When Your Engine Warning Lights Come On

Modern vehicles are full of electronics and more and more car garages are spending time diagnosing electrical faults. In most cases on of the engine warning lights will light up across the dashboard to give the technicians an idea of where to start.

When an engine warning light appears unexpectedly it can become quite alarming. Fortunately, our team of car maintenance technicians have created a list of advisories for when your engine warning lights come on.

Common Warning Lights That Appear

As with any internal component on a car, there is always a chance that something could happen. However, there are a couple of warning lights that appear more frequently than others.

The most common engine warning lights that appear tend to be the following.

  • Braking System Faults (Fluids or Physical Components)
  • Power Steering & Coolant Levels
  • Oil Levels
  • Battery Condition
  • Tyre Pressures
  • General Engine Condition

Before we get into the nitty gritty of each warning and potential fault, it is important to correctly maintain your vehicle(s) on an annual basis. Many manufacturers will encourage car owners to have a car service Milton Keynes completed either annually or after a set amount of miles are completed, whichever comes first.

#1 Braking System and Fluids

90% of the time the braking system warning light appears as a result of the vehicles braking fluids being drained. The easiest and quickest way to resolve this problem is to head to your nearest auto store, such as a Halfords or MotorServe.

Once inside you will be able to provide your vehicles registration number and the clerk will be able to identify the manufacturers recommended braking fluid for your vehicle.

Simply top up the braking fluids and start up the engine. If the braking system warning light continues to appear, book your car into garage for a diagnostic on a car in Milton Keynes.

Checking Oil Levels

#2 Power Steering & Coolant Levels

Power steering fluids do exactly what the name suggests. It provides the power steering in a vehicle with a hydraulic fluid to enable the steering wheel to move more freely.

Power steering is usually found in modern vehicles. Older cars tend to have traditional steering systems in place and require a great deal of effort to turn the car.

You will have a good idea if your cars power steering fluid is running low. As well as the warning light showing, you may find it more difficult to steer and turn corners. It is advised that you replenish the power steering fluid as soon as possible as it is a low cost maintenance task and can be completed at home. If you do struggle to replenish the fluid yourself – you can visit a car servicing centre Milton Keynes.

#3 Oil Levels

Its best to think of oil as your vehicles bloodstream. Without it, your car will struggle and eventually die. It is incredibly important to replenish the oil level in your car as soon as you get a hint that it could be running low.

There are a few things that you can do to check your oil fluid level and all you need is a cool engine, a dipstick and some tissue paper.

Ensure that the engine is cool before you open the bonnet. The components underneath may still be hot and could potentially cause an injury.

Identify the oil fluid reservoir and evenly lower the dipstick into the area. Hold it there for a couple of seconds and slowly withdraw it from the oil pot.

On the dipstick there will be a “MIN” and a “MAX” section. You want to ensure that the oil levels remain in-between these, no less or no more.

Book an MOT Milton Keynes and your chosen technicians will assess every aspect of your vehicle when booked with a full service.

#4 Battery Condition

If your battery is running low on power, it may need a battery replacement Milton Keynes or recharging. If you have a flat battery, your engine may struggle to start and the electrical components could even fail.

You will have a pre-warning, as the battery shaped warning light will appear over your dashboard. We advise that you take the appropriate action sooner rather than later. The last thing you need is to be stranded with a flat battery.

Tyre Pressures Checked

#5 Tyre Pressures and General Engine Condition

Tyre pressures are something that we all take for granted. It is heavily advised that you assess you tyres current condition prior to any long journey. Be sure that assess the tread, any camber, pressure and general condition of the tyre.
You can check your tyre pressure > load ratio in your vehicle handbook. This will give you a better understanding of how much air should be fed into the tyre in comparison to the load that it is carrying. A heavier vehicle tends to have a high pressure applied. However, lower weighted loads will have a standard, smaller volume of pressure added.

It is also worth checking the tyres general condition. Many vehicles come into our garage to an annual MOT and generally fail due to the lack of care taken to look after and maintain the tyres.

The most important warning light that could appear is the general engine warning light. If you are not familiar with the error lights and messages that could appear – check your vehicles handbook and make sure that you are 100% confident that you know what each potential warning light could mean.

If your engine warning light has appeared mid-journey, pull over at the nearest service station and contact a local garage. In most cases they have a vehicle recovery service available that they can use to get the car to their testing station.

The local garage will then be able to run diagnostic tests in an effort to identify the faults. Unfortunately, when the engine warning light appears, getting a rough estimate for a repair can be tricky as there is a lot of testing involved.

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