89 Car Dashboard Symbols & Indicators Explained

Learn the meaning of the most common car dashboard symbols and warning lights. You will also find descriptions and pictures for each symbol/indicator.

Car Dashboard Symbols

We’re all familiar with that moment of uncertainty when a warning light flashes on our car’s dashboard. It leaves us scrambling for the manual, attempting to decipher what the illuminated symbol signifies.

In this article, we will guide you through the top 89 most common car dashboard symbols and their meanings, empowering you with knowledge for the next time a warning light appears. By recognizing what these lights indicate, you can sidestep expensive repairs in the future.

Some dashboard symbols and warning lights are more common than others. Some are specific to certain car brands, while others will be seen on most car models on the market. We will begin by showing you the most common dashboard symbols that can be found in most car brands.

Here is a list of the dashboard symbols, and you can click on each name to get more information about the specific warning light.


Check Engine Light1. Check Engine Light
Anti Lock Braking System Abs2. Anti-lock Braking System
Airbag Indicator3. Airbag Indicator
Oil Level Warning Light4. Oil Level Warning Light
Oil Pressure Warning Light5. Oil Pressure Warning
Battery Charge Warning Light6. Battery Charge Warning
Coolant Temperature Warning Light7. Coolant Temperature Warning Light
Tire Pressure Warning Light8. Tire Pressure Warning Light
Traction Control Esp Light9. Traction Control/ESP Light
Service Engine Soon10. Service Engine Soon
Low Washer Fluid Light11. Low Washer Fluid Light
Automatic Shift Lock Symbol12. Automatic Shift Lock Symbol

Engine & Emission

Reduced Engine Power13. Reduced Engine Power
Lambda Warning Light14. Lambda Warning Light
Low Coolant Indicator15. Low Coolant Indicator
Glow Plug Indicator16. Glow Plug Indicator (Diesel)
Fuel Filter Level Warning17. Fuel Filter Level Warning
Power Steering Level Symbol18. Power Steering Level Symbol
Electronic Throttle Control Light19. Electronic Throttle Control Light
Particle Filter Warning20. Particle Filter Warning (Diesel)
Low Fuel Level21. Low Fuel Level
Catalytic Converter Warning22. Catalytic Converter Warning
Master Warning Light23. Master Warning Light
Blinking Engine Light24. Blinking Engine Light


Transmission Temperature Warning 125. Transmission Temperature Warning
Traction Control Off26. Traction Control Off
Powertrain Fault27. Powertrain Fault
Overdrive Off Indicator28. Overdrive Off indicator
Parking Brake Light29. Parking Brake Light
Differential Temperature Warning30. Differential Temperature Warning
Dtc Warning Light31. DTC Warning Light
Esp Bas32. ESP BAS
Automatic Gearbox Warning33. Automatic Gearbox Warning
Brake Pad Warning34. Brake Pad Warning
Brake Warning Light35. Brake Warning Light
Service Vehicle Soon36. Service Vehicle Soon
4Wd Engaged Indicator37. 4WD Engaged Indicator
2Wd Engaged Indicator38. 2WD Engaged Indicator
All Wheel Drive39. All Wheel Drive (AWD/4WD)


Hazard Lights On40. Hazard Lights On
Door Ajar Symbol41. Door Ajar Symbol
Hood Open42. Hood Open
Lane Departure Warning43. Lane Departure Warning
Forward Collision Warning44. Forward Collision Warning
Srs Light45. SRS Light
Seat Belt Indicator46. Seatbelt Indicator
Side Airbag Warning Light47. Side Airbag Warning Light
Power Steering Warning Light48. Power Steering Warning Light
Icy Road Warning Light49. Icy Road Warning Light
Distance Warning50. Distance Warning
Bonnet Open51. Bonnet Open


Headlight Range Control52. Headlight Range Control
Exterior Light Fault53. Exterior Light Fault
Highbeam Light Indicator54. Highbeam Light Indicator
Auto High Beam Lights55. Auto High Beam Lights
Position Light Indicator56. Position Light Indicator
Low Beam Indicator Light57. Low Beam Indicator Light
Front Fog Lights On58. Front Fog Lights On
Rear Fog Light On59. Rear Fog Light On
Turn Lights Warning Symbol60. Turn Lights Warning Symbol


