Buick Dashboard Symbols: What Do They Mean?

September 17th, 2022 by

The dashboard of a Buick can be a source of vital data concerning your vehicle’s health. When the system detects a problem, a symbol illuminates on the dashboard. The characters are numerous, and their meanings aren’t always apparent. Let’s look at some of the most common Buick dashboard symbols and what they’re trying to tell you.

ABS Warning

Buick Dashboard with Odometer and Speedometer

Image by Marek Szturc is licensed with Unsplash License

One of the more straightforward symbols to understand is the ABS warning light, which appears as the letters “ABS” enclosed in a circle surrounded by two opposing semicircles. The letters are an abbreviation of “antilock brake system,” and that’s precisely what the indicator concerns. When the light’s on, your antilock brake system is deactivated. You might manage to resolve the issue by restarting your vehicle. Should that fail, consider seeing a mechanic.

Air Bag Warning

The airbag warning light resembles a profile view of a passenger buckled into a seat, with a perfectly round inflated airbag in front of them. This light means there could be a problem with one or several of your Buick’s airbags. Before doing anything else, try restarting your vehicle. If the light remains illuminated, take the car to a mechanic.

Automatic Transaxle Warning

Another easy one is the automatic transaxle warning symbol — the letters “AT” in all caps. An automatic transaxle combines your Buick’s automatic transmission and the axle connected to the differential that drives the wheels. When you see the symbol, your best move is to stop driving and call roadside assistance. Operating your vehicle with a problematic automatic transaxle could significantly damage your transmission.

Battery Warning

The battery warning indicator, also known as the charge warning light, resembles a car battery with negative and positive posts on either side. When you see this symbol, your Buick’s charge system isn’t working as intended. The potential causes are various. It might be that your battery is dying, the wiring is faulty, or there’s an issue with the alternator. The best course of action is to keep your vehicle running and drive it to the nearest mechanic.

Blind Spot Warning

If you see an indicator light resembling a bird’s-eye view of two parallel vehicles separated by a radar-like effect, that’s your blind-spot warning system doing its job. When this arises on your dashboard, double-check your blind spot before you turn or veer into the lane beside you.

Brake Warning

This is another easy one because the brake warning symbol is simply the word “BRAKE” in all caps. As you might expect, an illuminated brake warning light indicates an issue with your Buick’s brake system. Often, it means either you’ve left your parking brake on or you’re low on brake fluid. Still, it could suggest a more serious problem requiring professional resolution.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light symbol is the outline of a transmission with the words “CHECK ENGINE” written within. If you see it flashing on your dashboard, try restarting your vehicle. Sometimes, the associated sensors misread the situation, and a reignition corrects the issue. If the symbol continues to flash, however, you’ll need the services of a mechanic.

Driver Attention Alert

An illuminated coffee cup on your dashboard means your Buick’s driver attention alert system — a safety feature detecting aberrations in your normal driving patterns — has encountered a problem. To retain this feature, get your vehicle checked out by a mechanic.

Engine Temperature Warning

Do you see a symbol resembling a thermometer suspended in liquid? That’s the engine temperature warning light, which indicates an overheated engine. The problem’s often temporary, resolved by shutting off your vehicle and letting the engine cool off. However, if the warning light illuminates chronically, the best thing to do is get to a mechanic.

Master Warning

The master warning light is crucial but also a little vague. The symbol is an exclamation point within an otherwise solid triangle. It indicates that something serious is wrong with your vehicle. Often, a message accompanies the warning light, but not always. Either way, get your Buick to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Seat Belt Reminder

The seat belt reminder symbol is a headlong view of a passenger buckled into a seat. All this means is that someone in the vehicle hasn’t buckled in. Your Buick senses this by using pressure pads that measure the weight in each seat. To resolve the light, have everyone use their seat belt. If you don’t have any passengers (or objects on the seats), that may indicate a problem with the pressure pads, which would require correction by a professional.

Security Indicator

The security indicator looks like a headlong view of a car with a large padlock in front of it. What it means is that something could be wrong with one of your Buick’s security systems. The potential causes may be wide-ranging, so consider having a professional diagnose the problem.

Tire Pressure Warning

Imagine that you’re looking at a slightly deflated tire head-on, lengthwise, and there’s an exclamation point floating before the tire. That’s what the tire pressure warning light looks like. When you see this, it means that one or more of your tires has insufficient pressure. Otherwise, there’s something wrong with the sensors that detect tire pressure. You can resolve either issue independently, though you may want a professional to handle the latter.

Take your Buick to Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC

If you’d like to learn more about any models of Buick, GMC, or Chevrolet vehicles, feel free to reach out to us by your preferred method of communication. For maximum convenience, fill out our contact page with your name, email address, and message, and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible. If you’d like to speak directly with an associate instead, call us at 844-417-7331.

We’d love to meet you if you want to come to the dealership. Find our Sweeney GMC location at 7997 Market St. and our Chevy location near 8010 Market St. right here in Youngstown, Ohio. Both are open six days a week — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. While you’re here, you can get an up-close look at our inventory of new vehicles and the varied selection in our pre-owned lot. Whatever you’re looking for, let us be the ones to help you find it.

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