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

Skoda warning lights – what they mean and what you need to do
Scratching your head over your Scala? Confused by your Karoq? 

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

The lights on a Skoda 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

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

Ignition switch warning light


The image of a key and ignition switch can appear red or yellow. 

If it’s red, there’s a serious fault with your ignition, after you switch your engine off you might not be able to switch it on again.

If it’s yellow, there’s a less serious fault to take care of. However, the ignition is a vital part of a car and it’s best to enlist the help of a professional without delay.

Can I still drive with my ignition switch warning light on? 

It’s certainly possible to drive if this light turns on in the middle of a journey, but you might want to change your route slightly, so you end up at a trusted garage

Treat the warning light as a prompt to get help right away. Remember if the light is red you might not be able to start the car again and you’ll probably want to avoid towing your vehicle to get it fixed.

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Steering lock warning light


This warning light looks very similar to the ignition switch warning light, except for one key difference. The steering wheel appears in the same position as the ignition and should be treated as a sign that there’s a fault in the steering lock.

The warning light can also appear as a steering wheel next to an exclamation mark.

A yellow icon suggests you should visit a professional without delay, while a red icon means you should safely pull over before seeking help.

Can I still drive with my steering lock warning light on? 

You’ll be able to drive your car if the icon appears yellow but should take extra caution. 

If you ignore a red warning light you won’t be able to start the engine at the next time of asking. In some models the red icon will flash with the on-screen message: ‘Faulty steering lock. Stop the car!’

In both scenarios you should immediately pull over and contact an RAC Approved Garage or call for recovery if you have a breakdown cover policy.

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Bonnet warning light


Your bonnet isn’t closed properly.

When this light shows you should safely stop your car and lift the bonnet before attempting to shut it again. The light should turn off when the bonnet has returned to a secure position.

Can I still drive with my bonnet warning light on?

Driving with the bonnet warning light on could end badly. You should act quickly and calmly to prevent a gust of wind from pushing the bonnet in front of your windscreen and obscuring your view.

When it’s safe to do so, pull over and lift the bonnet before pushing it firmly back into place.

If the light still appears you should visit a trusted garage for help.

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Brake pedal warning light


The brake pedal warning light only appears on automatics and is quite unusual as it can appear green or red.

A red brake pedal warning light is your Skoda’s way of telling you to depress the pedal, because the adaptive cruise control is insufficient to brake the car.

It usually appears with the message: ‘Depress the brake pedal’ on the Digital instrument Panel.

A green brake pedal warning light means you should depress the brake pad to shift the automatic transmission.

Can I still drive with my brake pedal warning light on? 

If the red light shows when you’re driving, you should push down on the brake pedal quickly and safely.

If the light stays switched on at all times, try visiting an authorised repairer.

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Light bulb monitor


The amber-coloured light bulb monitor is a handy light that switches on to warn you that other lights on your Skoda aren’t working.

You might notice an accompanying message on the Digital Instrument Panel indicating which bulb is damaged.

Can I still drive with my lightbulb monitor on? 

Although it’s possible to drive with damaged lights and headlights you could find yourself in trouble with the police. 

Rule 113 of the Highway Code says “You MUST ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise”. It continues to explain the other ways that light should be used to stay on the right side of the law.

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Air suspension warning light


When you see this light you might notice the handling and stability of your Skoda isn’t what it should be.

As you might have guessed from the arrows on the image, the ground clearance of your car might also be affected.

Can I still drive with my air suspension warning light on?

You can but you should take things slowly. 

If the body of your car is sitting lower than usual it’s far more likely to scrape along the road, especially when you drive over speed bumps.

Try taking your car to your nearest RAC approved garage but give yourself a little extra time to get there.

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Brake warning light


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.

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

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Engine management warning light


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


Also known as the airbag and seatbelt 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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Electronic power steering warning light


Also known as the EPS or EPAS warning light.

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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Diesel particulate filter warning light


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. 

Learn more about diesel particulate filters and how to maintain them.

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Engine temperature warning light


Also known as the coolant 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. 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. 

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 pressure warning light


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 warning light


Many 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.

Battery warning light


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


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.

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

Electronic stability control (ESC) or dynamic stability control DSC warning light


Also known as Electronic Stability Problem (ESP) light or ASR light.

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


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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