Windshield Defrost Indicator61. Windshield Defrost Indicator
Rear Window Defrost62. Rear Window Defrost
Cruise Control On Indicator63. Cruise Control On Indicator
Cruise Control Warning Light64. Cruise Control Warning
Cruise Control Speed Limiter65. Cruise Control Speed Limiter
Cruise Control Set Indicator66. Cruise Control SET Indicator
Shift Up Indicator67. Shift Up Indicator
Shift Down Indicator68. Shift Down Indicator
Auto Windshield Wiper69. Auto Windshield Wiper
Recirculated Cabin Air70. Recirculated Cabin Air
Heater Blower Fan On71. Heater Blower Fan On
Heated Seats On72. Heated Seats On


Hill Descent Control73. Hill Descent Control
Steering Lock Warning Light74. Steering Lock Warning Light
Brake Fluid Level Warning75. Brake Fluid Level Warning
Key Not In Vehicle Indicator76. Key Not in Vehicle Indicator
Immobilizer Indicator77. Immobilizer Indicator
Ignition Switch Warning78. Ignition Switch Warning
Low Electric Battery Charge79. Low Electric Battery Charge
Brake Lights Warning80. Brake Lights Warning
Air Suspension Warning81. Air Suspension Warning
Suspension Warning Light82. Suspension Warning Light
Car On Ramp Mode83. Car on Ramp Mode
Eco Mode On Indicator84. ECO Mode On Indicator
Rear Spoiler Warning85. Rear Spoiler Warning
Lane Assist86. Lane Assist
Exhaust Fluid87. Exhaust Fluid (Diesel)
Convertible Roof Warning Light88. Convertible Roof Warning Light
Blue Engine Temp Light89. Blue Coolant Temp Light

Check Engine Light

1. Check Engine Light

A Check Engine light indicates an issue with the engine or the emissions. It can be shown either as an engine symbol or as plain text reading “Check Engine”. Read More

Anti-Lock Braking System

2. Anti-lock Braking System

An ABS light indicates there is an issue with your anti-lock brakes or Anti-lock braking system (ABS). Read more

Airbag Indicator

3. Airbag Indicator

An airbag light means that there is an issue with the airbag system. The airbags will not deploy in an accident with the light on. Read more

Oil Level Warning Light

4. Oil Level Warning Light

A yellow oil level warning light indicates a low engine oil level. The oil level should be checked as soon as possible. Most likely due to an oil leak.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

5. Oil Pressure Warning

A red oil pressure light indicates low oil pressure in the engine. Your engine should be switched off immediately to avoid damage when the oil pressure warning light shows. Read more

Battery Charge Warning Light

6. Battery Charge Warning

A battery charge warning symbol means that the generator is not charging the battery properly and that your engine is at risk of shutting down due to low battery capacity. Read more

Coolant Temperature Warning Light

7. Coolant Temperature Warning Light

An engine temperature warning light means that the engine coolant temperature is high and that the engine should be turned off immediately to avoid further damage. Read more

Tire Pressure Warning Light

8. Tire Pressure Warning Light

A tire pressure warning light indicates low air pressure in one or more tires. It can also be caused by a faulty or uncalibrated tire pressure sensor. Read more

Traction Control/Esp Light

9. Traction Control/ESP Light

An ESP or Traction control light indicates an issue with the traction control system. Your traction control system will not work when the light is on, and this can be dangerous. Read More

Service Engine Soon

10. Service Engine Soon

A Service Engine Soon message indicates minor trouble with the engine or low fluid levels. Read more

Low Washer Fluid Light

11. Low Washer Fluid Light

A washer fluid symbol means that the windshield washer fluid level is low or has incorrect measurements.

Automatic Shift Lock Symbol

12. Automatic Shift Lock Symbol

An automatic shift lock symbol indicates the brake pedal is not pressed. The car will not start, and the shifter won’t move out of Park.

Reduced Engine Power

13. Reduced Engine Power

A Reduced engine power car light means that there is an issue with the engine and the power is reduced to protect the engine. Read more

Lambda Warning Light

14. Lambda Warning Light

A lambda warning light indicates there is an issue with the air-fuel mixture or an issue with the oxygen sensors. This light is more common in older car models.

Low Coolant Indicator

15. Low Coolant Indicator

A low coolant warning light indicates there is a low coolant level in the coolant reservoir or an issue with the coolant level sensor. Check for leaks around the radiator, radiator cap, coolant hoses, or water pump.

