Toyota Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

Toyota Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

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This guide will explain the Toyota dashboard warning lights.

Toyota Charge System Trouble Indicator

Charge System / Battery Light

If the battery warning light comes on while the engine is running, it may indicate the charging system is not functioning properly. Turn off the engine and check the generator (alternator) belt is in working condition. Do not continue driving if the belt is loose, broken, or missing. Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have the charging system tested.

Common causes of the charging system light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Alternator not charging
  • Bad battery not holding charge
  • Loose battery cable
Toyota Brake Trouble Indicator

Brake Light Stays On 

If the brake light is on, the brake system may need to be serviced. We do not recommend driving the vehicle with the brake light on. Use your best judgment to determine if the vehicle is safe to drive. If in need of repairs, have the vehicle towed to the shop; driving in this condition could be dangerous.

Common causes of the brake indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Brake system malfunction
  • Low brake fluid level
  • The parking brake is on (light may illuminate yellow instead of red in this case)
Toyota Low Oil Warning Light

Low Oil Warning Light

This light means the oil pressure is outside of acceptable limits. Immediately check the pressure gauge on the dash to see the oil pressure level. Pull the vehicle over and turn the engine off when it is safe to do so. Check the oil level to see if it is low. If the oil level is acceptable and the pressure is still low, this indicates a greater mechanical failure within the engine, such as a failed oil pump, worn piston rings, or blocked oil passages. Have the vehicle towed to a Toyota technician to have it diagnosed and serviced. Do NOT drive the vehicle with low oil pressure as it will cause almost immediate and serious damage to the engine.

Common causes of the low oil pressure indicator on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Bad oil pressure sending sensor
  • Failed oil pump
  • Worn piston rings
  • Blocked oil passages
  • Low oil or oil that has turned to sludge from never changing it
Toyota Engine Temperature Indicator

Engine Temperature Light

Engine overheating warning light is an indicator of the vehicle coolant temperature overheating. Check the temperature gauge to see if the vehicle is running hot. Pull the vehicle over and refer to the owner's manual or a guide on checking the vehicle's coolant level safely once the engine cools down.  Take the vehicle to a mechanic to find the coolant leak or other potential overheating problems. 

Common causes of the engine temperature indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Coolant hose, heater core, or radiator leak
  • Bad thermostat or cooling fans
  • Faulty engine coolant temperature sensor
  • Major problems could include a head gasket.
  • Water pump failure.
Toyota Seat Belt Reminder

Seat Belt Reminder

This is a reminder to fasten the front driver or passenger's seatbelt. An audible chime can usually be heard indicating this.

Toyota Airbag

Airbag

When the vehicle is first turned on, it is normal for this warning light to illuminate for approximately seven seconds. If the light stays on after this time has passed, the vehicle's safety restraint system needs to be serviced by a mechanic. It is not recommended to service this yourself as airbags can involuntarily deploy/discharge, causing injury, or even death. If you decide to troubleshoot the airbag system yourself, make sure to use an Airbag OBD-II Scanner to read the codes. It is important to have serviced, so all airbags are functioning properly in case of an accident. 

Toyota Security Indicator

Security Indicator

This security indicator will blink every three seconds when the vehicle is either OFF, LOCK, or in the AUTO ACC position, and all the entry points are locked properly, indicating it is functioning normally. If it does not flash while the vehicle is locked and entry points are sealed, the system is not functioning properly. If the light stays solid, the vehicle has been immobilized and will not start or move.

Toyota Door Ajar

Door Ajar 

The door ajar indicator stays illuminated when any of the doors or trunks are not closed properly. If this indicator does not go off even after closing the door properly, it may be caused by worn-out latches in the door or a faulty door ajar sensor.

Common causes of the door ajar indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Worn-out door latches/ strikers
  • Faulty door ajar sensor
Toyota Master Warning Light

Master Warning Light

When the ignition is ON or the vehicle is running, the master warning light illuminating could mean a variety of different warnings. Check the vehicle's information display for any messages, and check if any other warning lights are on the dash. 

Common causes of the master warning light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • No key warning
  • Low windshield-washer fluid warning
  • Parking brake release warning 
  • Door/trunk open warning
  • Loose fuel cap
  • Low tire pressure warning
Toyota Steering Trouble Indicator

Steering Light 

This light means there is a problem with the power steering. This warning may display as red or yellow. If the steering wheel with the exclamation mark next to it comes on, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Turn the wheel to the end of its travel to see if it binds or takes greater effort to steer. Check the power steering fluid reservoir to see if it is low, and listen while turning the wheel for any whining sounds coming from the power steering pump. Take the vehicle to a trained Toyota technician to be serviced.

