Hyundai dashboard warning lights – what they mean

Whether you’re driving an i10, i20, i30, Ionic, Kona, Santa Fe or another model, the warning lights on your Hyundai's dashboard 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

Click a warning light to learn more:

 hyundai-warning-lights-brake-system Hyundai Parking brake and brake fluid warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-check-engine Hyundai check engine warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-electric-power-steering Hyundai electric power steering (EPS) warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-diesel-particulate-filter Hyundai exhaust particulate filter (diesel) warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-exhaust-fluid Hyundai exhaust fluid warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-coolant-temperature Hyundai coolant temperature warning light
 warning-lights-engine-oil-warning Hyundai oil pressure warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-tyre-pressure Hyundai low tyre pressure warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-battery-charging-system Hyundai charging system warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-ABS Hyundai anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-electronic-stability-control Hyundai electronic stability control warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-glow-plug Hyundai glow plug warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-srs Hyundai airbag/supplemental restraint system light
 hyundai-warning-lights-precrash-safety-system Hyundai automatic emergency braking (AEB) light
 hyundai-warning-lights-immobiliser-indicator Hyundai immobiliser indicator warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-fuel-cap Hyundai fuel cap warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-light-out Hyundai headlight/tail light out warning light
 hyundai-warning-lights-adaptive-front-lighting-system Hyundai adaptive front lighting system (AFLS) light
 hyundai-warning-lights-lane-keeping-assist-system Hyundai lane keeping assist system (LKAS) light
 hyundai-warning-lights-engine-oil-change Hyundai maintenance required warning light

 

Modern Hyundai cars are filled with a raft of sensors that monitor how each system in the car is functioning. The lights on the dashboard display what systems are in use and they also highlight when one of those systems is not working as it should.

But what do all those different symbols on your Hyundai dashboard mean? We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what the different yellow and red warning lights mean, why they come on, how urgent the problem is and what you should do when you see them. 

Hyundai parking brake and brake fluid warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-brake-system

If this red light remains on after you fully release the parking brake, or comes on when you’re driving, it may indicate that the brake fluid level is low. 

If the ABS warning light is also illuminated this signals that the braking system has malfunctioned and your brakes may not work properly.

Can I still drive with my parking brake and brake fluid light on?

You shouldn't risk it. 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.

Pull over and 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, this will be one for the professionals, so get yourself to a garage.

Don’t risk driving when your brakes are not functioning properly: call for recovery.

If you need assistance you can call the RAC on 0330 159 1111 whether you are a member or not.

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Hyundai check engine warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-check-engine

On Hyundai cars, this is called the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), but you’ll probably know it as the check engine light.

When the check engine warning light is illuminated it’s often accompanied 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 light could indicate a number of faults, from minor issues like a broken electrical sensor to a much larger mechanical issue, like a fault with your emission control system or catalytic converter.

How long can I drive with my check engine light on?

If the check engine light comes on 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. 

Use our search tool to find your nearest RAC approved garage

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Hyundai electric power steering (EPS) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-electric-power-steering

This warning light indicates that there’s a problem with the power steering.

For electric powered systems, this problem could be as simple to fix as rebooting a computer. 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 take your car to get checked as soon as possible.

Can I drive with my EPS light on?

You can but if the power steering system fails you will notice that the car is harder to manoeuvre and you should take extra care – it could be dangerous to drive at high motorway speeds without power steering assistance.

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Hyundai exhaust particulate filter (diesel) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-diesel-particulate-filter

If you have a diesel Hyundai car, 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 soot.

Can I still drive with my DPF light on?

As well as releasing a plume of toxic black smoke every time you press the accelerator, driving with a blocked filter could cause more serious damage to your car. You should go to a garage to get it checked as soon as you can, as these filters can be expensive to replace. 

Learn more about Diesel Particulate Filters and how to maintain them.

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Hyundai exhaust fluid warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-exhaust-fluid

If this yellow light turns on 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. 

If you need advice on topping up your diesel exhaust fluid levels, read our guide to AdBlue®.

