Peugeot new key

A Peugeot into our workshop with faulty remote, which  is all part of the key.

With the correct tools we can extract the pin code from the vehicle that then allows us to program in new key.

A quick efficient job and back to the customer.

Your car’s Electrical System – How to spot a fault

What’s going on with your car’s electrical system – In this article our aim is to highlight what’s happening with your car electrics detailing the major components of your cars electrical system.  We will also highlight some hints and tips along the way.

Let’s start your car’s battery.

Your car battery’s main function is to start the engine and operate the electrical elements in your car.  Things such as your windows, lights, radio, sat nav all need the battery to work.  The battery itself typically consists of six cells of positive and negative lead plates, immersed in electrolytes made up of water and sulfuric acid mixture.  Care should always be taken if you are charging or jump starting your car because a chemical dangerous gases vent through the batter cover vents as a result of the chemical reaction occurring with the lead plates and the electrolyte.

For a safer battery you may want to look at batteries that use a gel instead of an electrolyte.  You can now use maintenance-free batteries so that you minimise concerns for the electrolyte element.  Eventually the batteries will, by their very nature, deteriorate over time so it’s not a complete solution rather an alternative more efficient solution

How to recognise when you are having battery issues

If your car is having problems starting the use can start with a very basic test.  If you know the exact condition of your battery you will be able to identify if it is actually the battery at fault or possibly another electrical component causing the issue.  If could be that you need a new starter motor or a replacement alternator.

All you need to test the battery is a battery, battery charger and a decent DVOM (Digital volt Ohm Meter). Your car handbook will normally tell you what colour to look out for.  Simply look at the DVOM for the colour to tell you if your battery is in good condition, needs charging, or has low fluid and needs replacing.

If you are guessing that the battery needs replacing, then beforehand, it might be an idea to just to take your car to an auto mechanic just to ensure it is the root cause of the electrical fault with your vehicle.  After all the last thing you want is to spend money and time replacing the battery only for you to find out that it was actually a parasitic drain on the system actually causing the battery failure.  It’s not just potentially expensive, it could actually be dangerous too!

It’s good to know that the average life of a battery is typically between 3 and 5 years.  Your local car electrics specialist is usually the best person to help you with this.


Let’s talk about your Alternator

The alternators main function is to help run the electrical accessories in your vehicle.  This includes the ignition and the engine controls system.   So how does it work.  In short It produces electricity to maintain battery storage charge.  It is driven by the engine producing an alternating current (AC).  We always recommend that you should check your car’s repair manual or with your local mechanic to obtain the correct information before working on your alternator.

Typically, the alternator will last around 3-4 years.  This is due to the demands placed on all the modern electrical devices (stereos, lights, windows, heated seats etc., you use in your vehicle. What’s always useful to know is that if your alternator is coming close to its end of life, this can put additional stress on the car battery.  By keeping your car servicing up to date, and keeping an eye on your engine management lights, you can often prevent these subsequently related issues.


In the table below we have highlighted some typical power usage on a car’s charging system:

Equipment Electrical Draw
Rear Window Defogger 25 amps
High Blower 20 amps
Headlamps (low) 15 amps
Windshield Wipers 6 amps
Ignition 6 amps
Brake Lights 5 amps
Total 77 Amps

When you consider if you charge your phone or laptop whilst in your car or have customised your vehicle this will create additional stresses.

It’s really important to pay attention to your car’s warning light for the alternator.  This will definitely help you catch any problems before they become a major issue.  Most modern cars have alternators that have the electrical current passing through the filament of the warning light is what energizes a circuit in the alternator to start charging.

