Mercedes-Benz Dashboard Warning Lights — What Do They Mean?
It can be really easy to ignore the warning lights that flash up on your dashboard now and again but these warning lights play a vital role and indicate problems with your vehicle that need checking or immediate action. Our Service Team Manager, Kelly, talks us through what each light means and what action you should take if one pops up.
Traffic Light System
It doesn’t matter what vehicle you’re driving whether it be an A Class, C Class, GLE or any other model, the warning lights on your Mercedes-Benz’s dashboard will always follow a traffic light colour system:
Green: the system is working correctly or is currently in use
Yellow: something is not working correctly — take extra care and check it out as soon as possible
Red: there is a serious, and potentially dangerous problem — stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so
Mercedes-Benz Parking Brake and Brake Fluid Warning Light
This warning light may appear after you fully release the parking brake, or can appear when you’re driving, it may indicate that the brake fluid level is low. Unless you know how to check your brake fluid levels yourself, this will be one for our service team. If the ABS warning light is also illuminated this signals that the braking system has malfunctioned and your brakes may not be working properly. In this case the Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) warning light may also be illuminated.
Can I still drive with my parking brake and brake fluid light on?
No. The brakes are one of the most important safety features of your car, so it’s important to act immediately when you see this red warning light. Stop as soon as it’s safe to do so — keep your speed low and avoid braking suddenly. Unless you know how to check your brake fluid levels yourself, contact us as soon as you can.
Mercedes-Benz Check Engine Warning Light
When the check engine warning light flashes up it’s often paired by tell-tale signs that the engine is not working properly, such as a lack of power or stuttering as you press the accelerator. This warning could indicate a range of faults, from minor issues to a much larger mechanical issue.
How long can I drive with my check engine light on?
Ideally you should get it checked as soon as you can, as by continuing to drive you risk causing further, potentially irreparable damage to your engine.
Mercedes-Benz Power Steering Warning Light
This warning light indicates that there’s a problem with the power steering. Find a safe place to stop and try turning the car off and back on again after 30 seconds. If the light stays on you should bring your car in to one of our showrooms as soon as possible.
Can I drive with my EPS light on?
You should only drive to your nearest showroom to get it checked out, but if the power steering system fails you will notice that the car is harder to manoeuvre and you should take extra care.
Mercedes-Benz Exhaust Particulate Filter (diesel) Warning Light
If you own a Mercedes-Benz powered by diesel, this light will come on if there is a problem with the exhaust particulate filter, which removes harmful soot from the exhaust gases to reduce emissions. It could indicate that the filter has become blocked with fumes and dirt.
Can I still drive with my DPF light on?
Driving with a blocked filter could cause more serious damage to your car and also release toxic smoke every time you press the accelerator. You should speak to one of our service advisors as soon as possible.
Mercedes-Benz diesel Exhaust Fluid Warning Light
If this light turns yellow it means the diesel exhaust fluid level is low, which will eventually prevent your engine from starting.
Can I drive with my exhaust fluid warning light on?
You should go to get the levels topped up as soon as you can, as once the light turns red the level has become so low, the engine won’t start again once turned off.
Mercedes-Benz Coolant Levels Warning Light
This yellow warning light will flash up when coolant levels are running low, to remind you to top them up.
Can I still drive with my coolant level light on?
Avoid making any long journeys without sufficient coolant: you should stop and top up as soon as possible otherwise you risk causing serious damage to your car. Also it’s advised for your safety to wait for the engine to cool down before topping up.
Mercedes-Benz Engine Overheating Warning Light
This light is a warning that your engine is overheating. This could mean that coolant levels are running low, which could indicate a leak in the system, or it could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Can I still drive with my engine overheating light on?
You should stop straight away, as continuing to drive could cause irreparable damage. Stop and wait until the engine has cooled off before checking the gauge on the side of the coolant tank under the bonnet, topping up as required. Read the RAC’s guide to checking your engine coolant.
Mercedes-Benz Low Engine Oil Warning Light
This symbol indicates that the oil temperature is too high or that the oil level or pressure is too low. It’s important to act quickly as this could lead to expensive or even irreparable engine damage.
Can I still drive with my low engine oil light on?
Stop as soon as possible and turn off the engine. Have a look for any obvious oil leaks under the car, and then check the oil levels, topping up if necessary. If the oil levels are fine, then the oil pump may be faulty in which case give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
Mercedes-Benz Low Tyre Pressure Warning Light
Most of our vehichles are now fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems that will let you know when the pressure falls. This could happen over time or it could be the result of a puncture.
Can I still drive with my tyre pressure light on?