Hyundai coolant temperature warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-coolant-temperature

This light will come on when the engine is overheating. This could mean that coolant levels are running low, perhaps due to a leak in the system, or it could be a sign of a larger problem, like a head gasket failure.

Can I still drive with my coolant temperature light on?

If this light is red you should stop straight away, as without enough coolant your engine could get so hot that it effectively welds itself together, causing 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 our guide to checking your engine coolant.

While you’re under the hood, have a look to see if there are any obvious leaks. If you can’t see any and the light goes off after topping up then you should be fine to continue your journey. If the light comes back on again after topping up you should get it checked out to fix the underlying problem. 

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Hyundai engine oil pressure warning light

ford-warning-lights-engine-oil-warning

The oil warning light comes on when either the oil temperature gets too high or the oil level or pressure is too low. If the oil is not lubricating the engine effectively it could lead to expensive or even irreparable engine damage, so it’s important to act quickly.

Can I still drive with my engine oil pressure light on?

When this light comes on you should 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 this case call for recovery, as driving any further could damage the engine. Watch our video guide to checking your car’s engine oil.

While you’re under the hood, have a look to see if there are any obvious leaks. If you can’t see any and the light goes off after topping up then you should be fine to continue your journey. If the light comes back on again after topping up you should get it checked out at a garage to fix the underlying problem.

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Hyundai low tyre pressure warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-tyre-pressure

Many Hyundai cars 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 because of a puncture.

Can I still drive with my tyre pressure light on?

Yes, but you should drive with extra care and aim to top up with air at the next opportunity. Low tyre pressure can cause unsafe driving conditions so reduce your speed, and try to avoid braking suddenly or making any violent steering manoeuvres.

Most petrol stations and garages will have an air compressor you can use to check your tyre pressure. Top up the air in the tyres according to the vehicle manufacturer specification in your owner's manual. 

If you have a puncture, watch our video to learn how to change a tyre in 10 simple steps.

Hyundai charging system warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-battery-charging-system

If this light comes on when you’re driving it indicates that the alternator is not making electricity and your car is running off battery power.

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 dead but once it is drained nothing in your car will work – so get to a garage quickly before you run out of juice!

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Hyundai anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-ABS

ABS is an important safety feature that really comes into play 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 comes on by itself 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.

If it comes on with the brake warning light, it could indicate that the brake system is failing and you should stop straight away and call for recovery.

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For roadside assistance, you can call the RAC on 0330 159 1111 even if you’re not a member.

Hyundai electronic stability control (ESC) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-electronic-stability-control

This warning light indicates a problem with traction control.

Can I still drive with my ESC warning light on?

If it’s flashing it means the ESC system is intervening – for example, if you’re driving on a slippery road. If the light stays on it means the ESC system is not working properly.

The ESC light will light up with the word ‘OFF’ if the system has been deactivated, in which case you may have inadvertently turned it off. To check, try stopping and restarting the engine. If the light remains on after restarting get it checked at a garage as the ESC system is an important safety feature.

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Hyundai glow plug warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-glow-plug

This light will normally turn on when your diesel engine is warming up.

Can I still drive with my glow plug warning light on?

Wait until the light goes off before starting your car. If this light is flashing it indicates that it’s not working properly and the glow plugs may need replacing.

Get it checked at a garage as soon as possible. A fault with the glow plugs may put the engine into safe mode to prevent any damage to the engine so you may experience a noticeable drop in performance until the problem is fixed.

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Hyundai airbag / supplemental restraint system (SRS) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-srs

When this light goes red it means that at least one element of the airbag safety system is not working correctly: either the airbag system itself; the front passenger occupant classification system, which detects the front passenger’s weight and position in order to safely deploy the airbag; or the seatbelt pretensioner system, which tightens the belt in the event of a crash.

Can I still drive with my airbag light on?

If the airbag system is not working properly, it may not go off in a crash, or in some cases could even deploy unexpectedly and cause a crash. Either way, the airbag system is an incredibly important safety feature so if this light comes on get it checked out immediately.

