What the Dashboard Icons Mean

Tachometer red-line with warning indicators

The dash has warning lights for a reason – they tell you that something is wrong with your vehicle. Depending on which light comes on, you should tow or drive your vehicle to Link Ford in Minong to have it checked by our service department.

“Dummy” Lights

Most vehicles have gauges for the oil and water, but some, especially older vehicles, have dummy lights for the oil and water. When these lights come on, it’s usually too late. The oil light lights up when there is next to no oil pressure or no oil pressure. You should shut the vehicle off immediately. The water light means that the vehicle is overheating. The problem with overheating is that even when you shut the vehicle off, it has heat sink and could still damage the engine.

If you don’t have gauges for the oil and water, you should have aftermarket gauges installed. You could check the oil and water every week, but that is not a guarantee that you will catch a problem before the lights come on.

Service Engine Soon Light

The service engine soon light means that something is wrong with the vehicle’s fuel management system. The sensors communicate with the computer to tell it how much gas and air to dump into the engine to make it run. When you press on the gas, the throttle position sensor tells the computer you want to go faster, and in turn, the computer instructs the injectors to dump more fuel and the air intake to allow more air to keep the proper mixture.

If the service engine soon light comes on, it means that one or more of the sensors are not working. If the light is giving a soft oxygen sensor code, that usually means that the mixture of gas and air is incorrect. If the dealership pulls the codes and finds erroneous codes or several codes that don’t make sense, you could have a bad powertrain control module.

Visit Jack Link Ford

While you may be able to scan the codes and erase them yourself, you should bring your vehicle in to Link Ford in Minong to have it scanned and properly diagnosed so you are not throwing parts at the vehicle. Everything on the engine affects something else, so a bad plug, wire or anything else could be affecting the sensor’s communication with the powertrain module.

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