They look like hieroglyphics on your dashboard. Blinking. Flashing. Slow and steadily glaring at you. It’s as if they’re taunting you, “go ahead and guess what I mean and guess how much I’m going to cost you.” Most drivers will either do one of two things: assume the worst and that the car is going to blow up while others will ignore it until it hopefully goes away.
Personally, we wouldn’t suggest either extreme. The chart below will help you to decipher the Volkswagen dashboard warning lights and what they mean. First things first, let’s break this down so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
There are 33 warning lights that can pop up on your dashboard; hopefully you don’t ever see any. In the event that you do, you more than likely will only see a handful of them, and they are color-coded: green, yellow, and red which will help you to determine the severity, even if you don’t have this handy dandy cheat sheet directly in front of you.
Green: These are strictly informational, nothing is actually wrong. It is just meant to alert you that a particular system has been turned on.
Yellow: A cautionary signal, these lights are switched on to make you aware of a potential problem. In this case, it’s best to schedule a service appointment sooner rather than later.
Red: The most severe of the three signals, it’s important that you seek service immediately. Call for a tow truck if a mechanic isn’t nearby.
- 1. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)- In the event the ABS has a problem, a warning light will come on with the brake warning light.
- AdBlue Level Warning- The level of the AdBlue is low and will need to be refilled.
- AdBlue System Malfunction Warning- The AdBlue system is not working properly.
- AdBlue No Restart Warning– Because the AdBlue is too low or malfunctioning, the engine is unable to properly restart.
- Airbag- Either the passenger airbags have been turned off or the airbag system is not properly working.
- Alternator Low Voltage Output- The charging system has had a failure.
- Automatic Transmission Malfunction- Something in the automatic transmission is not working correctly and needs to be checked over.
- Brake Light Bulb Failure- One of your brake lights, if not both, has burned out and needs replacing.
- Brake Pad Wear Indicators- The brake pads have been worn down and need to be replaced.
- Bulb Failure- If the light is flashing, there is a problem with the headlamp leveling or the Adaptive Front-Lighting System. If the light is solid, one of the headlights it out.
- Coolant Level/Temperature- When the coolant level is too low and the temperature is too high, stop your vehicle immediately and check the coolant level.
- Diesel Engine Pre-Glow Before Engine Start-Up- If the light is flashing, there is a diesel engine malfunction, but if the light is solid, then the diesel engine pre-glow system is on.
- Daylight Running Lights (DRL)- This is merely informing you that the DRL system is on.
- DSG Transmission Too Hot- Stop driving your vehicle immediately and allow your transmission to cool off because it has overheated.
- Electric Parking Brake Warning Light- Refer to your owner’s manual because there is an issue with the parking brake.
- Engine Malfunction (On-Board Diagnostics)- There may be an engine malfunction, and unfortunately, you’ll probably want to bring your vehicle in to have the engine checked over.
- Electric Power Control (Exhaust Gas)- There possibly could be a problem with the engine and may require the eye of a mechanic.
- ESP/ASR- When the light is flashing, something has triggered the ESP or ASR. When the light is solid, this means that your Electronic Stabilization Program or Traction Control are inactive.
- Particulate Filter (Diesel Engines)- Check your owner’s manual for more information, but there is probably something blocking the filter.
- Fuel Cap- Either your fuel cap is missing or not properly screwed on. (Find out what type of fuel is best for your Volkswagen)
- Hood Open- Stop your vehicle and check to make sure that the hood is latched.
- Hybrid Drive System Malfunction-If the light is solid red, stop driving immediately but if the light is yellow, you should bring it in for service soon because something is not right with the system.
- Immobilizer- Something is wrong with your key, either the wrong one is in the ignition or it hasn’t been adapted for the vehicle.
- License Plate Bulb- One of the license plate bulbs have burned out.
- Low Fuel Level- Refuel the fuel ASAP.
- Oil Pressure Warning- Stop and turn off the engine because there is no oil pressure. Check your owner’s manual for further information.
- Oil Level Low- Either the oil level is low or the sensor is malfunctioning. First, check the level, and if the problem ensues, bring your VW in for service.
- Brake System- Your parking brake may be applied, but if the ABS light is also on, there is an ABS problem. It could just mean that you are low on brake fluid.
- Rain Sensor Malfunction- Try turning your vehicle on and off again, but if the light stays on, there is a good chance there is something wrong with the rain sensor.
- Shift Lock- Apply the brake in order to shift gears.
- Steering System- Stop your vehicle. A yellow or red flashing light will mean the system is malfunctioning. A solid red light indicates that the power steering assist is failing while a solid yellow means that the assist has been reduced.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring- There is a problem with the system that could be something as simple as low tire pressure.
- Washer Fluid Low- Refill your washer fluid before it runs out soon.
Hopefully, this was helpful for you! If you have any other problems or questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Our service team would be more than happy to help you with any Volkswagen problems, big or small.