What do the warning and indicator lights in my Ford mean?
The warning lamps on your dashboard alert you to a vehicle condition that may become serious, and indicator lights show you when a feature is being used.
Some lamps turn on when you start your vehicle to make sure they work. If any lamps remain on after starting your vehicle, refer to your Vehicle Health Alerts in the FordPass App* or review the list below for more information.
Note: To understand which vehicle code is causing a light to turn on, contact your Ford Dealer.
Warning Light and Indicator Meanings
Select a drop-down option below to view images and meanings of some common lights that may appear on your dashboard:
Common warning light images and descriptions include:
- If the warning light is orange or red, it means your vehicle is experiencing a problem and should be promptly taken to a Ford Dealer.
- When the light is yellow, service may be required, and you should have a dealer inspect your vehicle.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
If it illuminates when you are driving and indicates a system error, you continue to have the normal braking (without ABS) unless the brake system warning lamp also illuminates. Have the system checked by a Ford Dealer immediately.
If it illuminates while driving and indicates a system error, switch off all unnecessary electrical equipment and have the system checked by a dealer immediately.
Brake System Warning Lamp
If the lamp illuminates when you are moving, you may have the parking brake applied. Make sure the parking brake is off. Have your vehicle checked by a dealer as soon as possible if the lamp continues to illuminate.
WARNING: Driving your vehicle with the warning lamp on is dangerous. A significant decrease in braking performance may occur. It may take you longer to stop your vehicle. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible. Driving extended distances with the parking brake engaged can cause brake failure and increase the risk of personal injury.
This lamp is a dual-function lamp and illuminates when:
- You apply the parking brake with the ignition on.
- Your vehicle has a brake fault or low brake fluid level, regardless of the parking brake position.
Electric Park Brake
It illuminates or flashes when the electric parking brake has a system error.
Engine or Motor Coolant Temperature
It illuminates when your vehicle coolant temperature is high. Stop your vehicle as soon as possible, switch off your vehicle, and let it cool.
If it illuminates with the engine running or when you are driving, this indicates a system error. Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and switch the engine off. Check the engine oil level.
Note: Do not resume your journey if it illuminates despite the level being correct. Have the system checked by a dealer immediately.
If it does not illuminate when you switch the ignition on, continues to flash, or remains on when the engine is running, this indicates a malfunction. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Headlight Range Control
It illuminates when the control system is defective and needs service or repair.
High Voltage Electric System Failure
It illuminates if your hybrid electric vehicle has an electrical component fault or failure that causes your vehicle to shut down or enter a limited operating mode. A message may appear in the instrument cluster display.
Loose Gas Cap Warning
It illuminates when there is a problem with the cap, including being too loose, too tight, missing, dirty, or broken. If you see this warning, you can check the cap yourself. The problem might be as simple as needing to tighten it a bit more or clean it off. However, if your gas cap is correctly in place, visit your Ford Dealer for diagnosis.
Low Beam Warning
It illuminates when the low beam headlamp bulb is not functioning properly.
Low Tire Pressure Warning
It illuminates when the tire pressure is low. If the lamp remains on with the engine running or when driving, check the tire pressure as soon as possible.
It also illuminates momentarily when you switch the ignition on to confirm the lamp is functional. If it does not illuminate when you switch the ignition on or begins to flash at any time, have the system checked by a dealer.
This illuminates when the system detects a powertrain or a four-wheel drive (4WD)/all-wheel drive (AWD) fault. We do not recommend you drive while this light is illuminated. Contact a dealer as soon as possible.
Service Engine Soon
It illuminates when you switch the ignition on prior to engine start to check the bulb and to indicate whether your vehicle is ready for Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) testing.
Normally, it illuminates until the engine is started and automatically turns off if no system errors are present.
- If after 15 seconds it flashes 8 times, this indicates that your vehicle is not ready for Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) testing. If it stays on, this means your vehicle is ready.
- If it illuminates when the engine is running this indicates the On-Board Diagnostics system has detected an error in the vehicle emission control system. Contact your Ford Dealer.
- If it continuously flashes, an engine misfire may be occurring. Continuing to drive your vehicle may cause reduced power or the engine to stop. Failure to respond to the warning lamp may cause component damage not covered by the vehicle warranty. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible. See your Ford Dealer to find out what the codes mean.
- If your vehicle has been recently serviced and your engine light remains on, contact your Ford Dealer.
It flashes when the system is active. If it remains illuminated or does not illuminate when you switch the ignition on, this indicates a system error. During a system error, the system switches off. Have the system checked by a dealer immediately.
Common indicator light images and descriptions include:
Note: When a light on your dashboard is green or blue, it means that a vehicle feature is being used or has been activated.
Auto Hold keeps the vehicle at a complete stop until you press the accelerator. Click here for more information about using Auto Hold.
Grade Assist and Overdrive Cancel
It illuminates when grade assist is turned on.
Normal Drive Mode
It illuminates when your vehicle is in the Normal drive mode. All systems that are altered by drive mode control are set to their default settings.
It illuminates when the transmission control switch has been pushed. When the light is on, the transmission does not shift into overdrive. If the light does not come on when the transmission control switch is depressed or if the light flashes when you are driving, visit your dealer.
Stability Control Off
It illuminates when you switch the Stability Control System off. This lamp turns off when you switch the system back on or when you switch the ignition off.
Trailer Tow Mode
It illuminates when Tow Mode is enabled on your vehicle.
Refer to your Owner's Manual for other lighting questions. If you have additional unanswered questions, contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center using our Live Chat option or by calling 1-800-392-3673. You can also reach out to your Ford Dealer.
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*The FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available through a free download. Message and data rates may apply.