warning lights in the car , car dashboard symbols

If you own an automobile, then you would probably know just how important car dashboard symbols are. They are the small icons that are usually displayed within the speedometer and rev counter dials. These car dashboard lights are connected to a sensor which, when illuminated, indicates the driver that something is wrong with the vehicle and may require them to take some necessary action. This is why everyone should be fully aware of the car dashboard symbols meaning. Even Indus Motors has issued the car dashboard symbols Toyota guide for the drivers to insure their car’s safety.

Car Dashboard Symbols

As much as it is important to know about the dashboard markers, most of us, unfortunately, don’t which is worrisome. Considering how dangerous it could be if you don’t know what to do if one of the icons illuminate, you could potentially cause some serious damage to your vehicle. However, there is nothing to be worried about as I will be breaking down 10 of these car dashboard symbols. So, read on and find out what these curious-looking lights mean.

Note: Depending on what car you have, your vehicle’s dashboard may be different. Plus, the symbols may have altered designs or they may indicate different things. So, it is better to read your owner’s manual as it will help you understand these markers better. Some of these car dashboard lights could indicate a serious problem. Please don’t ignore them and have them checked by a professional. 

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

car dashboard symbols meaning

This car dashboard symbols meaning is that your car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) is not working properly. Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to apply the brakes as the vehicle will probably slow down in normal conditions. However, the function of the ABS is to prevent your car from skidding when you push the brakes with force or use them on a slippery surface. So, if ABS is not working fine then it is recommended to get it checked by taking your car to a repair shop.


car dashboard symbols meaning

If you see a battery symbol light up in your car’s dashboard, then it could mean one of two things. The first is that your battery is low on charge. The second reason could be related to the problem with your vehicle’s electrical and charging system which may be caused due to the issues with the ignition cable or alternator belt.

Temperature Warning

car dashboard lights

The temperature warning light indicates that your car’s engine is getting hot. This probably happens when the coolant level of your vehicle is low. You can fix the issue by simply topping up the coolant. Please note that you should only do this when the engine is cold. In addition, there is a chance that the temperature warning light could glow because of the broken head gasket, water pump, and radiator.

Glow Plugs

car dashboard lights

Glow Plugs are only used in diesel cars and they help to start the engine. The glow plug will continue to illuminate for a while after you have turned the ignition keys. This is because it requires time for the plugs to heat up. However, if this symbol remains on or shows up later then there could be a problem with the plugs or the system that controls them.

Check Engine Light

car dashboard symbols toyota

It is one of the most ambiguous car dashboard lights. When it glows, the car dashboard symbols meaning that the engine control unit (ECU) has identified a problem. This problem can be anything from a faulty sensor to a serious mechanical failure. So, it is better to have a professional check your car whenever this icon appears.



car dashboard symbols toyota

This dashboard symbol does not mean good news for your car. It illuminates whenever your engine’s temperature rises too high, the oil level drops too low or the oil pressure becomes too high or low.  It can cause some serious problems. So, let a professional examine your car whenever the oil icon lights up.

Automatic Shift Lock

Automatic shift lock

Automatic Shift Lock or ASL is a safety feature that locks the shifter in neutral or park. The symbol of a boot inside the icon serves as a reminder that you must step on the brake to let go of the lock and shift the transmission into reverse or drive.

Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure monitoring systems have become mandatory for new cars. Even Indus Motors included the icon in its car dashboard symbol Toyota guide. This marker lights up when the pressure of the tire is too low. You can fix this car dashboard symbols Toyota issue by topping up your car’s tires.



This icon lights up when a passenger is not wearing his/her seatbelt. Modern cars are usually equipped with pressure sensors that may cause the warning light to trigger after detecting a specific amount of weight in the seat. So, avoid placing heavy items on the seat if you don’t want these icons to illuminate unnecessarily.

Fuel Indicator System

Fuel Indicator System

The Fuel Indicator System can be found in almost every modern automobile. It has also been mentioned in the car dashboard symbol Toyota guide. This icon will light up if you run low on fuel. You can resolve the issue by having your gas tank filled with fuel by taking your car to a gas station. There is also an arrow next to the symbol on the fuel gauge. This would tell you where the gas cap is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Symbols on a car Dashboard? 

There are 15 different car dashboard symbols that indicate different things. Some of these symbols include Engine Temperature Warning Light, Oil Pressure Warning, Traction Control, Engine Warning, and Antilock Brake Warning. These car dashboard symbols’ meanings can be understood easily if you have a car manual in your dashboard.

What do the signs on my Dashboard mean?

There are different car dashboard symbols which when lit indicate that a fault has occurred inside the vehicle’s system. 

What does the yellow symbol on my Dashboard mean?

If you see a yellow symbol on your car’s dashboard light up then it means there’s a problem in the vehicle that needs to be serviced soon. 

What does P mean on a car Dashboard?

The P on your car’s dashboard symbol is called a Power Steering Warning. It means that there is an issue with the vehicle’s power steering system. You will still be able to use the steering wheel but you will be having little to no power assist. 

What causes the traction control light to come on?

The traction control light will come on due to many reasons including, a faulty steering angle sensor, a broken wheel speed sensor, bad conditions on the road, problems with the anti-lock braking system, and computer issues with the TLC system. 

How do I circulate the Air in my Car?

If you want to circulate the air in your air then consider doing it with fresh air first. Roll down the windows and let the fresh air fill the space before you turn on the AC or heater on a hot or cool day respectively. 

What does a Check Engine Light look like?

A Check Engine Light comes in yellow, orange, or amber, depending on the manufacturer. If the light blinks then it may indicate a serious problem such as a misfire which can cause the catalytic converter to overheat. 

What is the Orange light on the Dashboard?

An orange light on your car dashboard symbols means that the computer which runs the engine also known as the engine management system has identified a problem. You can continue to drive but it is better to get your vehicle checked from the local service center so you may diagnose and resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

What does the Orange symbol mean in a Car?

The orange symbol on your car’s dashboard is the engine management system which when blinks indicates that there is something wrong with the vehicle.  


Whenever a car dashboard warning light illuminates, your first reaction is probably to panic which is normal. However, now that you know what some of these markers mean, you would be able to take the necessary actions if in case something goes wrong. Do you have any other symbols in mind that you think should have been on the list? If so, then comment down below and let’s help the drivers understand these important icons together.



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