What to do when your car...
Even though I consider myself to be an empowered woman, I still tend to get into a panic when I'm driving a strange car and alarms start going off! Here's a quick guide to the most common problems.
Indicator clicks faster than normal
Check front and rear lights for faulty indicator globe and replace
Overheat sensor in red zone - or warning light comes on
Don’t continue driving as they may damage the engine. Pull into the emergency lane, turn your hazard light on, leave the engine running and turn off the aircon. Let the engine cool slightly before opening the bonnet and never attempt to open the cooling system whilst still hot as most newer cars have a pressurised system and hot water or steam may cause you a serious injury. When the engine cools down, check if the coolant level on the reservoir is on a low level, add coolant if it is low.
Always add anti freeze in the ratio 50% anti freeze to 50% water) to your car cooling system to protect against both freezing and boiling over. When used at normal strength (50% anti freeze, 50% water), it can lower the freezing point and raise the boiling temperature. Never use undiluted anti freeze in a cooling system.
Brake light on - or alarm - during driving
Check that the handbrake is completely lowered into its standard position, and not slightly raised.
Alternatively, if the brake light indicator flickers whilst driving, this could mean that the brake fuel level is low and needs to be topped up. To fix the problem simply add enough brake fluid to the reservoir (within the maximum limit indicated by line in the fluid reservoir) to will correct the problem.
Oil warning light flickers or stays on
Pull in to the nearest garage and have your oil checked immediately. If this does not rectify the problem, you could be using the incorrect oil for your car. There are various grades of engine oil, and all have a different quality or viscosity (thickness). You can correct the problem by subjecting your car for an oil change and making sure that a right type of oil is put into your car engine. Your authorised car dealer will be able to advise on this (or even your car instruction manual).
Battery warning light stays on whilst driving
This usually indicates that there is a fault with either the alternator or a damaged alternator belt. The alternator charges the car battery when the car is switched on. You can check yourself, or have a mechanic check, for a damaged alternator belt, but an car electrical or authorised service dealer will need to repair or replace the alternator.