Subaru Service Lights & Dashboard Symbols

Subaru Warning Lights

Colorful blinking lights are usually a cause for celebration at holidays, birthdays, and especially New Year's Eve. So why the anxiety when any of your Subaru warning lights come on? Yeah, yeah. We know! It's not the same experience when any of those Subaru dashboard symbols have you thinking that something is wrong. But therein lies the key. There's usually no need to fear that the mechanical sky is falling. Any of the following Subaru warning lights are designed to illuminate before there is a major problem. We're confident that you'll understand what these lights mean after reading this page, but if you still need some help, come on by for a free alignment check. We'll inspect your vehicle and tell you more about your Subaru dashboard lights' meaning.

Your Subaru Dashboard Symbols Revealed

So many Subaru warning lights, so little time! Let's stick to the most popular and see what they all mean. Today's Subaru models are incredibly advanced. This is to say that underlying almost any system lies an array of integrated modules and computers designed to ensure correct operation. How do these computers "know" how to do that? Mainly via information from various sensors throughout the vehicle. So without further ado, here is your A-list of Subaru warning lights that details what they indicate and what you can or should do when they come on:

ABS Light

Your ABS Light

This orange light could mean something, but it could mean nothing. Let's say you were out there tearing up some trails with your Subaru Crosstrek. Mud. Water. Ruts. You might just have some crud preventing your sensor from reading wheel speed. On the other hand, you may have snagged a branch and damaged the sensor itself. Either way, your system is impaired. Bring her in, and let us have a look.
AWD Light

AWD Light

This is an orange light that could mean something, but it might mean nothing. Mainly, something has occurred that will soon threaten your AWD's ability to function properly. In some cases, it can be as simple as low tire inflation. In other cases, you have something in your final drive spinning at a rate beyond the threshold of your AWD system's logic. If that last sentence doesn't make any sense, no worries. That's what we're here for. That line is pretty much mechanic-speak for something messed up in a diff or final drive component.
Red Battery Light

The Red Battery

This light definitely means something. The red battery indicates an issue with your vehicle's ability to maintain a running charge and/or charge itself. Usually, this points at an alternator, starter, battery, or cabling issue. In this case, we'd recommend calling roadside assistance. You might get left stranded at any moment once you see this light. You may also see an exclamation mark on the car symbol. This is general advisement, telling you to be aware of an operational issue.

Coolant Temp Light

Another light that may be a small or large issue depending on color. Typically when it's orange, your vehicle is notifying you that engine temperature is not optimal. Not critical but not optimal. Be on the lookout for rising temperature needles if you're towing with your Subaru Forester. Heading up a steep incline might cause this light to come on. When it turns red, you'll want to pull over to ensure overheating doesn't damage your engine. Allow your vehicle to cool. Paying attention to your Subaru Forester warning lights can make all the difference!
Drippy Oil Light

The Drippy Oil Can

If your Subaru oil light is on, you'll simply want to top up your oil level with the correct oil specified in your vehicle's owner's manual. If this light turns red and then orange, you may have a clogged oil filter or are overdue for an oil change. If this light stays red, call for roadside assistance immediately.
Car Wedge Light

Car On A Wedge

If you see the orange car going up a little wedge, this might indicate an issue with hill-hold or hill-start assist. In some cases, this issue is easily solvable with an inspection and recalibration. If the fault persists, a module or piece of equipment may need to be replaced.
Orange Gas Pump Light

The Orange Gas Pump

One of the most benign of all Subaru warning lights. You're low on fuel, and your Subaru model wants you to know about it. If you see this light come on, you've got a little bit over 2.5 gallons left, which is to say you should have plenty of fuel to scoot off to the nearest gas station.
Red Oil Can Light

The Red Oil Can

This light indicates an oiling issue and is one of the most critical of all Subaru warning lights. If you've recently serviced your Subaru model at an unauthorized facility that uses inferior parts, this might be the issue. Additionally, oil passageways might be obstructed, oil levels might be critically low, mechanical damage might have already occurred, and oil pressure is minimal to non-existent. Call for roadside assistance.
R. Diff Light

R.Diff Temp

Usually found on hard-working Subaru STI models, this light can come on if your rear end has been heating up. While your third members are incredibly strong, they're not infallible. So if you've been putting your STI through its paces and this light comes on, let it cool for several minutes before you resume driving. If the light comes on again, call for roadside assistance.
Red Lock Car Light

The Red Lock & A Car

This is an immobilizer system warning. It will either be there to tell a potential thief that your Subaru Outback isn't going anywhere! But if you're the one who sees it, it could mean an issue with alarm system circuitry - possibly indicating a latch fault or fob detection module fault. Call for roadside.
Orange Car Light

