Wednesday, 21 February 2018
A fault light is an optical signal. It informs you that a device has been activated in the car, whether it is working correctly or faulty, or whether it has failed completely. The corresponding symbol must stand out clearly when lighting up, but not always be visible.
Many warning lights are self-explanatory: when the dispenser icon is lit, it means refueling. But some of the many lights are also quite cryptic and can unsettle motorists if they continue to glow after the
engine starts or flashing while driving. After engine start all should go out. If a lamp continues to burn or remains lit while driving, there may be problems. Not all symbols are common to all manufacturers.
The six main warning lights
Basically: A yellow or red lamp means fault or defect. These are the six main control lights that you should stop and contact a workshop:
ABS indicator light. The anti-lock braking system is disturbed, worse braking effect and blocking are possible.
The ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) prevents the wheels from locking during braking so that braking and steering is possible at the same time and the braking distance is shortened.
• Meaning / danger:ABS lights up (red or yellow): Fault, eg defective components (sensors, control units) or mechanical faults. Worse braking effect and blocking are possible.
• What to do? Avoid dangerous situations, keep safety distance; Visit the workshop.
Airbag warning light. Airbags, seatbelt pretensioners or other passive safety systems may not work properly here.
• Meaning / danger:malfunction of the airbag, of the belt tensioner or other safety devices. Attention: It may also be simple that the (passenger) airbag is deactivated, this is necessary if baby carriers are attached to the front seat. The reactivation is then sometimes forgotten.
• What to do? Activate passenger airbag (works with many cars with a small rotary switch in the glove box). In case of failure: consult the workshop.
The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) prevents the car from skidding by selectively slowing down individual wheels. The systems may have different names depending on the manufacturer (ESP, ESC, DSC etc.)
Meaning / danger:Lamp flashes: The ESP is currently intervening (eg because you drive too fast around the bend). Lamp is lit: ESP is off or there is a problem. In the event of a brake failure, ESP and brake warning lights may also be present together.
What to do? Adapt the driving style to the road situation. If ESP off: Turn on again (usually when the motor is restarted automatically or by pressing the ESP key if present). If the lamp stays on: avoid dangerous situations, visit the workshop in a timely manner.
-Battery : The generator provides too little energy, the battery is not charged.
-Brake control lamp : It is possible that only the handbrake is still applied. If the lamp lights up while driving, it may also indicate defective brakes or too little brake fluid.
Meaning / danger:The generator supplies too little energy, which is why the control lamp lights up due to the potential difference. Result: The battery is not charging.
What to do? You can help yourself with start problems due to low batteries ( read more in the Battery Guide). In case of defective batteries or generator problems you should visit the workshop in a timely manner.
Engine warning light : Here, for example, the engine control system may be defective or the exhaust system is disturbed. Sometimes the car just runs in a emergency program.
Oil pressure : Here you should stop immediately and check the oil level. Because when the lamp is lit, the oil pressure is too low - it threatens a capital engine damage, if you just continue driving.
-Distance warner / ACC
Many modern cars are equipped with radar systems used for distance warning and emergency brake assist as well as automatic distance control (ACC). In case of problems, one or more warning lights will light up and there will be a message in the on-board computer.
• Meaning / danger: One or more systems will not work (possibly temporarily, because heavy rain or slush disturbs the sensor). This means that distance warning as well as distance control and cruise control are not available.
• What to do? In snow / ice: Drive to the nearest parking lot and clean the body parts in front of the radar sensor (the sensor is often located behind the brand logo or at / below the radiator grille). If the defect is not affected by weather, consult the workshop; Observe notes in the operating instructions.
Meaning / danger: The cooling water temperature is too high or the level is too low. Possible causes: Loss of cooling water (leaky radiator, radiator hoses, expansion tank ...), defective V-belt (water pump is no longer driven) etc.
What to do? If possible, top up the coolant provided for the vehicle (normal water should only be topped up in an emergency), visit the workshop in a timely manner.
The diesel additive AdBlue is required for many modern diesel cars for exhaust gas purification.
• Meaning / danger: AdBlue must be topped up. However, this is indicated long before by maintenance instructions. According to the automaker, the vehicle can not be started when the AdBlue tank is empty, since otherwise the correct exhaust gas cleaning is not possible.
• What to do? Refill AdBlue in time, during the inspection in the workshop or at the gas station.
If a yellow or red light flashes or lights up while driving, many drivers are insecure. Which lights mean what, when should you stop immediately or in the workshop? An overview.
Many warning lights are self-explanatory: when the dispenser icon is lit, it means refueling. But some of the many lights are also quite cryptic and can unsettle motorists if they continue to glow after the engine starts or flashing while driving.
Warning lights: green, yellow or red?
There are a few general rules for warning lights:
-A green light indicates the functionality or readiness of a system.
-Yellow or red means fault or defect.
-The symbols and meanings of the warning lights may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore always look into the operating instructions, warning lamps are usually described in a separate chapter ("Troubleshooting" or similar).
