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'Next' Three Warning Lights You Shouldn't Ignorewarning 20light 20banner 20temps

A few weeks back we took a deep dive into three major warning lights on your dashboard that you shouldn't ignore. In that post, we looked at what it meant when your Braking System, Check Engine and Oil Pressure notifications lit up. You can read more about them by CLICKING HERE. Now we take a look at three more warning lights you should understand and what to do if they show up on your vehicle. 

But first, remember, if you drive a newer Ford model with FordPass Connect, all your alerts, warnings and service information is delivered right to your phone via the mobile app. This smarter technology defines the health of your vehicle, on-the-go in real time and right to your phone. Don't forget, when you download the FordPass app to set Lacombe Ford as your preferred dealership so you'll book service appointments directly in our shop, with no hassle.

Now, let's get to it!

Vehicles are becoming more and more complex as technology and innovation develops. What was trail blazing 5 years ago (remember the foot activated lift gate) is now standard and expected. With these changes comes more complex monitoring for our vital operational components, and you guessed it, more warning lights and notifications. We will continue working through all the warning systems. Next up we talk about the Airbag SRS Warning, the Engine Temperature and your Tire Pressure Warning light.

Airbag SRS Warningwarning 20indicator 20airbag

When this light comes on it indicates that there is a problem detected in the SRS system, otherwise known as the Supplemental Restraint System.  Depending on the complexity of the vehicle this warning can be triggered by issues with your seatbelts and collision sensors as well as your airbags. It is highly recommended to never reset this light yourself. There is a lot of information online on how to do this, however it is a major risk when you don't know what caused the warning in the first place.

  • Faulty Airbags: The system detects one or more of your airbags will not inflate or deploy in the case of a collision. This of course is cause for major concern. No one plans to be in a car accident, but we all assume our air bags will be ready to keep us safe. It is highly recommended you head to a service center right away to run a diagnosis.
  • Seatbelts: Along with airbags and sensors, the SRS computer is also overseeing seatbelt pretensioners. When a sudden forward momentum occurs, such as a collision, our seatbelts are designed to tighten up to hold our bodies safely in place. This is designed to avoid sustaining injury by hitting the dashboard, steering wheel or even the air bag. Next a force limiter will activate to reduce the strain of the tensioned seatbelt on the occupants chest, while continuing to hold them safely in place. If there is a problem with this system it will trigger the Airbag Warning light.
  • Crash Sensors: It is not uncommon for an SRS problem to occur shortly after a minor collision where the airbags did NOT deploy. One reason for this, the crash sensor was triggered but did not result in the air bag deployment. When an airbag crash sensor detects rapid deceleration, like when in a collision, it immediately sends signals to the SRS computer. The system then uses that data, along with seatbelts and vehicle movement to determine which airbags to deploy. If the crash sensor was triggered, but the airbags themselves never deployed, you may simply need to replace the sensors. Crash sensors aren't designed for multiple uses and will therefor trigger a warning. 
  • Wiring or Electrical Fault: If the airbag light is not due to the above mentioned issues, it could be an electrical wiring problem or a fault with the SRS computer itself. Diagnosing this is more complex and requires special equipment, you'll need to discuss with your service center. 

Engine Temperature Warningwarning 20indicator 20engine 20temperature

This warning is in place to notify the driver that the engine is overheating and there is a problem with the vehicle's cooling system. This sensor tied to this warning light is monitoring the temperature of the coolant circulating throughout your engine. The coolant absorbs the heat produced by the combustion in the cylinders and then releases it into atmosphere as it travels through the radiator. When working properly, this system keeps your engine operating at peak efficiency within it's ideal temperature. It's normal for this warning to pop on for a second or two when you start the vehicle, but if it remains on or turns on while driving you may have a problem.

The Most Common Causes 
  • Low, leaking or old coolant fluid
  • A defective thermostat
  • Bad water pump
  • Radiator is clogged with debris
  • Radiator hoses have collapsed
  • Radiator cap is worn out or defective
  • Blocked coolant passages within the engine
  • Cooling fan has failed
  • Low oil level
  • Blown head gasket
  • Bad temperature sensor that produces false warning
What to do when this light comes on

Under no circumstances should you continue driving the vehicle when this warning light illuminates. You can very, very quickly cause major damage to your engine and repairs will become exponential. Pull over when safe to do so, turn off your engine and turn on your heater full blast to pull the heat out from the engine. Do not open the hood to investigate as you could get badly burned. At this time, it is best to call roadside assistance and wait for a tow truck to safely transport your vehicle to a service center. Following your manufacturer approved maintenance, including coolant flushes and inspections, is a good way to prevent the system from failing.

Tire Pressure Warningwarning 20indicator 20tire 20pressure

This warning light indicates one or more of the tires is outside of it's recommended air pressure range. Tires optimal performance and safety benefits are realized when the air pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (psi), has dropped by even 10% and may not be visible to the naked eye. In newer vehicles, you can see your tire pressure in real-time and in each respective tire. 

You should not ignore this light as it could mean you are getting a flat and if your tire becomes too low it could damage steering components and your rim. Most often, low air pressure in your tire is a result of a leak that you may be able to have patched up at a tire shop, depending on location and size. Alternatively, you may just need to top up your tire. Tires typically lose about 1 pound of air pressure per month and can lose up to 10 pounds of pressure per 10 degree temperature drop. It's for this reason you may find the tire pressure warning light on in the morning and then turn off as the ambient temperature warms up, or your summer pressure is on point but you'll notice the light illuminate when winter weather appears. Either way, the first step is to check your pressure. You can use a $5 tire gauge or pop into Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center where they can check for you.  If your tire pressure is correct you may need to have the sensor reset or replaced if faulty.

At the end of the day, warning lights are there to keep you safe and shouldn't be ignored. 

The team at Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center are available to help you with any of your vehicle concerns, questions or maintenance. Having a service center you can trust will make all the difference to your ownership experience.  Along with trained technicians and expert help, the Quick Lane has all the equipment and resources to troubleshoot whatever issues may be arising in your vehicle. If you have any questions or would like more information on anything automotive, please contact our team today.

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