Common power steering system problems on a Toyota vehicle:

  • In electric power steering equipped vehicles: the power steering motor may be faulty, or a sensor can be defective. 
  • In hydraulic power steering equipped vehicles: the power steering reservoir may be low on fluid, the pump seized, or rack and pinion faulty.
Toyota Auto Start Stop Indicators

Auto Start-Stop Indicators 

The auto start-stop is a function that turns the vehicle off when stopped and back on when stepping on the gas to reduce fuel consumption and eliminate idle emissions. The auto start-stop indicator coming on means there is a problem with the start-stop system. Take the vehicle to a shop to be serviced. 

Toyota Tire Pressure Monitor System Indicator

Tire Pressure Monitor System - TPMS

When this light comes on with the engine running, this means that one or more of the tires is significantly underinflated. If the light flashes before it stays on, this indicates that one or more of the tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) sensors may be faulty.

Check tire pressures to see if any tire is low on air pressure. Suppose applicable, check the information display for a message indicating which tire is low or faulty. Inflate tires to recommended pressure or take the vehicle to a trained Toyota technician to have the TPMS serviced.

Common tire pressure monitor system problems on a Toyota vehicle:

  • One or more underinflated tires.
  • A faulty tire pressure monitor system sensor
Toyota Anti-Lock Brake System Fault Indicator

Anti-Lock Brake System Fault - ABS Light

This light means that the anti-lock brake system (ABS) has a problem and has been disabled. 

What this means is that vehicle brakes may lock up under hard braking conditions.

Use a compatible Toyota OBD-II ABS scanner to read the codes from the ABS module.

Some of the most common problems that trigger the ABS light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Faulty ABS wheel speed sensor
  • Broken ABS wheel ring
Toyota Low Fuel Indicator

Low Fuel Level

This light means that vehicle is low on fuel. Find a gas station and add fuel. Check the information display to estimate how many miles until the vehicle completely runs out of fuel. It is always a good idea to keep a vehicle from getting low on fuel as this causes the fuel pump to work harder and leads to excess and premature wear on it.

Common low fuel indicator causes on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Low fuel
  • Faulty fuel pump float
Toyota Low Washer Fluid Indicator

Low Washer Fluid 

This light means that the fluid in the windshield washer reservoir is low. Refer to the owner's manual for the location of the reservoir. Alternatively, you can look under the hood for a blue cap with the same symbol. Check its level and fill appropriately. 

Toyota Rear Seat Belt Indicator

Rear Seat Belt 

The rear seat belt indicator lets the driver know if the passengers in the back are wearing their seatbelts. If the system detects a passenger in the rear seat without the seat belt being buckled, an audible chime and visual indicator will show on the dash. 

Toyota Brake Override Indicator

Brake Override 

The brake override indicator means that one of the automatic systems preventing collision (i.e., pedestrian collision, rear automatic braking, lane departure, pre-collision, etc.) is applying the brakes its own. This helps alert the driver to also manually brake and take control to avoid a collision.

Toyota Park Brake Indicator

Park Brake 

If the brake light is on, the brake system may need to be serviced. We do not recommend driving the vehicle with the brake light on. Use your best judgment to determine if the vehicle is safe to drive. If in need of repairs, have the vehicle towed to the shop; driving in this condition could be dangerous.

Common causes of the brake indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Brake system malfunction
  • Low brake fluid level
  • The parking brake is on (light may illuminate yellow instead of red in this case)
Toyota Brake Hold Indicator

Brake Hold 

This light indicator of the automatic brake hold system working properly when certain conditions such as stop and go traffic are met. When it is green, the brake hold is being applied. When it is white, the system is on stand-by. 

Toyota Hood Ajar Indicator

Hood Ajar 

The hood ajar indicator can be an indication of the hood left open. If the hood is not shut properly, it is possible it can fly up at highway speeds, causing a wreck. Make sure the hood latch is functioning and locking properly. 

Common causes of the hood ajar indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • The Hood is not shut all the way.
  • Hood latch misaligned, loose, or broken, not closing properly.
  • Hood ajar sensor or wiring faulty
Toyota Keyless Access or Start Fault Indicator

Keyless Access or Start Fault 

This is an indicator that the key fob is faulty or not detected. If the vehicle is running, it is possible to drive to a mechanic/dealer as long as the vehicle is not turned off to have it serviced. 

