Chevrolet Cavalier Warning Lights
Seeing an indicator light go on while you’re driving can be alarming, especially if you don’t know what it means. The dashboard lights in a Chevrolet Cavalier are fairly straightforward. They are meant to tell you when your car has a problem. In most cases, Chevy Cavalier warning lights will come on when you start the car. It’s only when they stay on or come on while you’re driving that you should be concerned. If a warning light comes on when it’s not supposed to, avoid driving the car and get it to a mechanic as soon as possible. The list below will help you with some of the more standard warning lights.
Safety Belt Reminder Light
The safety belt reminder light pictures a seated figure with a seatbelt across his lap and chest. It comes on whenever the key is turned to RUN or START. An audible chime will also sound for several seconds. After remaining solid for a short time, the light will blink and then go out automatically. If the driver’s seatbelt is fastened before the ignition is turned, the light will not illuminate, nor will the chime sound.
Airbag Readiness Light
The airbag readiness light shows a seated figure in profile with a large circle in front of his torso. Older models may have text reading AIR BAG instead of a pictogram. The light indicates when there is a problem with some part of the airbag’s electrical system. It comes on when the car is started, then flashes and goes out after several seconds. If it comes on at any other time, have your airbag system checked by a mechanic.
Charging System Light
The charging system light looks like a simple battery with "plus" and "minus" symbols at either end. It comes on when the car battery is on but the engine is not running. If it comes on while you are driving, it may mean that the battery is draining. Turn off any battery-powered accessories, such as the air conditioner and stereo, and come to a stop as soon as possible.
Brake System Warning Light
The brake system warning light is the text BRAKE in newer models, and BRAKE with two pictograms (a letter "P" and an exclamation point) beneath it in older models. If the light comes on while you are driving, stop as soon as possible; there may be a problem with your brake system. The light also comes on when the parking brake is engaged, and will not go out if the brake is let out only partly. Because knowing whether your brakes are working is so important, you should make sure that the light comes on briefly when you turn the key to RUN. If it does not, have your instrument panel checked.
Anti-Lock Brake System Warning Light
The anti-lock brake system warning light shows the letters ABS inside a circle with a curved line to either side of it. This light comes on for a few seconds when the car is turned on, but should soon shut off. If it stays on or comes on at any other time, you should have your anti-lock brake system checked. If the light comes on together with the brake system warning light, stop as soon as possible. There may be a problem with your main brakes, not just the anti-lock brake system.
Low Coolant Warning Light
The rectangular symbol with a ripple near the bottom and an arrow pointing down is the low coolant warning light. If the light comes on and stays on, you should stop driving and add engine coolant. Driving with little or no coolant can do serious damage to your engine, damage that won’t be covered by your warranty.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light is a pictogram of a car engine, pictured either with or without the word CHECK. The light should come on briefly when you start the car, then go out. If the light comes on and flashes while you’re driving, it indicates a misfire condition. You should reduce your speed, avoid heavy acceleration and hills, and wait to see if the light goes off. If it continues to flash or turns on steady, stop and have the car serviced as soon as possible. In case of a steady check engine light, first check for the most common problem: a loose gas cap. If you stop the car, tighten the gas cap, restart, and find that the light is still on, see a mechanic as soon as possible.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
The oil pressure warning light looks like an old-fashioned oil can with a drip coming from the spout. It should turn off shortly after you start the car. If the light stays on or comes on while you are driving, have the car serviced as soon as possible. Do not be concerned if the light flashes on, then off, when you brake hard.
Check Gauges Light
The check gauges light either reads CHECK GAUGES or shows a gas pump next to a thermometer. The light should not remain on for more than a few seconds after you start the car. If it comes on at any other time, scan the dashboard for a problem. Your car may have overheated or is low on gas.
Service Vehicle Soon Light
The service vehicle soon light pictures a wrench accompanied by the word SERVICE. If it stays on for more than a few seconds after you’ve started the car, it means that the onboard computer has detected a problem. In older models, the check engine light serves the same purpose as the service vehicle soon light.
Like most vehicles, the Chevrolet Cavalier is equipped with a set of warning lights on the dashboard. The lights will come on briefly when you start the car to show you that they’re working; if they stay on, or come on while you’re driving, you may need to have your car repaired. Study this list so that you know what the warning lights on your Chevy Cavalier mean. You’ll be better informed about your car’s safety features, and you’ll know when you need to have a vital component fixed.