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OMG! What Does That Light Mean?!! - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

OMG! What Does That Light Mean?!!


From Our Sponsors: BRAKES PLUS

OMG! What Does That Light Mean?!!

 

There's a good reason to heeding the‘check engine' and other warning lights that may appear in the dashboard of your vehicle: They're telling you something. Are you listening?

 


Many folks don't.

On TV's “The Big Bang Theory,” running joke for several seasons was technologically deficient and cash-strapped Penny continuing to ignore the illuminated “check engine” light on her car's dashboard. The vehicle eventually breaks down. As plumes of smoke come pouring out from under the hood, quirky lead character Sheldon notes in false cheerfulness, “Good news! The light just went out!”

If any of the myriad little warning lights on a car's dashboard stays on after the vehicle is started or blinks on while it's running, it's typically a sign of trouble that needs to be dealt with by an automotive technician, immediately in some cases.

Here's a quick review of these lights,what they indicate and how they should be addressed:

ABS  This signifies a problem with the car's anti lock braking system. The brakes themselves should still work, but the function that helps prevent skidding on slick pavement maybe disabled. Have the car checked out when it's convenient to do so.

ALT If illuminated, it means the car's alternator has stopped supplying electrical power to the charging system and there's precious time before the battery will run down and the car will stop running. Turn off the climate control and other accessories to save power and head for the nearest repair shop, or find a safe place to pull over and call for a tow.

BRAKE This can indicate something simple, like the emergency brake being engaged, low brake fluid or a major issue, especially if braking performance is noticeably diminished. Check to see if the emergency brake is released, otherwise make an appointment to have the system examined ASAP.


CHECK ENGINE This can also appear as a silhouette of a car engine, and usually means there's something amiss with the vehicle's emissions system. This can be as simple as a loose gas cap, or a more significant issue like a bad oxygen sensor that can potentially lead to more serious problems. The car will run, but its fuel economy could be adversely affected and it will probably fail an emissions test, so be sure to have the problem corrected soon.

OIL  When you see this word or a picture of an oil can lights up it means the engine oil pressure is low; have the car checked by a technician immediately.

TEMP If this word or a picture of a thermometer illuminates it means the car is overheating. It's best to pull over and call a tow truck,but if you're a short distance away from home or a service shop, turn the heater on full blast to help relieve the pressure. If possible, pullover, let the car cool sufficiently and fill the reservoir with a 50/50 percent mixture of coolant and (preferably distilled) water, then head for the shop.


TIRE PRESSURE  An image of a tire with an exclamation point means one of the tires is incorrectly inflated. Examine the tires and check the air pressure with a good quality gauge. If the tire is flat or severely underinflated, call for help or change the tire according to the manufacturer's instructions. If necessary, have the tire repaired or replaced – it's usually best to swap out tires in pairs, front or rear.

“When a vehicle warning light goes on make it a policy to get it checked out,” says Dean Pisciotta, president of Brakes Plus, the family-owned and operated car maintenance chain. “Peace of mind and the safety of your family and friends are worth the investment of your time.”


In February, take advantage of Brakes Plus $25 off an engine repair/tune up/timing belt check download the coupon at our website, print it out and present it at the time of service.


Family owned and operated, Brakes Plus operates 67 locations in Colorado,Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska and Iowa, stands ready to provide you with great car service.

From Our Sponsors: BRAKES PLUS

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