What Your VW Dashboard Warning Lights Mean

VW-Dashboard-LightsKnowing what common VW dashboard lights mean could help spare your car engine from expensive damage.  Although some dashboard lights are fairly easy to understand, such as the hood open light, other warning lights in the VW dashboard indicate engine problems or safety issues that could become serious problems if not addressed.

Particulate Filter Light

Found on diesel vehicles, this VW dashboard light indicates when the particulate filter, a mechanism that burns off particulate matter in diesel engines, is blocked by soot.  Driving for about 15 minutes at 30 miles per hour will bring your diesel up to operating temperature so that the particulate filter regenerates, which should cause the light to go out.

Immobilizer Light

Activated by the car’s security system, the Immobilizer light indicates that you may be using the wrong key while attempting to start the vehicle.  This VW dashboard light is designed to protect your car from theft using a copied key.

Apply Brake Light

One of the most misunderstood of all VW dashboard lights, the Apply Brake light indicates that the driver must apply the brake in order to shift the vehicle from park to another gear.  This prevents the driver from accidentally shifting from park in vehicles with automatic transmissions.

Check Engine Light

Although most people are familiar with the Check Engine light on car dashboards, few understand that when the light appears, it does not mean a catastrophic problem in the engine.  In fact, the Check Engine light is simply an all-purpose warning light sending you information about a potential problem with the engine.  The Check Engine VW dashboard lights actually have different levels of warning.

Colors and Flashing

Another feature to understand about VW dashboard lights is that a flashing light is more urgent than a solid light.  If the light is flashing, have the issue diagnosed at a dealership as soon as possible.  The color of the light is also an indicator of the severity of the problem:

  • Green – A green light is simply a warning.  For example, if the DRL VW dashboard light is green, it means your Daytime Running Lights are on.
  • Yellow – A yellow VW dashboard light is an early warning of a potential problem or a situation the driver should be aware of, such as a burnt-out lamp.  A dealer should check yellow dashboard lights as soon as possible.
  • Red – Although they do not always indicate an emergency, a red VW dashboard light requires immediate attention.  The parking brake light and door ajar lights are red, and although that does not constitute an emergency, those issues should be addressed quickly.
  • Red Flashing Light – If a red flashing light appears on the dashboard, you should stop driving as soon as it is safely possible and contact the nearest Volkswagen dealer.

When the dashboard lights up, decide what your next step should be and call your VW service department!  Don’t wait too long, and make sure to check out service specials online.  Give us a call and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn!