Do You Recognise Your Car’s Warning Lights?

Wed 9th Mar 2022

Technological advances in motoring have led to some great strides in making our cars safer to drive and identifying engine problems early. But for all the flashing lights on our dashboard, do we really know what they all mean - a new survey suggests not.

Analysis from online car mechanic finder Fixter has shown that the average driver estimates that they could only identify 45 per cent of the lights and symbols on their dashboard. It will come as no surprise that men believe they have a better understanding of the warning symbols, with 53 per cent saying they could recognise them, compared to just 38 per cent of women.

But Fixter’s research may suggest that some of those men might not have been telling the truth. In the study of 2,000 drivers only 51 per cent could identify the tyre pressure warning, less than six in ten knew what the battery warning light looked like and almost half weren’t able to say if their fog lights were on by looking at their dashboard.

“These figures are troubling and show there’s a lot to be done to make Britain’s roads safe,” said Limvirak Chea, CEO at Fixter.

“It’s important that people are aware of the possible hazards which the warning lights tell drivers about their vehicle.

“By getting your car regularly checked and making sure you get your MOT done, this can offset any future problems you may have further down the line.”

While some might claim to know what a warning light means, the analysis also revealed what the next course of action might be for most British motorists. Close to half (48%) would call on a nearby garage, others would speak to a family member (40%), while strangely 12 per cent admitted they would seek the advice of a passer-by.

Ignoring a warning light could be expensive, and thankfully most drivers recognise this, with almost three out of four (72%) agreeing that it could be dangerous.

“If things do go seemingly wrong, it’s important to know where to put them right,” Chea added.