Everyone thinks an active dashboard light in their car means serious problems under the hood, but that's not always true. The dashboard symbols in your Subaru are sorted into two categories: warning lights and indicator lights. But what's the difference between them?

To find out, check the guide to Subaru dashboard warning lights vs. indicator lights below provided by Bill Rapp Subaru.

Subaru Dashboard Warning Lights

When certain parts of your car are damaged, malfunctioning, or worn, your Subaru will activate a dashboard warning light. These are the first things you'll see when your vehicle is in danger of breaking down. So it's best to have your vehicle repaired by a professional as soon as you see a dashboard warning light activate.

Below are just a few common warning lights you can see when you're behind the wheel of you Subaru:

  • Check engine: This orange light will say CHECK ENGINE on your dashboard and lets you know when there's an emissions control system malfunction and when engine is misfiring. 
  • Coolant temperature: When your engine starts to overheat, the symbol for this light (a red thermometer in fluid) will blink on your dashboard. When your engine has reached a dangerously high temperature, the light will remain steady.
  • Tire pressure: The symbol for this warning light is shaped like the side of a tire with an exclamation point in the center of it. It lets you know when any of your tires are under inflated.
  • Charge warning: This will look like a red battery and turns on when the charge system is broken or when the alternator belt is loose or damaged.  
  • Brake system: If you see the word BRAKE on your dashboard when the parking brake is deactivated, then the brake system in your car is damaged or lacking brake fluid.

Subaru Indicator Lights

 The other lights you can see on the dashboard of your Subaru are indicator lights. These help you to stay on top of the overall condition and performance of your vehicle. They specify when certain parts need routine maintenance and when certain features are in use.

Some of the dashboard indicators lights in your Subaru are the following:    

  • Low coolant temperature: When you turn on your car, a blue thermometer will illuminate to let you know the engine isn't warm enough yet
  • Low engine oil: This indicator looks like an orange oil can and will turn on when your vehicle has an insufficient engine oil level. You'll want to schedule an oil change when you see this light to avoid serious damage.  
  • Hill Holder: The symbol for this light is an orange vehicle driving up an incline. It indicates when the Hill Holder feature has been activated.  
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control: Whenever this system uses its skid suppression and traction control function, a car that looks like its skidding will light up on your dashboard.

Learn More About Subaru Dashboard Lights

Bill Rapp Subaru in Syracuse, NY, is dedicated to helping you learn everything you need to know about your vehicle. So if you have any questions about the differences between Subaru warning lights and indicator lights, call us to speak to our automotive experts or schedule your next service appointment with our team today!

If you're interested in learning more about the specific dashboard lights in your Subaru, check out our Subaru dashboard light guides online. 

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