To check the warning light circuit, turn the ignition switch to the “on” position without cranking or starting the engine; if the light does not come on, remove the plug from the alternator and ground the wire that terminates to the #1, I, L or D+ terminal (depending on manufacturer). If the light comes on, the wiring is okay but the alternator is defective; if the light still does not come on, the wiring to the light circuit and the bulb should be checked. (our mechanics at Widnes auto electrics would always recommend that you consult a trained auto electrician or your local garage if you are unsure about what this all means)

You should always check the fuse that controls the light circuit, too. It’s good to know that different cars use different labels such as “charging”, “regulator”, “meters”, “gauges” or “engine”. In some cars, if the fuse is out, the warning light will come on but may not go off. In others, a burned out fuse may make the warning light work in reverse order; that is, when the key is on, the light is off but as soon as the engine starts and the alternator starts charging, the light will come on.

Checking out these simple circuits first can greatly reduce the time spent trying to find out the cause of your car troubles and could help to prevent the unnecessary replacement of your alternator.

When it comes to charge light indicators, we find that in some cases it is normal for the charge indicator light to come on when nothing is wrong with the alternator.

According to information published by some of the leading car manufacturers, a car may have a low voltage reading or lights that dim when electrical loads are heavy at idle. Furthermore, this condition is normal and no repairs should be attempted unless a fault has been found.

For clarification, as a car idles for extended periods of time during high heat conditions, a number of things happen that contribute to “lowered” alternator output that coincides with physics and the design of the alternator:

  1. As heat within the alternator increases, the electrical resistance in the alternator also increases, which reduces the alternator’s charging capacity.
  2. As temperature rises, the voltage set point of the regulator is lowered to reduce the chance of overcharging or “boiling” the battery.
  3. More modern alternators have a “delay/soft start” built into the regulator circuit. This delays the load being placed upon the engine when starting up from a stop, so that the smaller engines in use today are not loaded down upon acceleration due to charging demands. This can delay the charging by up to 15 seconds.

With the alternator’s capacity for charging reduced by heat and other factors, an alternator may only be able to produce up to 70% of its rated output under these conditions. So an alternator rated for 100 amps may only be able to produce 70 amps when hot at idle when there is 77 or more amps of demand on it.

So the question to consider here is…If it can be considered normal for warning lights to glow while a healthy alternator is running, how do you know if the alternator is in good working order or if there are other problems waiting to happen?

A detailed diagnosis is always the best route to determining whether or not the alternator is at fault, but there are times when diagnosis time is short and you still need a positive identification of the problem. Cases like this require specialist tools which will enable you to isolate the alternator from the car’s wiring harness and lets you see if the alternator is at fault or if there is a wiring problem elsewhere within the car’s wiring harness. These tools will be able to you to see quite accurately if it is indeed the alternator causing you your car electrical problems if there is another mechanical failure at play!


Let’s consider faults with your car’s Starter Motor

What is a Starter Motor?  Put simply, the starter motor is simply a DC motor that turns the engine crankshaft through the flywheel, starting the combustion process by creating compression within the cylinders. Voltage to the starter is supplied directly from the battery and is controlled by a relay and/or solenoid operated from the key switch inside your car.  Starters can be of varying types and designs depending on the requirements of your car.  That said whatever the type, they all offer the same basis service, to get your car started

On older vehicles a slow cranking engine can typically be a sign of a bad starter motor.  On most modern cars however, it’s due to low battery voltage, poor electrical connections at the battery or a failed relay or fusible link.  It’s good to know that If you are choosing to buy a new car, most starters will easily outlast a new vehicle warranty if it’s not overused, if good connections are maintained and if it’s not overheated.

You can help reduce the workload of your starter motor (and increase its life) by simply starting your car with electrical components switched off (eg radio, air-con etc., window wipers.). To help you with this a lot of manufactures now have it so that the AC compressor and alternator will not turn on until after the vehicle has been started. (find out more on our dedicated starter motors page

Maintenance Tips For Your Car’s Electrical System

Its highly recommended that you get your car’s electrical system checked and tested at least every two years or whenever whenever you spot a problem with your vehicle. Many problems are often caused by voltage variations and must be one of the first steps in identifying any problem. Because there is a computer on board in almost every car built now, even quite minor voltage changes can alter the controls.

