A Guide to your Vehicle's Warning Lights


Struggling to understand what your vehicle is telling you? Activated warning lights inside your car can prove stressful for drivers who aren't prepared or caught off guard. But with the assistance of our team here at Jake Sweeney Automotive, you can confidently gain an appreciation for what an icon is indicating and follow up accordingly on the specific attention it may require. 

Color Schemes and What they May Indicate

Lights on your vehicle's dash panel come in different colors to indicate different functions, alerts and critical warnings. Traditionally, green indicators let you know that normal functions such as your turn signals and activated cruise control are functioning properly. Yellow signals let you know that something is wrong and may require a follow-up appointment at our service center in Cincinnati, OH.

In the rare case of a red light turning on, you need to immediately stop driving and contact our service experts for an inspection appointment. These lights may signal something is seriously wrong with a crucial system, which can subsequently compromise whether its safe to operate the vehicle altogether.

Following Up on Warning Lights

Use our comprehensive guide and consult an owner's manual to determine what a warning light is acknowledging. Feel free to contact our team and schedule a service appointment for a full diagnostics test to pinpoint these issues and correct any problems we identify!


Brake System Warning Light

 If the brake system warning light remains illuminated the brake fluid may be low or there could be a problem with the brake system. Park the vehicle in a safe place immediately and contact an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.

 Do not drive with the brake system warning light illuminated. Contact an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer to have the brakes inspected as soon as possible:Driving with the brake system warning light illuminated is dangerous. It indicates that your brakes may not work at all or that they could completely fail at any time. If this light remains illuminated, after checking that the parking brake is fully released, have the brakes inspected immediately.  
Schedule Service

ABS Warning Light

If the ABS warning light stays on while you're driving, the ABS control unit has detected a system malfunction. If this occurs, your brakes will function normally as if the vehicle had no ABS.Should this happen, consult an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer as soon as possible.

When the engine is jump-started to charge the battery, uneven rpm occurs and the ABS warning light may illuminate. If this occurs, it is the result of the weak battery and does not indicate an ABS malfunction.Recharge the battery.The brake assist system does not operate while the ABS warning light is illuminated.  

Charging System Warning Lights

If the warning light illuminates while driving, it indicates a malfunction of the alternator or of the charging system. 

Drive to the side of the road and park off the right-of-way. Consult an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorized Mazda Repairer. 

Do not continue driving when the charging system warning light is illuminated because the engine could stop unexpectedly.

Schedule Service

High Engine Coolant Temperature Warning Light (Some Models)

The light flashes when the engine coolant temperature is extremely high, and illuminates when the engine coolant temperature increases further. 

Drive slowly to reduce engine load until you can find a safe place to stop the vehicle and wait for the engine to cool down.

This indicates the possibility of overheating. Park the vehicle in a safe place immediately and stop the engine.

Do not drive the vehicle with the high engine coolant temperature warning light illuminated. Otherwise, it could result in damage to the engine.
Schedule Service

Engine Oil Warning Light

This warning light indicates low engine oil pressure. Do not run the engine if the oil pressure is low. Otherwise, it could result in extensive engine damage.If the light illuminates or the warning indication is displayed while driving:Drive to the side of the road and park off the right-of-way on level ground.Turn off the engine and wait 5 minutes for the oil to drain back into the sump.
 Inspect the engine oil level. If it's low, add the appropriate amount of engine oil while being careful not to overfill.

Do not run the engine if the oil level is low. Otherwise, it could result in extensive engine damage.Close CautionStart the engine and check the warning light. If the light remains illuminated even though the oil level is normal or after adding oil, stop the engine immediately and have your vehicle towed to an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.
Schedule Service

Power Steering Malfunction Indicator Light

The message is displayed if the electric power steering has a malfunction.If the message is displayed, stop the vehicle in a safe place and do not operate the steering wheel. There is no problem if the message in the display turns off after a while. Contact an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer if the message is displayed continuously.    

 If the message is displayed, the power steering will not operate normally. In this case, the steering wheel can still be operated, however, the operation may feel heavy compared to normal, or the steering wheel could vibrate when turning.Repeatedly jerking the steering wheel left and right while the vehicle is stopped or moving extremely slowly will cause the power steering system to go into protective mode which will make the steering feel heavy, but this does not indicate a problem. If this occurs, park the vehicle safely and wait several minutes for the system to return to normal.
Schedule Repair

Electric Parking Brake Warning Light

The warning light illuminates when the system has a malfunction. Have your vehicle inspected at an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.


