It’s been reported that 56% of Brits have or are planning a staycation this summer. This means that the roads will be busier as more people will be using their cars for long-distance journeys. Over the past month, the search for the term ‘vehicle warning signs’ has increased by 95% in the UK.
Due to the wide range of warning signs and symbols in your vehicle, it can be very overwhelming, which can lead to you ignoring (with some media outlets reporting as many half of UK drivers) the important messages your car is trying to tell you. This can be dangerous and lead to your vehicle becoming damaged, which could prove costly or cause a serious accident.
Dorry Potter, car expert at National Scrap Car, has revealed and explained five warning signs you shouldn’t ignore in your vehicle.
1. Tyre Pressure Warning
Description: The tyre pressure warning will come up as an amber symbol showing an exclamation mark in the cross-section of a tyre.
Before you start any long road trip, you should always check your tyre pressure; a breakdown whilst travelling will cause you some unwanted delays.
The tyre pressure warning usually indicates that the sensors in the wheels have picked up low pressure. Failing to deal with this can lead to the car’s handling becoming more difficult to control whilst also having less efficient breaks. These are key factors for any vehicle, so for them to be affected in any way could cause serious risk to yourself, your passengers and other road users.
If you see this symbol, make sure to check your air pressure by taking your vehicle to a petrol station which will have air available to pump your tyres. When you hear the beep whilst pumping, that will tell you that the tyres are at the correct inflation.
2. Engine Management Light
Description: The engine management light is a yellow image of a vehicle engine.
The Engine Management Light, also known as the ECU warning light or check engine, tells you that the engine isn’t working properly, which is a huge concern due to the engine being a key component of your vehicle.
It is important to get it checked as soon as possible as it could very well be a minor fault like a faulty sensor, or it could be a major engine malfunction or faulty ignition system, which could cause you serious risk on the road. Driving with a faulty engine can result in further damage, which will cost you more money to repair. A new engine can cost anywhere from £1500 to over £4000; in many cases, it costs more to replace the engine than the actual value of the car.
3. Traction Control Warning Light
Description: An amber symbol with a car approaching a stretch of skid marks on the road.
A traction control warning light means that your vehicle’s electronics are working to maintain traction. This usually occurs in slippery and wet conditions where it might be easier for you to lose control of your car.
After noticing this alert, you should slow down and drive more carefully to reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle. If the warning doesn’t disappear, there might be a serious problem, so you should get expert advice.
4. Battery Warning Light
Description: The battery warning light shows a red symbol depicting a battery with a plus and minus inside.
Otherwise known as the battery charge light or battery charging system, if you see this alert, then that means that the battery is not charging; this could be down to damaged cabling, a bad electrical connection, a faulty battery or a faulty alternator.
The car will run as normal until the battery dies, but it’s important to get to a garage before it has run out. Having a flat battery whilst you’re out and about can cause hours of waiting around for a mechanic and a lot of unnecessary stress.
5. Airbag Warning Light
Description: A red symbol showing a person sitting in a vehicle seat with an airbag in front of them and a seat belt on.
The airbag warning light, also known as the supplemental restraint system warning light, means an element of your airbag safety system isn’t working correctly.
A faulty airbag could be down to several factors, like the seatbelt pre-tensioner system, which tightens the belt in a crash, being faulty or the actual airbag itself not working. This will need to be checked right away as these systems are put in place to save lives, so getting into a crash with one of these systems being faulty could lead to serious injuries or even death