Your car’s electrical system must be load tested to certain standards, which can be simulated by turning on all the accessories and lights for simple voltage drain but that is not an all-inclusive test. Measuring circuit loads with an ammeter, circuit voltage drops with a DVOM, variable circuit load testing, etc. is usually the only way to fully check function. With electrical systems operating at 80%-100% of capacity nowadays (see Power Demand Chart), it is crucial that it be up to standards.

Whilst you may consider yourself capable of doing this testing process yourself, you might find that the test equipment to buy is too expensive when you think about how often you will actually use it during your car’s lifetime.  This is why we would always recommend an auto electrical expect who will have the right tools you’re your car manufacturers system.  This could save you a lot of time and money in the long run


Our top 5 helpful tips to help extend the life expectancy of your car’s electrical system.

Tip #1: Always keep your battery and its connections clean to avoid clogged battery cover vents and overtaxing your starter. This will also allow for proper ventilation of dangerous, explosive gases from your battery.

Tip #2: When replacing your battery, always buy one of the same or higher CCA rating (cold cranking amps) as the original battery and make sure it’s the same or compatible “group size” to fit your battery tray and cable connections.

Tip #3: Due to the varying nature of car electrical systems, never jump start your car using another car that is running. Use the other vehicle’s battery power alone to start it because a 14.5 volt running system can seriously damage a 12.6 volt system due to the overvoltage.

Tip #4: Start your car with the major electrical components turned off – A/C, stereo, etc. – to ease the load on your battery and starter and extend their lives.

Tip #5: Have your car’s electrical system completely checked and tested at least every two years or whenever you have it serviced for any type of driveability issue.

Widnes Auto Electrics  – Remember to come back  to check for new maintenance topics.

Note : these repair tips are designed only as a starting point.
Please seek the assistance of a professional mechanic
for all repair problems beyond your capabilities.


Jaguar Land Rover has strengthened its commitment to the armed forces with the donation of two F-TYPE sports cars to Mission Motorsport. The cars will be used by the charity to support the recovery and rehabilitation of ex service personnel affected by their time in the military.

The donation, championed by the armed forces team at Jaguar Land Rover, was made in the run-up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June. It continues Jaguar Land Rover’s relationship with the forces’ motorsport charity established in 2014 with the creation of its Armed Forces Engagement Programme.

A critical element of that project was the establishment of a Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) training scheme, in which more than 45 WIS personnel have taken part and 29 have gained full-time employment with Britain’s biggest car maker. Six others had been employed by Jaguar Land Rover’s partner organisations.

“These two cars will make an immeasurable difference to the Mission Motorsport team, enabling them to reach even more veterans who don’t know what the future holds after their discharge from the military. ” “At Jaguar Land Rover we have seen the benefits a programme like this can have in awakening new horizons, ambitions and careers. We look forward to seeing the next set of beneficiaries begin their new future with us”


Workers were joined by some of Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS recruits and Mission Motorsport ambassadors to build the cars – a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder 300PS and a range-topping 5.0-litre V8 575PS SVR. One of those spending a day on the production line was Jaco Van Biljon, who joined Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS training programme in 2017 and went on to secure employment in the firms powertrain division. He’s since represented Great Britain at the Warrior Games and has been selected, along with two JLR colleagues, as members of Team GB for this year’s Invictus Games taking place in Sydney this October. Jaco is also about to embark on a sponsored degree.

I did not know that my journey from Mission Motorsport to Jaguar Land Rover would be life-changing when I made that first phone call. I left the military because of a degenerative condition and really didn’t know where to turn. Today, I’m here at Jaguar Land Rover in a job I love, with a team that support me and a bright and exciting future. It’s been quite incredible


This has been an incredible gesture by Jaguar Land Rover and an extraordinary commitment to reinforce our hard work in support of those leaving the armed services. It is our responsibility now to harness the excitement that these cars create to help inspire those who have so much to offer. We are very grateful indeed for this transformational gift.


Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover has recruited more than 850 ex-forces personnel and is committed to seeing this number rise as it aims to become the employer of choice ex-military. Whether choosing to leave the armed forces, or having been wounded in action in, Jaguar Land Rover has a programme in place to support those transitioning from forces life to civilian career whilst meeting its own need to advance the skills and capability of the automotive industry. From leadership and team working skills to the ability to cope under pressure, the armed forces community has many of the core skills needed to help Jaguar Land Rover succeed in the future.

The launch of new retailer technician training programme earlier this year is just one new way the company aims to upskill ex-military personnel for employment in Jaguar and Land Rover retailers across the UK. So far this year 12 technicians have been employed.

How long is it safe to leave a dog in a hot car?

The answer is quite simple. Never leave your dog in a hot car. After just a few minutes your dog is at risk. What’s amazing is that I was over in Widnes the other day near the Costa Coffee and an owner of a Ford Focus had left his dogs locked in the car with the windows barely open. This is just cruel in this weather.

According to the RSPC temperatures can rise very quickly and in whether like this, your car can reach temperatures very close to 50C in your car. In this situation it can result in death for your dog.

Is also wise to know that if you do leave your dog in the car you could expect a fine between £2,000 and £5,000 depending on the situation. If you do see a dog, or any animal locked in a car in this heat, and cant see the owner, you should contact emergency services or even your local rspca – they can advise you on what to do.
This situation should never come about, but I guarantee that some silly idiot will do this over this summer.!

Saudi Arabia finally allow women to drive!

Female racing driver Aseel Al Hamad celebrated the end of the ban on women drivers with a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 24 June 2018: Female racing driver Aseel Al Hamad celebrated the end of the ban on women drivers with a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.

Aseel, the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, had never driven on a track in her home country before.

Aseel joined Jaguar in a call for June 24th to be known as World Driving Day – a day when finally, the whole world can enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel of a car. On World Driving Day Jaguar invites people to share a memory of their best driving moment (image or anecdote) using the #worlddrivingday.

Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me. This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honour in my home country in a Jaguar F-TYPE – the ultimate car to roar around the track. I hope people around the world will share in our joy today by sharing their most memorable driving story using #worlddrivingday.


By creating World Driving Day, Jaguar urges people to remember this historic day and what it means to women, to Saudi Arabia and to world progress in general. As part of its ongoing work with over 40 Universities and Academic institutions globally on future mobility solutions, the company will also be partnering with University in Saudi Arabia to join this global network. The partnership, to be announced later this year, will be a unique exchange to tap into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to shape the company’s future innovations as it moves to ACES (an Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared future).

It’s easy to forget and take for granted the enjoyment of driving and just what a privilege it is to get behind the wheel of a car. World Driving Day is a commitment from Jaguar to celebrate this key moment annually for both men and women. This year, we’re really excited to collaborate with the brilliant students from Saudi Arabia to shape the future of mobility for people around the world.


Who is Aseel Al Hamed

Aseel Al Hamad is a true pioneer with a huge passion for motorsports as the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation. She also serves as the Saudi Arabian representative at Women in Motorsport Commission for Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Aseel has driven all over the world. She loves fast cars and the thrill of the race track. She holds a degree in interior design engineering from Prince Sultan University and followed additional courses at the University of the Arts in London.

What does Car Air Conditioning / vehicle air-conditioning actually do?

Modern vehicles come with all sorts of top end interior gadgets from the latest Bose surround sound to high end car electrics and sat-navs etc.

One feature that we all tend to make use of while we’re on the road is a vehicle’s air conditioning system. While winding the windows down may allow air to run through your vehicle, it also lets everything else in the atmosphere outside of the car in too!

Instead of letting in all those road bugs, flies, insects and air pollution, Air conditioning allows cooled air to circulate your car or vehicle without these interfering nasties.

Here’s everything that you could possibly need to know about your car air conditioning / vehicle air-conditioning unit!

So what does your  Car Air Conditioning / vehicle air-conditioning do?

Now, when we think of car air conditioning / vehicle air conditioning systems, we naturally think of how they cool the air in the vehicle.    Why this is one of the main reasons for having it they are much more.

