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Volkswagen Dashboard Lights Meanings


Check Engine, Brake Light, Symbols

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You’re driving along a Johnston street and suddenly a light comes on in your dashboard. What do you do? Understanding the Volkswagen dash light meanings listed below will help you to make timely decisions for the health and functionality of your vehicle. The team at Lithia Volkswagen of Des Moines wants you to be safe. We value our vehicles, but most importantly we value you! If you find the handy guide below to be helpful, check out our guides on how to check your car’s oil and how to change a Volkswagen key fob battery.

Green Symbol Lights – No Worries

A flash of green is no cause for concern when it comes to Volkswagen dash lights, meaning you can put your mind at ease when you see one of these:

  • Daytime Running Lights 

Symbol Meaning: The “DRL” symbol let’s you know that the Daytime Running Lights are on.

  • Shift Lock

Symbol Meaning: This green shoe inside a circle means that the brakes should be applied to shift the vehicle into gear.

Yellow Symbol Lights – Caution

You should be a little more concerned, but not worried, when you see these Volkswagen dash lights, meaning your car may have issues that should be given attention soon.

  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Symbol Meaning: When the ABS symbol comes on at the same time as the brake warning light, there is an Anti-Lock Braking System malfunction.

  • Airbag

Symbol Meaning: When this light symbol comes on it means that there is either a faulty airbag or there is a problem with the belt tensioning system, or the passenger airbags have been deactivated.

  • Automatic Transmission Malfunction

Symbol Meaning: This yellow exclamation point symbolizes that there is a malfunction with the automatic transmission. 

  • Brake Pad Wear Indicators

Symbol Meaning: This dotted yellow circle means that it’s time for the brake pads to be checked or even replaced.

  • Check Engine or Engine Malfunction (On-Board Diagnostics)

Symbol Meaning: When this symbol comes on, there could be potential engine emission problems.

  • Hybrid Drive System Malfunction

Symbol Meaning: The yellow exclamation point inside the car indicates that there is an issue with the hybrid system and that it is time to have it serviced. If the red exclamation light comes on, it’s important to safely park the vehicle and call for assistance.

  • Tire Pressure Low / Monitoring System Failure

Symbol Meaning: A continuous yellow light indicates that the tire pressure is low. If the light is flashing it could indicate a tire monitoring system failure.

Red Symbol Lights – Warning

These Volkswagen dash lights indicate issues that may need immediate attention. After all, you don’t want to find yourself broken down along the road somewhere in Urbandale.

  • Alternator Low Voltage Output / Charging Failure

Symbol Meaning: This red symbol light warns that there is a low alternator output and that the battery is not charging properly.

  • Hood is Open

Symbol Meaning: This light warning indicates that the hood isn’t closed properly. Stop the vehicle and close the hood.

  • Parking Brake

Symbol Meaning: When the red parking exclamation light comes one it could mean one of the following three things:

  • Parking brake is activated
  • ABS is malfunctioning (ABS light is also on)
  • Low brake fluid
  • DSG® Transmission Overheated

Symbol Meaning: It’s important to stop the vehicle immediately and shift to park.This red thermometer symbol warns that the transmission is overheating and that it needs to cool down.

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