Car Dashboard Warning Lights Explained (UK)

Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

Understanding what dashboard bulbs are lighting up can be confusing some times.

You’re driving along and all of a sudden an amber or red light starts flashing and beeping at you giving you a mild burst of shock. What does it mean? Why is this happening? How much will it cost?! We’ve all been there at one time or another.

Not to worry though because we’ve written a pretty extensive guide to your dashboard warning lights and what they all mean.

You can quick jump to amber warning lights and red warning lights below. If you already know what the warning light is called you can press CTRL + F or  + F to find the right warning light.

Green Warning Lights Explained

Green Adaptive Cruise Control Dashboard Light Adaptive Cruise Control 

This light tells you that The Adaptive Cruise Control and speed limiter are active.

If this light begins to flash or changes colour to amber, then you have exceeded the maximum speed set on the limiter.

Reduce your speed to remove any warning lights.

Electronic Parking Brake Dashboard Light Electronic Parking Brake Active

This dashboard light is informing you that your Electronic Parking Brake.

The EPB can be switched off manually and activates when your engine is running but have come to a stop.

This stops your vehicle from rolling backwards down a hill when you are about to pull away.

Lane Assist Dashboard Light Lane Assist Dashboard Light

This light indicates that the lane assist system is switched on and active.

The lane assist system is capable of detecting road markings.


Press Brake Pedal Dashboard Light Press Brake Pedal Light

This system light will only appear on vehicles fitted with an automatic transmission.

The dashboard light is informing you that you need to press and hold the brake when the gear lever has been moved out of the park position.

Cruise Control Dashboard Light Cruise Control Light

The cruise control light will display when you activate the cruise control system.

The light informs you that it is active and your vehicle will maintain the speed you have set.


Amber Dashboard Warning Lights Explained



Brake Lights Warning Light

This dashboard warning light will appear when your brake light bulbs are defective or blown.

To fix this issue, simply check your bulbs and replace the faulty brake light bulb.

You can replace brake light bulbs through

Brake Pad Monitoring Light

This light will warn you when your brake pads are worn.

Contact a garage and get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Bulb Monitoring Warning Light

If any of your bulbs are faulty or blown, this light will warn you that one of the exterior bulbs has an issue.

Most modern vehicles will tell you which bulb it is.

Automatic Gearbox Warning Light

This system light will only appear on vehicles fitted with an automatic transmission.

The dashboard light is informing you that you need to press and hold the brake when the gear lever has been moved out of the park position.

Anti-lock Brake System Light

The warning light indicates that there is an issue with the ABD or ESP functions and may they may not work correctly.

Either call roadside assistance or drive to a certified garage to inspect the issue.


Power Steering System Light

There may be a fault with your power steering.

If it is safe to do so, drive to a garage to get this repaired or contact roadside assistance.


Airbag & Seatbelt System Light

There may be a fault with either the airbag or the seatbelt system.

The airbags may not work if you get into an accident.

Ensure you take your vehicle to a garage  to examine this issue immediately.

Lane Assist Warning Light

It is possible that the lane assist system is failing to detect road markings.

This should not have any impact on your driving normally but should be repaired sooner rather than later.


Adaptive Light System Light

The headlights will not dip automatically.

The dipped headlights will still operate manually.

Windscreen Washer Fluid Level

This warning light is telling you that your windscreen washer fluid is nearly empty.

You will need to top this up shortly to ensure maximum vision and safety when driving.


Tyre Pressure Monitoring Warning Light

This light can indicate that there may be an issue with your tyre pressure or the sensor needs to be repaired.

Check the tyre pressure with a tyre pressure gauge and ensure all levels are correct.

If they are low, refill your tyre pressure accordingly.

Rear Fog Lights Warning Lamp

This light signifies that the rear lamp is switched on.

Please ensure your rear fog lights are turned off when visibility has returned.


Fuel Warning Light

Your vehicle is low on fuel and will need to be refilled shortly.

If the warning continues after you have topped up, take your vehicle to an authorised garage.

Water In A Diesel Fuel Tank Warning Light

As the title indicates, you may have water in your fuel tank.

This can damage your engine so make sure to call a garage before proceeding to drive.

Electronic Parking Brake Warning Light

Action will be required as soon as possible with this warning light.

It indicates that there is a fault with your electronic parking brake.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme

This light shows there is a fault with your stability control or it has been manually disabled.



Airbag Warning Light

One of more of your airbags have been disabled.

Make sure the airbags that are off should be off.


Headlight Range Control Warning Light

There is a fault in the headlight control system.

You may not be able to adjust the height of your dipped beam headlight bulbs until this is fixed.


Engine Oil Level

Your engine oil level may be low and require topping up.

If this light flashes, the sensor that checks your oil level may be faulty.

If this light appears, you will need to stop the car as soon as possible.

Diesel Particulate Filter

Your DPF may be blocked and need to be cleaned / regenerated.

This can be resolved by driving at least 37mph for 15 minutes, keeping your engine speed between 1800-2500rpm.

If this can’t be done, take the vehicle out of gear and rev for a minute or two.

Emission Control or Engine Management Warning Light

Remove your key for 30 seconds and re-start the engine. If the vehicle is vibrating or down on power, contact roadside assistance immediately.


Engine Management Light (Petrol)

Engine management warning lamp on (petrol engines only)

These are often referred to as “spark plugs” and the light will come on before you turn the ignition to start you car.


Red Dashboard Warning Lights Explained


Brake System Warning Light

If your handbrake is not applied, this may indicate there is an issue with the handbrake or brake fluid level.

If your handbrake is even slightly raised then this warning light will turn on.


Bonnet Open Warning Light

Your bonnet might not be fully closed.

If the bonnet is completely secure and the warning light is still on then contact a repair service to fix this issue.


Boot Lid Warning Light

Your boot might not be fully closed.

If the boot is completely secure and the warning light is still on then contact a repair service to fix this issue.

Airbag And Seat Belt System Warning Light

This warning light indicates there is a fault with your airbags or seat belt system.

Drive carefully to your local garage, have the systems checked and repaired.

If there was an accident, your airbags might fail to deploy so get this checked immediately.

Battery Warning Light

Their is an issue with your vehicle charging system.

This could typically be due to a faulty alternator failing to charge the battery as you drive or due to a faulty battery.

Seat Belt Buckle Warning Light

Either the driver or a passenger does not have their seat belt fastened.

If the warning light is appearing without any passengers in the vehicle or the seat belts are correctly secured, there may be an issue with a sensor.

Steering Lock Warning Light

If this warning light appears, do not drive your vehicle.

There may be an issue with your steering lock.


Power Steering Warning Light

There may be an issue with your power steering.

Remove the key from the ignition for 30 seconds and start the engine again.

If the light still appears, contact a garage as soon as possible.

Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light

If this light appears, turn off the engine immediately and check the oil level.

Top up the required level and turn the vehicle back on. If the light still appears you will need to contact a technician as soon as possible.

Engine Cooling System

Check your coolant level immediately.

If the coolant level is OK but the light is still appearing, contact a local garage to investigate the issue.

Related Information

  1. Overview
  2. Warning Lights


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1 year ago

TOYOTA LC 150 PRADO 2019 ,Please tell me where to put the electrical protection board or guard

1 year ago

Headlight Range Control Warning Light ,How do I turn it off? Help me thank you

2 years ago

very good informations

2 years ago

I can still remember when cars and just guages and a some lights that came on when you started the engine but these lights are a good idea so you can tell when something is wrong before it happens

2 years ago

what does an flashing orange ABD light on a vw LT46 mean? (not the ABS light)