You’re cruising down the highway, listening to your favorite playlist, and suddenly there is a dashboard light pops up.
And you wonder:
- What does it mean?
- What if one stays on?
- Am I worrying over nothing?
When one of the dashboard lights comes on, an issue may need your attention.
If you choose to ignore them, you could risk your safety or end up with an expensive car repair bill.
So what should you do?
This comprehensive guide will give you the different meanings of each warning light and indicator you may be seeing in your car.
Let’s take a look at these illuminated symbols in detail.
One thing to remember is that:
Even when you don’t know the meaning of the dashboard lights, the lights’ color themselves can tell you a lot about the severity of your car’s problem.
- Red: Urgent issue. These are for problems that cause an immediate serious danger to you or the car. If a red light appears, stop immediately.
- Yellow: Non-urgent issue. These are fine problems with which to continue driving, but they should be fixed soon.
- Green/White/Gray/Blue: Non-issue, just a notification.
The dashboard lights listed below can be found on the brands, including:
- Mini Cooper
- Dodge RAM
So before you panic, scroll down and find the lights on your car’s dashboard.
Brake Hold Standby Indicator
Turns the brake hold system on, the brake hold standby indicator comes on.
Automatic Brake Hold System Indicator
Comes on when the automatic brake hold system is on.
Automatic Brake Hold/ AUTO HOLD Indicator
Comes on when the automatic brake hold is activated.
Auto Hold Unavailable
Illuminates when the system is on but cannot hold your vehicle at a standstill at this particular time.
Shift Up Indicator
Comes on when shifting up is recommended.
Shift Down Indicator
Comes on when shifting down is recommended.
Turn Signal and Hazard Warning Indicators
- Blinks when you operate the turn signal lever.
- Blinks along with all turn signals when you press the hazard warning button.
It is also called Lamps on Indicator/ Standing Lights/ Tail Light/ Side Light And Headlight Indicator Light.
Comes on when the light switch in a position other than OFF or when the switch is set to AUTO and the parking lights come on.
If you remove the key from the ignition switch while the parking lights are on, a chime sounds when the driver’s door is opened.
When the headlights are switched on, the indicator light appears.
Auto High-Beam Indicator
It is also called IntelliBeam Light or High Beam Assist (HBA) indicator light.
This indicator light illuminates :
- When the high-Beam is on with the light switch in the AUTO light position.
- If your vehicle detects oncoming or preceding vehicles, the High Beam Assist (HBA) system will switch the high beam to low beam automatically.
Low Beam Headlights
When the low beam headlights are switched on, the indicator light appears on the instrument cluster.
Front Fog Light Indicator
Comes on when the front fog lights are on.
Rear Fog Light Indicator
Comes on when the rear fog lights are on.
ECO Mode Indicator
It’s also called ECON Mode indicator.
Models without drive mode switch
● Comes on when the ECO mode is on.
Models with drive mode switch
● Comes on when you set the drive mode to ECO.
Cruise CONTROL Indicator
It’s also called Cruise Mode Indicator.
Comes on if you have set a speed for cruise control.
Cruise SET Indicator Light
This indicator light illuminates when the cruise control speed is set.
CRUISE MAIN Indicator
Comes on when you press the CRUISE button.
Efficient Drive Mode Indicator
It indicates that you have to slowly decelerate.
Auto Start Stop Indicator
Comes on when Auto Start-Stop is in operation. The engine automatically shuts off.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Indicator
It is also called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow Indicator/ Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Indicator.
Lights up in green when you press the RES/+/SET/- switch up or down.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Set With Target Light
This will display when the ACC is set and a target vehicle is detected.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Set With No Target Detected Indicator Light
This light will turn on when the ACC is SET and there is no target vehicle detected.
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) Indicator
After the vehicle is started, this light turns off and stays off if LKA has not been turned on or is unavailable.
If equipped, this light is green if LKA is turned on and is ready to assist.
Lane Assist Indicator
Lane Assist is switched on and active.
Safety Support Indicator
- Lights up in green when the Road Departure Mitigation system, CMBS, Low Speed Braking Control and blind spot information system are on.
- Lights up in green and gray when the Road Departure Mitigation system, CMBS, Low Speed Braking Control, blind spot information system or any two or three of these systems are off.
Comes on when the vehicle is ready to drive.
Comes on when the vehicle is in EV mode.
- Comes on for a few seconds when you set the power mode to ON, then goes off.
