How to Read Dashboard Lights

If you want to be aware of problems going on in your vehicle, you want to pay attention to the meanings behind your dashboard lights. At Faulkner Nissan Harrisburg we want to help drivers in the Harrisburg, Carlisle, York, and Mechanicsburg areas learn what to watch out for when reading your vehicle’s dashboard.

Read more to learn about what to look out for when reading dashboard lights, and what lights you should head to the service center for.


Among your dashboard lights are three different color codes that dictate the basic meaning of the light itself. First among these are red level lights that are intended to notify you of serious issues. These are lights like your low oil light or your brake light, the kind of issue that you can’t really postpone for a while.

Next up are yellow or orange lights. These are lights that are used to notify you of a vehicle condition or a problem requiring attention soon. These aren’t absolute emergencies in the moment, but they will require that you check them out soon. Examples of yellow lights are your check engine light or your low tire pressure light.

Finally, we have the green or blue lights. These are lights that are used to show you that something has been turned on. When you see a green light, it means that a vehicle system is functioning as normal and is currently in use. These lights notify you of things like whether your high beams are on or if your lane keeping assist system is activated.


When it comes to dashboard lights, it’s important to know which lights you should really be paying attention to. Here is a list of important dashboard lights that every driver should pay attention to.


Here’s the big one, this is a rather general light that can cover a wide swath of engine malfunctions, but it’s a very important light nonetheless. This light will appear as a yellow engine block and can mean a broken catalytic converter, a loose gas cap, or possibly a faulty oxygen sensor.

It’s usually not too hard to find the brake light, typically it’s a red light with the word “BRAKE” in big bold letters. This light has to be bold though because this generally means there’s a problem with your braking system. Before you start asking questions about what the issue could be, check your emergency brake to make sure that it’s not on, as that turns on the brake light, too.

There may come a day where you forget to change your oil on time and this light appears. The low oil light looks like a red oil can and it means there’s a low amount of oil pressure in the oil reserve. Have your oil changed quickly if this comes on to avoid significant engine damage.

For drivers who have a dashboard light on that you’re not sure about, our dealership is here to help. At Faulkner Nissan Harrisburg, we want to make sure drivers in the Harrisburg, Carlisle, York, and Mechanicsburg areas are getting the car maintenance they need.

If you need vehicle maintenance done on your car, schedule an appointment with us online or over the phone today!


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