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Understanding What Your Dashboard Warning Lights Mean

Have you ever had a warning light in your dash come on while driving and thought to yourself, I wonder what that light means? 

Today’s vehicles utilize complex networks for communication between systems. These networks include dozens of modules that are constantly sending information back and forth across miles of wiring. Any fault within a specific system or break in communication will result in a warning light of some kind. Familiarizing yourself with your vehicle and all of its dashboard warning lights can pay great dividends when you’re out on the road. Being able to identify which system may be experiencing a malfunction can help you make an informed decision as to whether you need to seek service immediately or schedule a diagnosis at your next regular maintenance interval.  

During your time behind the wheel, you may have noticed that the colors of the indicator lights vary. The color of the light can indicate the severity of the warning. Red lights usually indicate more serious issues that require immediate attention.  Yellow lights are generally less urgent but it is still crucial that they are addressed. Green and blue lights are used more so to indicate that a system or function is turned on (e.g. High beams or Engine fan), as opposed to malfunctioning. Below is a list of the usual suspects. 

peterbilt truck dash warning lights

peterbilt truck dash warning lights

The information for your vehicle is available in the owner’s and operator’s manuals. These can be found in your glovebox or they are also available online at in the Resources & Support section. Nothing ruins a great drive by looking down at your dashboard and seeing your check engine light. While it may be tempting to ignore, doing so will only cause you a bigger headache. The check engine light can indicate a problem with any number of things, and at JX Truck Center, we’re experts at figuring out exactly what’s going on. So don’t delay, call your local JX Truck Center today!

Author: Nick Laidlaw, Manager of Customer Uptime & Jerry Brickheimer, Assistant Service Director