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Five Warning Lights You Shouldn't Ignore

Friday, February 10, 2012

Image courtesy of Flickr
Today's cars perform better than ever thanks to improved manufacturing and design. One of these improved designs includes warning lights that alert drivers when something is wrong with the vehicle. While some of these lights can be triggered by something minor others denote something more serious and need immediate attention. Here are five car problems you shouldn't ignore.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

If this warning light appears find a safe place to stop the car immediately. Continuing to drive the car for a few miles can seriously damage your engine. Once you've pulled over pop the hood and check the oil. If you don't see any oil on the dipstick add enough to bring it to the fill level then get the car to a mechanic right away.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

All cars made after 2007 have tire pressure warning lights. If this light appears don't attempt to drive your car without checking the tire pressure. While this warning may be triggered by something as minor as a change in temperature it's best to examine your tires at home before you head out on the highway.

Check Engine Light

This warning light can be triggered by many problems including minor issues such as a loose gas cap or a faulty oxygen sensor. The good news is that you'll probably be able to make it back home since vehicles generally allow drivers to continue for a few miles while the warning light is on. Place a code reader on the vehicle to find out exactly what's wrong with it before you take it to a mechanic.

Temperature Warning Light

If you get this warning light you'll need to pull over as soon as you can. It's best to crack the hood a little to release the heat before you attempt to lift it all the way up. You should never try to open the radiator cap. Instead, add water to the coolant reservoir bottle on the side of the radiator then take the car to a mechanic or your dealership.

Brake Warning Light

This light means you need to take your car to the shop right away. While it can mean that your brake pads are wearing thin, it could also mean that you have a brake fluid leak, which is extremely dangerous. Check your brake fluid level in your master cylinder and then get the car to a mechanic.