Ignoring these lights could leave you stranded on the side of the road
New cars now have all kinds of digital displays that can tell you everything about your car from when air pressure in a tire is getting low to when it's time for an oil change. Though most of these can wait for a convenient time, there are three warning lights that you must pay immediate attention to if you don't want to be stranded.
- Red Thermometer
- Red Oil Can
- Red Battery
The red thermometer means that your motor is overheating, usually because it doesn't have enough coolant. This can indicate one of several problems, such as a radiator leak, burst hose, or blown gasket.
The red oil doesn't just mean it's time for an oil change; it means that the oil is dangerously low.
If the red thermometer or oil can pops up on your dashboard, pull off the road as soon as you safely can. If you try to keep driving, your engine may seize up. Look over the engine, and if everything looks okay and you're sure there is still some coolant in it, drive to a gas station or auto parts store to buy more and figure out the problem.
If the red battery light comes on, it means that your alternator isn't charging the battery any more. The car will still run, but not for long, so you need to get to a garage or auto parts store immediately. You do not, however, have to pull over right away.
Check Engine Light
There are also lights that indicate a problem, but not the specific nature of the problem. One of these is the check engine light.
This light can mean several things: there is an issue with the emissions system, your gas cap is open, your catalytic converter is failing, or a vacuum hose is leaking.
If this light comes on, you can continue driving; just get your engine checked soon at a garage.