Saturday, July 28, 2012

Don't Ignore These On Dash Warning Lights?


The basic warning lights which is noticed on dashboard should not be ignored.Get the exact cause for why these warning light occurred.
If you just ignore these warning lights,you never know when these warning lights will get converted into major car problems.

The warning lights just comes up on dash,that you look into the problem.

Its not always necessary that problem will be major,sometimes its very minor issue like loose wiring or dirty wiring and cleaning the wiring helps to clear the warning light.


There are many other different types of warning lights,but these are most common and noticed on mostly all types of vehicles.
Some new model vehicles will have some extra additional warning lights indication to alert the driver.
The  warning light details and indications are provided in cars owners manual.

But these details are basic.To get Complete details i suggest you to,
Go through the details and important aspects which tells you what does these warning lights mean and what are the possible cause for the particular warning light to appear on your cars dash board and what basic troubleshooting step you can take to get rid of this warning light indicator.

Please Note on some cases the basic troubleshooting does not help and onsite inspection is required by professional car mechanic or Auto repair shops technician.


The dash indicator will show these Icon on the dash board panel.
dash warning light

When you see these warning light on dash board.Please don't ignore it.Just get the oil level checked.Either oil level is got low or oil is leaking.The engine needs particular oil pressure to function.When the oil pressure gets less then its required engine operation.The oil pressure warning light will illuminate.

Possible causes for Oil pressure light:--
  • These light comes up if oil level is low or oil is leaking.
  • The oil just now filled is wrong or very thin oil filled.
  • Oil pressure sending unit is weak or INOP.
  • Oil Pump is got very old and not holding pressure.
  • Or its due to excessive Engine bearing clearance.
Common problems noticed:---

When engine oil gets low and you still drive then ticking,clicking types of noise from engine.Even if you continue driving with these noise then further you will notice major engine damage.The repair cost may be high.On some cases engine rebuilt or replacement is required.


When oil pressure warning light is ON. Stop driving the vehicle.Check the oil level.There is a dipstick on most of vehicle models to check the oil level.If the oil level is shown less on dipstick mark.Then fill the exact correct oil to its required level.Then turn the car off,then ON.These will reset the system and Warning light should go out.

But in some cases the driver ignores these oil warning light and keep driving and due to these engine parts starts getting damaged.You notice problem like rapping,tapping,knocking types of sound when the engine starts.But these is start of problem.Just get the vehicle tune up done to engine mechanical working parts and oil level corrected.

On some cases its seen that oil is filled/changed but again in few week or days the low oil level or oil pressure light comes up.This indicates that either your engine is burning the oil or there is a oil leakage.
There are pressure tool available at local auto parts store.These tool an test if pressure is accurate or low.If pressure is not holding at one position,that means there is a leak.If there a leak,it can be repaired.At local car garage the leaking seal and gasket will be easily identified and replaced.
Also on some cases its seen that oil filter gets worn out or not properly replaced can cause oil leak.So without forget inspect the condition as well as position of oil filter.

But if you notice that no oil is getting leaked and its pressure shows perfect then its confirmed that the oil is burning.The function of the oil is to run through the engine mechanical parts to keep the moving parts, bearing,gears etc lubricated.But if oil is burning then mostly the repair is major.The valve guides,cylinders,engine bearings getting worn out.

On some of the old model vehicles there is a sensor fitted in the oil pan.This sensor detects the level of oil in the pan.Some these sensor itself gets worn out or its connections gets loose.So these sensor will not detect the oil level and due to that low oil level light will come up on dash.If your vehicle has oil level sensor,then without forget get the sensor checked.

Another reason for low oil pressure can be worn out oil pump.Basically these pumps and hoses are made up of rubber or important high resistant plastic type materials.When these parts gets old by age and worn out.You will notice that oil pressure is perfect when engine is cold but oil issues get noticed after driving for some miles.This happens because when engine gets warm,its components gets bit expanded,when engine is cold,the components are intact.And when oil pump or hoses or seals or gaskets gets bit expanded the pressure gets released.So in that case it can be faulty oil pump.Or its issue with oil filter or problem with oil pick up screen in engine crank case.


The dash indicator will show this Icon on dash board panel.
Temp Warning
On some vehicles the dash board Just Shown TEMP on Display.

