Toyota Dashboard Lights & Symbols
Modern vehicles are complex machines. The average new car has over two dozen computer modules working behind the scenes, a vast network of sensors, and hundreds of electrical wires linking all these components together. This complexity means that there is a lot to go wrong with a car, and when things do, your first indication is often a warning light on the dashboard.
Fortunately, our Toyota vehicle specialists at Toyota of Irving are here to help. The following article is a guide to understanding your Toyota dashboard symbols and meanings so you can keep your vehicle running safely and properly.
Toyota Dashboard Lights: Declassified
If you’re in a late model Toyota vehicle, like the new Toyota Camry for instance, there are over fifty computers at work that deliver safety, performance, and driver-friendly technology. When those lights pop up, it’s because it’s your sophisticated Toyota vehicle telling you exactly what it needs. In other words, your Toyota Camry dashboard lights are much like a toddler, finally having a few words in their vocabulary to tell you what they want. No midnight crying. No mysteries. Keep in mind that when starting your vehicle, ALL DASHBOARD LIGHTS will temporarily illuminate as part of a system check. They’ll drop out within seconds. It’s time to pay attention when they stay illuminated. Let’s get to the bottom of your Toyota dashboard symbols and meanings:
Your ABS Warning Light
One of the most common dashboard lights in all vehicles. When it is illuminated, it indicates a malfunction in a sensor, computer, or hydraulic channel. While braking is typically possible, your ABS will not be working correctly (or at all), which may seriously impact your ability to avoid an accident. It’s recommended to seek Toyota’s service immediately.
A Red Battery Symbol
Another alert that requires immediate attention. Your vehicle’s ability to self-charge the battery is compromised, and you may get left stranded. It could indicate a faulty starter/alternator/battery or wiring. You may see dim or flickering headlights prior to this light illuminating.
A Speedometer With An Arrow
This is your cruise control indicator! You have most likely toggled system activation without realizing it. Simply depress the activation button, and the light will extinguish. Yellow means turned on. Green means cruise speed has been selected.
A Steering Wheel Paired With !
This indicates a serious issue with the electronic power steering (EPS) system of your vehicle. It might be an electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic fault, and you might lose control of your car. If you have a new Toyota 4Runner and have recently been off-road, this light can be due to unexpected trail damage. See Toyota service immediately.
The Sideways Jellyfish Light
Always illuminated in blue, this light is harmless. It indicates that your high beams have been switched on, so be sure to turn them off if there is consistent, oncoming traffic.
The Oil Can Spout With Drip
This is your oil pressure warning light. It’s red. You may experience seeing this light in extreme cold, as it takes longer for oil to circulate at the initial start-up. If the light stays on, it indicates a pressure issue and could result from failed seals, internal hydraulic problems, low oil levels, and more. Seek immediate Toyota service. Your new Toyota RAV4 is counting on you!
The Old-School Gas Pump
This light indicates a low fuel level. You may see secondary alerts on your GPS system if equipped. While this light isn’t necessarily a serious one, failure to replenish your fuel supply can leave you stranded. As comfortable as the new Toyota Highlander is, you might regret spending a sleepless night alone on the road in the middle of nowhere while waiting for roadside assistance!
The Triangle with A ! In The Middle
This is your master warning alert. An audible buzzer sound accompanies it. This alert can indicate a minor or major issue, and it is almost always paired with another warning light of some kind. Depending on the nature of the alert, it’s always best to consult with Toyota service.
The Person & Seatbelt Light
This is your seatbelt reminder light. Depending on your year and model, the light might be yellow or red. It will typically flash with an audible alert if you fail to buckle up once in motion. While service isn’t indicated with this light, your safety and the safety of your passengers are.
This light alerts you to the fact that your TRAC and/or VSC system has been switched off. Your Toyota vehicle is designed to help you stay in control when surfaces are slippery, mainly through limiting transmission and wheel spin. However, if you go offroad with a Toyota 4Runner or Toyota Highlander, for instance, it may be advantageous to shut this system off if conditions require continuous wheel spin, e.g. rocking your vehicle back and forth in drive and reverse to come unstuck.
The Car With The Lock
This light is a security check at vehicle start-up and works slightly differently on models with or without a Smart Key System. It will extinguish in either case if security checks are successful, but if it remains illuminated, it might indicate a fault in telematics or your key detection unit. If you experience alarm difficulties, please contact your Toyota dealer.
Car With Squiggly Lines
This is your slip indicator. It almost always alerts you to your traction control system’s activities. You might see it flash after hitting a huge puddle, ice, snow, or mud. While not necessarily a fault, this light is there to let you know your Toyota vehicle is performing as designed and to be aware of low-traction driving.
A Car With Squiggly Lines & OFF
This light is your VSC OFF indicator and pairs with your TRAC OFF light. Flashing indicates correct system functioning and illuminated means that the system is off. As with disabling your TRAC system, you can shut down your VSC system to build momentum to become unstuck.
Seated Passenger With A Ball On Their Lap
No, this light does not suggest a trip to the beach with a beach ball. It is your SRS warning light, and it indicates an issue with your supplementary restraint system (your airbags). If you see this red light illuminated, you must seek Toyota service immediately.
A Round Lamp Shade With A ! In The Middle
This graphic has evolved over time, but it’s actually an image of a tire with low air in it. Your TPMS is at work, ensuring that your tires stay inflated to correct pressure. This warning lamp may indicate your needing air, a leak, or possibly a system error. If this light persists, seek Toyota’s service.
Arrows Pointing Left & Right
This light is harmless and indicates that your turn signal system has been activated. Either finish your turn for auto-correction or switch the indicator off at the signal stalk.
And these are just a few of the most common dashboard lights! For a complete list of Toyota dashboard symbols and meanings, we encourage you to take some time and read your owner’s manual. It has a wealth of information, and we always hear from customers who discover functionality in their vehicle that they were previously unaware of. If you’ve been driving another make for a long time that’s had too many lights on for your comfort level, why not try a trusty new Toyota Corolla? Sure, Toyota Corolla dashboard lights may come on, too. But like the rest of the Toyota vehicle family, reliability and longevity are behind every product we build.
Not Just Your Toyota RAV4 Dashboard Symbols
The world of dashboard lights and symbols can be confusing. Especially when you cross over from another brand. Most manufacturers will try to keep a general image consistent with their indicator lights, but you should never expect these symbols to be universal. It is always best to consult your owner’s manual for more information or contact your dealership’s sales department. There is usually a specialist on hand that will make an appointment to teach you about your vehicle’s systems and more. Did you enjoy this handy article about Toyota dashboard symbols and meanings? If it was a lot to digest, perhaps like mom’s meatloaf, we suggest that you sleep on it and give us your answer in the morning!
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