Orange Car w/Squiggly Lines

This light might illuminate when your traction system engages. If traction is reduced or lost, this light will come on as your vehicle looks to maintain forward progress. Working in tandem with your ABS system, you should have your vehicle inspected if this light comes on and stays on.
Orange Fountain Light

The Orange Fountain

Another one of the less critical of all the Subaru warning lights. This light means that you are low on windshield wiper fluid. Topping up is all you need to do to make this light go off. If it stays on or comes back within minutes, this might indicate a faulty level sensor, or perhaps a leak in the washer fluid reservoir.
Orange Key Light

The Orange Key w/Arches

This is a safety warning that indicates a starting sequence has occurred improperly. While this light is typically very rare, you might see it if you attempt to start your vehicle without your foot on the brake. If it stays illuminated, you might have a fob receiver module fault. Call your nearest Subaru retailer for more information!
Red Exclamation Circle Light

The Red Exclamation Mark in a Circle

This is a critical one that should be taken seriously. Just remember, Subaru brake light flashing: Bad. Calling roadside assistance: Good! Something is compromised in your braking system that will likely result in poor to no operation. Common causes include damage to brake lines, seal & fluid leaks, caliper malfunctions, and more. Call roadside assistance and get your Subaru brakes fixed!
Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light

The most infamous of all Subaru warning lights, the check engine light symbol can come on for dozens of reasons. If your vehicle runs and drives like it should, come see us for a quick calibration. If this light is blinking and your vehicle feels like it's running rough, call for roadside assistance to avoid exhaust or possible engine damage.
Red Doors Open Light

Red Doors Open

See a red door and want it painted black? You can easily make this light go away by ensuring that your doors are closed and that your rear hatch or trunk is locked. If this light is on and you're certain everything is closed, you might have a latching issue that requires calibration or replacement.
Red Passenger Light

Red Passenger Light

This is a seat belt warning light that reminds all forward passengers to buckle up before driving away. It will extinguish on its own when seat belts are buckled. If it does not, you might have an issue with a latching sensor or seat occupancy sensor.

Red Seatbelt Light

This is a reminder for you, the driver, to buckle up before driving off. You will also hear an alarm if you fail to buckle up. If you have fastened your seat belt and this light remains, you might need a new receiver.
Orange Jellybean Light

Orange Exclamation Jellyfish

If you see an orange exclamation mark on top of an icon that might look like a jellyfish speeding sideways, your LED headlights might need a little love. This could indicate an issue with anything from wiring to lamp failure, so be sure to have an expert take a look.
Exclamation Lamp Light

The Exclamation on a Lamp Shade

Almost everyone knows this as the TPMS warning light. In most cases, your Subaru model is asking you to check and increase tire pressure. Filling tires to the correct pressure usually resolves this light. If it persists, you might have a slow leak, a faulty sensor, or potentially a wiring issue. Come in for a tire rotation, and let us see what's up.
Red Steering Wheel Light

Red Steering Wheel and !

This could indicate a leak in the power steering system, an issue with hydraulics, or any additional electrical components. Driving carefully to your nearest Subaru retailer is recommended, but roadside assistance is always available if you do not feel able to.
Red Ball Passenger Light

Red Ball on Someone's Lap

This is a critical safety issue that will require an immediate visit to an authorized Subaru dealer. This light might indicate a fault with an airbag module, seat belt pretensioners, occupancy sensors, and more. Safety first!

Subaru Dashboard Lights in Saco, ME, & Beyond

No matter where you live and where you enjoy your Subaru model, there's an authorized service center that's ready to help you with any issue. Your Subaru warning lights are there to aid you, to help you take the guesswork out of what might be going on with your vehicle. To maximize your enjoyment, let us handle the repairs, so you can get back out there and do what you love to do. Wherever it is that you love doing it, after all, it's all about love. It's what makes Subaru, Subaru.

Service Center Hours

  • Monday 8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Thursday 8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Friday 8:00AM -7:00PM
  • Saturday 8:00AM-4:00PM
  • Sunday Closed - Browsers Welcome

Patriot Subaru of Saco

769 Portland Rd
Directions Route One
Saco, ME 04072

  • Sales: 207-284-7900
  • Service: 207-284-7900
  • Parts: 207-284-7900
  1. Patriot Subaru of Saco

    769 Portland Rd
    Route One
    Saco, ME 04072

    • Sales: 207-284-7900
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Get in Touch

  • Contact our Sales Department at: 207-284-7900
  • Monday8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Tuesday8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Wednesday8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Thursday8:00AM-7:00PM
  • Friday8:00AM -7:00PM
  • Saturday8:00AM-4:00PM
  • SundayClosed - Browsers Welcome