Dashboard Light Indicator Problems

ABS, SRS, 4WD, VSC lights

Your dashboard light indicators are proof that modern cars and trucks are a computer on wheels. All vehicles now have a central computer brain that communicates to your car through sensors mounted throughout your vehicle. And those sensors can fail, as shown when a dashboard light turns on.

When a dashboard light indicator turns on, it means trouble. Those lights usually mean you need a qualified technician with the right equipment to understand what’s happening to your car.

Is Your ABS Dashboard Light On?

ABS Dashboard Light
ABS Light

Your check engine light means your vehicle is trying to talk to you. If the light stays on after restarting your car, then it’s saying that your brake system may not work when needed.

ABS, or your vehicle’s Anti-Lock Braking System, is the system that stops your car on ice or slippery road conditions. You know it’s working when brake pedal vibrates during a stop. You also know it’s working when you’re car stops when driving on ice.

A flashing ABS light and a solid ABS light means a technician needs to check your car to ensure your vehicle will stop when you need it.

Is Your SRS Light On?

SRS Dashboard Light
SRS Dashboard Light

SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System. Informally, this is called your “Airbag System.”

If the SRS warning light comes on while you’re driving, it means that your airbags may not work when you need them. The light could also mean that the airbag may function, but a sensor went bad. Or, the airbag itself failed.

Because the system doesn’t require any action by the driver to activate, an airbag is called a passive safety device. As cars have evolved, the technology used to trigger airbags in an emergency have gotten increasingly more complex. Some sensors need special calibration to ensure they deploy and that can require specialized equipment that generally only mechanics have on hand.

Regardless, when you see the light turn on, it’s essential to have your airbag system checked.

What Does VSC OFF or TRAC OFF Light Mean?

VSC Dashboard Light
VSC Dashboard Light

VSC stands for “Vehicle Stability Control.” The VSC helps your vehicle maintain control in a skid by managing the power to your wheels. You might also see the dashboard light labeled as ESC, for “Electronic Stability Control.” It’s an essential safety feature that has been required by law since 2012.

The job of these sensors is to monitor the rotational speed of the wheels and other parameters such as the steering angle.

If you see a “Trac Off” light or see the VSC indicator lit, this means that your “Electronic Traction Control” may be turned off or not working correctly.  When you see it, you will need help from a certified mechanic to correct the problem.

Is your 4WD Dashboard Light Flashing?

4WD Dashboard Light
4WD Dashboard Light

4WD dashboard indicator lights can vary, from indicators that highlight your gear to whether you’re driving in “HI” or “LOW” modes. These are normal lights to see as long as you’re driving in rugged or slick conditions and not on paved roads. Most four-wheeled-drive systems need some slippage to work correctly.

If you see your “SERV 4WD” dashboard light, that could indicate that your vehicle system is in an error mode and may not work. The light could indicate a sensor failure or a malfunction in the 4WD control system.

While you could give it a test by mud bogging in Weiser this year, we suggest you instead take it Driven Automotive and have one of our certified technicians look at the problem. You’ll be glad you did.

Contact Us

Taking your vehicle to a certified technician like Driven Automotive for indicator light issues corrects the problem and keeps your warranty intact. Should your car be under warranty and a warranty mechanic later find that a certified mechanic didn’t service your vehicle, they could void your warranty and force you to front the cost of repair.

Driven Automotive provides quality service by certified mechanics at a reasonable price. Contact us today for an estimate!