No one likes to see a warning light illuminate on their car’s dashboard. While it’s easy to feel a sense of immediate dread, try to approach the situation with caution and a level-headed demeanor. Read on and find out what you should do when a light comes on your dashboard.
Don’t Ignore It
The first piece of advice is simple: don’t ignore the warning light. Although it may not signify an immediate crisis, it indicates that something is off in your vehicle. Ignoring it could result in more severe and expensive damage down the road. Even if the light turns off on its own, you should have the issue diagnosed as soon as possible.
Consult Your Vehicle’s Manual
The meaning behind a dashboard light can vary from car to car, so your vehicle’s manual should be your first port of call. It will provide detailed information on what each warning light means and suggest immediate steps you should take. Keep in mind that some warning lights will necessitate that you stop driving immediately, while others may be less urgent.
Assess the Situation
Once you have a better understanding of what the warning light represents, assess the gravity of the situation. If the manual indicates that the problem is severe, you should call roadside assistance or get your vehicle to a repair shop immediately. In less urgent cases, schedule an appointment with a mechanic at your earliest convenience.
Car Diagnostic Testing
If you’ve consulted your manual and assessed the situation but are still uncertain, you may want to schedule an important car diagnostic test. Many auto parts stores and repair shops offer this service, which uses specialized software to read your car’s onboard computer, pinpointing the issue that triggered the warning light. This test can provide you with a more definitive answer and guide your next steps.
Now that you know what you should do when a light comes on your dashboard, you can handle the situation in a more informed, efficient manner. Prompt action can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.