In short they quite literally “condition” the air, reducing moisture in the air and consequently too. The unit’s four main principles are evaporation, condensation, compression, and expansion.


So How Does it Work?

Most air conditioning systems work in the same way, whether they’re installed in a home, an office, supermarket of your car or motor vehicle.   Your air conditioning system is connected by a series of flexible hoses and hard tubes

There are five main components that this system connects – the evaporator, condenser, the compressor, receiver-dryer, and expansion valve,

A refrigerant then flows around the whole system once the engine is on, evaporating at a low temperature, and then condensing again at a high pressure.

When it condenses, it takes heat away from the vehicle and the blower fans pass cold air throughout the vehicle, cooling the air inside.

Downsides of car air conditioning

One of the main downsides to having air con is that the system takes quite a lot of energy to work.  This means that you will burn more petrol or diesel when your air con is switched on.   Having said that, in this hot and sticky summer I would definitely prefer to have it on rather than not!

Leading car manufacturer admits to poisoning there customers!

Mercedes have been ordered by the German government to immediately recall 700,000 Vito vans, C class and GLC SUV’ due to prohibited shutoff devices .  Mercedes are said to have designed software solely to manipulate the CO2 emission in order to pass diesel emission regulations for their vehicles. As a result they are putting there customers at risk from harmful poisonous diesel fumes.

This is not the first time Mercedes have had to issue recalls.   In 2016 Mercedes suffered from 2 major issues of defective airbag control units along with suspected power steering failure on the C class.

In 2015 recalls were also issued for concerns around a rubber seal that could have potentially caused a fire in the CLS and E class affecting almost 150,000 vehicles on this occasion.

The one positive to take from this is that Mercedes did put there hands up to these issues whereas most manufactures have often left it till last minute in the hope the issues would never be reported on.

So, on this recent occasion, why did Mercedes take so long to come forward on this required recall?

Put simply, the costs of issuing a recall are immense.   Particularly in the current client where profit margins in the motor industry are under extreme competitive pressures.  That’s why Mercedes had been in intense negotiations with the German government to prevent a recall because of the outlay involved in fixing the defeat devices, which involves a major software update.

Issuing a recall is seen as taking responsibility but Mercedes did not want to take initial responsibility in an era where people are now concerned with the state of the environment and air quality.  One other worry is that this issue could also affect future resale values, consequently causing problems in the used car sales and consumer finance market.

So what’s the cost to Mercedes in all of this?

Basically, one might say that Mercedes knew what they were doing.  Ultimately, they have risked poisoning there customers with dangerous diesel fumes and thought they could conceal the issue in the pursuit of profits.   To put some numbers to it, this has cost them a figure in the region of almost £100 million.  The knock on affect will ultimately be to there reputation.  Would you trust Mercedes with a Diesel, or any of there motors for that matter?

The only saving grace for Mercedes in all of this, is that the Diesel-gate scandal that still rumbles on even know has proven that other leading car manufactures having also been up to know good!




2009 Transit Connect non runner

Into our workshop came this connect that after being left for a couple of weeks wouldn’t start. A new battery had already been tried but problem remained. A code read revealed ecu processor internal faults so the ecu was accessed and removed

The ecu was opened to check the pcb

Once apart the fault was obvious

This is unrepairable and a new one expensive. So a 2nd hand unit was sourced and fitted. With the correct equipment this was done quickly.

The Ford immobliser system known as PATS has to be matched in the ecu and instrument cluster. To do this you need to access security in the cluster for which you need a code.

The vehicle gives you an outcode and this equipment gives you the incode response. When entered diagnostic equipment then matches ecu to cluster and vehicle started straight away.

We suspected damage was done due to jump starting and putting the leads on the wrong way. Luckily for the customer no other damage was done.

How often do you check your motor for faults and problems?

Most people think they need to check their car or motor vehicle in the winter or when its MOT or service is due. However, throughout the year, its important that you take care of your motor vehicle to ensure it remains in good working.  This way your motor will remain safe, reliable and at is most fuel efficient on the road

Having said that, many car owners neglect their vehicle, and this can result in poor running performance and accidents. Fortunately, there are basic checks and maintenance tasks you can carry out to keep your motor vehicle at is best.


