Car Dashboard Symbols And Meanings (Green Indicators)

Written by

Tim Miller

An automotive mechanic and blogger at obdadvisor.com

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.

Green Car Dashboard Symbols and Meanings

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:

  • Nissan
  • Toyota
  • Ford
  • Chevy
  • Hyundai
  • Mini Cooper
  • BMW
  • Honda
  • Jeep
  • Subaru
  • Mazda
  • VW
  • Lexus
  • Audi
  • Mercedes
  • GMC
  • Kia
  • Dodge RAM
  • Acura

So before you panic, scroll down and find the lights on your car’s dashboard.

Green Indicators

Brake Hold Standby Indicator

Brake Hold Standby Indicator

Turns the brake hold system on, the brake hold standby indicator comes on.

Automatic Brake Hold System Indicator

Automatic Brake Hold System Indicator

Comes on when the automatic brake hold system is on.

Automatic Brake Hold/ AUTO HOLD Indicator

Automatic Brake Hold Indicator
Automatic Brake Hold Indicator Light
Automatic Brake Hold Indicator
AUTO HOLD Indicator
AUTO HOLD Indicator
AUTO HOLD Indicator
AUTO HOLD Indicator
AUTO HOLD Indicator

Comes on when the automatic brake hold is activated.

Auto Hold Unavailable

Auto Hold Unavailable

Illuminates when the system is on but cannot hold your vehicle at a standstill at this particular time.

Shift Up Indicator

Shift Up Indicator

Comes on when shifting up is recommended.

Shift Down Indicator

Shift Down Indicator

Comes on when shifting down is recommended.

Turn Signal and Hazard Warning Indicators

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.

Parking Lights

Parking Lights

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.

Headlight Indicator

Headlight Indicator

When the headlights are switched on, the indicator light appears.

Auto High-Beam Indicator

Auto High-Beam Indicator
Auto High-Beam Indicator
Auto High-Beam Indicator
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

Low beam headlights

When the low beam headlights are switched on, the indicator light appears on the instrument cluster.

Front Fog Light Indicator

Fog Light Indicator

Comes on when the front fog lights are on.

Rear Fog Light Indicator

Rear Fog Light

Comes on when the rear fog lights are on.

ECO Mode Indicator

ECO Mode Indicator
ECO Mode Indicator
ECO Mode Indicator
ECO Mode Indicator
ECO Mode Indicator
ECO Mode Indicator
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

Cruise CONTROL Indicator
Cruise CONTROL Indicator
Cruise CONTROL Indicator
Cruise CONTROL Indicator
Cruise CONTROL Indicator
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

Cruise SET Indicator Light
Cruise SET Indicator Light
Cruise SET Indicator Light

This indicator light illuminates when the cruise control speed is set.

CRUISE MAIN Indicator

CRUISE MAIN Indicator

Comes on when you press the CRUISE button.

Efficient Drive Mode Indicator

Efficient Drive Mode Indicator

It indicates that you have to slowly decelerate.

Auto Start Stop Indicator

Auto Start Stop Indicator
Auto Start Stop Indicator

Comes on when Auto Start-Stop is in operation. The engine automatically shuts off.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Indicator

Adaptive Cruise Control Indicator
Adaptive Cruise Control 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

Adaptive Cruise Control Set With Target Light
Adaptive Cruise Control Set With Target Light
Adaptive Cruise Control 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

Adaptive Cruise Control Set With No Target Detected Indicator Light
Adaptive Cruise Control Set With No Target Detected Indicator Light
Adaptive Cruise Control 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

Lane Keeping Assist System Indicator
Lane Keeping Assist System Indicator
Lane Keeping Assist System Indicator
Lane Keeping Assist System 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 Indicator

Lane Assist is switched on and active.

Safety Support Indicator

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.

READY Indicator

READY Indicator
READY Indicator

Comes on when the vehicle is ready to drive.

EV Indicator

EV Indicator
EV Indicator
EV Indicator

Comes on when the vehicle is in EV mode.

HV Indicator

HV Indicator
  • 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

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

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

Vehicle Plugged In
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

Press Brake Pedal Warning Light

Lights up: Brake pedal not depressed

Flashes: The release button in the selector lever is not engaged

Efficiency Assist

Efficiency Assist
Slow down

The symbol appears in the instrument cluster display if efficiency assist recommends removing your foot from the accelerator pedal.