Glow Plug Indicator

16. Glow Plug Indicator (Diesel)

A glow plug symbol indicates there is an issue with the glow plugs or the glow plug control system.

Fuel Filter Level Warning

17. Fuel Filter Level Warning

A fuel filter level warning light means that the water-trap in the fuel level is full and needs to be emptied.

Power Steering Level Symbol

18. Power Steering Level Symbol

A power steering level warning light indicates the power steering fluid level is low, or there is an issue with the level sensor.

Electronic Throttle Control Light

19. Electronic Throttle Control Light

An electronic throttle control (ETC) warning light indicates there is an issue with the engine’s electronic throttle body or the system.

Particle Filter Warning

20. Particle Filter Warning (Diesel)

A diesel particulate filter warning light indicates there is an issue with the diesel particulate filter system (DPF), or that the particle filter is full and needs regeneration or replacement.

Low Fuel Level

21. Low Fuel Level

A low fuel level symbol means that the fuel tank level is low or that there is an issue with the fuel level measuring system. There could also be an arrow, indicating which side your gas cap is on.

Catalytic Converter Warning

22. Catalytic Converter Warning

A catalytic converter warning light indicates there is an issue with the catalytic converter control system, or the catalytic converter is damaged.

Master Warning Light

23. Master Warning Light

A master warning light normally shows up together with another warning light and means that there is an issue with your car. Let a mechanic take a look.

Blinking Engine Light

24. Blinking Engine Light

A blinking or flashing engine light indicates there is an issue with your engine ongoing right now. A flashing light is normally triggered by a misfiring engine. Read more.

Transmission Temperature Warning

25. Transmission Temperature Warning

A transmission temperature warning light indicates the transmission temperature is too high, or there is an issue with the temperature measurement.

Traction Control Off

26. Traction Control Off

The traction control off symbol means that the traction control is manually switched off.

Powertrain Fault

27. Powertrain Fault

A powertrain fault symbol indicates there is an issue with the powertrain or drivetrain system, like the 4WD or AWD system, for example.

Overdrive Off Indicator

28. Overdrive Off indicator

An overdrive off symbol means that the automatic transmission overdrive system is switched off. Read more

Parking Brake Light

29. Parking Brake Light

A parking brake warning light indicates the parking brake is engaged, or there is an issue with the parking brake system

Differential Temperature Warning

30. Differential Temperature Warning

A differential temperature warning light indicates the differential temperature is too high, or there is an issue with the measurement system.

Dtc Warning Light

31. DTC Warning Light

A DTC warning light means that there is an issue with the BMW traction control system.

Esp Bas


An ESP BAS warning light indicates an issue with the electronic stability program or brake assist program.

Automatic Gearbox Warning

33. Automatic Gearbox Warning

An automatic gearbox warning indicates an issue with the automatic transmission or the system controlling it.

Brake Pad Warning

34. Brake Pad Warning

A Brake pad warning light means that the front or rear brake pads are worn and need to be replaced.

Brake Warning Light

35. Brake Warning Light

A brake warning light indicates an issue with the brake system. This should be checked immediately because you may lose your brakes otherwise.

Service Vehicle Soon

36. Service Vehicle Soon

A service vehicle soon symbol indicates there is an issue with the ABS, traction control, or electric suspension system.

4Wd Engaged Indicator

37. 4WD Engaged Indicator

A 4WD engaged symbol means that the four-wheel-drive system is engaged.

2Wd Engaged Indicator

38. 2WD Engaged Indicator

A 2WD engaged symbol indicates the 4WD system is switched off and the car is sending power to two wheels only.

All Wheel Drive (Awd/4Wd)

39. All Wheel Drive (AWD/4WD)

An All Wheel Drive symbol indicates that the AWD or 4WD system is engaged.

Hazard Lights On

40. Hazard Lights On

A hazard lights symbol means that the hazard lights are turned on.

Door Ajar Symbol

41. Door Ajar Symbol

A door ajar symbol indicates that one of the doors is open or there is an issue with the door switch system.

Hood Open

42. Hood Open

A hood open symbol indicates that the hood is not closed properly. It is very dangerous to drive with a hood that is not secured at higher speeds.

Lane Departure Warning

43. Lane Departure Warning

A lane departure warning light indicates the vehicle is moving out from the lane without signaling

Forward Collision Warning

44. Forward Collision Warning

A forward-collision warning light means that there is a potential collision detected.

