Warning Lights On Your Ford

Ford Puma

Ever found yourself confused by a mysterious yellow flashing symbol on your Ford dashboard? Our comprehensive guide is here to shed light on each warning light, providing insights into what they signify and the necessary actions to take when they appear.

In modern Ford cars, such as models like the Focus, Fiesta, Transit, Kuga, and Puma, a whole host of sensors monitor the behaviour of every system within the vehicle. The lights present on the dashboard act as indicators, explaining the functionality of each system and promptly signalling when something is not right.


Operating on a traffic light colour system:

Green: Indicates the system is in optimal working condition or is currently in use.

Yellow: A warning that something isn't functioning correctly – exercise caution and address the issue promptly.

Red: Signals a serious and potentially hazardous problem – stop driving at the earliest safe opportunity.


Curious about the meaning behind each distinctive symbol? Our guide has been created to provide a comprehensive understanding of the yellow and red warning lights on your Ford dashboard. Uncover the reasons they illuminate, gauge how quickly you should act and learn the appropriate steps to take when confronted with these signals. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of your Ford's dashboard symbols, ensuring you stay well informed and confidently in control of your driving experience.


Ford Brake System Warning Light

"Red Exclamation Point light"

It is vital that you act on this warning light as soon as you see it, as the brakes are the most important safety feature on your car.

If the red brake light persists after fully releasing the parking brake or illuminates while driving, it could be an indication of low brake fluid levels. Unless you possess the knowledge to personally check your brake fluid levels, it is advisable to seek assistance from professionals.

In addition, if the ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) warning light is also activated, this signifies a malfunction in the braking system, posing a potential risk to the proper functioning of your brakes. It is crucial to respond promptly by pulling over and stopping at the earliest safe opportunity. Maintain a low speed and avoid abrupt braking manoeuvres.


Red exclamation point light Ford


Ford Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Warning Light

"Yellow ABS Light"

ABS stands as a crucial safety feature, particularly during abrupt stops or challenging driving conditions such as icy roads. The ABS indicator briefly illuminates to signal its active engagement. However, a continuous illumination might suggest a malfunction. Even if the ABS light appears on its own, regular braking remains available, allowing you to proceed safely.

Nevertheless, maintain caution, keep a safe distance, and promptly address the issue. If the ABS light accompanies the brake warning light, it may imply a brake system failure. In such cases, stop driving immediately and seek assistance for recovery.


ABS Yellow Light


Ford Service Engine Soon Warning Light

"Check Engine Light"

This is a common dashboard light that drivers see on their vehicles from time to time, as it can be used to indicate various different faults raging from minor to major. This ‘check engine’ symbol basically means that something in your engine is not working as it should be. It may be something small like a broken electrical sensor, or it could mean a much bigger mechanical issue such as a fault with the catalytic converter.

If you see this light on your dashboard, you should get it checked as soon as you can. Whilst it is still okay to drive with it on, the longer you do so increases the risk of causing further, sometimes irreparable damage to your vehicle.


Check engine light


Ford Engine Coolant Warning Light

"Yellow Thermometer Symbol"

This light will come onto the dashboard if your coolant levels are running low as a reminder to top them up. Coolant fluid takes the heat from your engine and disperses it through the car’s radiator to stop your engine from overheating.

You should avoid driving long journeys if this light is on, and you should top up as soon as you can to stop the risk of causing damage to your car. Make sure you wait for the engine to cool down before adding more coolant.

If you see this light often, it might be the sign of bigger issue. Book your car in for a service with your local TCH Ford team to check there isn’t a leak somewhere.


Yellow Thermometer Symbol


Ford Engine Coolant Temperature Warning Light

"Red Thermometer Sign"

This indicator illuminates when the engine is overheating, which may indicate low coolant levels. This could be due to a potential system leak or a more significant issue like a head gasket failure. If the light appears in red, it's vital you stop immediately. Insufficient coolant can lead to extreme engine heat, causing irreversible damage.

Wait until the engine cools down before inspecting the gauge on the side of the coolant tank under the bonnet and topping up as necessary. While examining the engine bay, check for any visible leaks. If none are apparent and the light goes off after topping up, you can likely continue your journey. However, if the light reappears after topping up, it is advised to have it professionally inspected to find the underlying issue.


Red Thermometer Sign


Ford Engine Oil Warning Light

"Yellow Genie Lamp Symbol"

The yellow oil warning light appears when your vehicle’s oil temperature gets too high or if the oil level is too low. Oil is important for your vehicle because if your engine is not lubricated properly it could lead to expensive repairs.

