Car Dash Instrument Cluster Warning Light Symbols and Meanings

You may have noticed the dashboard warning lights that come on each time you start your car. They come in many different colors and each displays a different symbol.

It can all look a bit confusing and a little alarming but don’t worry, they only light up to let you know the systems they relate to are working, before going out. The time to worry is when one of them stays on, or comes on when you’re driving, indicating there’s a problem.

The various colors mean different things. A red light is the most serious and means you should stop the car as soon as it is safe to do so. The other lights, including orange, blue and green, are not quite so serious but again, it’s best to pull over. In both cases, check the car’s handbook to find out what they mean and what you should do next.

Unless it’s obvious what the problem is (a light alerting you to low screen wash, for example, which should go out when you top up the reservoir) it’s best to have the problem checked, especially if it concerns the brakes or the engine.

The majority of warning lights are common to all makes and models of cars, although their precise locations, on or around the dashboard, may vary. Study your car’s handbook to familiarize yourself with what they all mean. Meanwhile, below, we guide you through the most important of them.


Car dash instrument cluster warning light symbols and meanings.



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