Understanding Your Toyota’s Emergency Lights
The modern car has a ton of emergency lights to catch your attention scattered across your display.
Hopefully, you don’t see them all too often
But it’s understandable that, once you do, panic might immediately set in. For most people, they go right to thinking the worst. The good news is, understanding your car’s emergency lights will help you figure out which ones are fine, which need immediate attention, and which ones are not a worry in the very near future. So let’s walk through what the different emergency lights are, how they display, and what they mean.
A lot of life is color coded. We’re trained to see yellow and think “caution,” or red and think “danger.” Your car’s lights work much the same way.
Green and blue lights on your dash generally are just indicators that a feature is engaged. They don’t indicate danger, they are just a sort of head’s up to the driver. Yellow lights, however, are more cautionary. They’re things you need to pay attention to – and are sometimes indicators of dangerous situations. If you see yellow lights on the dashboard, it’s no reason to panic, but you’ll need to be extra attentive. Red lights are not good. Red lights generally indicate system failures, or high danger situations. These lights need your attention as soon as possible.
There are also some other colors that pop up, particularly tan, light yellow, or white. These are generally systems indicators that don’t need attention at the moment. So what are many of the individual causes of these lights?
Since these are not necessarily concerns, we don’t need to go too in depth. These are the turn signal indicators, the cruise control indicator, the headlights indicator and the high-beam indicator. They are pretty much telling you “this is working, it’s fine, just know that it’s on.” You may sometimes see it in the form of a green shoe in a circle – that’s the automatic shift lock or engine start indicator. This means you need to engage the brake in your vehicle to start your car, or get it out of neutral. Not a concern, just a head’s up.
Yellow or amber lights are the most common ones you’ll see. These indicate the need for caution, and are particularly relevant to control issues with the vehicle such as traction concerns. These include:
Red lights indicate the need for immediate concern. These are often indicators of a severe system issue, or a danger to the vehicle or occupants. They include:
These lights are usually unique to the make or type of vehicle. For instance, diesel vehicles will have their own unique lights including glow plug indicator lights, fuel filter warning, exhaust fluid light, and more. Likewise, some vehicle may have unique systems – they could be anything from a white light indicating that there is an obstruction in a blind spot, to pointing out that the speed limiter function has been activated on your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s manual for a comprehensive guide to lights on your car.
When you understand your car’s emergency lights, you are not as likely to panic when they come on. This primer, plus your vehicle’s manual, will help you understand those lights and react accordingly. Get to know your vehicle, and you’ll get the most out of it! Do you have more questions about the lights in your vehicle? Need to schedule a service appointment? Contact our staff at Lancaster Toyota.