Temperature warning light of dash is indication of engine overheating.There are many possibilities,for why the engine is overheating.But its advisable to stop driving and confirm the cause of problem.Once the problem is corrected you are safe to drive.But if vehicle is over heating and you still drive,then engine will definitely get damaged.

Possible causes for engine overheating:

Getting temp warning light and engine overheating noticed.
  • It can be due to low coolant level or coolant leaking.
  • The problem with radiator and heater hoses.
  • Head gasket leaking.
  • Cracked cylinder head.
  • Serpentine belt loose or broken.
  • Bad water pump.
  • Thermostat is stuck up.
  • Radiator engine cooling fan/s not working or faulty.
  • Dirty,clogged or faulty radiator itself.
  • Exhaust restriction.
  • Catalytic converter issue( Plugged CATS).


The temperature warning light comes up when engine is overheating.First of get the coolant level checked.If its low,fill up the coolant to required level.If the cooling system is the cause of problem,then filling the coolant reservoir to its required level will correct the issue.Turn the car off for a minute then ON.These will reset the system after coolant is filled.

Other possibilities that can cause vehicle to over heat are driving in hot condition or towing trailer of high capacity then suggested,driving condition,driving habits,stop and go driving in traffic.
When the engine gets hot,the cooling system functions to control the heat.But when vehicle gets overloaded the cooling systems capacity gets out of reach to cool the engine and vehicle starts getting overheated.
For example,towing a heavy trailer during hot weather may overload the cooling system's capacity to control heat and vehicle gets overheat.

In these conditions you can turn the A/C system OFF and turn the heater on HIGH these  may help you to get the engine cool down which is overheating due to unusually hot weather or from towing a trailer.

But normally when you get Temp warning light with normal driving conditions ,then first of all stop driving.Let the engine to cool down.Please do not attempt to open the radiator cap when vehicle/engine is hot/warm.A flow of water will blow up towards you and hot steam will be released with pressure.Always let the vehicle to cool down first in these conditions.Once the engine is completely cool.Open the radiator cap and inspect the coolant level.
Basically it takes approx half an hour for vehicle to cool down.When the radiator cap is turned to open,a soda type pressure will be released.So turn the cap to open slowly,let all the pressure/steam gets released.Even though engine is cool down,the steamy pressure will be out.Yes it will not be that hot.But still let the pressure get completely released.Once the pressure is completely released remove the cap slowly.Keep your face away,if possible wear hand gloves.In case/by-chance if water flows up,you don't get harmed.

Now check the coolant level.If its low fill radiator reservoir with water.Pour water slowly.As per service manual procedure.Its said that water and Antifreeze should be added in equal proportion.Like 50/50.Half water and half Antifreeze.
But mostly you don't get antifreeze instantly,so in urgent situations,when vehicle is overheating.Just add water and when you reach your place you can add same proportion of antifreeze to the radiator reservoir.Or you can drive till the near by auto garage and get the Antifreeze filled up.

On some cases its seen that coolant is getting leaked.Or you fill the radiator cooling system with water and antifreeze with exact proportion and cooling system gets low or empty in few days or weeks.this shown that system is leaking.
As per our garage repair experience.The most common leak points are towards the radiator and heater hoses.The hoses gets loose or cracked by age and worn out.Needs to be inspected and replaced if faulty/cracked.The radiator itself gets faulty or plugged up and needs replacing.The other common issue is faulty water pump.Replacing water pump is not an easy task.Sometimes the leak is very minor or internal leak and can only be diagnosed by pressure testing the cooling system.The pressure testing tool is available at local auto parts store to buy or also at rent.

Don't ignore the temperature warning light,it can cause major damages.At out auto repair garage we have noticed such issues.The driver though it as simple low coolant issue and ignored the issue.Though he will fu\ill the system later and now the engine starts making knock knock sound while starting.Also noise problem due to detonation is noticed.If not taken care off then can cause piston, ring and head gasket damage.

Due to over heat internal parts of the engine expands.And due to this clearances gets reduced .And metal-to-metal contact occurs. Also major problems like Valve stems may gall and stick, and the pistons and camshaft might scuff or seize.

On some cases of  where vehicle has noticed Severe overheating the cylinder heads and head gaskets issues are noticed.Excessive overheating  creates tremendous thermal stress in the head(s) and block. And due to these  to cracking or complete damage is noticed. Overhead cam engines that have aluminum heads gets majorly damaged on cases of overheating.