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Hyundai automatic emergency braking (AEB) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-precrash-safety-system

The AEB system is a safety feature of some Hyundai cars that uses a sensor to scan the road ahead, measuring the distance and relative speed of the vehicles in front, so that it can warn you - both visually and audibly - if you get too close.

It prepares the brakes for emergency braking if it senses that you’re in danger of collision, adding extra force to your brakes and, if a crash is imminent, the system will automatically apply the brakes and retract the seatbelts to brace you. 

If the yellow 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.

Can I still drive with my AEB light on?

Try waiting for the sensor to cool down/heat up, and check to see if there is any dirt or debris blocking the sensor. If the light doesn’t go off this may mean there is a bigger malfunction in the system that you need to get looked at by a professional mechanic.

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Hyundai immobiliser indicator light

hyundai-warning-lights-immobiliser-indicator

The immobiliser is an electronic security device that stops the car from running unless the correct key is used - effectively preventing a potential thief from ‘hot-wiring’ your car.

This light will come on when your Hyundai recognises your key, meaning that you can start the engine. If the light is blinking you won’t be able to start the car. 

For standard keys a blinking light probably implies a fault with the system itself that will need a mechanic’s eye. If you have a smart key it may be that the car is not recognising the key. Check that your key is close enough to the receiver to be recognised, and if you still have a problem check your owner’s manual for guidance - if your key is not working properly you may need to contact an authorised dealer to fix the issue.

Hyundai gas cap warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-fuel-cap

In order for the fuel system to work properly it needs to be completely sealed from the outside. This light will come on to warn you if the gas cap is not properly secured, meaning that there is essentially a leak in the system.

Can I still drive with my gas cap light on?

Yes, but you should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and make sure the gas cap is fully closed. It may take a while for the light to go off once you’ve continued driving. 

If the light doesn’t go off in a day or two check that the gas cap to see if there is any damage. If so you may have to get it replaced. If the gas cap looks fine, and is definitely secured properly, there may be a leak somewhere else in the system that is tricking the computer. Take your car in for a service to find out what’s going on. 

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Hyundai headlight/tail light out warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-light-out

This warning light will come on to warn that one of your headlights or tail lights is not working.

Can I still drive with my headlight/tail light out warning light on?

If the tail light is cracked and white light is showing through you’ll need to get this changed immediately as you could get a penalty. Either way you’ll want to get any broken bulbs replaced as soon as possible as lights are a crucial safety feature of your car and it won’t pass its MOT without them. 

Hyundai adaptive front lighting system (AFLS) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-adaptive-front-lighting-system

The AFLS helps to improve visibility and your response time by turning the headlights as you turn the wheel, so you can see the road ahead better on curves. This warning light indicates that there is a malfunction in the system. 

Can I drive with my AFLS light on?

If this warning light comes on when you’re driving pull over safely and try turning off your vehicle. If the warning light is still on when you turn the car back on, it could be due to a malfunctioning sensor or motor.

AFLS is a useful rather than an essential safety feature so you’ll be fine to keep driving without it, but you’ll need to get a service to find out the root of the problem.

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Hyundai lane keeping assist system (LKAS) warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-lane-keeping-assist-system

The LKAS uses a camera sensor on the front windshield to detect white and yellow lines on the road. If the sensor detects that the car is straying from the lane, without the indicators having been turned on, you’ll get an audible and visual warning, and - depending on the mode used - LKAS will automatically intervene and steer to keep you in the lane. 

If this warning light turns yellow it means there is a fault with the LKAS. You could try checking the windshield to check there’s no dirt or debris blocking the sensor. Otherwise you’ll need a professional to find out the cause of the problem.

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Hyundai maintenance required warning light

hyundai-warning-lights-engine-oil-change

This warning light is more of a friendly reminder that it’s time to take your car in for a routine service at an authorised Hyundai dealer.

It’s programmed to come on when you’ve driven 5000 miles since your last service. When you go in for your service, the mechanic will reset this system and the light will go off. 

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