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6 Common Dashboard Symbols You Need to Know

6 Common Dashboard Symbols You Need to Know

15th Apr 2021

car dashboard

Dashboard Icons

Have you noticed an illuminated symbol on your vehicle's dashboard? Dashboard symbols are used for notification purposes. When your vehicle experiences a problem, it will notify you by illuminating the appropriate symbol. While some of these symbols are self-explanatory, others are more confusing. Here are six common dashboard symbols you need to know.

#1) Battery

The battery symbol indicates that your vehicle isn't charging the battery like it's supposed to. While driving, the alternator should charge your vehicle's battery so that it doesn't deplete. If there's a problem that's preventing the battery from being charged, you may notice the battery symbol illuminated.

#2) Oil Lamp

The oil lamp symbol indicates that your vehicle's oil pressure is low. Oil, of course, must be pressurized so that it can flow through your vehicle's engine. With low oil pressure, it won't reach all of the engine's internal parts, thus increasing the risk of heat and friction damage.

#3) Engine

The engine symbol indicates a computer-identified problem with your vehicle. Also known as the Check Engine Light (CEL), it can be triggered from small and simple problems, such as a loose gas cap, as well as bigger and more complex problems, such as catalytic converter failure. You can use a code-reading device to troubleshoot problems involving an illuminated engine symbol on your vehicle's dashboard.

#4) Thermostat

The thermostat symbol indicates an above-average temperature for your vehicle's coolant. Coolant is designed to operate within a specific temperature range. If it's too cold, it won't become pressurized. If it's too hot, it will leave your vehicle's engine susceptible to damage. An illuminated thermostat symbol means that your vehicle's coolant is too hot and, therefore, the engine is at risk for overheating.

#5) Tire Pressure

The tire pressure symbol, of course, indicates low air pressure in your vehicle's tires. Not all vehicles have a tire pressure symbol. Nonetheless, it's becoming more and more common. If you see the tire pressure symbol illuminated, you should check your vehicle's tire pressure. If they have low air pressure, you can then fill them to the appropriate pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure.

#6) ABS

Finally, the ABS symbol indicates there's a problem with your vehicle's anti-lock braking system. Most vehicles feature an anti-lock braking system, which is designed to prevent the brakes from locking up when quickly pressed. If there's a problem with your vehicle's anti-lock braking system, the ABS system may illuminate.