Common causes of the keyless access start fault indicator light on a Toyota vehicle:

  • The key fob battery is dead.
  • The key fob has been damaged or is faulty.
  • It is also possible the module reading the key fob is faulty, but it is less likely. 
Toyota Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

The most common cause of this light is a failure with the onboard emission control system. If this light is on while the engine stays running, it will require an OBD-II scan and diagnostic from a trained Toyota technician. Do NOT drive the vehicle if the light is flashing; take the vehicle to be serviced promptly. Pull the vehicle over if driving and have it towed to a shop.

A flashing indicator is commonly caused by an engine misfire or clogged catalytic converter, which could cause immediate and serious damage to the engine.

Common causes of the service engine soon malfunction indicator lamp on a Toyota vehicle:

  • Loose fuel cap
  • P0420 catalytic converter failure
  • Emission control system failure
  • O2 sensor failure
Toyota 2nd Start Mode Indicator

2nd Start Mode 

The 2nd start mode indicator means the car is engaged in 2nd gear at the start to provide more torque to the wheels in case of wheels being stuck or slipping when applying the gas.

Toyota Slip Indicator

Slip Indicator

This indicator will blink when the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system is operating. This is normal and is an indication of the vehicle limiting wheel spin to control the traction. It may be felt or heard while driving the vehicle. Always use caution when driving on slippery surfaces such as rain, snow, or ice.

If the slip indicator or traction control stays on, it means there is a malfunction with this system. The most common problems are faulty abs wheel speed sensor or steering angle sensor may need to be reset. To troubleshoot this problem, read fault codes from the ABS module using an ABS Scanner

Toyota Stability Control OFF Indicator

Stability Control OFF 

This indicator comes on when the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is off. It is either off due to malfunction or was manually turned off. It is recommended to have VSC keep the vehicle from slipping and losing control in hazardous situations. It can usually be turned on and off with the button on the dash.

If the light stays on constantly and traction control can not be turned on, then the system has been turned off due to a problem with it or ABS. 

Toyota Traction Control Indicator

Traction Control OFF 

The traction control off indicator means the same thing as the stability control off indicator. Refer to the above.

Toyota Transmission Oil Temperature Indicator

Transmission Oil Temperature 

This warning light is an indicator the automatic transmission is running hot. Pull over immediately and turn off the vehicle. Any overheating of the automatic transmission runs the risk of burning the transmission fluid and completely ruining it. Have the vehicle towed to be serviced at a mechanic/Toyota dealer. 

Toyota Blind Spot Monitor Indicator

Blind Spot Monitor 

This light shows when the blind-spot warning system is on and other vehicles are detected within the blind spot. This indicator is usually shown on the driver and passenger side mirrors. The BSW can be turned off with the vehicle's information display. 

Toyota Lane Departure Alert Indicator

Lane Departure Alert 

This light comes on when the Lane Departure Alert (LDA) system is engaged. The conditions met for it to engage require the vehicle to drift over the solid white line of the road.  On equipped models, it will gently correct the vehicle back into the center of the lane. If the steering wheel is engaged by the driver, the correction will be overridden, and the driver then has full control of the vehicle. Lane indicators (solid and dotted lines) must be clearly visible for this system to engage.

Toyota Pre-Collision Braking Indicator

Pre-Collision Braking 

This warning light indicates the Pre-Collision Braking (PCB) has required the automatic emergency braking system (AEB) to be engaged. The system has detected a possible collision from a vehicle in front that is approaching too quickly. The automatic emergency braking system will automatically take over and decelerate and brake the vehicle to give the driver time to react and prevent a collision. It is part of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system.

Toyota Park Assist Indicator

Park Assist 

The park assists indicator means the system is active and functioning. If it is enabled while parking, the vehicle will assist the driver in steering when trying to park the vehicle in forward or reverse. It utilizes the car's multiple cameras and sonar. It will apply the brakes if it detects a collision.

Toyota Intelligent Clearance Sonar OFF Indicator

Intelligent Clearance Sonar OFF 

This indicator light means the rear automatic braking system and the rear sonar system are turned off. The vehicle will no longer be able to automatically detect a potential collision and prevent it from occurring. 