Schedule Inspection

Check Engine Light

If this light illuminates while driving, the vehicle may have a problem. It is important to note the driving conditions when the light illuminated and consult an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.

If the check engine light remains on, or it flashes continuously , do not drive at high speeds and consult an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer as soon as possible.
Schedule Inspection

Air Bag/Seat Belt Pretensioner

A system malfunction is indicated if the warning light constantly flashes, constantly illuminates or does not illuminate at all when the ignition is switched ON. If any of these occur, consult an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer as soon as possible. The system may not operate in an accident.

Never tamper with the air bag/pretensioner systems and always have an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer perform all servicing and repairs:Self-servicing or tampering with the systems is dangerous. An air bag/pretensioner could accidentally activate or become disabled causing serious injury or death.



Schedule Repair

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

If the tyre pressure monitoring system warning light illuminates or flashes, or the tyre pressure warning beep sound is heard, it is dangerous to drive the vehicle at high speeds, or perform sudden manoeuvring or braking. Vehicle drivability could worsen and result in an accident.To determine if you have a slow leak or a flat, pull over to a safe position where you can check the visual condition of the tyre and determine if you have enough air to proceed to a place where air may be added and the system monitored again by an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer or a tyre repair station. 

LED Headlight Warning Light

This light illuminates if there is a malfunction in the LED headlight. Have your vehicle inspected by an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.

Seat Belt Warning Light

If the driver or front passenger's seat belt is unfastened after the warning light turns on, and the vehicle speed exceeds 20 km/h (12 mph), the warning light flashes again.Placing heavy items on the front passenger's seat may cause the front passenger's seat belt warning function to operate depending on the weight of the item.To allow the front passenger seat weight sensor to function properly, do not place and sit on an additional seat cushion on the front passenger's seat. The sensor may not function properly because the additional seat cushion could cause sensor interference.If a small child is seated on the front passenger's seat, the warning light may not operate. 

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

If the tyre pressure monitoring system warning light illuminates or flashes, or the tyre pressure warning beep sound is heard, it is dangerous to drive the vehicle at high speeds, or perform sudden manoeuvring or braking. Vehicle drivability could worsen and result in an accident.To determine if you have a slow leak or a flat, pull over to a safe position where you can check the visual condition of the tyre and determine if you have enough air to proceed to a place where air may be added and the system monitored again by an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer or a tyre repair station.  Schedule Tire Inspection

Door-Ajar Warning Light

The light turns on if any door/liftgate is not closed securely.

Low Fuel Warning Light

The light turns on when the remaining fuel is about 9.0 L.

The light illumination timing may vary because fuel inside the fuel tank moves around according to the driving conditions and the vehicle posture.

Smart Brake Support/Smart City Brake Support Warning Light

The light turns on if the windscreen or the radar sensor are dirty, or there is a malfunction in the system.    

Verify the reason why the warning light is illuminated on the centre display.If the reason why the warning light is illuminated is due to a dirty windscreen, clean the windscreen.If the warning light is illuminated because of a dirty radar sensor, clean the front emblem.For any other reasons, have the vehicle inspected at an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.

Schedule An Inspection

Security Indicator Light

The system is armed when the ignition is switched from ON to off.The security indicator light in the instrument cluster flashes every 2 seconds until the system is disarmed.    

The system is disarmed when the ignition is switched ON with the correct programmed key. The security indicator light illuminates for about 3 seconds and then turns off. If the engine does not start with the correct key, and the security indicator light remains illuminated or flashing, try the following:Make sure the key is within the operational range for signal transmission. Switch the ignition off, and then restart the engine. If the engine does not start after 3 or more tries, contact an Authorised Mazda Repairer.
Schedule An Appointment

Brake Pedal Operation Demand Warning Light

The AUTOHOLD function automatically holds the vehicle stopped, even if you take your foot off the brake pedal. This function can be best used while stopped in traffic or at a traffic light. The brakes will automatically release when you start driving again (releasing the clutch pedal while in gear (manual transaxle) or depressing the accelerator pedal (automatic transaxle).    

