Dashboard Warning Lights

October 22nd, 2021 by


Chevrolet Buick GMC Of Sanger is located at: 1028 Academy Ave • Sanger, CA 93657

Tempted to Ignore The Dashboard Warning Lights on in Your Car? Please Don’t

Initially, a car’s dashboard only displayed speed, oil pressure, and fuel left. It has since evolved through different shapes, technologies, and designs.

Dashboards today share much information with drivers, including climate change, entertainment systems, and display warning lights, mainly through symbols, so you don’t have to read much while driving.

But, do you know what each warning light on your car’s dashboard means? These warning lights usually come in two colors, red and amber, each showing how serious the problem with your car is. Ignoring them could lead to more costly damages or leave you stranded unexpectedly along the road.

Here are the different warning lights that may appear on your car’s dashboard, why they appear, and why you shouldn’t ignore them.

Engine Temperature

The engine temperature warning light is typically displayed in red to show the urgency of the matter. This is one of the most critical car warning lights that no one should avoid or even postpone. It tells you that your car’s engine is overheating, mainly because the car has been in use for a long time.


While the first thing most drivers will point out is the temperature, many more things would make the car’s engine overheat. These include a leaking radiator, reduced coolant levels, oil or water pipes are clogged. The cooling system could be faulty, or the thermostat could be broken.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

  • Failed head gasket: The head gasket is an aluminum seal between the cylinder head and the engine block. When your engine overheats and you ignore it, the material can warp, swell, and even crack, thus resulting in a leak in the head gasket. Your engine will start burning coolant and oil and can be dangerous to drive until you replace the head gasket.
  • Warped pistons and cylinders: Severe overheating can cause the pistons in the cylinders and the cylinder walls to bend, warp, or even deform. Oil can go into the engine through the piston rings. The pistons may grind against the cylinder walls, causing knocking.

Battery Charging

Do you know what the battery charging red warning light on your car’s dashboard means? The warning light indicates that the battery charging system has some serious issues that you shouldn’t ignore.


There are various reasons why a battery charging warning light could turn on. Perhaps it’s because of the broken alternator belt, or there’s corrosion of the battery terminals, interrupting the flow of electricity.

In other cases, your battery cable could be loose, faulty alternator, or you have connected too many accessories to your car that are draining your battery fast.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

Your car battery powers the starter, activating the engine. If you ignore the warning and the battery dies, your car will not start, leaving you stranded.

Oil Pressure

This warning light tells the driver that the engine has less oil. A car depends on the engine oil to keep all its moving parts lubricated and operating effectively. So, this warning light would appear on the dashboard when the oil pump isn’t causing enough pressure.


There are other reasons why you may see this warning light. Your oil pump could be faulty or leaking, or the oil filter could be clogged. Sometimes, you may see this warning light even when everything is perfectly okay. In this case, check your sensing unit to ensure it’s working well.

Dashboard Warning Lights

What Happens If You Ignore It?

When there’s low oil pressure, unlubricated metal parts come together, and there’s high friction between the parts. It can result in seals breaking and warping. Low engine oil pressure causes a steep decline in your engine’s performance and damages such as loss of power and engine stalling.

Check Engine

This warning light shows that a part of your engine system isn’t functioning as it should.


  • The exhaust emissions system could be faulty, causing extra oxygen or too little oxygen passing.
  • Perhaps the mass airflow sensor wasn’t installed correctly, allowing harmful particles to enter the air passage.
  • A faulty ignition system.
  • Air leaking in or out of the tank due to the loose filler cap.
  • The diesel particulate filter is blocked.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

Ignoring the check engine warning light for a long time could cause serious damage to the emissions parts and deterioration over time. It could also result in expensive repairs.

Brake or ABS (Anti-Lock Braking) System

The braking system light on your GMC is also one warning sign you shouldn’t ignore. It could be a matter of life and death. The ABS, for instance, is designed to allow your car to make an emergency brake instantly.


When you see the ABS light, it simply means that you can’t make an emergency stop when you want to. It could be because your car’s control unit is faulty, the pump is failing or has failed, it’s not getting enough fluid, or there’s a wiring issue.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

Ignoring brake or ABS warning lights can make it difficult to stop your car safely. Driving in such a state is unsafe as your braking system may soon fail, causing a serious accident or death.


When you see the airbag warning light on the dashboard, please check the airbag system before it’s too late. Maybe the airbag isn’t properly deployed hence can’t get activated, or there could be an issue with your car’s computer system.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

You might choose to ignore this warning sign because it doesn’t seem as serious as engine damage or brake failure. But it’s equally important. In the case of an accident, the airbags will not deploy, leaving you in a dangerous position.

Seatbelt Reminder

A seat belt protects you against severe injuries in an accident. It’s for your own safety, though the warning light will not affect your drivability. The light displays whenever you or your passenger hasn’t fastened the seat belt.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

You should always ensure that you fasten your seatbelt correctly even before you start driving your car. It doesn’t matter how far you’re going or for how long you’ll be driving.

In the event of an accident, you might be thrown out through the windshield if you didn’t fasten your seatbelts.

Tire Pressure

This tire pressure warning light will be displayed on your car’s dashboard if the pressure on your tire is too low, making it unsafe to drive.


The reasons behind the tire pressure warning light are pressure leakage, under-inflation, or over-inflation.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

Whenever you see this warning light, engage a tire pressure gauge to check your tires accordingly. Also, note that tires need frequent maintenance to avoid unexpected issues such as tire wear and failure.

Power Steering

Cars such as Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Sierra, and Yukon have an electric power steering system. This warning light means that the power steering isn’t working as it should, either because of electrical or mechanical issues.


Your power steering wheel may feel heavier than usual. When this happens, pull your car over immediately, then check out the following factors.

  • Fuel level
  • If it’s correct, then use an OBD2 scanner to see if there are any trouble codes.
  • Also, check if the steering wheel sensor is faulty or not.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

Avoid driving a car with the power steering wheel warning light on. Your steering wheel may refuse to move, and this can be catastrophic. The power assist that helps you steer will stop working, making it heavier to steer and difficult to turn.

Low Fuel

No driver likes seeing this warning light appear on the dashboard, especially when they’re on long trips or when their wallets are dry. Unfortunately, it can appear anytime, regardless of these factors.


This warning light simply tells you that your tank is running low on fuel. It may not be an emergency case.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

You shouldn’t ignore it for far too long. You could run out of fuel and get stranded. Even worse, you’ll be damaging the fuel pump as it’ll be drawing air instead of gasoline, resulting in overheating.

Additionally, when you insist on pushing the very last gasoline through the fuel pump, you’ll also be pushing sediment through to the engine. Even with filters, the gasoline at the bottom has more sediment and can pass through.

Door or Truck Warning Light

The door or truck warning light doesn’t affect your drivability in any way. It appears on your dashboard if any of the doors or truck isn’t sealed correctly.

What Happens If You Ignore It?

If the doors aren’t properly sealed, the internal lights will not switch off either, thus draining your car’s battery. It’s also a safety concern as you or your passenger may fall out of the vehicle. Even worse, the door can fly open and hit a pedestrian, another vehicle, or even a cyclist, causing injuries.

Don’t Ignore Your Car’s Warning Lights

Knowing what every warning light appearing on your dashboard means and how to react to it will keep you safe on the road. Some of these indicators only require minor fixes.

It’s common to ignore these warning signs, but some can cause serious damage. You will keep your car’s engine and other components in excellent condition, avoid injuries, and even save yourself some money when you act fast.

Posted in Auto Repair, Service