Ford Dashboard Warning Lights & Symbols

Vehicle:   Ford
Difficulty: ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪
DIY Cost:
Est. Time:
Ford Service Engine Soon IndicatorFord check engine lightFord Check engine symbol

 

Check Engine Light / Service Engine Soon 

The check engine light or service engine soon light comes on when the on-board diagnostic system detects a problem with either the engine, emission system, or transmission. 

Common problems that cause the check engine light to stays on include: loose gas cap, bad oxygen sensor, dirty Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, 

A fault code gets stored in the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and can be retrieved with an OBD-II scanner to find out what is wrong with the vehicle. 

For more help see Ford Check Engine Troubleshooting Guide. 

Ford  Air Bag Warning Light

FORD SRS AIRBAG LIGHT

 Air Bag Warning Light / SRS

The airbag light turns on when you first turn on the ignition, but after a quick system check, it turns off if all the airbag components function properly.

If the airbag light stays, it means the airbags have been disabled and may not deploy in case of an accident. 

To troubleshoot the airbag light on a Ford, you will need to read the fault codes with an airbag scanner

Ford Engine Temperature Indicator

Engine Temperature / Overheating

This is the warning symbol indicating that the engine has overheated. Pullover immediately and shut off the engine. Wait at least 30 minutes or more for the engine to cool down fully. 

Once the engine cools down, check the engine coolant level. Common problems that cause a Ford engine to overheat include low coolant level, bad water pump, broken coolant hoses, a faulty thermostat, damaged heater core, etc. 

If the engine overheating continues, do not drive. Call an auto mechanic for advice or tow the vehicle to an auto repair shop near you. 

Ford Charge system Trouble Indicator

Battery / Charge System 

The battery warns the driver there is a problem with the charging system. If the battery light comes on, the vehicle may shut off when driving. 

The battery warning light can be caused by a faulty alternator, serpentine belt problem, defective voltage regulator, and even a bad battery. 

Ford Low Washer Fluid Indicator

Low Washer Fluid 

This light means that the fuel level is low. Add windshield washer fluid to the reservoir in the engine bay. The windshield washer fluid reservoir has the same symbol on top. 

Ford Low Fuel Indicator

Low Fuel 

This light means that the fuel level is low, and you need to add more fuel. 

Ford Oil Warning Light

Oil Warning Light

This light means there is alow oil pressure. Pullover immediately and shut off the engine. Wait at least 5 minutes, then check the oil level with the engine off. If the oil level is low, add engine oil to bring the level between the MIN and MAX marks of the dipstick. 

Do not drive the vehicle or keep it running on idle if the oil light stays on. Doing so can lead to serious engine problems. Call an auto mechanic for advice or tow the vehicle to a repair shop nearby. 

Ford Brake Trouble Indicators

Brake Light

This light indicates a problem with the brake system. It could be due to low brake fluid level or another issue with the brake system. 

Do not drive with the BRAKE light on. Brakes may not work or function properly. Call an auto mechanic for advice and, if needed, tow the vehicle to the closest auto repair shop. 

Ford Economy Mode Operation Indicator

ECO  Mode 

In economy mode, vehicle will adjust engine and transmission performance for the best fuel economy. 

For example, engine RPMs don't reach high values, and transmission may shift earlier. These adjustments help keep fuel consumption down. 

Ford Cruise Control Indicator

Cruise Control 

This light means that the cruise control has been enabled. The vehicle will keep a constant speed. Cruise control will turn off if you press the brakes. 

Note that in this case, there is no adaptive cruise control. The vehicle will not keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. 

Ford High Beam Indicator

High Beam 

This light means the high beams are turned on. You should only use this setting if you are the only vehicle on the road. Do not keep the high beams on if you are coming in the opposite direction or other vehicles in front of your vehicle. 

To turn off the high beam, pull the turn switch towards the back of the vehicle. 

Ford Lane Keeping Indicator

Lane Keeping 

This light means that lane assist is enabled. This light should flash if you leave the lane without turning on the blinker. 

Ford Headlamp Out Indicator

Headlamp Out

This light means that one of the light bulbs has burned out. You may have a faulty low beam bulb, parking light, turn signal, or backup light. Turn on all the lights and inspect the exterior of the vehicle, including the license plate lights. 

Once you find out which light is faulty, replace the burned light bulb. 

Ford Stability Control Indicator

Stability Control 

This light means that the stability control has been disabled. The vehicle can be driven but keep in mind stability control is off. 

In most cases, this light comes on at the same time that the ABS light comes on. If that is the case, there is a high chance one of the wheel speed sensors is faulty. 

Use an ABS Scanner  to read the fault codes from the ABS and traction modules. 

Ford  Blind Spot Monitor OFF

 Blind Spot Monitor

If this light stays on, the blind spot monitoring system has been turned off. The system may have been turned off because you pressed the blind spot monitor off button on the dashboard, or the system has been disabled due to a problem with one of the radars mounted behind the rear bumper. 

