What Do The Dashboard Warning Lights Mean?

November 19th, 2020 by

What your car is trying to tell you with those symbols lighting up your dashboard

Most of the time, our vehicles are rolling along smoothly. When you turn the key, they roar to life, get you where you’re going, and then faithfully wait until you need to go back. With your sturdy steed asking so little of you most of the time, it’s nerve-racking when that changes.

Technology has gotten to the point where dashboard lights tell you about many common failures before they leave you stranded on the side of the road. Your car can tell you what it needs, but how do you speak its language? What should you do when the check engine light is on? Which problems can you handle yourself, and which ones do you need a professional to look at?

Here at Fresno Mazda, we thought that you should have the resources you need to answer these questions. So we put together a list of the most common lights you will see on your dashboard and what they mean.

Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light

This light goes on when your engine’s computer comes across a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). You won’t know what the exact problem is on your own. Dealers have special equipment that talks to the computer and can determine which code it is. A professional is your best bet here because they are the ones intended to find this problem and fix it.

What Do The Dashboard Warning Lights Mean? and the common reason they might by on

Your Oxygen sensor needs to be replaced.
You have a gas cap that is loose, damaged, or missing.
Your catalytic converter may have gone bad.
You need to replace your Mass Airflow Sensor.
You need new spark plugs.

Battery Charging Alert

When your battery isn’t charging properly, this light starts glaring. It is telling you that the voltage levels on your battery are below normal levels, and it isn’t charging properly. This could mean a problem with the battery, battery terminals, alternator belt, or alternator.

Coolant Temp Warning

Here, your car is getting too hot. The culprit is probably your cooling system. You will need to check out your radiator, making sure that it is working properly, and has a cap. Check out the coolant levels to make sure there is enough fluid, and there aren’t even leaks. The problem could also be your fan if it isn’t any of those other things.

Transmission Temperature

Yep, your transmission is hot. The temperature of your transmission fluids is higher than normal. You’ll need to check your transmission fluid level and the engine coolant levels too.

BG Fluid Exchange
15% OFF

Any BG Fluid Exchange* 

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Summer AC Special
$229.95

– Includes Evacuation and Recharge of refrigerant
– Check for leaks
– Verify proper AC compressor operation

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Mazda genuine brakes
15% OFF
Scheduled Maintenance PackageIncludes Synthetic Oil Change and Tire Rotation
$10.00 Off

Our Mazda professionals will replace engine oil and genuine Mazda oil filter, rotate and check your tires for wear, top off your vehicle’s fluids, test your vehicle’s battery, check for open recalls, and perform a Multi-Point Inspection.

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Welcome to Fresno MazdaAt Fresno Mazda we offer:

-Complimentary car wash with service
-Mobile device charging ports, Wi-Fi
-3 waiting areas with big screen TVs
-Complimentary loaner car w/availability
-Complimentary full circle inspections

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Front or Rear Brake Special
$25.00 Off

Problems with your Mazda’s brakes are
serious- don’t wait too long! Use this
coupon to receive a special discount on
the brake service you need.
Call to schedule your appointment today!

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Genuine Mazda Battery Special
$10.00 Off

High-performance Mazda replacement
batteries come with an equally
high-performance warranty! 36/60-month
replacement battery warranty if
installed by the dealership.

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
We've Got Your Tires!

We carry a large variety of competitively priced tires. Stop in today and we will meet or beat any competitors’ advertised price on the same tire.

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Replace Cabin Air Filter
10% Off

The air you breathe is only as clean as
the filter it goes through. A new cabin
air filter will reduce airborne
impurities such as pollen, dust, etc.
Recommended every 12 – 24 months.

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Accessorize Your Mazda
10% Off

Customize your Mazda to reflect your own style! Get accessories designed for your Mazda at competitive prices. We offer Remote Starts, Roof Racks, Cargo Covers, Rear Bumper Guards, All Weather Mats, and more!

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
Mazda Service Savings!

We value your business. Use this coupon
to save on any service or repair:
$5.00 off service $50.00 to $99.99
$10.00 off service $100.00 to $199.99
$15.00 off service $200.00 or more

Plus applicable taxes. Valid only at Fresno Mazda. Cannot be used with any other applicable offer. Mazda vehicles only. Some vehicles may be slightly higher. Hazardous waste fee and shop supplies fee if applicable. Please present coupon at time of write-up. No cash value. Coupon expires 09/30/2021

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021
All Weather Floor Mats
15% OFF
Mazda Cargo Covers
15% OFF

Mazda Cargo Cover

Keep prying eyes away from your valuables. This interior Cargo Cover attaches to the rear door so it lifts and shuts as you open or close the hatch, allowing for easy loading or unloading of cargo. And it’s easily removable if extra space is needed.

EXPIRES: 09/30/2021

Oil Pressure Warning

Your engine oil is under less pressure than it should be. You’ll want to take a look at the oil levels, and if that’s fine, have a professional investigate what is happening with the change in pressure.

Oil Change Reminder

Your car is telling you that it needs a tune-up. The ECM in your can is telling you that it thinks the oil in your car has expired. The ECM keeps track of the mileage since your last servicing, or it could be going off of readings it is getting from the engine. If you get your oil changed by a professional, they should reset the light so that it is accurate. If you change the oil yourself, the owner’s manual will tell you if you can reset it yourself or if you need special tools.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Either you have a tire that is low on air, or you have a sensor malfunctioning. Either way, you’ll want to look at the tire pressure.

Brake System

This light likely means one of three things:
The parking brake is on.
The braking system has a problem, or the brake fluid is low.
here is an ABS problem.

Reduced Power Warning

Your car isn’t running with as much power. This is because it is being limited by the ECM. The computer will slow things down when it senses that there is a problem, and a component has most likely failed.

ABS Light

The anti-lock brake system is having a problem that needs to be looked at by a professional.

Gas Cap

The gas cap isn’t tightly secured. It could be improperly tightened, or it could be missing.

Cruise Control

The cruise control function has been set while the car is driving.

ESP Fault

The traction control, anti-skid, or electronic stability system is having a problem.

Security Alert

If this light comes on when the car is off, then it means the ignition switch has been disabled until the proper transponder key is close enough to start it. If the car is already on, then it means that the security system had a malfunction.

Lamp On

There is an exterior light that isn’t working. For example, there may be a headlight bulb that is out.

ESP or Traction Control

This means that the car is using its anti-skid or traction control as part of its electronic stability system. This shows up when conditions are slippery.

Door Ajar

One of the doors isn’t closed or closed properly.

Overdrive Light

Someone has manually turned off the vehicle’s overdrive system.

Airbag Fault

If the light stays on, the system has detected a problem with the airbag.

Washer Fluid Light

The fluid level in the reservoir is low on washer fluid.

Fog Lamp

The fog lamps are currently turned on for the vehicle.

If your car has any of these problems, it’s best to have them checked out right away before more components can fail, and your car is in real trouble. A professional will be able to diagnose any issues and tell you if it is a problem that you need to address immediately. If you live in Fresno, the folks here at Fresno Mazda have the knowledge, tools, and know-how to tackle any aspects of your car repair.

What Do The Dashboard Warning Lights Mean?

Posted in Auto Repair