If you see this light, you should stop as soon as you can and turn off the engine. Take a look under your vehicle and look for any obvious leaks. Check your oil levels and top up if you need to. If your oil levels seem to be okay, this may well mean that you have a faulty oil pump. If this is the case, call for recovery because driving further could damage the engine to possibly irreparable levels.


Yellow Genie Lamp Symbol


Ford Battery Charging System Warning

"Red Battery Symbol"

This is a red symbol which means that the battery in your car is not charging. This could be caused by a number of factors, such as a faulty battery, broken alternator, electrical connection or even damaged cabling.

Your car will drive and operate as normal until the battery completely dies. Once it’s dead, nothing in your car will work, so it’s important you get to a garage quickly before this happens.


Red Battery Symbol Ford

Ford Brake Pad Warning Light

"Yellow Exclamation Point Brakes Symbol"

This light will appear on your dashboard because a sensor has noticed your brake pads are too thin. However, this light should illuminate before the brake pads become too dangerous to drive with, so you have time to get them changed by a professional.


Replacing your brake pads after seeing this symbol should be considered a priority, because if they wear out entirely this can be extremely unsafe.


Yellow Exclamation Point Brakes Symbol 


Ford Airbag Warning Light

"Red Person in Seat Symbol"

If you see this on your dashboard, it is vital to get this checked out immediately. The symbol means that at least one element of the airbag system used to keep you safe in the event of a crash is not working properly, which is highly dangerous. This can involve either the airbag system, the front passenger occupant classification system (which assesses the front passenger's weight and position to deploy the airbag safely), or the seat belt pretensioner system, which secures the belt tightly in the event of a crash.

When the system is not working properly, it may not go off in a crash or in some cases, it could even go off unexpectedly and cause an accident.


Red Person in Seat Symbol


Ford Stability Control Warning Light

"Yellow Car Warning Light with Skid Marks"

This light is a warning to indicate issues with traction control. It lights up when the stability system is intervening, e.g if you’re on a slippery road. If this light stays on, it means that something in the traction control is not working properly.

You will see the indicator with the word ‘OFF’ if the system has been deactivated , which means that you may have turned it off without your knowledge.

To check over this warning light, try turning the engine off and on again. If the light stays, get it looked at by a garage, because the traction control is an important safety feature.


Yellow Car Warning Light with Skid Marks


Ford Powertrain Warning Light

"Yellow Spanner Symbol"

This warning light typically signals an issue with your vehicle's automatic transmission. It may illuminate due to elevated transmission fluid temperature or as a reminder to replenish low fluid levels.

When activated, your Ford might enter a 'safe' mode to mitigate potential damage, resulting in a noticeable decline in overall performance. While checking and refilling the transmission fluid is an option for those with the necessary skills and confidence, it is advisable to have any concerns assessed by a professional. Continuing to drive without addressing the issue could lead to more significant damage, and automatic transmission replacements can mean substantial costs.


Yellow Spanner Symbol


Ford Tyre Pressure Warning Light

"Yellow Exclamation Mark Horseshoe Shape"

Numerous Ford vehicles are currently equipped with tyre pressure monitoring systems, alerting you when pressure levels decrease. This decline can happen gradually or result from a puncture. Regardless of the cause, low tyre pressure poses safety risks, prompting the need to reduce speed and avoid sudden braking or aggressive steering manoeuvres.

Conveniently, the majority of petrol stations and garages offer access to air compressors for checking and adjusting tyre pressure. Follow the vehicle manufacturer's specifications outlined in your owner's manual when topping up the air in your tyres.


Yellow Exclamation Mark Horseshoe Shape


Ford Power Steering Warning Light

"Red Steering Wheel Symbol"

This warning light signals an issue with the power steering system. When the power steering fails, you'll experience increased difficulty in manoeuvring the car, requiring you to pay extra attention. Driving at high speeds on the motorway without power steering assistance can be hazardous.

In the case of a hydraulic power steering system, a malfunction is often associated with low power steering fluid levels. If you're familiar with the process, stopping as soon as possible to top up the fluid can provide a temporary solution. However, be aware that this is not a permanent fix—persistent low fluid levels typically indicate a system leak, requiring professional repair.

For electric-powered systems, resolving the issue may be as straightforward as rebooting a computer. Locate a safe spot to pull over, turn off the car, and wait for 30 seconds before restarting. If the warning light persists, it's crucial to have your vehicle checked by a professional at your earliest convenience.


Red Steering Wheel Symbol


Ford Engine Air Filter Warning Light

"Yellow Dashboard Light with Dots and Dust"

The air filter in your engine serves as a barrier, preventing dust and debris from entering. When the warning light illuminates, it indicates that the filter has become clogged, restricting airflow into the engine.

