a thorough complimentary brake check 

Battery Warning Light 

If this warning light appears, it could indicate a problem with your cars electrical system which means that your car battery may not be charging. Though your car will still run as normal until the battery is completely dead, you could risk running out of power whist driving causing you to come to a standstill.  We recommend pulling over as soon as possible and switch off all unnecessary electrical systems. If you do happen to run out of charge, you should jump start your battery or call for breakdown cover.  

Engine Oil Warning Light 

This light will appear if the oil temperature is too hot or too low or if the oil pressure is too low. If the oil level is low or the pressure has dropped, the engine will not be lubricated effectively which can cause damage. We recommend topping up your engine oil or visiting a specialist as soon as you can.  

Low Tyre Pressure Warning Light 

Each vehicle is fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System that indicates whether your tyre pressure level has deviated from its normal level. This could be due to: 

  • A loss of pressure in the tyre caused by general driving 
  • A loss of pressure in the tyre due to damage or a puncture 

We recommend that you pull over when safe to do so and check your tyres if this light appears and aim to inflate the air of your tyres to your recommended pressure.  

Airbag Warning Light 

If this light appears, it indicated that there is a problem with your airbag. This means that if an accident were to happen, your airbag may not be released, or it may deploy randomly without warning. Therefore, it is vital to get this checked as soon as possible.  


If you notice any of these symbols whilst driving, visit your local Merityre Specialists as soon as possible or contact a member of our specialist team who will be able to offer guidance. Alternatively, book in for an interim service to ensure your vehicle is working correctly.