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Tips 11-17: The Truth about Warning Lamps

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11. Engine warning

The lamp should go off within a couple of seconds of ignition being turned on or stay on till the time of the engine being started. If you are driving and you notice that it starts flashing or blinking, you need to slow down right away. If it remains a steady light, drive slowly to the nearest service station and get your vehicle checked. If the indicator light turns red, turn off the engine and pull over. You may need to get the vehicle towed. In any case if the engine warning lamp comes on then we recommend you take the car to the workshop and get it checked.

12. Service reminder

Modern cars are getting smarter by the day. This warning came up on our long term Passat when the time came to get it serviced. A handy feature considering the hectic lifestyle we lead today, most owners tend to forget to get their cars serviced in time. The car will remind you it’s time for you to get her the attention she deserves to stay in shape. Refer to your vehicle owner's manual for the service intervals.

13. Door ajar

You’ll see a small drawing of the vehicle with doors open. If this is on, check all four doors and the boot of the car. In some vehicles, you’ll hear a beeping sound until you close all doors.

14. Hazards

In case of an emergency, or when parked to the side of a busy road, switch on the hazard lights on your car. They warn the other drivers on the road coming in your direction about your presence and perform the job of keeping you safe.

15. Glow plug

In a diesel engine, if the engine management system develops a problem, the glow plug warning lamp comes up. Take the car to an authorised workshop and get it inspected. Running the car with the lamp on means that the engine is not being run properly as the management system is not working up to the mark. The light also comes up when the ignition is turned on and that signifi es that the glow plugs are warming up prior to start up.

16. Press brake auto

For a car equipped with an automatic transmission, the brake pedal must be pressed to put the transmission in D mode. This is a safety feature as it prevents accidental engagement of the gearbox with the engine running. The lamp glows to warn the driver to depress the brake pedal if he wishes to engage the gearbox.

17. Battery charge

Your battery is not being charged as there is a fault with your charging system. This may be due to slack battery or starter terminals, a broken or loose alternator drive belt or an alternator failure. If the drive belt is broken, it must be replaced before you restart the engine. The coolant system may rely on this belt and its failure could cause the engine to overheat.

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