Renault warning lights – what they mean and what do you need to do

Confused by your Captur? Megane left you muddled?

Let us help you decode your dashboard with the help of our handy guide.

The lights on a Renault dashboard follow a traffic light colour system:

  • Green: the system is working correctly or is currently in use
  • Orange: 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

Stop warning light

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The most dreaded light on your dashboard is often accompanied by an audible alarm.

You should stop as soon as it's safe to do so, turn off your engine and seek professional help.

Restarting your engine before you visit a trusted garage could be unsafe and/or cause further damage to your vehicle.

Can I still drive with my stop warning light turned on?

In short, no. The distinctive message will appear with other warning lights when the ignition is switched on but should turn off when the engine starts.

If things are serious, you’ll hear a beep and should follow the warning light’s instructions and contact an RAC approved garage as soon as possible.

If you find yourself broken down on the road you can always call the RAC on 0330 159 1111 even if you’re not a member.

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Fault warning light

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The spanner shaped symbol may look like a service reminder, but it actually indicates a much more serious problem. It might appear with a second warning light to help pinpoint the fault.

If you’re unlucky enough to see the ‘fault warning light’ illuminate on your dashboard you should visit a mechanic as soon as possible.

Drive carefully and pay special attention to any unusual sights, sounds and smells that may help a professional diagnose the problem.

Can I still drive with the warning light turned on?

You won’t have to pull over on the side of the road, but you should make your next destination a trusted garage.

Take your time and drive cautiously to avoid risking further damage to your vehicle.

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Preheating warning light

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Also known as the glow plug warning light or warming lamp light.

Glow plugs preheat the engine on a diesel car. 

The ‘preheat warning light’ illuminates when turning on the ignition to show that your glow plugs are in use. You might notice them as you demist your windscreen on a cold day.

Once the light switches off, you’re good to go.

Can I still drive with the 'diesel preheat warning light' turned on?

If the ‘preheating warning light’ stays switched on when driving, it may be time to replace your glow plugs.

The same applies if your car struggles to start in cold conditions or if your vehicle tends to shake when the engine is running. 

Thankfully, replacing a glow plug is a straightforward and relatively cheap job. An RAC approved garage will ensure everything’s properly taken care of.

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Electronic fault warning light

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The ‘electronic fault warning light’ can illuminate for a number of reasons.

Sophisticated systems are used throughout modern Renaults and anything from a fuel injection computer to your automatic transmission may not be working properly.

You might not notice an immediate change in your car’s performance but it’s essential that you visit a professional to diagnose the problem.

Can I still drive with the ‘electronic fault warning light’ turned on?

That depends on the fault in question.

A problem in the fuel injection system could make your car feel less powerful and will have a negative impact on your fuel efficiency. While other faults could be harder to detect.

To ensure you’re not ignoring a more serious fault you should visit an RAC approved garage at the nearest opportunity.

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Water in diesel warning light

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Also known as the water in fuel warning light.

Diesel engines use filters to remove water from fuel but sometimes fail.

If water makes its way into your fuel tank you might notice a loss of power, white smoke or rough idling in your car. Over time, the water can even corrode your tank.

Can I still drive with the 'water in fuel warning light' turned on?

It’s all down to timing. If you notice the light turn on when you’ve just topped up on diesel the fuel may be contaminated. 

You should switch the engine off as soon as it’s safe to do so, to avoid damaging the injection system.

If the warning light turns on under normal driving conditions, your car should be safe to drive but should be drained as soon as possible.

In both scenarios it’s best to enlist the help of a trusted garage

At least the problem isn’t as dangerous as putting petrol in a diesel engine. Click here for more advice after putting the wrong fuel in your car.

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Injection fault warning light

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Also known as the serious injection fault warning light.

The injection warning light looks very similar to the engine management light but indicates a fault in the fuel delivery system.

The ‘STOP’ message across the icon should give you some idea about how serious the problem might be.

Faults in the injection system usually result in a loss of power and reduces fuel efficiency. You should pull over as soon as possible to prevent problems from developing.

Can I still drive with the ‘injection fault warning light’ turned on?

The best course of action is to pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Switch off your engine and contact a professional for help, you can always call the RAC on 0330 159 1111, even if you’re not a member.

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Brake warning light

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Also known as the brake system warning light, parking brake warning light or brake fluid warning light.

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. Unless you know how to check your brake fluid levels yourself, this will be one for the professionals. 

If the ABS warning light is also illuminated this signals that the braking system has malfunctioned and your brakes may not work properly. In this case the Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) warning light may also be illuminated.

Can I still drive with my brake warning 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 have a breakdown cover policy.

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Engine management light

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Also known as the MIL or engine management light.

When the engine management 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. Or, if you have RAC Breakdown Cover, call for recovery.

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Airbag warning light

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Also known as the supplemental restraint system (SRS) or safety system warning light.

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 seat belt 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 it could even deploy unexpectedly and cause a crash. Either way, the airbag system is an incredibly important safety feature of your car so if this light comes on please get it checked out immediately.

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Power steering warning light

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Also known as the EPS (Electric Power Steering) warning light

This warning light indicates that there’s a problem with the power steering and on Audi dashboards, it sometimes appears without an exclamation mark.

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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Diesel particulate filter warning light

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Also known as the DPF or exhaust particulate filter warning light.

If you have a diesel, one of these lights 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. 

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Coolant warning light

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Also known as the engine temperature warning light.

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 engine overheating 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. 

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. 

An overheating engine can cut out as well. Rather than risk it, you should call for recovery if you have breakdown cover.

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Oil warning light

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This yellow or red light is also known as the low engine oil or low oil pressure light.

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 low engine oil 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 if you have breakdown cover, 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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Tyre pressure monitoring system

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Also known as the run flat indicator RPA or low tyre pressure warning light

Many Audis 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.

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Battery warning light

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Also known as the battery charge light or battery charging system light.

If this light comes on when you’re driving it indicates that the battery is not charging. 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!

If you do run out of charge, you can try to jump start it, or call for recovery if you have RAC Breakdown Cover.

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Anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light

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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 if you have breakdown cover.

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

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Electronic stability problem (ESP) or dynamic stability control DSC warning light

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Also known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

This warning light sometimes appears as the initials ESP and indicates a problem with traction control. If it’s flashing it means the ESP system is intervening – for example, if you’re driving on a slippery road. If the light stays on it means the ESP system is not working properly.

The ESP 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 ESP system is an important safety feature.

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Brake pad warning light

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Also called the brake pad wear warning light, if this symbol shows up it means a sensor has detected your brake pads are too thin.

Can I drive with my brake pad light on?

This warning light should come on before the brake pads become dangerously thin, so you have time to get them changed. You should replace as soon as you can though, as if they wear out completely it could be extremely dangerous.

For more information read our guide to brake pads

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