- Comes on when the vehicle is in HV.
- Comes on when the vehicle is in HV charge.
HV Charge Indicator
- Comes on for a few seconds when you set the power mode to ON, then goes off.
- Comes along with the HV indicator when the vehicle is in HV charge.
Immobilizer System Indicator
Comes on briefly when you turn the ignition switch to ON, then goes off.
Comes on if the immobilizer system cannot recognize the key information.
• Blinks –
Models without smart entry system
You cannot start the engine. Turn the ignition switch to LOCK, pull the key out, and then insert the key and turn it to ON again.
Models with smart entry system
You cannot start the engine. Set the power mode to VEHICLE OFF (LOCK), then select the ON mode again.
• Repeatedly blinks – The system may be malfunctioning. Have your vehicle checked by a dealer.
• Do not attempt to alter this system or add other devices to it. Electrical problems can occur.
Vehicle Plugged In
It is also called Charging Cable Connection Indicator Light.
This light illuminates when the charge connector is connected to the vehicle and blinks during charging.
NOTE: If the charge connector is connected to the vehicle, the power switch cannot be placed in the READY to drive position.
Press Brake Pedal Warning Light
Lights up: Brake pedal not depressed
Flashes: The release button in the selector lever is not engaged
The symbol appears in the instrument cluster display if efficiency assist recommends removing your foot from the accelerator pedal.
Adaptive Cruise Assist
The speed/distance control is active. No vehicles were detected ahead. The stored speed is maintained.
The speed/distance control is active. A vehicle was detected ahead. The system controls the speed and distance from the vehicle driving ahead, and accelerates and brakes automatically.
The speed/distance control is active but the vehicle is not ready to drive. A vehicle was detected ahead. Your vehicle is stationary and will not start driving automatically.
The speed/distance control is active but the vehicle is not ready to drive. No vehicles were detected ahead. Your vehicle is stationary and will not start driving automatically.
Lane guidance is active.
Lane Departure Warning
It is also called Active Lane Management Indicator Light.
The indicator light lights up: the system is activated. A lane marking was detected on at least one side of the vehicle and warnings can be issued.
Lane Tracing Assist Indicator
The illumination condition of the indicator informs the driver of the system operation status.
Illuminated in green: Steering wheel assistance of the steering assist function or lane centering function is operating.
Super Cruise Light
This indicator light will illuminate when the Super cruise system is activated.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD-V) Indicator Light
When selecting AWD-V mode while the engine is running, the AWD-V indicator light illuminates.
It’s also called 4WD AUTO Indicator Light.
If equipped, the four-wheel-drive light displays what mode the vehicle is in. The light will show each mode: 2WD, 4HI, AUTO (all transfer cases); 4LOW and N (two-speed transfer case only).
The light will flash when a shift is in progress. Once the shift is complete the light will be steady.
If the light turns amber, there may be a malfunction with the four-wheel-drive system. See your dealer.
Normal Mode Control Light
This light comes on when Normal Mode is selected.
In normal mode, your car will shift at the most optimal point for fuel efficiency and acceleration.
Sport Mode Control Light
This light comes on when Sport Mode is selected.
Snow Mode Control Light
This light comes on when Snow/Ice Mode is selected.
Terrain Mode Control Light
This light comes on when Terrain Mode is selected.
Off-road Mode Control Light
This light comes on when Off-Road Mode is selected.
Automatic Diesel Exhaust Brake Indicator Light
This indicator light will illuminate when the Diesel Exhaust Brake has been activated, and has switched to Automatic mode.
Vehicle Ahead Indicator
If equipped, this indicator will display green when a vehicle is detected ahead and amber when you are following a vehicle ahead much too closely.
SMART Mode Indicator Light
This indicator light illuminates when you select ”SMART” mode as drive mode.
When the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) function is turned on, the indicator illuminates.
BSM (Blind Spot Monitor) Indicator
The Blind Spot Monitor function and Rear Crossing Traffic Alert function can be switched on and off using the multi-information display.
When switched on, the BSM indicator illuminates on the meter and the buzzer sounds.
Blind Spot Assist
Blind Spot Assist or Active Blind Spot Assist is active.
When on, the color of the indicator changes to indicate the status.
Gray indicates BlueCruise is on but inactive.
Green indicates BlueCruise is active and applying for continuous steering support.
Blue indicates BlueCruise is active and hands-free driving mode is available.
