Ever wondered what those warning symbols on your VW’s dashboard mean? We’ll walk you through the meanings behind the VW dashboard warning lights to ensure you know what to do next in this guide. For the next few months we’ll be updating this article with more information to bring you a large list of VW warning light symbols to cross-check against.
General VW Dashboard Warning Light Colour Meanings
Depending on your model of VW car you have (Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Passat, etc.), the dashboard warning lights usually follow the same traffic light colour coding across the range, as described below:
Green: the car systems appear to be working as normal, or it is currently being used.
Yellow: something may not be normal within the car’s systems, so make sure to take care whilst driving and seek to attend to the problem indicated swiftly.
Red: potentially a critical problem with the car systems – you may need to stop when safe and check the issue.
Green VW Dashboard Warning Lights
Cruise Control – light
The cruise control light will appear when you activate the cruise control system on your vehicle. This is to simply inform you that it is in this mode.
Electronic Parking Brake – light
The Electronic Parking Brake light appears whilst the car is in the Auto Hold function and can be disabled manually.
Lane Assist – light
The Lane Assist light is visible when the lane assistance system is active and markings on the road are detected.
Press Brake Pedal – light
If your vehicle is fitted with an automatic transmission then you may experience this press brake pedal information light. It is indicating that you should press the brake pedal whilst moving the gear lever out of park.
Yellow VW Dashboard Warning Lights
Emission control/Engine management – warning light
More commonly known as the ‘check engine’ light. This could indicate issues with either the emissions from the engine, the engine itself, or a faulty sensor. It’s advised to seek assistance as soon as you can to diagnose the problem.
Adaptive Suspension Dampers – warning light
Seeing this light appear usually means that action is required, therefore visit your garage as soon as possible.
Adaptive Light System – warning light
Attention to the adaptive light system is required, therefore seek an opinion from your garage as soon as possible.
Automatic Gearbox System – warning light
This light could signal an issue with the gearbox and a potential malfunction. It’s recommended to seek your garage as soon as possible if this warning light fails to disappear so they can assess the issue. You may also receive various on screen messages to help rectify this warning.
Anti-lock Brake System – warning light
The anti-lock brake system light indicates a fault with the brake system. You may experience a lack of ABS and ESP functions although standard braking will continue to work. Seek advice from your garage to correct the issues with the ABS system.
Brake Lights – warning light
The brake lights yellow warning light signals that an exterior brake light is not working correctly. It’s recommended that you check the brake lights and replace any defective bulbs immediately for road safety.
Blind Spot Monitor – warning light
If you notice this yellow warning light briefly appear when activating the blind spot system, it indicates the system is ready for use. When the lamp lights consistently ensure that no objects externally are in your way when manoeuvring.
Bulb Monitoring – warning light
With this bulb monitoring warning light visible, you should check all exterior light bulbs for failures. Replace any faulty bulbs you find on the vehicle and this warning light should then turn off.
Brake Pad Monitoring – warning light
This warning light indicates that the brake pads are worn and will require replacement. See your local garage to replace the pads immediately before the brake discs are affected.
Red VW Dashboard Warning Lights
Brake System – warning light
This light will appear when the handbrake is on (which is a normal warning) but also if there is a fault with the braking system of the car whilst you’re driving. If the handbrake is released and the red ‘exclamation in a circle’ light still is illuminated, then stop your vehicle when it’s safe to do so. If the ABS light also is lit then this could indicate a specific issue with the ‘automatic braking system’. Seek assistance immediately to diagnose the problem.
Recharge AdBlue – warning light
This red warning light indicates that there is no AdBlue range left, meaning that your car won’t be able to restart after the ignition is switched off. A complete top-up is required if this warning light appears in red otherwise the vehicle will not start. This is a feature of the system rather than a fault.
Bonnet – warning light
Attempt to stop the car as soon as it’s safe as this sensor could warn you that the bonnet is not closed properly. Check the bonnet and attempt to close it again. Otherwise if the red warning light continues to be present after closing the bonnet speak with your garage to diagnose the issue.
Airbag & Seat Belt System – warning light
When this light appears on the dash, it implies that there is a fault with either the seatbelt system or the airbag system. It’s recommended to get the airbag assessed as soon as possible, so you can determine the issue and get it repaired.
Door – warning light
Are all the doors closed correctly? If not, then there could be a fault with the door sensors or something else related to the door mechanism. Take your vehicle to the nearest garage to correct the issue.
Engine Cooling System – warning light
When noticing this warning light, immediately switch off the engine and no longer drive the vehicle. First action is to check the coolant level under the bonnet – taking care as the engine and associated area may be hot. If the coolant level is low, refer to handbook and add more coolant once the engine has cooled sufficiently. Otherwise it the coolant level is fine, your coolant system is malfunctioning and it’s wise to seek a mechanic to assess the issue.
Electronic Parking Brake – warning light
This electronic parking brake light appears while you are driving. Pull over when safe to do so and then disengage the electronic parking brake. If after this action the light remains illuminated, seek your local garage or roadside assistance.
Power Assisted Steering – warning light
Ensure that when this light is lit that you stop the vehicle as soon as it’s safe to do so. There is an issue with the power assisted steering which could be rectified by simply switching the ignition off for a minute and then restarting the engine. If the light goes out then the issue is resolved. However if the light continues to be visible, if safe and you’re confident enough to do so, drive to your nearest local garage to assist in diagnosing the problem. Should the issue prevent you from driving the vehicle safely, then call roadside assistance.
Engine Oil Pressure – red warning light
On noticing this engine oil pressure warning light, stop the vehicle immediately when it is safe to do so. Switch the engine off and let it cool down. Once the engine is cool and safe, attempt to check the engine oil level. If the oil level is fine, you may need to contact your roadside assistance for further diagnosis. Alternatively if the engine oil level is low, add more suitable engine oil until the level reaches the correct amount ensuring the engine is cool before doing so. Then attempt to restart the engine and wait for 5 seconds. If the warning light disappears then the issue is resolved and you can continue driving. If the light doesn’t dim then call roadside assistance for further help.
Repair your VW vehicle in Bath
If you’ve found that your VW car or VW Group car (Skoda, SEAT, Audi brands) is showing dashboard warning signs which you’re concerned about, then why not visit MCM Garage the VW specialists in Bath. We’ll help diagnose the issue as well as repair any faults and get your car up and running again. Contact us today via our online form to book your VW repair appointment or alternatively call us on 01761 415 501. We use genuine Volkswagen AG parts when servicing your vehicle.
Disclaimer: Please note that the image icons used may differ to the one in your vehicle and are only displayed for reference purposes only. For full clarification of warning lights refer to your manufacturer’s vehicle handbook.