It is important that your car is running on a good set of tyres and this will make sure that the car is driving safely.
Every 2 to 4 weeks it’s a good idea to check tyre pressure and your tread. This will ensure you stay safe and inside the legal limits for driving.

Engine Oil

Every month or so, you should check your engine oil as vehicles its not uncommon for cars to use up to a litre of oil every 1,000 miles. Do not wait until the warning light comes on as damage may have already occurred by then so check that you are always in between the minimum and maximum amount (overfilling can also cause damage).

Water & Coolant

Experts recommend that you check your water and coolant every couple of weeks ensuring your coolant is between the minimum and maximum amount. You should always do this when the engine is cool. If you think its unusually low this could be a sign of a leak. Take it to your nearest garage
It’s worth checking your lights are in good working order at least every week or 2. You will usually find if you are driving a modern vehicle then you will just need to check your onboard computer. A warning light will normally appear. If not, check manually by cleaning any dirt of and make sure they are bright and clear on the road.


This is one of the simplest things to do. Simply keep an eye out for any damage such as cracks or chips. There have been numerous occasions in the past were people have simply not bothered to repair them and the chip has led to the windscreen smashing and causing accidents. Often your insurance will fix these for you without you losing any no claims either!

Windscreen Wipers

The wipers should always be cleaned whenever you clean your car to prevent smearing. Many motorists like to replace their wipers once a year and this is a good practice as they are cheap and easy to replace.
Screen wash

With the warm summer weather on the way, it becomes breeding season for the bugs and flies that love to hit your windscreen on those country roads. Before you know you will run out of screen wash from constantly clearing away the bugs.

As such, check and top up your screenwash on a weekly basis as it is required by law to work properly. It is particularly important to check on a regular basis if you drive in muddy conditions or if you are about to set off for a long drive.

Emergency Kit

Once a year you should take a look at the toolkit/emergency kit that you have to make sure that you have everything you need. Ideally this should include a spare wheel, locking wheel nut, a jack, water, food, warm clothing, a blanket etc.

Car Electrics or Auto Electrics

Check that all of the electric work in the car on a weekly basis. This can be easy enough to do whilst you are driving or simply when you are parked – any problems should be fixed as soon as possible. Bring it in to Widnes Auto Electrical if you have any concerns

Light Faults Widnes

Light Faults Widnes

Here at Widnes Auto Electrical we’re fully aware of all of the problems/issues that can be encountered whilst dealing with the various different types of lighting on the inside and outside of your auto-mobiles. From headlights, to tail-lights to inside car lighting. We’re the best in the Widnes area at dealing with all of the kinds of Lighting Faults that you may encounter just by being a regular day-to-day driver. We however do offer an initial go-to piece of advice on how to deal with the menial lighting problems, as long as you’re fairly savvy when it comes to electrical equipment.

However, we understand that not all people are, and not all people have the time to spare to deal with issues like this. That’s why we do offer a service, and you can come in and we’ll help solve your problem through pure mettle, rather than the sweat off your back. So, if you are having any problems with the lighting with your car, then contact us, as soon as you possibly can, we don’t want to keep you off the road, and if you’re living in the Widnes area, then you should know that we’re the best around. Or if you would like to see what other Car Electrical services we provide then please click here

Below are a list of the most common car light faults according to the RAC

Here are the most important warning lights you should watch out for:
Brake system / brake fluid warning light

Your vehicle’s brakes are arguably the most important feature on your car, so if there’s a warning light flashing on your dash highlighting there’s something wrong with the braking system, it’s best to get it checked out right away.

ECU / engine warning light

If your engine warning light is illuminated, often it’ll be accompanied by some unusual symptoms – these could include a lack of power, as the car has gone into ‘safe’ mode to protect itself; an intermittent stuttering as you press the accelerator, caused by a misfire; or another fault which could alter the normal response from the engine.

