A light on the dash that doesn't say - washer fluid is low immediately panics you right? It can happen when you don't keep up with standard maintenance and with older vehicles, you see it due to the age of the vehicle, however here at Autoworks in Ithaca, we like to keep you driving happy and listening to your favorite songs or talking to friends and family worry-free! Here are some quick tips and hard lines in the sand that you do not need to ignore.
Do not ignore a warning light. However, the first line of defense is to stop the vehicle as soon as it is safe and then turn the engine off - wait a few minutes then turn it back on. If the light is still there - get your manual out to see what the light means (or Google it). While not all car or truck dash warning lights are a sign that disaster is imminent, no warning indicator should ever be ignored. Here are some of the most frequent dash lights we see and what they mean.
Oil Pressure Light - The oil pressure light is usually an oil can symbol , although on older vehicles it may be a light with the word “OIL.” It comes on when there is a drop in engine oil pressure. Of all the warning lights, the oil pressure light indicates the greatest potential for serious mechanical damage. If the oil pressure warning light comes on and stays on, pull off the road at the first safe opportunity, shut off the engine, and call for assistance. Take it seriously.
Engine Temperature Light - The engine temperature light is usually a thermometer symbol, although in older vehicles it may be a light displaying the word “TEMP.” It comes on when the engine temperature is above the recommended maximum. Unless the temperature is quickly brought under control, major engine damage is likely to occur. If there are any signs of a cooling system leak, pull off the road at the earliest safe opportunity, shut off the engine, and call for assistance. Note: Be careful when opening the hood in the presence of steam, and never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Charging System Light - The charging system light is usually a battery symbol, although on older vehicles it may be a light displaying the word “ALT” or “GEN.” It comes on when the vehicle electrical system is no longer being supplied power by the alternator. If this light comes on, shut down all unnecessary electrical loads such as the radio, heater or air-conditioning, and then drive here to Autoworks in Ithaca if you are in town immediately for further inspection.
Check Engine Light - The check engine light comes on when there is a problem affecting the vehicle's exhaust emissions. If the light comes on and stays on, make an appointment with us here at Autoworks in Ithaca to have the problem checked in the near future. You can do that by calling the shop during business hours or by using our convenient appointment program. However, if the check engine light begins flashing repeatedly, the catalytic converter is overheating. Should this occur, it is URGENT and we need to see you immediately for further diagnosis. Disregarding a flashing check engine light could start a fire, destroy the catalytic converter and result in necessary repairs that could easily exceed $1,000.
We want to keep repairs down and you driving longer so it is all about being proactive here at Autoworks in Ithaca. Drive safe and call us or drop by the shop with questions when in doubt.
Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.