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Computer Diagnostics

Cruising through the Rio Grande National Forest, San Juan National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest has stunning sights and an engaging drive. But when you suddenly discover a strange new light shining on your instrument cluster, all your attention goes toward ensuring you’ll get where you’re going safely. 


Dashboard warning lights are intended to keep you safe and alert you to potential problems with your vehicle. When one or more is illuminated, it’s telling you to have a professional repair facility diagnose and repair the concern. At America’s Auto Care & Tire, our experienced team will determine the warning light’s cause and help you find the corrective course of action to keep you motoring confidently. 

What do the common warning lights mean? 

Engine Temperature Warning 

Typically shaped like a thermometer, the engine temperature warning light is meant to alert you to high engine temperatures. Whether from a failed water pump, a stuck thermostat, or a cooling system leak, it’s crucial to have this warning checked and repaired immediately. 

Battery Light

Against popular belief, the battery light doesn’t indicate a battery defect in most cases. More accurately, it alerts you to charging system issues like a faulty alternator or wiring concerns that prevent the battery from receiving a sufficient charge. It could eventually leave you stranded, so finding and fixing the cause is imperative. 

Oil Pressure Warning

This oil can-shaped indicator is red in color, meaning it’s a critical concern. The oil pressure warning light comes on when the onboard computer detects low oil pressure in the engine. Anytime the oil pressure light is on while the engine is running, it’s a cause for alarm that should be checked right away to prevent a catastrophic event in the engine.

Brake System Light

A red exclamation mark contained in a circle is drawing your attention to a braking issue. It could be the emergency or parking brake is engaged, or it could be a more serious problem that affects how your brakes operate. It’s not a warning to take lightly and should be diagnosed immediately. 

Power Steering Warning

Often shaped like a steering wheel and exclamation, a power steering failure is indicated by a red light. Modern cars equipped with electric power steering assist are most likely to see this indicator. When it’s displayed, it reveals either a communication issue within the system or a fault that prevents power steering assist. Obviously, it’s a primary concern. 

Check Engine Light

More accurately known as a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), this engine-shaped light can alert you to issues within the engine, emissions, fuel, transmission, or drivetrain systems. As an amber-colored light, it should be checked as soon as possible to minimize repairs, especially if you notice symptoms. 

ABS Light

Antilock brakes are intended to help you keep control in loose or slippery conditions. If the ABS system isn’t working as intended, the ABS warning light will come on. Since brakes are a safety system, it’s imperative that you address this light in due course. However, your normal brakes should operate as designed.

Transmission Warning Light

For some vehicles, a separate yellow light shaped like a gear containing an exclamation can illuminate. This light comes on when the computer detects a fault in the transmission. It’s potentially serious and needs to be diagnosed by a technician to pinpoint the cause. 

Maintenance Indicator

Routine oil change services, tire rotations, transmission fluid exchanges, and other maintenance are often tracked by the vehicle’s onboard system. Whether it’s a wrenched-shaped light or an “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED” warning, it’s time to bring your vehicle in for regular servicing. 

Airbag Warning Light

Either a red or a yellow indicator, the airbag warning light alerts you to one or more airbags that aren’t working as designed. Clearly a safety concern should you get into a collision, an airbag light that’s on while driving should be repaired soon. 

How soon should I get warning lights diagnosed? 

The warning light’s color usually indicates its urgency. Red indicators should be diagnosed and repaired immediately, and yellow or amber warnings are slightly less urgent. In either case, contact the experts at America’s Auto Care & Tire to have a fully-trained and licensed technician restore your car to full health. 


Using specialized equipment, our technicians will perform computer diagnostics to isolate the fault at the source. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive report and a plan to get your vehicle operating as designed. Using only high-quality parts, our skilled team is dedicated to keeping you safe on the road, wherever your journey takes you. As always, we back all our work with a peace of mind warranty.






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