When you rely on your Mercedes to get from A to B every day, you need to make sure you're up to speed on the meaning of all the dashboard warning lights. Advanced sensors found in modern vehicles have taken out much of the guesswork surrounding car maintenance. When a warning light comes on, there is normally a good reason and it should not be ignored. Sometimes it is best to head to a Mercedes specialist - even just to be safe. In most cases, if your car is showing a warning light, you should fix the fault as soon as possible. Here, we explain the meaning of the most commonly seen Mercedes warning lights:

The Low Fuel Light

Probably the easiest dashboard light to resolve; this light looks like a little picture of a petrol pump, and tells you that your petrol or diesel tank is running low and needs filling up as soon as possible. However, most modern Mercedes will display how many miles you have on your current fuel on the on-board computer - giving you enough time to find the cheapest fuel nearby.

The Glow Plug Light:

This one looks a bit like a picture of a spring, or a curly line. It represents the glow plug, which heats up the engine ready for the car to start. This is only found in diesel cars. It's normal for it to come on briefly when you first turn the key. However, if it stays on you may need to replace the glow plug.

The Brake Light:

Simply the word "BRAKE", in capital letters, or in newer Mercedes vehicles, this will be the letter 'P' in a circle with brackets around it. When this is on, it means that the parking brake needs to be disengaged before you can move the car. If the parking brake is off and the light is still on, there may be a fault with the braking system.

The ABS Light:

The ABS is the anti-lock braking system, which prevents the brakes from locking up if you have to hit them hard. The light looks like a circle with "ABS" in the centre. When this light is on it means the ABS is either switched off or is not working.

The Bulb Light:

An excellent feature found on Mercedes cars made in recent years, this warning light indicates that one of the bulbs on the outside of the car needs replacing. This dashboard warning means you don't have to rely on the kindness of other motorists to point out you have a bulb out, so you can replace the relevant bulb before the police pull you over. You will have to check which one. The light looks like a picture of an incandescent light bulb with an exclamation mark in the middle.

The Coolant Light:

The coolant light looks like a temperature gauge resting in some wavy fluid with a degrees Celsius symbol beside it. If this light comes on, it means the engine temperature is too high; usually this just requires you to top up the coolant. Pull over a soon as you can if this light comes on, because driving with a high engine temperature could permanently damage the engine and its components.

The Power Steering Light:

This is a picture of a steering wheel with an exclamation mark on its right-hand side. If this one comes on, it is telling you that the power steering has failed and needs fixing. Trying to drive without power steering can be dangerous because it harder to evade obstacles.

The Brake Pad Light:

Another great feature of modern cars, this warning light looks like a circle with three blocks on either side. It indicates that the brake pads have become excessively worn and need replacing, otherwise your braking distance will increase and you may damage your brake discs - which will mean a bigger repair bill.

The Battery Light:

A simple picture of a box with a + and a - on each end, this light tells you that the battery is not charged or is not working. Batteries are wear and tear items and lose their ability to hold a charge over time, so you could try charging your battery using a car battery charger or jump-starting the car if you have not used it in a while. However, it is normally recommended to replace the battery if it is not operating as expected - car batteries last four years on average. Be aware, if you do not replace your Mercedes car battery soon after the warning light comes on, the battery may not have enough charge to start the car the next time you need to go somewhere. 

To reduce unexpected warning lights popping up on your dashboard, make sure to get Mercedes serviced regularly. If a dashboard warning light appears on your Mercedes that you aren't sure about, please call Star-Tec Mercedes on 0208 397 2666.


Mercedes-Benz car dashboard warning lights explained