We’re pretty good “Code Crackers” at Beany’s. People tell us a light that is on on their dash and we help them figure it out. This image, from the Facebook page called “Dave,” is hysterical, but some of these images confused even me. In my defense, my car has three lights, and is older than the internet, so I’m no expert.
Anyway, back to these fancy schmancy lights. Some are daily things- things that you get used to, and likely don’t even notice anymore. The seat belt light, door open light, cabin air direction symbols and fog/driving lights icons are pretty easy and you’ll likely see them a couple times a day. The low fuel light can only be seen by adults – well, the teenager in my house swears he’s NEVER seen it. Sigh.
Let’s talk about some of the others:
“Drunk Robot” is a battery light. Sometimes this will show up when trying to start your car. If you see this, but your car is starting fine, HAVE US CHECK YOUR BATTERY the next time you’re in the shop. If you see it and the car won’t start… well, your battery is dead, and you’re welcome for the warning.
“Owl” was a stumper. Apparently it’s a “Glow Plug Indicator” which means your diesel car is warming up, and you shouldn’t START IT until the light goes off. If you drive a diesel, you likely know the way it’s different from a regular engine. We don’t work on diesels here, so if this is on, you’ll have to find a good diesel shop.
“Stop travelling with beach balls”… this means your airbags MAY NOT DEPLOY in an accident, but they might work fine. You may also see SRS (Secondary Restraint System) for this same warning. Only a dealership can address this issue, we can NOT help you here at Beany’s, sadly.
“Let it go” is clearly a snowflake. It means icy road conditions are possible. You can also see the icy road conditions by looking outside. If it’s cold out, it might be icy. Black ice is a particularly nasty thing in Ohio winters. Good rule of thumb: Expect ice, at all times, if the air temperature goes under 40.
“The Genie is Ready”… oh boy! If this comes on, the first thing to do is check your OIL LEVEL. If it’s low, add some, and come into the shop ASAP. If the level is fine, come into the shop ASAP. This could mean the oil pressure is too high or too low, the sending unit isn’t working properly, or you have the wrong oil in it. If it feels like it doesn’t want to run, don’t make it!!! … Call for a tow truck.
“This”…. Is the big one. If this light is solid, get to the shop soon, like by the end of the day. If it is flashing, get to the shop NOW! If your car is hesitating, stuttering, chugging, surging, we expect this light to come on. You may need to have it towed in, especially if it’s doing those things, or if the coolant light is also on, or the temperature gauge is moving around.
“The Key is Sinking in a River”.. means your engine is TOO HOT. Stop your car. Right now. Have it towed into the shop. It’s a biggie, especially if your thermostat is also giving you fits (climbing, or spiking).