Warning lights stay on after starting. What are the reasons?

The different warning lights in the system are used to know when the car’s design is acting up. When starting your car, the warning lights are illuminated briefly before going off.

However, some may remain to indicate different functions that may need to be checked. After starting and the warning lights remain, it is essential to avoid driving first and focus on providing a solution. 

Keeping an eye on the dashboard warning light is vital as it can help prevent complications, and most of the warning lights can also be handled by regular service and maintenance that ensures your car gives you a lasting service.

The brief illumination provides the entire car system is safe and ready to go. Thus, it is crucial to learn the different meanings of your car to avoid complications in your car and work towards solving the problem there and then if it can be solved.

They are valuable components help understand the internal workings of your car.

Some of the causes of dashboard lights on after starting

Engine check

The check engine light pops up when there is an issue with the engine; this is not an issue that should be ignored since it could easily lead to other complications.

The potential cause of the warning light to pop up can be a loose wire, a worn solenoid, or an ill-fitting gas cap. An onboard diagnostic system (OBD) can also be used to run diagnostic tests on the engine to determine the source of problems.

Problems are effectively sourced using the OBD scanner, making them easier to solve. When the light turns on after the car starts, it is essential to pull over to avoid ruining the engine.


Potential issues with the battery mean that the car needs attention since it affects the general functioning of the car. Potential problems can be associated with the vehicle’s wiring alternator and as a result of electrical components that affect the car’s system.

Coolant temperature

This warning sign displays on the dashboard to show that the car is running too hot. This could result from a broken water pump, radiator damage, or low coolant levels in the radiator.

Driving an overheated vehicle is unsafe and poses risks of permanent ruin to your car.

Oil pressure warning

This can pop up when your car needs its oil topped up. In other cases, it could also mean a leak in the engine or a broken oil pump.

You can measure the engine’s oil level with the dipstick, and if adding more oil does not solve the issue, you have to get your car checked as soon as possible.

Pressure monitoring system

These warning lights represent the tread of a car tire. Under or overinflated tires may cause this warning light to go off. When one tire shows less air pressure than others, you must stop the car and refill it to correct the pressure rating.

Braking system

A common cause for this light to appear can be when the driver pulls away with the brake engaged; thus, the waning light comes up.

Other reasons could be worn-out braking pads, low brake fluid levels, or an issue with the anti-locking braking system. Therefore, repair is necessary to restore braking efficiency, especially during an emergency.

Traction or stability control

This indicates that your car keeps slipping and sliding on the road. When this shows up, the systems are effectively doing their job. However, when you are at moderate speed and the light comes on, there may be a possible flaw in the system.

Washer fluid, door open, low fuel

These do not indicate a significant problem but alert the driver of a possible low on the washer fluid, one or two doors open, and also when you are low on gas, and it’s time for you to refill.

How to fix this problem?

It is essential to take your car to a mechanic or reliable service center for a proper diagnosis that can help you avoid unnecessary costs when people ignore the different symptoms portrayed by the dashboard lights.

In the case of a faulty instrument cluster, the whole dashboard will be changed and will vary in cost depending on the specifications of the dashboard’s components and the type of car which can range from $950 to $3000.

Most of the causes can be quickly resolved using regular maintenance, which can prevent the lights from coming on. Electrical components can be checked to ensure that they offer the work correctly.

In the case of the engine, this may require attention from a mechanic to avoid messing it up, which can contribute to complete failure. However, the total replacement would range from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of engine and the car.

Does resetting the warning lights fix this issue?

Yes, it may help. Resetting the light features may clear the error codes on your dashboard. However, it is essential to get your car checked to look for other possible faults.

Closing thoughts

Learning and understanding the essential maintenance of the car can help reduce the different errors that may appear. Regular maintenance is vital for your vehicle, offering you convenient drives every time.

Scroll to Top