Most vehicle users don’t really bother about their vehicles, all they do is just get in, start the vehicle and drive off. The only time that they really bother is when the vehicle actually develops a fault. Only few people will go the extra mile to do pre maintenance on their vehicles. It is very important for us to understand that our vehicles are just like us human beings, they need proper care or else they will break down.
With the innovation of modern vehicles and the replacement of mechanical parts with electrical parts, vehicles now have the ability to communicate with us and even go as far as telling us what exactly is wrong. Vehicles now carry sensors and actuators that work together with a control module. These devices work together with the lights on the instrument cluster (dashboard).
On a typical instrument cluster, you will find two types of lights- the operational lights and the warning lights. The operational lights will come in either blue or green and these lights are there to let the driver now that a particular system in the vehicle is on. A good example of this is the headlamp indicator. The warning lights also known as Malfunction Indication Lamps (MIL) will come on in either red or amber and these lights are there to alert the driver about a possible fault on the vehicle. If the light comes on in amber it means that the issue is not so critical but it needs to be checked out. The red light means that it is a critical fault and needs urgent attention. Good examples are the oil service reminder light and the check engine light.
When you have a warning light come up, it is always advisable to run a scan on the vehicle as this is the only way of detecting what is actually wrong with the vehicle.
For the complete list of MIL and their meanings,
Now that you are fully aware of the fact that those lights that are on the instrument cluster are not just there for decoration, it is important that you pay close attention to the lights.