Efficiency Assist
Speed limit
Efficiency Assist
Exit ahead
Efficiency Assist
Intersection ahead
Efficiency Assist
Traffic circle ahead

Adaptive Cruise Assist

Adaptive Cruise Assist

The speed/distance control is active. No vehicles were detected ahead. The stored speed is maintained.

Adaptive Cruise Assist

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.

Adaptive Cruise Assist

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.

Adaptive Cruise Assist

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.

Adaptive Cruise Assist

Lane guidance is active.

Lane Departure Warning

Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Prevention ON Indicator Light

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

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

Super Cruise Light

This indicator light will illuminate when the Super cruise system is activated.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD-V) Indicator Light

All-Wheel Drive Indicator Light

When selecting AWD-V mode while the engine is running, the AWD-V indicator light illuminates.

Four-Wheel-Drive Light

Four-Wheel-Drive Light
Four-Wheel-Drive Light
Four-Wheel-Drive Light

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

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

Sport Mode Control Light
Sport Mode Control Light
Sport Mode Control Light

This light comes on when Sport Mode is selected.

Snow Mode Control Light

Snow Mode Control Light
Snow Mode Control Light

This light comes on when Snow/Ice Mode is selected.

Terrain Mode Control Light

Terrain Mode Control Light

This light comes on when Terrain Mode is selected.

Off-road Mode Control Light

Off-road Mode Control Light

This light comes on when Off-Road Mode is selected.

Automatic Diesel Exhaust Brake Indicator Light

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

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

Smart Mode Indicator

This indicator light illuminates when you select ”SMART” mode as drive mode.

RCTA Indicator

Rear Crossing Traffic Alert Indicator

When the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) function is turned on, the indicator illuminates.

BSM (Blind Spot Monitor) Indicator

Blind Spot Monitor Indicator
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

Blind Spot Assist or Active Blind Spot Assist is active.

BlueCruise

BlueCruise

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

TOW Mode Indicator Light
TOW Mode Indicator Light

This light will illuminate when the TOW MODE is selected while the engine is running.

Intuitive Parking Assist OFF Indicator

Intuitive Parking Assist OFF Indicator

When the intuitive parking assist function is disabled, the intuitive parking assist OFF indicator illuminates.

Multi Weather Lights Indicator

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

POWER MODE Indicator
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 Light

Multi-terrain Select indicator comes on when pressing Multi-terrain Select switch.

“A-TRAC” Indicator

A-TRAC Indicator

Press the “A-TRAC” switch to activate the system. At this time, the “A-TRAC” indicator will come on.

Crawl Control Indicator

Crawl Control Indicator

The Crawl Control indicator comes on and the slip indicator flashes when pressing Crawl Control switch.

Second Start Mode Indicator

Second Start Mode Indicator

This indicator illuminates when pressing Second start mode switch.

Downhill Assist Control System Indicator

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

Hill Descent Control Light
Hill Descent Control Light

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

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

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

i-ACTIVSENSE 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)

Seat Belt Indicator Light (Rear seat)
Seat Belt Indicator Light (Rear seat)
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

Bad weather light is switched on.

Speed Limiter

Speed Limiter

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

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

Active Cruise Control with Stop_Go Function

The indicator light lights up: the system is switched on.

Speed Limit Assistant

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.

Speed Limit Assistant

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.

Steering Assistant

Steering Assistant

Indicator light lights up: the system supports the driver in keeping the vehicle within the lane.

Lane Change Assistant

Lane Change Assistant
Lane Change Assistant
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

Extended Traffic Jam Assistant

Indicator light is illuminated: the system is active.

Auto Vehicle Hold Indicator Light

Auto Vehicle Hold Indicator Light
Auto Vehicle Hold On Indicator Light

CAUTION
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

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

Driver Monitoring System Operation Indicator Light

This indicator illuminates when the Driver Monitoring System is activated.

Active Driving Assist – Driver Attentive Indicator Light

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

Night Vision Active Indicator Light

This light alerts the driver that the Night Vision Warning System status is Active.

Track Mode Indicator Light

Track Mode Indicator Light

This light will turn on when Track Mode is active.

What’s Next?

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.

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