Q:

How do you interpret the symbols on a car's dashboard?

A:

Quick Answer

A full list of dashboard symbols with accompanying pictures is available at DashboardSymbols.com. The most important symbols are warning symbols, which indicate problems that could damage the car or cause injury. The word "brake" in red letters, or a red circle with a red exclamation mark, indicates brake problems.

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How do you interpret the symbols on a car's dashboard?
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Full Answer

A drawing of a thermometer intersecting wavy lines indicates problems with the engine coolant temperature, while a dripping oil can symbol indicates problems with the engine oil level or pressure. The same symbol with the word "sensor" indicates problems with the engine oil sensor. A battery symbol, or a rectangle with plus and minus signs, means there is a problem with the vehicle's charging system or battery.

Other common symbols include a figure wearing a seat belt, which is intended to remind the driver to fasten his seat belt; a car seen overhead with open doors, which means a door is ajar; and a gas pump, which means the fuel level is low. A windshield with a dotted line splitting into two dotted curves indicates that the windshield washer fluid is low, and an exclamation mark in parentheses with a jagged line at the bottom indicates the tire pressure is low.

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