If you own a Hyundai or Kia car, you may have noticed some warning lights on your dashboard. These indicators alert you of potential problems or malfunctions in your car’s systems. They can range from simple reminders to urgent warnings that require immediate attention.
Some warning lights are common to all Hyundai and Kia cars, while others are specific to certain models or features. Knowing what these warning lights mean and how to respond to them can help you prevent further damage, avoid accidents, and ensure your safety on the road.
That’s why we will explain the meaning and function of common warning lights and dashboard symbols in Hyundai and Kia cars. We will also provide some tips on how to troubleshoot and fix them or when to seek professional help. For a comprehensive list of all Hyundai warning lights and their meanings, you can refer to resources available online.
1. Engine Warning Light
The engine warning light, also known as the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), is one of the most common warning lights in Hyundai and Kia cars. It appears as an outline of an engine and can flash or stay on steadily.
This light indicates a problem with your car’s engine, fuel system, or emissions control system. Various issues, such as a loose gas cap, faulty oxygen sensor, bad spark plug, or clogged catalytic converter, can trigger it.
If the engine warning light comes on, do not ignore it. It can affect your car’s performance, fuel economy, and emissions and may lead to more severe problems if left untreated.
Here are steps to take if the engine warning light comes on:
- Check your gas cap – Ensure it is tight and secure, as a loose gas cap can trigger the engine warning light by affecting the fuel tank’s pressure.
- Reduce speed and load – If the engine warning light flashes, it indicates a severe problem that could damage your engine or catalytic converter. Reduce your speed and load, avoid hard acceleration or deceleration, and refrain from driving long distances or at high altitudes until the problem is resolved.
- Scan for trouble codes – If the engine warning light remains steadily lit, it suggests a minor problem that may not immediately impact your driving. Nonetheless, it is advisable to scan for trouble codes using an OBD-II scanner or a smartphone app. This will help identify the specific cause of the issue and guide you on how to rectify it.
If you can’t resolve the issue independently or if the warning light persists post-fix, consult a qualified mechanic, as they possess the expertise and tools to diagnose and repair the problem accurately.
2. Airbag Warning Light
The airbag warning light, or the supplemental restraint system (SRS) warning light, is another common warning light in Hyundai and Kia cars. It appears as a symbol of a person in front of an inflated airbag.
This light indicates a problem with your car’s airbag system or seat belt pre-tensioners. These are safety features that protect you and your passengers from injuries in case of a collision. They work by deploying airbags or tightening seat belts when they detect a crash.
If the airbag warning light comes on, don’t ignore it. It may indicate that your airbags or seat belt pre-tensioners are malfunctioning.
Steps to take if the airbag warning light comes on:
- Check your seat belts – Ensure they are correctly fastened and free from twists or damage. A loose or faulty seat belt can trigger the airbag warning light as it affects the seat belt pre-tensioner.
- Check your passengers – Make sure they are seated correctly and not leaning against the doors or windows. Improperly positioned passengers can cause the airbag warning light to activate as it influences the passenger detection system.
- Check for obstructions – Verify that no objects or liquids are under or near the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, or doors. Obstacles can lead to the airbag warning light illuminating due to their impact on the wiring or sensors of the airbag system.
Seek professional help if you cannot find an apparent cause for the airbag warning light or if it persists or recurs after checking everything.
3. Tire Pressure Warning Light
The tire pressure warning light, also known as the low tire pressure warning light or tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light, is another common warning light in Hyundai and Kia cars. It appears as an exclamation mark inside a tire cross-section.
This light indicates that one or more of your tires are underinflated or overinflated, affecting your car’s handling, braking, traction, and fuel economy, and increasing the risk of tire blowouts or punctures.
Here are steps to take if the tire pressure warning light comes on:
- Check your tire pressure – Utilize a tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure of each tire. Compare the readings with the recommended pressure for your vehicle, usually found on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. If the pressure is too low or too high, adjust it accordingly.
- Inspect your tires – Examine your tires for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks. If you identify issues, promptly replace or repair the affected tires. A damaged or worn tire can trigger the tire pressure warning light due to compromised air sealing.
- Reset the system – After verifying and adjusting your tire pressure and addressing any tire-related concerns, you should reset the tire pressure monitoring system. This action turns off the tire pressure warning light and recalibrates the system. The reset procedure can vary depending on your car’s model and year, typically involving pressing a button or driving for a designated distance or speed.
If you cannot reset the system independently or if the tire pressure warning light persists or reoccurs despite your reset attempts, it is advisable to seek professional help.
These are some of the most common warning lights/dashboard symbols in Hyundai and Kia cars, indicating potential problems or malfunctions in your vehicle’s systems. Understanding their meanings and appropriate responses can help prevent further damage and accidents, and ensure road safety.
However, it’s important to note that these warning lights do not replace regular maintenance and inspection of your car. Always adhere to the recommended service schedule outlined in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door. If you have any doubts or questions regarding your car’s condition or performance, it is advisable to consult a qualified mechanic.
Featured photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash.