When something goes wrong with your car, the computer senses the fault and turns on your dashboard’s warning lights. These warning lights usually indicate major faults. From problems with the battery to engine failure, they shouldn’t ever be ignored.
If you see a warning light, don’t ignore it. Book your vehicle in to Howick Auto Electrical for repair.
We’ll use our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to scan your warning light system and find out where the problem is. The sooner we identify the problem, the sooner you’ll be moving again. Unsure about what those lights mean? Below are the most common ones:
ABS LIGHTThe four-wheel ABS or Anti-lock Braking System is designed to help the driver maintain steering control during hard braking, especially in slippery conditions.
How it works
Imagine, you are driving a car without ABS on a slippery road (e.g. after a rain or snow). Suddenly, you notice something on the road right in front of you. You hit the brakes, and try to turn aside, but the steering doesn’t work. The car just skids out of control. Why? Because all the wheels are locked up while you are holding down the brake pedal. As a result, you lose the ability to steer the vehicle.
The four-wheel ABS can help in situations like this. It prevents the wheels from locking up, helping you maintain steering control during braking. In a similar situation, driving a car equipped with four-wheel ABS, it would be easier for you to steer your vehicle while braking.
If the ABS light illuminates when driving, it indicates a malfunction. Have this checked as soon as possible. You will also be unable to get your WOF if this light is on.
ELECTRONIC STABILITY PROGRAM LIGHT (ESP)Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is a safety feature that detects and prevents (or recovers from) skids. ESP can help the driver from losing control of the car and a panic swerve or when driving on slippery roads. If this light is illuminated you should reduce vehicle speed gradually.
ENGINE CHECK LIGHTThe Check Engine light comes on to alert you that your vehicle’s on board computer has detected a problem with your engine or emissions system. This could indicate something as simple as an air leak or faulty connections or more serious issues such as engine misfire and poor running.
SRS LIGHTThe SRS light comes on to alert you that your vehicle’s on board air bag computer system has detected a fault. In the event of an accident air bags can make a difference between minor or serious injuries. Airbags are designed to inflate on impact to provide protection. It is important to get SRS systems checked, if the light remains on your vehicles supplementary restraint system will not be working. You will also be unable to get your vehicle’s WOF if this light is on.
BRAKE FLUID LIGHTThis light will remain illuminated when the handbrake is engaged. Illumination after releasing the handbrake may indicate low brake fluid level.
Refer to the handbook and add the correct brake fluid at once to bring the level up to the MAX mark. As the brakes wear the fluid level will slowly drop. Check your brake fluid level frequently to ensure there is no further rapid loss of fluid.
If the brake fluid is too low and brake pedal travel is distinctly longer than usual, one of the two hydraulic brake circuits may have failed. Do not continue your journey and seek assistance.
If the light remains illuminated, even though the brake fluid level is correct, this may indicate a sensor fault. Take your vehicle to Howick Auto, as soon as possible.
CHARGE LIGHTThis light should illuminate when the ignition is switched on and should extinguish as soon as the engine starts.
If it does not illuminate at all, or if it illuminates while driving, your battery is not being charged as there is a fault with your charging system.
This may be due to one of the following
- slack battery or starter terminals
- a broken or loose alternator drive belt
- an alternator failure
If the drive belt is broken, it must be replaced before you restart the engine. The coolant system may rely on this belt and its failure could cause the engine to overheat, in turn causing engine damage.
Immediately move the vehicle to a safe location and switch off the engine. Do not restart the engine.
OIL LIGHTThis light should illuminate when the ignition is switched on and should extinguish as soon as the engine starts.
If the light stays on after starting or illuminates during a journey, stop immediately, switch off the engine and check the engine oil level.
Top up straight away if the level is low.
If the warning lamp illuminates, even though the oil level is correct, do not start the engine call Howick Auto.
BRAKE PADS LIGHTThis BMW warning light is to alert you there is a likely problem with the brakes, BMW have brake pad sensors that are automatically activated when brake pads are low.
Howick Auto can easily check your brake pads and carry out all brake computer resets with their latest diagnostic centre and brake test lane.