Yes, but be cautious and aim to top up with air as soon as possible. Low tyre pressure can cause unsafe driving conditions so be mindful and reduce your speed, try to avoid braking suddenly or making any violent steering manoeuvres.
Mercedes-Benz Battery Charge Warning Light
This light indicates that the battery is not charging. This could be due to a problem with your car’s electrical system and it could have several causes, such as a faulty alternator, faulty battery, bad electrical connection or damaged cabling.
Can I still drive with my battery charging system light on?
Your car will run as normal until the battery is completely dead but once it is drained nothing in your car will work, so we advise to get to us ASAP to avoid breaking down!
Mercedes-Benz Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Warning Light
ABS is an essential safety feature needed when you need to make an abrupt stop, or in difficult driving conditions like icy roads.
Can I still drive with my ABS light on?
If the ABS light flashes up you should still have normal, unassisted braking, so it’s safe to continue your journey. But keep your distance, take extra care, and get it checked as soon as possible. However, f it comes on with the brake warning light, it could indicate that the brake system is failing and you should stop straight away.
Mercedes-Benz Brake Pad Wear Warning Light
This simply means a sensor has detected your brake pads are too thin. This warning light should come on before the brake pads become a hazard so you have time to get them changed. You should replace them as soon as you can as if they wear out completely it could be very dangerous.
Mercedes-Benz Electronic Stability Problem (ESP) Warning Light
Also known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), this warning light indicates a problem with traction control. If it’s flashing it means the ESP system is intervening however if the light stays on it means the ESP system is not working properly. Firstly stop and restart the engine, if the light remains on after restarting give us a call to discuss.
Mercedes-Benz Glow Plug Warning Light
If you have a diesel Mercedes, this light will light up when the engine is warming up. Wait until the light goes off before starting your car and if this light is flashing it indicates that it’s not working properly and the glow plugs may need replacing. Get this one checked as soon as you can.
Mercedes-Benz Airbag / Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) Warning Light
This means that at least one element of the airbag safety system is not working correctly: either the airbag system itself or the seat belt pretensioner system. If the airbag system is not working properly, it may not go off in a crash or it could even deploy at any point and cause a crash. This is an incredibly important safety feature of your car so we advise that you get this checked immediately.
Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist System (BAS) Warning Light
BAS is a safety feature available on some vehicles that uses a sensor to measure the distance and relative speed of the vehicles in front, so that it can warn you if you get too close. If the warning light comes on it means that the system is temporarily unavailable, possibly because the sensor is either too hot or cold, or clogged with dirt.
Mercedes-Benz Bulb Warning Light
This light will come on if one of your lights needs replacing and in some cases a message on the dashboard should help you identify which light is out. You’ll need to get this replaced as soon as you can. Firsty because they’re an important safety feature, secondly because your car won’t pass its MOT without a full set of working lights and lastly you may get pulled over the police.
Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Fault Warning Light
Our hybrid systems are there to reduce emissions and improve performance. This clever system can shut down the combustion engine, and instead allow the battery to power your car. If this warning light comes on this indicates a fault with the hybrid system, stop when it’s safe to do so and try turning the car off for a few minutes to allow the computer to recalibrate. If this doesn’t clear contact us and one of our experts will take a look.
Mercedes-Benz Attention Assist Warning Light
Attention Assist is a safety feature available on our newer models that monitors your driving behaviour. The warning light will come on if the computer assesses that drowsiness or fatigue are affecting your driving, reminding you to take a break and recharge your own batteries.
Mercedes-Benz Dashboard Warning Light
This warning light will come on to warn you if there is a problem that needs your attention, there are several reasons this light might come on but it should be accompanied by a message on the dashboard that indicates the problem.
Remote Vehicle Diagnostics
Remote vehicle diagnostics through Mercedes Me enables us to retrieve relevant data on the condition of the car. By giving a quick overview of the car’s status and faults, our service teams can plan ahead for when your car is booked in, meaning your car will be with us for a shorter length of time.
Mercedes-Benz Service Plans
At Mercedes-Benz South West we offer a range of different Service Plans to make servicing simple. Take out a Service Plan and your costs will be fixed for its duration. The main bonus of our service plans is that even if the price of parts and labour should rise, the cost of your Service Plan will remain the same and that’s a guarantee.
And of course, you will enjoy the reassurance that your vehicle is being looked after by the expert technicians of our Mercedes-Benz Official Workshop. Plus, if you get your Service Plan now you will automatically qualify for our free Collection & Delivery service resulting in a saving of £30.
Read more about service plans, or contact us and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.
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