Knowing when something is wrong with your vehicle can sometimes be hard, that’s why warning lights appear on your dashboard. It’s important to know what each symbol means so that you can take the necessary action.

When you start your ignition the warning symbols will illuminate, this is to check the bulbs are still working and so are their connected components. If any of the warning lights stay on, this will indicate there is an issue with your vehicle. Therefore, understanding what the different lights mean can help avoid breaking down and causing further damage.

Often, the only time we learn the highway code is when we are learning to drive, which for many will be over 10 years ago. It’s easy to forget the theory elements as they’re not practised on a daily basis, therefore forgetting the meaning behind warning lights is also forgotten. A recent survey conducted by LeaseCar looks at the most important warning lights and whether respondents guessed them correctly.

Anti-lock braking system warning

This is one of the most important symbols, it can mean your brake fluid level is low. If you check and it’s full, you will need to take it into a garage as soon as possible. A surprising 52% of respondents thought this meant ‘seat belt needs securing.’

Anti-lock braking system warning

If this symbol illuminates you need to get it checked as soon as you can. Some cars can be safe to drive without ABS but it’s best to get it checked. This was guessed correctly by 43% of respondents.

Tyre pressure monitor warning

This symbol appears on most modern cars, it senses if your tyre pressure gets low or if you have a puncture. You can check your tyre pressure at pumps found at petrol stations or take it into a garage. Although 16% thought it was a brake warning light, 63% guessed correctly.

Battery charge warning

It’s no surprise that 96% of respondents got this correct! There are 3 issues this could indicate, a faulty battery, a broken or loose drive belt or an alternator failure. Make sure you go to a garage if this light appears as it can symbol a serious problem.

Engine warning

This warning light can indicate a serious problem. If this light comes on, take your vehicle to a garage straight away for it to be looked at. Driving with this light on for numerous days can also cause further damage. Over 59% of respondents knew this symbol was an engine warning, compared to 29% believing it was low fluid oil.

Engine coolant warning light

This symbol will indicate your coolant level could be overheating and lead to engine failure. Check your levels and get your car seen if you’re unsure of the problem. 15% mistook this light for the brake fluid level, although 75% of respondents got this correct!

It’s important to also read the handbook in your car, as some warning lights are found on all cars while others may be specific to your car. If you want to see how well you score at the quiz and put what you’ve learnt to the test, you can take part here!