Indicator lights show trouble ahead

By Gaby Gonzales


When you are out on the road and an indicator light on the dashboard appears, do you ever wonder why?

A lot of people ignore those lights in hopes it will eventually disappear, or others rush their vehicles over to an auto shop and overspend. To avoid such actions, you should be aware of the meanings of every light on your dashboard. How do you do that? The best way would be to look in your owner’s manual because it includes a list of all the indicator lights that would appear on your dashboard.

For example, if a light appears portraying a symbol such as a circle with an exclamation mark in the center, this means your tire pressure levels are unbalanced. You should then take out your tire pressure gauge and measure the PSI (pounds per square inch) in each tire. The maximum and minimum amount of air will be measured in PSI and will be printed directly on the tire.

Another common example is the appearance of an oil can. One can assume its meaning is for an immediate oil change. If you are slow at making it to an auto shop, be sure there is oil in the engine. How do you do that?

Open your hood and you will see a dipstick next to the engine. Pull the dipstick out,  cleanly wipe it with a towel, and place it back in. Once more, remove the dipstick and notice the measurement of oil. Most likely the oil will be running low. Be sure to run to your nearest automotive store to purchase the amount of quarts of oil you need to fill up to the max line on the dipstick. After completing these steps, be sure to take your vehicle to an automotive shop as soon as possible for an oil change. For more information on how to change the oil in your car yourself, view my column at

These are just two examples of the common lights that could appear while you are driving, but there are many more. Remember, if a light appears on your dashboard and you’re unsure of its meaning, take a look at your owner’s manual for clarification.

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Gaby Gonzales

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