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Decoding Dashboard Indicator Lights

Modern vehicles are equipped with onboard computers that monitor the critical systems in your car and warn you when something is going wrong. Your Dashboard Indicator Lights are the computer’s way of telling you that there may be a problem and your car needs service as soon as possible.A fault code detailing the nature of the issue is registered in your vehicle’s diagnostic system computer. This fault code is stored and can only be retrieved with specialized equipment that can communicate with your vehicle’s diagnostic system computer. At Auto Repair Center our Mechanics use the most advanced equipment to pull the code from your computer, analyze the findings and provide you with a game plan to get your car back on the road.Here are a few examples of why your Dashboard Indicator Lights may be on.​

Anti-Lock Brake System Light

The Anti-Lock Brake System Light, also known as the ABS Light, indicates that there is a malfunction in your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system. The malfunction is logged by your vehicle’s onboard computer system and the applicable OBD2 codes are readable only with diagnostic tools. Issues triggering your Anti-Lock Brake System Light can range in nature from a dirty wheel sensor to loss of voltage. When the ABS light triggers, your anti-lock brake system disengages and does not turn back on until your vehicle is serviced. Even if the ABS light is on, you should have normal brake pedal and stopping capabilities.

Brake Light

The Brake Light can be activated for a number of reasons. The simplest cause is that the parking brake is engaged. If the brake light is still illuminated after the parking brake has been fully disengaged, there could be a more serious issue. Lack of hydraulic pressure or a low fluid level due to leaking will both generate your Brake Light – and both issues indicate an immediate need for service. Brake fluid leaks are particularly dangerous as they can cause your brakes to fail and contaminate different components of your brake system. Make sure your brakes are still stopping your vehicle if you are attempting to drive. If there is no brake pressure at all, it is safest to stop driving and call for a tow.

Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light is triggered by a systematic abnormality detected by your vehicle’s onboard computer system. This light can activate for a number of reasons that vary in severity. The check engine light can trigger for something as simple as a loose gas cap to something as serious as a faulty catalytic convertor. Upon being triggered, a fault code, also known as OBD2 codes, detailing the nature of the issue is registered in your vehicle’s diagnostic system. This fault code is stored and can only be retrieved via diagnostic equipment. If your Check Engine Light is on, make sure you bring your vehicle in for testing as soon as possible. If your Check Engine Light is flashing, your onboard computer system is logging a potentially dangerous problem and you should not drive your car.

Battery Light

The Battery Light indicator triggers when there is an issue with your vehicle’s electrical system. The cause can be something small, such as a loose wire, or something larger like your vehicle’s battery not properly holding a charge. If this light turns on while you are driving, try to keep your ignition running – if you turn your car off, it may not restart. Bring your vehicle over to your local Pep Boys for a free battery test! If you are not able to get your car to start, we advise that you call for a tow.

Temprature Warning Light

The Temperature Warning Light gauges the heat of your engine. If the light engages, it is indicating that your engine is overheating. Overheating can be the result of a low coolant level. If this light activates while you are driving, immediately pull over and turn your car off to let it cool. Do not open the radiator before your car has had a chance to cool down as it could be very hot and cause an injury.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Light

Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System Light, or TPMS light, warns that there is a drop in air pressure in one or more tires. You should add air to your low tire(s) as soon as possible. If you add air and your tire is continuously losing air, you may have a puncture in the tire.

                  Oil Pressure Light

The Oil Pressure Light indicates one of two things – Either the sensor that activates the Oil Pressure dashboard light has failed or your engine has low oil pressure. Low oil pressure could be the result of a leak or your engine burning oil. Check your oil levels with a dipstick and add motor oil if needed. If your light stays on, we advise that you call for a tow. If you are experiencing a leak or just need an oil change, your closest storeoffers same day appointments!

          Service Engine Soon

The Service Engine Soon Light is triggered by a systematic abnormality detected by your vehicle’s onboard computer system. This light can activate for a number of reasons that vary in severity. The Service Engine Soon Light can trigger for something as simple as a loose gas cap to something as serious as a faulty catalytic convertor. Upon being triggered, a fault code, also known as OBD2 codes, detailing the nature of the issue is registered in your vehicle’s diagnostic system. This fault code is stored and can only be retrieved via diagnostic equipment. If your Service Engine Soon Light is on, make sure you bring your vehicle in for testing as soon as possible. If your Service Engine Soon Light is flashing, your onboard computer system is logging a potentially dangerous problem and you should not drive your car..

       Traction Control System Light

Traction Control is also known as Anti-Slip Regulation. Traction Control engages in slippery driving conditions when wheels are spinning out of synch. The system triggers your ABS system to apply brake friction to even out and stabilize the wheels spinning out of synch. When the Traction Control System Light activates, the triggering device is disabled and cannot control the amount of wheel slip in a driving situation. If the light remains illuminated for an extended period of time, you might need an OBD2 code pull for diagnosis.

Air Bag Light

The Airbag Light indicates that there may be an issue with the deployment of your air bags. This is especially dangerous in the event of an accident. It is advisable to have this matter diagnosed as quickly as possible in order to keep you and your passengers safe.