 Do not rely completely on the AUTOHOLD function:The AUTOHOLD function is only designed to assist the brake operation while the vehicle is stopped. Neglecting to operate the brakes and relying only on the AUTOHOLD system is dangerous and could result in an unexpected accident if the vehicle were to suddenly move. Operate the brakes appropriately in accordance with the road and surrounding conditions.Do not release your foot from the brake pedal while the vehicle is stopped on a steep grade:Because there is a possibility of the vehicle not being held in the stopped position by the AUTOHOLD function, the vehicle may move unexpectedly and result in an accident.Do not use the AUTOHOLD function on slippery roads such as icy or snow-covered roads, or unpaved roads:Even if the vehicle is held in the stopped position by the AUTOHOLD function, the vehicle may move unexpectedly and result in an accident. Operate the accelerator pedal, brakes, or steering wheel appropriately as necessary.Immediately depress the brake pedal in the following cases:Because the AUTOHOLD function is cancelled forcibly, the vehicle may move unexpectedly and result in an accident.  
Schedule Service

Cruise Main Indication

With cruise control, you can set and automatically maintain any speed of more than about 25 km/h (16 mph).    

The indication has two colours. Cruise Main Indication (White)The indication turns on (white) when the cruise control system is activated.Cruise Set Indication (Green)The indication turns on (green) when a cruising speed has been set.

High Beam Indicator Light

Turn the headlight switch to turn the headlights and other exterior lights on or off.When the lights are turned on, the lights-on indicator light in the instrument cluster turns on.

TCS/DSC Indicator Light

This indicator light stays on for a few seconds when the ignition is switched ON. If the TCS or DSC is operating, the indicator light flashes. If the light stays on, the TCS, DSC or the brake assist system may have a malfunction and they may not operate correctly. Take your vehicle to an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer

Shift Position Indicator

The selector position is indicated when the ignition is switched ON. 

Gear position indicationIn manual shift mode, the "M" of the shift position indication illuminates and the numeral for the selected gear is displayed.

Direction Indicator/Hazard Warning Lights

The direction indicators in the instrument cluster flash according to the operation of the direction indicator lever to show which signal is working.

If an indicator light stays on without flashing or if it flashes abnormally, one of the direction indicator bulbs may be burned out. A personalised function is available to change the turn indicator sound volume.

Blind Spot Monitoring

The BSM is designed to assist the driver in checking the area to the rear of the vehicle on both sides during lane changes by notifying the driver of the presence of vehicles approaching from the rear in an adjacent lane.The BSM detects vehicles approaching from the rear while travelling in the forward direction at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph) or faster and notifies the driver by turning on the BSM warning indicator light and displaying the vehicle detection screen (vehicles with multi-information display and active driving display).If the direction indicator lever is operated to signal a turn in the direction in which the BSM warning indicator light is illuminated while the approaching vehicle is detected, the BSM notifies the driver of possible danger by turning on the BSM warning indicator light, and by activating the warning sound and the warning screen indicator display (vehicles with multi-information display and active driving display).The detection area on this system covers the driving lanes on both sides of the vehicle and from the rear part of the front doors to about 50 m (164 ft) behind the vehicle.

Lane-keep Assist System & Lane Departure Warning System

 The message is displayed when the system has a malfunction. Have your vehicle inspected at an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer.The system does not operate when the warning message is displayed.

Glow Indicator Light

This light may illuminate when the ignition is switched ON.

It turns off when the glow plugs are warm. 

If the ignition is left switched ON for a long period of time without the engine running after the glow plugs are warmed up, the glow plugs may warm up again which will illuminate the glow indicator light. 

Contact Us

Jake Sweeney Mazda West

2301 Ferguson Rd
Directions Cincinnati, OH 45238

  • Sales: 513-699-4900
  • Service: 513-699-4915
  • Parts: 513-699-4907

Hours

  • Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Sunday Open 12-5 Last Sunday of the Month
See All Department Hours

Dealership Hours

  • Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Sunday Open 12-5 Last Sunday of the Month

Parts Dept. Hours

  • Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am - 2:00pm
  • Sunday Closed

Service Dept. Hours

  • Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am - 2:00pm
  • Sunday Closed