What do the different lights in your gauge cluster mean?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 at 3:02 pm
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Honda dashboard warning lights and what they mean

One of the best parts about buying a new car, is the sense of security in knowing that you have a clean slate. There’s no unknown driving history or missed service records. Anything that could go wrong will either be a defect that is covered under warranty, or something that would be avoided by keeping up with maintenance. It’s a good feeling. Still, sometimes you’ll see dashboard warning lights that you don’t recognize in your Honda. Some of them are indicating greater danger than others, so here at Heritage Honda, we’re here to help you identify what they mean.

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Green means go, red means stop

When you look at your dashboard, the color of the indicator lights is just as important as the color of traffic signals. That is to say, they follow the same well-known pattern. If you see something green, it’s usually an on or off indicator light, such as your cruise control. The indicator is simply there to remind you that a system is on so that if you should be turning it off, you’ll remember. Think of a time when you have left your indicator on too long, but then the flashing green light reminded you.

When you move up to yellow indicator lights, you’re following the same pattern as a yellow light. Much like you should slow down because you know the light will turn red, you should heed yellow dashboard warnings because they represent an issue that could be dangerous soon. These lights typically mean a system, or monitoring of the system, has malfunctioned. Technically speaking, low fuel or low tire pressure are warnings that could lead to something much worse if left unchecked, but they don’t indicate an issue that would make your vehicle inoperable.

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Then there are your red lights. We think of these as your “Stop” lights because they tend to indicate a more serious condition. Not all of them mean a system malfunction, as you’ll see that the seat belt reminder is red, much as the indicator that lets you know when your doors are open. Others, like the high-temperature warning, can mean your vehicle will likely have a catastrophic failure if you continue driving.

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Is there a light in your dash that you don’t recognize? Stop by Heritage Honda for a quick service diagnosis. Until then, be sure to check back here at our dealership blog for more tips and tricks.