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August 7, 2020
Expert Reviews

Understanding your car’s warning lights

Whether you’ve been driving for years or a matter of months, it’s always useful to brush up on your car knowledge. Throughout your practical and theory revision, you should be familiarising yourself with the different car warning lights and what each one means, as they can appear on your dashboard at any time. But like so many drivers, as soon as you hit the road you start forgetting some of the things you learnt along the way. 

LeaseCar UK conducted a survey to find out how much people remembered their car warning lights. If you’d like to understand what some of these warning lights mean, keep reading to find out. 

Brake system warning light

40% of respondents guessed this warning light correctly. The brake system warning light will show when your brake fluid levels are low and it’s a really important light to remember. Take your car to a garage immediately if this appears on your dashboard. 

Anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) helps the tyres maintain contact with the road when you brake, and this warning light will show if it isn’t working properly. 43% of respondents knew what this warning light was for. 

Battery charge warning light

This light can appear for various reasons such as a faulty battery or an alternator failure but it can be a serious problem so call a mechanic to work out what the issue is. 96% of those surveyed got this warning light correct. 

Engine warning light

59% guessed this symbol correctly, and if it shows on your dashboard there could be a problem under the bonnet. If the engine warning light stays on when you turn the ignition, the car might sound rough, so it’s best to get this checked out by a mechanic. 

Traction control warning light

This warning light will show if the traction control system (TCS) detects a loss of grip and can sometimes come on in icy or snowy conditions but will usually disappear. It means that the system is activated and is helping the car maintain traction. 48% respondents got this light correct. 

Knowing what is wrong with your vehicle can be difficult, so it’s best to read through the manual and if in doubt, check with a mechanic. If you’d like to put your car warning light knowledge to the test, you can take the quiz and share your results by using the hashtag #WarningLightsTest. 

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