Indicator lights: their symbols and what they mean

Indicator lights in the vehicle serve to alert or warn the driver of a change or defect in the vehicle. Find out more here.

The color of the indicator light can give an indication as to whether immediate action is necessary or whether it is possible to continue the journey. the meaning of the car indicator lights can be taken from the manual of the respective vehicle. You can get an overview of the indicator lights here.

The light of the car inspection lamps usually only stops shining when the problem or the. The defect has been repaired or if a function has been deactivated.

What is the purpose of the indicator lights on the vehicle?

contents of this guide

Among other things, a control light shows which alternator is currently active.

You are currently driving your car on the road and suddenly lights up symbol in the cockpit. But what does this mean sign? If there is a defect before or have you accidentally function activates? The so-called control lights at dashboard serve to inform them about a change on the vehicle to inform you. There are different options under consideration:

  • The indicator light shows that a function on the vehicle switched on was, e.g.B. A certain vehicle lighting.
  • The indicator light warns you of acute problems on the vehicle, z.B. one defect (red indicator light).
  • The indicator light indicates a modification to the vehicle which the safety could impair (yellow indicator light).

Any indicator light points to something specific. However, it is not always easy for drivers to determine the cause of an accident on the basis of the symbols to recognize, what problem present. Were they themselves the trigger, for example, because they indicate a certain lights on the vehicle switched on, the light up self-explanatory. But what if a red or yellow symbol appears? What is the problem? May they continue driving or must they immediately report an garage visit? How the car indicator lights look like what you can mean and how to behavior you will find out in the following.

Basically: the more technology is present on your car, the more indicator lights for cars, trucks and motorcycles, there are. The meaning from special symbols, which is not listed here, please refer to the manual.

Indicator lights at a glance: what do they mean??

What do the indicator lights in the car mean and when do they come on??

How do you know what the lights located next to the speedo indicator lights mean? Many of the symbols are actually known or self-explanatory. This is how the most common check lamps in the car are driving school learns. In the following table find the most important indicator light symbols with an explanation, when they light up. Please note that this not an exhaustive list is, depending on the technology and manufacturer additional, special control lamps can be added. The ones listed here symbols are usually found in every vehicle.

symbol control lightwhen is the control light on?
with parking light on
with switched on low beam
when the high beam is switched on
with fog lights on
when the rear fog light is on
when the direction indicator light is on
in the event of a faulty vehicle lighting bulb
when the hazard warning lights are on
if the safety belt is not fastened
when at least one vehicle door is not closed
with the handbrake applied
in case of problems with the brake system
if the engine oil level is too low
in case of problems with the engine cooling (too high coolant temperature)
in case of problems with the power supply (car battery)
in case of insufficient fuel tank capacity
in case of problems with the engine control
if the tire pressure is too low
for worn brake pads
in case of problems with the vehicle dynamics control system (ESP)
other indications
with the windshield heater on
with rear window heating switched on
with cruise control switched on

Indicator lights in the car show that the lights are on

The indicator lights on the car may show active lights.

A control light does not always have to mean defect present, or the driver to warn of something. Switch one of the lights on the vehicle, a symbol also lights up.

Based on this, you can determine whether the respective lights actually switched on or. Which of the vehicle lights currently active is. Accordingly, in the car there are different light indicator lights. the car indicator lights differ in terms of symbols and colors.

indicator lights for parking light, low beam and high beam

parking light: the parking light is used to illuminate a stopped vehicle. Driving with only the parking lights on is not permitted – the low beam or high beam must also be switched on.

low beam: it is allowed to drive with this one, if the visibility is limited by darkness at night or in the morning. the road is significantly impaired at dusk or in fog, snowfall or rain during the day.

high beam: this may be used when a road is not sufficiently or. is continuously illuminated. In the event of oncoming traffic or a short distance, the headlights must be dimmed.

fog lights and rear fog lights

fog lights according to § 17 of the road traffic regulations (stvo), the lights may only be switched on if the weather conditions make this necessary. This is usually the case during rain, fog and snowfall. they can be lit alone or together with the parking lights or dipped headlights.

rear fog lights according to § 17 paragraph 3 stvo, these lights may only be switched on if the visibility due to fog is less than 50 meters. They must be illuminated together with fog lights, headlights for high beam or headlights for low beam or a combination of these headlights.

blinker lights for turn signal

The turn signal indicates which driving direction a vehicle is going to hit. Who turn off must announce this in good time in accordance with § 9 stvo. Is the turn-by-turn completed, the indicator light will stop flash.

The hazard warning lights to be activated when a vehicle has broken down or needs to be towed away, to indicate a traffic jam or to warn of danger in general.

defective light

Is a lamp the vehicle lighting broken, can do this by light bulb symbol with exclamation mark are displayed in the center. the defective light should be replaced.

There is not only light indicator lights in the car. There can also be other active functions displayed. The corresponding car signal lights indicate that the front or rear window heating or the cruise control is switched on.

Yellow indicator lights ensure greater safety

What do the indicator lights in the car mean? They indicate, for example, a low fuel level.