Toyota Rear Cross Traffic Alert Indicator

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 

The rear cross-traffic alert indicator means the vehicle is avoiding collision with traffic crossing the rear of the vehicle when reversing. The light comes on when it is active, and the car is in reverse. It will alert the driver if it senses a vehicle from behind moving between 5-18 mph. It is ideal for backing out of driveways, parking spots, etc.

Toyota Low Outside Temperature Indicator

Low Outside Temperature 

An indicator to show that the outside ambient temperatures are below 37 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be turned off in the vehicle's display options. Refer to the owner's manual on how to do so.

Toyota 4 Wheel Drive Indicator

4 Wheel Drive 

This 4wheel drive lo indicator means that the four-wheel-drive system is engaged and is in low gear. This light can be turned off by disengaging 4WD. If it stays on or flashes after the four-wheel-drive has been disengaged, it could be caused by a greater problem within the system, or it may be stuck.

Toyota Rear Differential Lock Indicator

Rear Differential Lock 

This rear differential lock indicator means that the rear differential has been electronically locked to provide more traction to the rear wheels. The light will come when the vehicle is stuck and one of the rear wheels is spinning independently of the other. For the light to go off, the vehicle may need to be unstuck or the differential serviced as it may be malfunctioning.

Toyota Automatic Limited Slip Differential (LSD) Indicator

Automatic Limited Slip Differential (LSD) 

The automatically limited-slip differential indicator means that power is being sent to the wheel, getting traction on the road, and brake applied to the wheel where slip occurs. It can only be used with traction control off as it sends more power to the wheels without reducing engine speed or braking. It is not to be used in extreme weather conditions while moving in place of traction control. It is used when accelerating from a standstill in slippery conditions to help get power and traction to the road without losing engine speed. When the traction control system is turned on, the auto limited-slip differential indicator will go off.

Toyota Low Speed And Crawl Control Indicators

Low Speed and Crawl Control 

The low speed and crawl control indicator means that the brake and throttle are being adjusted to prevent tumbling down steep terrain. It is also to avoid getting stuck or slipping on slippery or difficult terrain. This light will be on when this mode is active. This mode can be turned off completely by pushing the button on the dash, and the light will also turn off.

Toyota Turn Assist Indicator

 Turn Assist 

The turn assist indicator means the vehicle assists in cornering performance. It controls steering operation and maintains vehicle speed when driving through a tight corner. Effectively, it reduces the number of turns needed to navigate a corner that requires turning the wheel in the opposite direction. It only works in conjunction with crawl control being turned on. To turn this light off, turn crawl control off.

Toyota Auto Glide Control Indicator

Auto Glide Control 

The auto glide control (AGC) is a fuel-saving technology equipped on some Toyotas to let a vehicle coast without aggressive engine braking. When the AGC is active, it acts as a drive setting allowing the vehicle to go into a neutral gear that limits vehicle speed loss. This happens because less deceleration torque is applied to the transmission from the engine losing acceleration. The indicator light comes on when the AGC engages to alert the driver of loss of speed while coasting. For the AGC to be active, the ECO mode must also be turned on.

Toyota Power Mode Indicator

Electronically Controlled Transmission Power Mode 

The electronically controlled transmission (ECT) power mode is a Toyota driving mode equivalent to tow/haul mode on most other makes. It adjusts the transmission shift points higher and allows the driver to reach higher RPM bands that output peak power. Ideal for overtaking on the highway or towing a heavy load up a steep incline. This light is on when the ECT PWR mode is active; to turn it off, press the ECT PWR button on the dash.

Toyota Economy Operation Indicator

Economy Mode Operation 

The economy mode operation indicator is a driving mode that makes automated adjustments to the powertrain to save on fuel consumption. It will often limit the torque and acceleration that goes to the drive system and reduce the power of the air conditioning system or turns it off completely. This indicator can be turned off by pressing the ECO MODE button on the dash, returning the car to normal function.

Toyota Sport Mode Indicator

Sport Mode 

The sport mode indicator means that the sport mode is active. Sport mode automatically makes adjustments to the transmission, throttle, and steering for a sportier feel. Shifting is quicker,  acceleration is quicker, and the steering is more responsive. To turn the light off and return the car to normal driving mode, push the sport mode button or normal button on the dash. 

Toyota EV Mode Indicator

EV Mode 

The EV mode means the hybrid vehicle runs on battery power, and the gas-powered engine is turned off. This indicator means the hybrid vehicle is working properly. This light will remain when the vehicle is still using battery power and goes off when the electric motor or gas engine turns on.