Ford  Electronic Power Steering Trouble Indicator

 Electronic Power Steering 

This light means there is a problem with the electronic power steering. The steering wheel may be tough to turn. 

trans issues

Powertrain Warning

This light indicates a problem with the automatic transmission or all-wheel-drive system. 

Pullover, turn off the vehicle, and allow it cool down. Once the vehicle has cooled down, check the automatic transmission fluid level. Note that not all Ford vehicles have an automatic dipstick. 

For more help see our guide on Troubleshooting Ford Transmission Problems.

Ford Adaptive Cruise Control

 Adaptive Cruise Control

This light means that adaptive cruise control has been activated. 

Ford Anti-Lock Brake System Fault Indicator

Anti-Lock Brake System Fault 

This light means that the anti-lock brake system has been disabled. In most cases, the problem is due to a bad ABS wheel speed sensor. While the vehicle can be driven, the anti-lock brake function is disabled, and the vehicle may take longer to bring to a complete stop and may skid under hard braking or if there is rain or snow on the road. 

To find out why your Ford ABS light is on, use an ABS scanner to read the fault codes from the ABS Control Module. Generic OBD-II scanner may not be able to read airbag scanners. 

Ford Automatic High Beam Indicator

Automatic High

This light means that automatic high beams are turned on. High beams may switch on and off automatically. When there are oncoming vehicles in the opposite lane, the low beams turn on. If there aren't any incoming vehicles in the opposite lane, the high beams turn on. 

Ford Tire Pressure Monitor Indicator

Tire Pressure Monitor 

This light means there is low tire pressure in one of the tires. Check the tire pressure and correct it to bring it to the recommended air pressure, as shown on the sticker on the driver's door frame. 

If the TPMS light stays on after you add air, there may be a problem communicating with one of the TPMS sensors, or the TPMS system is faulty. 

Ford Turn Signal Indicator

Turn Signal 

This light means the turn signals are on. If both turn signals are flashing, it is because the hazard lights are turned on. Turn off the hazard by pressing the orange triangle on the dashboard. 

Ford Door Ajar

Door Ajar / Door Open

This light means that one of the doors is open or is not closed complety. Pullover, park the vehicle and check to ensure all the doors are fully closed. 

Ford Electric Park Brake Trouble Indicator

Electric Park Brake Trouble

This light means there is a problem with the electric parking brakes. Parking brakes may not engage, or they may get stuck in a parked position, in which case you will not be able to drive the vehicle. 

Ford EV Mode Indicator

EV Mode 

In EV mode, you can operate the vehicle in electric mode. Meaning that the engine will not be used to propel the vehicle, but only the hybrid battery. 

Ford Grade Assist Indicator

Grade Assist 

This light means that grade assist has been abled. The grade assists help the driver on steep grades, slippery or rugged terrain. In this mode, the differential switch to a low range to increase torque but decrease wheel rotational speed. 

Ford Hood Ajar Indicator

Hood Ajar 

If this light stays on, it means that the hood is open or not fully closed. 

In some cases, the hood open may come on even though the hood is closed. This is often caused by a defective switch mounted by the hood latch that determines the hood open/closed condition. 

Ford Hybrid Charging Indicator

Hybrid Charging 

This light comes on in hybrid and electric vehicles. The plug light may be red, yellow, or blink white while the battery has been charged. Once the battery is fully charged, the plug light turns green. 

Ford Hybrid Ready Indicator

Hybrid Ready 

This light lets the driver know that electric mode is enabled, and the vehicle will move if the brake is released or the accelerator pedal is pressed. 

Ford  Automatic Brake Hold Indicator

Automatic Brake Hold 

Auto hold feature applies the brakes and prevents the vehicle from rolling in stop and go traffic or when you stop on a hill. 

Ford Park Lamps ON Indicator

Park Lamps 

This light means the parking lights have been turned on. Typically the low beam switch controls the parking lights. Turn the switch one more click to turn on the low beams. 

Ford Seat Belt Reminder

Seat Belt Reminder

This light means that one or more passenger in the vehicle has not fastened the seat belt. 

Ford Stability Control OFF Indicator

Stability Control OFF

This light means that stability control has been turned off. Stability control may have been turned off because you pressed the button on the dashboard, or there is a problem with the system. 

Ford Trunk Ajar Indicator

Trunk Ajar 

This light means the trunk is still open and needs to be shut down. 

The purpose of many of these lights on a Ford are to inform the driver when a system is enabled. 

A few of these lights indicate a problem or malfunction and inform the driver that that particular system has been disabled.

diagnose ford warning lights

To find out what is wrong with these systems, use an All System Ford Scanner to read the fault codes from the corresponding module. 

Note that most OBD-II scanner can only reach check engine codes and are not able to diagnose other systems such as airbags, ABS, traction control, etc. 

By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Nov 2020