If one of the amber indicator lights If a new vehicle is found in the cockpit, this means that a measure should be carried out that will lead to the vehicle’s increase in safety when driving leads. A immediate action is usually not mandatory and you can first of all drive on. Is there a defect but it should be removed as soon as possible, otherwise it will cause long-term damage to the vehicle cause damage or there are problems with the main inspection can occur, i.e. the TuV is not passed in this way. In the following the most important yellow indicator lights are explained.

This control light has probably every car driver already seen flashing. It indicates a low fuel supply there. A gas station should be visited in the near future and the tank refilled. How long the tank content will last at this point also depends on the driving behavior of the vehicle. However, they do not normally travel further than 50 kilometers.

The yellow check engine light indicates a problem with the engine control present. The following are possible several causes, why a visit to the workshop is advisable as soon as possible. Also a problem with the exhaust system (defective lambda sensor) or cable damage. effects are usually a limited speed, a lower engine performance or an increased pollutant emission. Immediate action is not necessary, but the problem should be identified and corrected as soon as possible, otherwise your vehicle will not pass the emissions test.

This yellow control lamp indicates that a too low tire pressure present. You can change the pressure of the tires on a gas station check. In some cases, the symbol also lights up after an tire change if, for example, the tires are not yet calibrated were.

If the Brake pads worn, this yellow control light can light up. A continue driving is here possible, however, the brake pads should be renew become.

Is the road by rain wet or by cold icing, this control light can be difficult road conditions display. In this case the driving dynamics control, the also electronic stability program (ESP) is called. The speed should be reduced in this case and the brake– and steering behavior be adjusted (steer carefully and avoid full braking).

Indicator lights on the car: the colors can be fixed by law. For example rear fog light the case. § 53d paragraph 5 of the road traffic licensing regulations (stvzo) regulates that a switched on rear fog light must be indicated to the driver by a yellow indicator light in the cockpit.

Red indicator lights show warning or defect

All red indicator lights on the car warn of a problem or a defect on the vehicle.

The situation becomes more serious, however, when one of the red vehicle indicator lights lights up. As a rule, there is then either a defect on the vehicle in front or it is a case of warning. in this case, further driving is only possible to a limited extent. If there is a serious defect on the vehicle are present, the vehicle must be stopped immediately after the indicator light comes on and an roadside assistance be notified. If you are able to continue driving, the next light should come on immediately workshop be visited.

Before starting a journey, every vehicle occupant must be safety belt put on. If the seat belt obligation is not observed on at least one seat, this indicator light flashes. The seat belt warning light does not light up until all passengers have fastened their seat belts. So this indicator light also serves to increase safety. As a rule, an additional audible signal sounds.

To be able to drive off, all vehicle doors locked his. If at least one door is still open when the vehicle is started, this indicator lamp lights up and is normally also supported by an acoustic signal.

Is the handbrake tightened, this control lamp lights up. You cannot drive with the handbrake applied. All indicator lights usually do not stop illuminating until the problem or. The defect has been repaired or a function is no longer active.

A red exclamation mark in a circle indicates that there are problems with the brake system gives. There are several possible causes. For example the handbrake still be tightened. If this is not the case, it is usually an indication of a more serious problem with the brake. brake failure may be imminent, for example because there is no longer enough brake fluid is present or the brake pads are worn down to the metal. In this case, it would no longer be possible to continue driving, since as a rule only a few braking operations are possible. Hold call them and best of all call a breakdown service.

The red oil can indicates that there is not enough engine oil is present. If the oil pressure is too low engine oil level, triggers a too low oil pressure responsible for the control light coming on. Stop the engine immediately, check the oil level and top up the oil if necessary. It is recommended to drive to a gas station for this purpose. If the problem is not repaired, the worst case scenario is a engine damage. If the engine oil pressure was too low, it is usually also necessary to visit a repair shop.

If these control lamps light up, there is a problem with the engine cooling system. In this case you should stop immediately and check the cool down the engine let. Check the coolant level and top up with coolant if necessary. If the problem persists and the indicator light is still on, do not continue driving. Assistance from a roadside assistance service should be requested.

The car battery indicator light shows a problem with the power supply to. If this is disturbed, there are several possible causes. There could be a defect in the power generator or the battery present. If necessary, the electrical connection interrupted or the V-belt is cracked. In this case, the engine should not be switched off and the vehicle should be taken to the nearest workshop. You should proceed with particular caution if your car is equipped with an electric brake system power steering because in the event of a faulty power supply, the car’s power steering assistance can fail.

Indicator lamps in the car – the color makes the difference: engine check lights are available for example in red and yellow. Only with the red but immediate action is required and further driving is impossible (engine cooling and engine oil level). Lights the yellow control light of the engine control unit, you can continue driving for the time being.

special indicator lights: truck and motorcycle

Do other vehicles have special indicator lights? A motorcycle or a truck usually has identical control lamps like a normal car. However, these vehicles can have some special control lamps only be found on them:

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