Toyota Hybrid Ready Indicator

Hybrid Ready 

The ready indicator light on a hybrid vehicle means that the electric systems checks have passed, and the vehicle functions normally. It is ready for use, aka driving. It will go away when the vehicle moves after the initial start-up and stay off until the vehicle is turned off.

Toyota EV Operation Indicator

EV Operation 

The EV operation indicator means the hybrid vehicle is using battery power to function. When this light goes off, the electric motor likely needs to kick on to provide enough acceleration when pressing on the throttle.

Toyota Remote Charge Timer Setting Indicator

Remote Charge Timer Setting 

The remote charge timer indicator shows that a time has been set for a hybrid vehicle to be charged. This time can be set with the owner's preference in mind. While it's plugged in and this timer is set, the vehicle will charge at the set time. 

Toyota Cruise Control Indicator

Cruise Control  

This light means that cruise control has been enabled and is functioning properly. Once the cruise control speed is set by a switch or lever, the vehicle will keep constant speed until the brake pedal is pressed. Once the brake pedal is pressed, the cruise control will cancel. The cruise control can be deactivated by the switch/lever, and the indicator will no longer show.

Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Indicator

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control 

This light means that adaptive cruise control (ACC) has been activated. The vehicle will keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If the vehicle in front slows down, your vehicle will slow down as well. If a possible collision is detected, then moderate to heavy braking will be applied, and an audible alert will chime, and a visible warning will show on the information display.

Toyota Adaptive Front Lighting OFF Indicator

Adaptive Front Lighting OFF 

The adaptive front lighting off indicator means the adaptive front lighting system is turned off. If flashing, this means the system has had a malfunction occur, and the vehicle needs to be serviced. To turn the light off, turn the AFS back on by pressing the switch on the dash.

Toyota Headlamp Indicator

Headlamp 

The headlamp indicator means the normal headlamps are active. This indicator will go off when the vehicle's headlights are turned off.

Toyota LED Headlamp Out Indicator

LED Headlamp Out 

The LED headlamp out indicator means one of the headlamps has gone out by either a bad LED bulb, blown fuse, or faulty wiring. A message may appear on the dash alerting the driver to the location of the position where the fault is occurring. To get this indicator off, the vehicle must be serviced, so the headlamp is functioning again.

Toyota Headlamp Leveler  Fault Indicator

Headlamp Leveler Fault 

The headlamp leveler fault indicator means that one of the leveling system's parts is not functioning as it should, such as the leveling sensors in the front or rear of the motors that actuate the headlamp movement. This can also happen when a vehicle is lowered, and the system maxes out its ability to level the headlight upwards. The vehicle must be serviced to get this indicator to disappear from the dash.

Toyota Automatic High Beam Indicator

Automatic High Beam 

This light means that the high beams will turn on automatically when there is no incoming traffic. The automatic high beam switch needs to be on, and the high beams are turned on for the automatic high beams to work.

Toyota Park Lamps ON Indicator

Park Lamps ON 

The park lamps indicator shows that the parking lamps are running. Parking lamps were originally intended as a dim light to be left on while the vehicle was parked in situations where there wasn't much street light. However, that doesn't apply in modern situations, and no one uses it in that way anymore. The best use of these lamps, and probably the only way they are used today, is in situations where it is not quite dark enough for the headlamps to be on. The parking lamps would help give the vehicle visibility without being too bright and distracting, like the headlights. 

Toyota Fog Lamp Indicator

Fog Lamp 

This light means that the fog lights are turned on. Some vehicles are equipped with rear fog lights as well, and an illuminated symbol that is red or amber and pointing to the right will usually indicate the rear fog lights are on.

Toyota Turn Signal Indicator

Turn Signal 

The turn signal indicator should flash when the stalk is switched on in either direction. If the light blinks fast, it is an indicator of a bad turn signal bulb. If the light stays on steady when the turn signal stalk is switched on, it indicates a bad stalk/switch. Have a Toyota technician replace the bad bulbs or faulty switch.

Common turn signal indicator problems on a Toyota vehicle:

  • The turn signal switch is faulty. 
  • Burnt out/ bad turn signal bulb
Toyota High Beam Indicator

High Beam 

The high beam indicator turns on when the high beam headlights are activated.  Pull the turn signal stalk back to switch between high and low beams.

 


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