Srs Light

45. SRS Light

An SRS warning light indicates there is an issue with the airbag or supplemental restraint system. Read more

Seat Belt Indicator

46. Seatbelt Indicator

A seatbelt symbol indicates one or more seat belts are not closed or there is an issue with the system. Check both the driver and passenger sides and the rear seats on some car models.

Side Airbag Warning Light

47. Side Airbag Warning Light

A side airbag warning light indicates the side airbags are turned off or there is an issue with the side airbags.

Power Steering Warning Light

48. Power Steering Warning Light

A power steering warning light means that there is an issue with the power steering system

Icy Road Warning Light

49. Icy Road Warning Light

An icy road warning light indicates the outside temperature is cold and that there is a risk of an icy road. Slow down!

Distance Warning

50. Distance Warning

A distance warning indicates the front radar detected that your vehicle is too close to the car in front or is being approached too quickly.

Bonnet Open

51. Bonnet Open

A bonnet open symbol means that the bonnet is not closed properly, or there is an issue with the bonnet lock switch.

Headlight Range Control

52. Headlight Range Control

A headlight range control warning light indicates there is an issue with the headlight range control system

Exterior Light Fault

53. Exterior Light Fault

An exterior light warning light indicates an issue with one or more exterior lights, usually faulty light bulbs.

Highbeam Light Indicator

54. Highbeam Light Indicator

A high beam light symbol means that the high beam lights are turned on

Auto High Beam Lights

55. Auto High Beam Lights

An auto high beam lights symbol means that the auto high beam system is turned on

Position Light Indicator

56. Position Light Indicator

A position light symbol will turn on when the headlights are switched off and the position lights are on

Low Beam Indicator Light

57. Low Beam Indicator Light

A low beam light symbol is turned on when the low beam headlights are turned on

Front Fog Lights On

58. Front Fog Lights On

A front fog light symbol is illuminated when the front fog lights are turned on.

Rear Fog Light On

59. Rear Fog Light On

A rear fog light symbol is illuminated when the rear fog lights are turned on.

Turn Lights Warning Symbol

60. Turn Lights Warning Symbol

A turn light warning symbol indicates that there is an issue with the headlight’s turn-light system.

Windshield Defrost Indicator

61. Windshield Defrost Indicator

A windshield defrost symbol indicates that the windshield defroster is turned on.

Rear Window Defrost

62. Rear Window Defrost

A rear window defrost symbol means that the rear window’s defroster is turned on.

Cruise Control On Indicator

63. Cruise Control On Indicator

A green cruise control symbol indicates the cruise control is switched on and engaged.

Cruise Control Warning

64. Cruise Control Warning

A cruise control warning symbol indicates there is an issue with the cruise control or throttle control system.

Cruise Control Speed Limiter

65. Cruise Control Speed Limiter

A cruise control speed limiter symbol means that the cruise control system will limit the max speed.

Cruise Control Set Indicator

66. Cruise Control SET Indicator

A “SET” symbol indicates that the cruise control is set to a fixed speed and trying to hold the speed.

Shift Up Indicator

67. Shift Up Indicator

A shift up symbol indicates that it’s time to shift up to a higher gear.

Shift Down Indicator

68. Shift Down Indicator

A shift down symbol means that it’s time to shift down to a lower gear.

Auto Windshield Wiper

69. Auto Windshield Wiper

An auto windshield wiper symbol indicates that the auto wiper system is turned on.

Recirculated Cabin Air

70. Recirculated Cabin Air

A recirculated cabin air symbol indicates that the car will recirculate the air inside the car instead of taking air from the outside of the car

Heater Blower Fan On

71. Heater Blower Fan On

A heater blower fan symbol means that the blower motor is turned on.

Heated Seats On

72. Heated Seats On

A heated seat symbol indicates that one or more seats’ heating system is turned on.

Hill Descent Control

73. Hill Descent Control

A hill descent control symbol indicates that the hill descent system is turned on and will limit the car’s speed while going downhill.

Steering Lock Warning Light

74. Steering Lock Warning Light

A steering lock warning light means that there is an issue with the steering lock or that the car key is not recognized

Brake Fluid Level Warning

75. Brake Fluid Level Warning

A brake fluid level warning indicates that the brake fluid level is too low, or there is an issue with the measurement system.

