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Do You Understand Your Car Dashboard?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by thyagu2_2006, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. thyagu2_2006


    Warning ahead!

    98 per cent of drivers cannot understand their dashboard lights (but do YOU know what these symbols mean?)
    • Nine in 10 failed to recognise the sign for a faulty catalytic converter
    • Just 12 of the symbols were common across all car models�
    • A Mercedes-Benz E Class has the most symbols with 41 compared to a Nissan Micra which has 21�

    Britain’s motorists are becoming a nation of ‘dashboard dunces’ baffled by the increasing array of�warning lights in their cars, new research has revealed.�
    More than nine in ten people failed to recognise one particular warning.
    The study identified 99 separate dashboard light warnings in 15 of the UK’s most popular cars�ranging from the humble Nissan hatchback to Mercedes-Benz executive saloons.

    Yet just 12 of the symbol designs were common across all models.
    Breakdown firm Britannia Rescue, which commissioned the report, also conducted a survey of 2,018�drivers that revealed more than half of drivers (52 per cent) can correctly identify all 16 of the most�common symbols.

    The company said the number of warnings on dashboards varied dramatically from one make to another�and highlighted the Mercedes-Benz E Class for having 41 compared to 21 in a�Nissan Micra, BMW 3 Series and Volvo S40.
    The Britannia Rescue poll found that a quarter of motorists have had one or more warning symbols light up while driving in the past 12 months – most commonly the engine, oil or battery lights.

    The Mercedes-Benz E Class had the most symbols with 41 compared to 21 in the Nissan Micra

    The most baffling light is for a faulty catalytic converter which was incorrectly�identified by 95 per cent of drivers.
    Next for confusion was the air conditioning light which 86 per cent got wrong, followed by a tyre�pressure warning that flummoxed 71 per cent.
    Nearly half (48 per cent) do not even recognise the brake warning light and more than a third (35�per cent) cannot understand an airbag alert, with almost as many (27 per cent) mistaking it for a�seat-belt warning.
    Dashboard lights commonly inform drivers about problems like poor battery condition, low oil�pressure and high engine temperature.
    But many cars now have lights for service interval indicators and seatbelt reminders along with�malfunctions ranging from faulty anti-skid stability control to blocked air and fuel filters,�defective diesel filters or fuel contaminated by water.�
    A Britannia Rescue spokesman said:’Cars have become so complex that the majority of drivers don’t�understand what all of the most common warning or information lights on a car dashboard mean.
    ‘As in-car technology becomes more advanced there are now more and more in-car gadgets with symbols that support everything from the car’s sat-nav system to its heating and cooling options.


    5 people like this.
  2. PatchyBoy

    PatchyBoy Esperto

    Source please.

  3. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.4
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  4. thyagu2_2006


    PUBLISHED:�11:22 GMT, 31 July 2013�|�UPDATED:�23:50 GMT, 31 July 2013
  5. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Very nice to see Punto @second place :D
  6. Surya

    Surya Superiore

    Namma Bengaluru
    Good info and Punto has got second highest no. of signs ..
    May be its Better to have a LCD display messages than having so many clustered across dashboard.
    1 person likes this.
  7. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Thats a good piece of information, wonder what the statistics would be in the Indian context.

    As long as none of the indications are seen during the car running, I am happy with any no of the warning lamps on the dashboard. I do agree that increased no of lamps does confuse drivers many a times but atleast it helps in pin pointing to the correct issue source instead of trying to search a needle in the haystick kind of issue.

    Does the Indian Punto have 33 warning lamps, I could find only 22 of them on the dashboard.
  8. PatchyBoy

    PatchyBoy Esperto

    The dashboard lights are usually classified into 3 groups, identified by the colour of the LED

    Green - information
    Amber - Warning
    Red - Alert

    The reason for providing these LEDs in the cluster is simple. When you are driving and a light comes on, you will notice it in your peripheral vision and will surely pay attention to it. Also providing a verbose message on the MID is so you do not have to memorize all those lights and what they mean. Just providing a message on the MID will be detrimental to the cause, as the driver may not notice.

    That however makes me wonder - why do I see may cars with doors improperly closed / turn indicator on, when going in a straight line? Is that because the indication failed or is the because the LED is not enough to draw the driver's attention? I guess the future generation cars will also be equipped with a voice prompt, in addition to these.

    So, when the coolant is low and the light comes on, but you still keep driving, a voice will say " Are you blind? Pull over and stop now. You have no coolant" - said in the tone of the strictest teacher you can remember from school days :evilsmile

    BTW - There is a separate " WARNING LIGHTS AND MESSAGES" section in the Owner's Manual, where all these lights are described, in detail.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
    3 people like this.

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