TOW Mode Indicator Light
This light will illuminate when the TOW MODE is selected while the engine is running.
Intuitive Parking Assist OFF Indicator
When the intuitive parking assist function is disabled, the intuitive parking assist OFF indicator illuminates.
Multi Weather Lights Indicator
The Multi Weather Lights is a system that illuminates the cornering lights to ensure visibility when driving in inclement weather, such as rain or fog.
When the Multi Weather Lights system is enabled, the Multi Weather Lights indicator on the meter will illuminate.
POWER MODE Indicator
When the “PWR” switch is pressed, the “PWR MODE” indicator comes on in the instrument cluster.
Multi-terrain Select Indicator Light
Multi-terrain Select indicator comes on when pressing Multi-terrain Select switch.
Press the “A-TRAC” switch to activate the system. At this time, the “A-TRAC” indicator will come on.
Crawl Control Indicator
The Crawl Control indicator comes on and the slip indicator flashes when pressing Crawl Control switch.
Second Start Mode Indicator
This indicator illuminates when pressing Second start mode switch.
Downhill Assist Control System Indicator
Press the “DAC” switch. The downhill assist control system indicator will come on to indicate that the downhill assist control system is activated. Pressing the switch again turns the system off.
Hill Descent Control Indicator
This indicator appears while the hill descent control function is in standby. It will flash while the hill descent control function is operating. It will disappear when the hill descent control function is not available.
Hill Start Assist OFF Indicator Light
While the Hill start assist system is deactivated, the Hill start assist OFF indicator light illuminates continuously to inform the driver that the Hill start assist system is not operational.
KEY Indicator Light
“Low Key Fob Battery. Replace Battery” is displayed/When the light is flashing
When the key battery is low, the indication is displayed when the ignition is switched OFF.
- Replace the key battery.
i-ACTIVSENSE Status Symbol – System Activated Status
If any one of the systems is activated, the i-ACTIVSENSE status symbol (warning/risk avoidance support system) (green) is displayed.
Seat Belt Indicator Light (Rear seat)
The light turns on when the rear seat belt is fastened while the ignition is switched ON, and it turns off after a certain period.
Bad Weather Light
Bad weather light is switched on.
The indicator light illuminates: the system is switched on. The indicator light flashes: the set speed limit has been exceeded.
If this happens, a signal sounds. Reduce speed or deactivate system.
Manual Speed Limiter
The indicator light lights up: the system is switched on.
The indicator light flashes: the set speed limit has been exceeded.
Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go Function
The indicator light lights up: the system is switched on.
Speed Limit Assistant
Depending on the equipment, indicator light illuminates together with the icon for a cruise control system: Speed Limit Assistant is active and detected speed limits can be applied manually for the displayed system.
Indicator light illuminates: the detected speed limit can be applied with the SET button. As soon as the speed limit has been applied, a green checkmark is displayed.
Indicator light lights up: the system supports the driver in keeping the vehicle within the lane.
Lane Change Assistant
- Gray line for lane marking on the appropriate side: system detected a lane change request. Lane change not currently possible.
- Arrow symbol for lane change green: the system carries out a lane change.
- Arrow symbol for lane change gray: lane change not possible; functional requirements not met.
Extended Traffic Jam Assistant
Indicator light is illuminated: the system is active.
Auto Vehicle Hold Indicator Light
If the Auto Vehicle Hold indicator light does not illuminate even when “Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH)” is touched to activate the Auto Vehicle Hold function, the electronic parking brake system may be malfunctioning.
This indicator light illuminates when the Auto Vehicle Hold is activated. This indicator blinks while the vehicle is stopped by the Auto Vehicle Hold function.
Auto Vehicle Hold Operation Indicator Light
This indicator light illuminates while the vehicle is stopped by the Auto Vehicle Hold function.
Driver Monitoring System Operation Indicator Light
This indicator illuminates when the Driver Monitoring System is activated.
Active Driving Assist – Driver Attentive Indicator Light
This light will turn on when the system detects that the driver is attentive and is actively steering the vehicle.
Night Vision Active Indicator Light
This light alerts the driver that the Night Vision Warning System status is Active.
Track Mode Indicator Light
This light will turn on when Track Mode is active.
Now that you’ve read this post, you know exactly what your dashboard lights mean.
The warning lights and indicators are designed to make driving safer and prevent roadside emergencies. So make sure to pay attention to them when they show up.
Have questions about a specific dashboard light you don’t see shown above?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.