Key Not In Vehicle Indicator

76. Key Not in Vehicle Indicator

A Key Not in Vehicle symbol indicates the car’s immobilizer system can’t reach or recognize your car key.

Immobilizer Indicator

77. Immobilizer Indicator

An immobilizer symbol means that it can’t reach or recognize your car key, or there is an issue with the immobilizer system.

Ignition Switch Warning

78. Ignition Switch Warning

An ignition switch warning symbol indicates that there is an issue with the ignition switch system.

Low Electric Battery Charge

79. Low Electric Battery Charge

A low electric battery charge symbol indicates that it’s time to charge your electric vehicle’s battery.

Brake Lights Warning

80. Brake Lights Warning

A brake light warning light indicates that the brake lights are not working.

Air Suspension Warning

81. Air Suspension Warning

An air suspension warning symbol means that there is an issue with the air suspension system.

Suspension Warning Light

82. Suspension Warning Light

A suspension warning light shows up when there is a malfunction with the electric suspension system.

Car On Ramp Mode

83. Car on Ramp Mode

A car on ramp mode warning symbol turns on when the car’s tires are raised up in the air or when the repair mode is activated.

Eco Mode On Indicator

84. ECO Mode On Indicator

An ECO Mode on symbol indicates that the Economy system is turned on. Read more

Rear Spoiler Warning

85. Rear Spoiler Warning

A rear spoiler warning light indicates that there is a malfunction in the rear spoiler electric system

Lane Assist

86. Lane Assist

A green lane assist symbol indicates that the lane assist system is turned on.

Exhaust Fluid (Diesel)

87. Exhaust Fluid (Diesel)

An exhaust fluid warning light means that the exhaust fluid (AdBlue) level is low in your diesel car.

Convertible Roof Warning Light

88. Convertible Roof Warning Light

A Convertible Roof Warning Light indicates that the convertible roof system is opening or closing.

Blue Coolant Temp Light

89. Blue Coolant Temp Light

A blue engine temperature symbol means that the engine is still cold and you should drive carefully.

What do car dashboard symbols mean?

There are over 100 different car symbols, so to see each meaning, you must check your owner’s manual for your particular car model. Red generally indicates stop or danger, and yellow is for caution – you should visit a mechanic. Blue, green, and white all mean everything is normal and the system in your car is on and operating.

However, it’s important to note that different car models sometimes use different colors for similar warnings, so it’s always best to check your owner’s manual before taking any action.

What does a flashing dashboard symbol mean?

A flashing check engine light or another flashing symbol usually means there is a major issue with the system or that the problem is occurring at the moment. Severe damage or safety issues can occur if a flashing dashboard symbol is not addressed. Therefore, if you see a flashing dashboard symbol you should get in touch with a mechanic as soon as possible. However, this depends on the car model, and sometimes a flashing system just means a system is operating.

What are the symbols on the dashboard for?

The symbols on the dashboard indicate the operation of various systems and devices in your car. For instance, a picture of a yellow engine means there is an issue with the engine system. A green light bulb means that the headlights are on. There are many other symbols, and they can vary depending on the make of your car. You can usually find an explanation of all the symbols in your car’s owner’s manual.

What are the main dashboard warning lights?

The main dashboard warning lights used by most car manufacturers are the check engine light, ABS light, oil pressure warning light, airbag indicator, battery charge light, coolant overheating light, and low washer fluid light.


Dashboard symbols are very important – they give you an understanding of what is happening with your car. By familiarizing yourself with the various symbols, you can save a lot of time and money when something goes wrong.

What you should know is that, in general, when it comes to cars, a red warning light means that there is danger and it should be checked immediately, while a yellow or orange warning light is a warning and should be checked as soon as possible. A green or blue light lets you know the system is on and operating

Normally, most car dashboard warning lights and symbols should be on for 3-5 seconds after you turn on the ignition, but if it stays on while the engine is running, there is probably something wrong that needs to be fixed. If you can’t find the dash symbol you are looking for, take a look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

If you’re ever unsure of what a particular dashboard warning light or symbol means, check your car’s owner’s manual. If the problem persists, take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to avoid serious damage. Here is a long video explanation of all the car dashboard symbols:

Table Of Contents show


  1. Toyota Dashboard Lights
  2. Lexus Warning Lights

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