Monday, 22 January 2018
Has your vehicle ever broken down at the worst possible time and made you wonder what you did to deserve such cruelty? Sometimes it can be impossible to know when your car needs some service. In other cases, people have a habit of ignoring clear signs and waiting until their car stops moving so that they can have it repaired. This should not be the case. Every car owner knows cars are subject to wear and tear after some use. In order to prolong your car's life, you need to look out for some signs that indicate your car needs some service and fix them as soon as possible before the damage spreads. The following are some of those signs:
1. Look out for Warning Signs on the Dashboard
Any car produced in the 21st century comes with a number of indicators on the dashboard that warn the driver in case of any breakdown in the vehicle systems. These are the most straightforward signs your car needs some attention. Different signs monitor different systems so that it can be easier to know which part needs repair or replacement. One of the most dreaded signs is the 'check engine' light. Don't be afraid to find out what the problem is. In most cases only a minor fix is required. However, sometimes the problem could require a lot of money to fix especially for old cars or cars which have been unserviced for long.
2. Your Braking System does Not Feel Right
Braking is one of the basic systems in your vehicle that requires being in perfect working condition all the time. Braking technology has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Modern cars come with all sorts of technology to help drivers brake more effectively. Sometimes you may notice unusual behavior from your braking system. It can either be too sensitive or unresponsive when you apply your brakes. You can also hear unusual noises every time you apply your brakes. All these are signs you need to take your car to your favorite mechanic to have the brakes checked. Since brakes are used all the time when driving, they need to be checked more often.
3. Squeaks and Squeals
When you own a car for some time, you get accustomed to its engine noise and other normal noises your car makes. If your car suddenly starts producing weird noises you are not used to, it could be a sign of a problem. For instance, if you hear squealing noises every time you turn the ignition it could mean your power steering system needs attention. Squealing from the tires when you are on the move may indicate they are loose or they need to be rebalanced.
4. Ignition Malfunction
Starting a car should not be a struggle if the car is healthy. You'd expect a clean start as soon as you turn your key. If you experience any stutters, coughs, splutters, or whirring when trying to start the car, it is time for a checkup. Another sign is if you have to turn the key a number of times to get a reaction. Troubleshooting a malfunctioning ignition requires experts since it can be caused by different things. A dying battery, damaged starter motor, or faulty wiring are some of the common causes of ignition trouble.
5. Excessive Emissions
Unless your car is an old garbage truck, you expect minimal or no visible emissions from your exhaust system. If you notice any unusual clouds of smoke coming from your exhaust system as you drive, it could be a sign you have a blockage or buildup in the exhaust system. It could also indicate that your car has an oil leak that needs immediate attention. Whatever the problem causing the fumes is, you need to have the car checked by qualified mechanics to avoid knock-on effects. To detect such problems early, check your rear bumper regularly for any black residues.
6. Smoke Coming from Under the Hood
Nobody wants to see any type of smoke coming from the hood. It usually indicated severe damage to the engine or the cooling system. The first thing to do when you see smoke coming from the hood is to stop the vehicle immediately and call your mechanic. It is not only n movies where cars blow up; don't risk it. To detect this problem early, check your temperature gauge on the dashboard regularly to know when it goes up unusually.
7. Breakdown of Dashboard Functions
Modern cars come with a lot of equipment on the dashboard mainly for enhancing your car's comfort and entertainment system. This includes things like the radio, air conditioning system, satellite navigation system, among others. You know your car needs service if you notice any problems with any of your car's systems like a malfunctioning radio, aircon not cold, aircon not working, or unresponsive buttons.
An easy way to know if your car is leaking is if you notice any fluids underneath your regular parking spot. If it is a bright green liquid, your engine's coolant is leaking. If the liquid is brownish, it could be breaking fluid, transmission oil or engine oil leak. Any leak can be disastrous if not attended to immediately. If your coolant is leaking, your engine can overheat and cost you thousands in repairs. Other oil leaks can also cause performance issues that lead to worse problems.
9. Reduction in Engine Power or MPG(Miles Per Gallon)
A decline in the efficiency of your engine is expected after some time. However, if you notice a sudden decrease in your car's power, have it checked for issues with the engine or tyres. Another problem to look out for is If your car uses up more fuel than normal.
10. Damaged Gearbox
The gearbox is another part of your vehicle that is more susceptible to wear and tear as a result of everyday use. Fortunately, most common gearbox problems can be detected almost immediately they begin. Shifting gears doesn't feel right if your car has a problem. A common warning sign is grinding noises when shifting gears or leaking transmission fluid.
There are lots of other indicators that your car needs service. The important thing is to make sure you fix any car trouble as soon as you detect it. It might seem costly to repair the vehicle at first but the more you delay the repairs, the higher the chances of the problem escalating and becoming more expensive to repair. You don't have to wait until your car develops problems to have it serviced. Even if your car is running perfectly, it is recommended to have it serviced regularly so that you can keep it in good shape for longer.