As you sit in the driver’s seat and turn on the key, you see various lights pop up on the dashboard. But what do they mean?

First, there’s a reason for the color of lights on your dashboard. These colors can be associated with the traffic lights you see when you are driving down the road.

If you see a RED light, what does that usually mean to you? Stop. And when you see YELLOW? Caution. GREEN? Green means go.

Let’s apply this to the dashboard lights. If, for example, you have the cruise control on, the button is normally some sort of orange color. Once you set the cruise control, the button turns green.

Your dashboard lights are very important and should never be ignored. If one of your red dashboard lights comes on, you need to seek service by a qualified technician right away. You typically should discontinue driving immediately.

There are a number of dashboard warning lights that are attributed to various systems in your car. If you are looking for information on a particular warning light, there are articles posted in our web site that will give more specific information as to the warning light and what it means to that specific system.

If you cannot locate it or have other specific questions you can always call us at (928) 783-8808 and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have about warning lights or any other vehicle systems.

An example is this:

ABS Light:

The ABS light has to do with the brakes, as we mentioned previously. If the ABS light is on, the Anti-lock Brake System computer has found a fault somewhere in the system. It could be anything from low brake fluid to a problem with a particular wheel sensor or another component within the system.

When the ABS light is on, your normal braking will still work. However, if you get into a panic stop, the anti-lock brake system will not take over your braking—that is, your wheels will lock up like a vehicle not equipped with anti-lock brakes. Therefore, you lose the ability to maneuver around objects in your path. Instead, momentum carries you forward and you’ll likely hit the object ahead of you.

You may remember your parents telling you that if you’re on ice you should pump your brakes and not apply them hard. The ABS System uses that principle as well. The ABS system pumps your brakes ten times per second, which is something no human is able to do.

The ABS light typically comes on as a yellow light. It doesn’t mean that you have to immediately stop the car, but it does indicate that the system is not going to work until you get it resolved. It does not mean that your car won’t stop; it does not mean that your brakes have failed completely; it only means that the anti-lock side of your brake system is not going to operate if you get into a panic stop situation or trying to stop on a slick surface. Drive cautiously—as you always should—and quickly get your vehicle to a shop for testing.

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Posted in Car Advice