Sometimes this can be down to something as small as a faulty electrical sensor, although sometimes it can be a larger mechanical issue. If your car’s engine warning light is showing, get a professional mechanic to look over it straight away, as driving around any longer could cause further, and potentially irreparable damage.

Airbag warning light

The invention of the airbag was a major step forward in vehicle occupant safety, so if your car’s isn’t working properly, get it seen to.

A faulty airbag potentially won’t go off in a crash, meaning you and your passengers won’t be as well protected from any potential injuries. The other possibility is that your vehicle’s airbag could deploy when you least expect it, giving you a nasty shock – or even actually causing­ an injury – and an expensive fix to put right.

Power steering / EPAS warning light

If your car’s power steering warning light – often known as the EPAS light – is illuminated, it means there could be something wrong with the steering system.

If the system fails, the steering could go heavy, meaning more effort will be needed to make the car change direction. This can be an annoyance at low speed when you’re trying to manoeuvre, but a real risk at higher motorway speeds if you need to make a sudden lane change to avoid an obstacle.

DPF / Diesel particulate filter warning light

Most modern diesel vehicles are fitted with a diesel particulate filter, which removes harmful soot from the exhaust gases to reduce emissions.

If this is faulty it’ll trigger a warning light and could not only mean you’re releasing a toxic cloud of black smoke every time you press the accelerator, but that you could be causing damage to your engine. Get this checked out straight away as DPFs can become blocked and can be expensive to replace.

Coolant warning light

Without any coolant, your car’s engine would get so hot it’d effectively ‘weld’ itself together. If you see the coolant light show up on your dashboard, it could mean coolant levels are running low, so check the gauge on the side of the coolant tank under the bonnet and top up if necessary.

In conjunction with a temperature gauge reading well into the red, it could mean your engine is overheating. This is either the sign of a larger problem – like a head gasket failure – or symptomatic of something less major, like a leak in the system somewhere, meaning you’re engine has run low on coolant and got too hot. Get it seen to as soon as possible to avoid a potentially expensive repair bill.

Oil warning light

Just like your car’s water or coolant warning light, you might see an oil warning light flash up if oil temperature gets too high, the level is low or oil pressure too low. It’s the latter two you want to avoid at all costs.

Oil is what lubricates your engine, with the oil pump used to spray the fluid to all corners of your engine. If temperatures get too high, or even worse, level is low or oil pressure drops, the effectiveness of the lubrication can be reduced or lost all together.

The result? Expensive engine damage, so if you see this warning sign, stop and phone a professional right away.

Tyre pressure monitor warning light

Once the preserve of high-end, super-expensive luxury saloons, many more cars are fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems today.

These systems can sense a deviation away from normal tyre pressures, signifying a puncture. Generally, the device will flash a warning light on the dashboard, highlighting you should take a look at your car’s rubber.

Battery charge warning light

You should see your battery charge warning light when you first turn your car on, but if it doesn’t go out a few seconds after the engine starts, there could be a problem with your car’s electrical system.

This could be to do with a faulty alternator, faulty battery, a bad connection or damaged cabling somewhere in the engine bay. If your car isn’t charging its battery when moving (the job of the alternator), then you could eventually run out of electrical power and grind to a halt.

At worst, the light could be on due to an alternator drive belt braking. Other systems also use this belt – such as the engine coolant pump, or power steering – so the affects of a failure here could be compounded.

Warning light woes

It’s not a game of connect four or warning light bingo – if your car’s dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree, or even if there’s one, small blinking light on there, it’s important to get it checked out.

It could be something as minor as a faulty sensor or a broken wire, but it could be something more serious that, if left unchecked, will cause lasting and expensive damage to your vehicle.

Regular servicing and maintenance can help protect your vehicle from firing off a fault, so keep a close eye on your car and its warning lights to save you money and avoid those expensive garage bills.

Have you got a warning light illuminated, or have you previously had a problem with your car signified by a telltale sign on the dashboard? How did you go about fixing it and what advice would you give to other motorists with a dash full of LED warnings?