While it's generally safe to continue driving with the warning light on, the decreased airflow can impact your car's fuel efficiency (mpg) and overall performance.

Replacing the filter is a simple task that can be done by your local mechanic or even by yourself. If you opt for the do-it-yourself approach, consult your owner's manual to check if a system reset is necessary to clear the warning light after the replacement.


Yellow Dashboard Light with Dots and Dust


Ford Water in Fuel Warning Light

"Petrol Pump and Water Drops Symbol" 

Diesel fuel filters play a crucial role in separating water traces present in diesel fuel before it reaches the engine, preventing potential damage.

The appearance of a yellow light signals that the diesel fuel filter has reached its full capacity and requires emptying. Depending on the vehicle, this may be a manual or automatic process.

Refer to your owner's manual to understand the specific mechanism in place for your Ford model. If your vehicle is designed for automatic emptying and the warning light persists, it may indicate a malfunction in the system, necessitating prompt inspection.

While it is generally safe to continue driving with the warning light illuminated, it is advisable to promptly empty the fuel filter. Delaying this task could lead to water seepage into the engine, causing significant damage.


Petrol Pump and Water Drops Symbol


Ford Glow Plug Warning Light

"Yellow Coil Light Symbol"

Typically, this indicator illuminates during the warm-up phase of your Ford diesel engine. It is advisable to wait for the light to go off before starting your car. However, if the light is flashing, it suggests a malfunction, and the glow plugs might require replacement.

Promptly schedule a checkup to address this issue. A malfunction in the glow plugs could trigger the engine to enter safe mode, mitigating potential damage. Consequently, you may observe a noticeable decline in performance until the problem is resolved.


Yellow Coil Light Symbol 


Ford Fuel Cap Warning Light

"Yellow Fuel Cap Symbol"

For the fuel system to operate effectively, it must remain completely sealed from external elements. This warning light activates if the fuel cap is not securely fastened, indicating a potential system leak.

Safely pull over and ensure the fuel cap is tightly closed as soon as possible. The light may not extinguish immediately after resuming driving.

If the light persists for a day or two, inspect the fuel cap for any signs of damage. In case of damage, consider replacing the fuel cap.

If the cap appears undamaged and is securely closed, there could be a system leak elsewhere, potentially misleading the computer. Arrange for a professional service to diagnose and resolve the issue with your car.


Yellow Fuel Cap Symbol


Ford Auto Start/Stop Warning Light

"Yellow A Symbol with Arrow"

In contemporary Ford vehicles, the Auto Start/Stop system autonomously halts the engine temporarily when you come to a standstill, aiming to diminish fuel consumption and emissions.

If this warning light appears, signalling a malfunction in the system, there could be various underlying reasons. While it is generally safe to continue driving, it is recommended to bring your car to the dealership for a thorough examination. The dealer can retrieve the error code and pinpoint the source of the issue.


 Yellow A Symbol with Arrow


Ford Forward Alert Warning Light

"Car Crash Symbol"

Forward Alert, present in recent Ford models, is a safety feature utilising a sensor to analyse the road ahead. It gauges the distance and relative speed of vehicles in front of you, providing a warning if you approach too closely.

In the event of a potential collision, the system readies the brakes for emergency braking, enhancing brake force. If a crash becomes imminent, the system autonomously engages the brakes and retracts the seatbelts to provide added protection.


Car Crash Symbol


Ford Lane Keeping Aid Warning Light

"Car in Dotted Lines Symbol"

Numerous contemporary Ford vehicles are equipped with a windshield-mounted camera sensor that identifies white and yellow road lines. When traveling at speeds exceeding 43mph, if the sensor perceives the vehicle deviating from its lane without the indicators activated, a warning light will illuminate, accompanied by steering wheel vibrations.

Should your response be delayed, the system will take over, automatically guiding the vehicle back into its lane.


 Car in Dotted Lines Symbol


Ford Blind Spot Monitor Warning Light

"Cars Bumping with OFF Text Symbol"

Ford's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) employs radar to monitor the blind spots on both sides of your vehicle. If it detects a vehicle that is not visible to you, activate an orange light in the corresponding side mirror.

If the warning light illuminates, it signals a malfunction in the system, usually accompanied by a display message explaining the issue. This problem is often attributed to dirt or debris obstructing the sensor, but it can also result from heavy rain or snow impeding the radar signal.

Attempt to clear the sensor and restart the car to eliminate the warning light.


Cars Bumping with OFF Text Symbol


Have you got a warning light on your Ford you want to check out? Speak to our fantastic service team at TCH Ford and we will be glad to help.



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