11 Lights That Should Be On Your Car Dashboard (No Issues!)

Understanding your vehicle’s dashboard lights is crucial for maintaining its health and ensuring a safe driving experience. 

These lights are much more than just indicators; they are the car’s way of communicating potential issues or necessary actions to you. 

In this guide, we’ll explain the normal lights you should see on your car dashboard and lights you shouldn’t see. 

What Lights Should Be on my Dashboard?

The normal dashboard lights you’ll see indicate routine maintenance needs such as needing an oil change or checking your tires. These lights should be illuminated in green or blue and include: 

1. Seat Belt Reminder

This light serves as a reminder for the driver and passengers to securely fasten their seat belts. It will be present when the car is turned on and should go off shortly after you fasten your seat belt. 

It is important this light comes on every time you start the car and goes off when you fasten your seat belt. Failing to do so could indicate a problem with the seat belt buckle, sensor or wiring. 

2. Turn Signal Indicators

The lights on your vehicle flash when you engage the turn signals, indicating your intention to make a turn or change lanes. 

It is important that you can see these lights when engaging the turn signals, as this informs you that your indicators are active. This should go off shortly after the turn is completed. 

3. High Beam Indicator

The indicator illuminates when you engage the high beams of your headlights. It is important that you can see this light, as it signals that your high beams are active and other drivers will be able to see you. 

It should go off shortly after you switch back to low beams. If the indicator does not turn on or off when engaging the headlights, there may be a problem with the lighting wiring in your vehicle. 

4. Fog Light Indicator

The Fog Light Indicator is another essential light to understand on your dashboard. It illuminates when you engage the fog lights, typically represented by an icon with wavy lines beneath a headlight symbol. 

These lights are instrumental in enhancing visibility during adverse weather conditions such as fog, rain, or snow. 

It is crucial to see this light when you turn on your fog lights, as this means they are active and improving your visibility for safe driving. 

This light should deactivate shortly after turning the fog lights off. If the indicator remains lit or fails to illuminate when engaging the fog lights, it could suggest an issue with the fog light system or wiring that needs immediate attention.

5. Cruise Control Light

The Cruise Control Light is a valuable indicator on your dashboard that illuminates when the cruise control function is active. 

This feature allows the vehicle to maintain a constant speed without requiring the driver to consistently apply pressure to the accelerator. The cruise control light is typically represented by a speedometer icon with an arrow. 

Visibility of this light ensures that the driver is aware of the active cruise control, reducing the risk of unexpected speed fluctuations. 

However, it should turn off shortly after deactivating the cruise control. If this light remains on or does not engage when you activate cruise control, it might indicate a technical issue with the cruise control system, warranting immediate inspection.

6. Parking Brake/Handbrake Indicator

This light comes on when the parking brake is engaged. It is typically represented by an icon with a car and an exclamation mark. 

It is important to pay attention to this indicator as it will alert the driver if they are driving while the parking brake is still engaged – a dangerous situation that could lead to the parking brakes locking up, potentially causing an accident. 

If this light remains on when the handbrake is disengaged, it could suggest an issue with the handbrake system or wiring. It should be inspected immediately to ensure the safety of the vehicle and its occupants. 

7. Safety System Indicator

The presence of this particular light, often resembling a person wearing a seatbelt, signifies the active status of the car’s safety systems, including ABS and stability control. 

Ensuring that this light is on at all times is important, as it indicates that these features are functioning properly and able to protect the vehicle and its occupants from harm in case of an accident. 

If this light does not come on when the car is started or flickers intermittently while driving, it could be a sign of a faulty safety system, warranting further inspection. 

8. Lights-On Reminder

This light indicates that your vehicle’s headlights or exterior lights are on. It is a useful feature to have, as it can remind drivers who may have accidentally left the lights on when exiting the car. 

The light typically looks like a small bulb icon with a line through it. This indicator should go off shortly after starting your engine, and will stay illuminated if you leave any exterior lights switched on. 

If this light comes on while driving, it could signal a problem with the electrical system of the car. As such, it should be checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. 

9. Low Fuel Indicator

This light comes on when your fuel level is low, serving as a helpful reminder to refuel and ensure that you have sufficient fuel to continue your journey without any interruptions. 

It’s designed to provide you with peace of mind and prevent any unexpected situations on the road. 

This light typically looks like a miniature fuel pump and will be illuminated when your fuel level drops below a certain point. 

If this light comes on, it’s important to refuel as soon as possible in order to avoid running out of gas while driving. 

Apart from being helpful for drivers, this also serves as an environmental benefit by reducing the number of cars that have to be towed due to being out of fuel while on the road. 

10. Green “Ready” Light (Hybrid/Electric Vehicles)

This light, commonly known as the “ready to drive” indicator, illuminates to signify that the hybrid or electric vehicle’s systems are fully operational and primed for driving. 

It serves as a visual cue, assuring the driver that all necessary components, such as the battery and powertrain, are ready to propel the vehicle forward in a sustainable and efficient manner.

This light typically looks like a miniature green car and will come on shortly after you turn the vehicle’s ignition switch to the “on” position. 

It is important to make sure that this light comes on before attempting to drive your vehicle, as any issues with the hybrid or electric components of your car could potentially cause it not to start. 

In addition, this light serves as a reminder to drivers that they are utilizing their vehicle in an eco-friendly manner. 

By driving an efficient hybrid or electric car, you can help reduce your overall carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet. 

11. Engine Coolant Temperature Gauge

Though not a light, the engine coolant temperature gauge plays a crucial role in monitoring the engine’s operating temperature. 

It serves as a valuable indicator to ensure that the engine stays within the normal range, providing a vital measure of protection and performance during driving.

The temperature gauge will typically be located on the instrument cluster of your car’s dashboard. 

It is usually in the form of a needle that moves up and down, indicating the relative coolant temperature. 

If the needle ever reaches into the red zone, this is an indication that your engine is running too hot and you should take action immediately to reduce it. 

This could involve changing your driving habits or taking the car to a mechanic for further inspection. 

It’s important to keep an eye on this gauge, as overheating can lead to more serious engine issues down the line and also reduce fuel efficiency. 

Knowing how hot your engine is running will help you maintain peak performance over time. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top