Only half of drivers understand vital light on their dashboard – knowing could save £1,000s in repairs or even your life | The Sun

RESEARCH has shown that only half of drivers know what a vital light on their dashboard means.

Drivers are being urged to understand the meaning of their car's warning lights as they could save lives.

Research by Green Flag has revealed that more than a third (37%) of drivers do not know how to top-up their windscreen washer fluid and one in five (20%) can't identify an engine oil dipstick.

Shockingly, a quarter of UK drivers (27%) can't identify what is under the bonnet of their car.

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They say that driving with low engine oil can cause engine wear, which decreases fuel efficiency and increases running costs.

Drivers should change their vehicle's engine oil in line with their vehicle manufacturers' guidelines.


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Shockingly, when shown photographs of common engine parts, people often have no idea what they are, which could pose a significant safety risk. 

Because of this lack of knowledge, almost a third (31%) of drivers leave all maintenance checks to a mechanic to carry out during the annual service.

Simple tasks, such as topping up the engine oil, can be conducted safely and cheaply at home rather than needing to hire a professional.

The research also revealed drivers struggle to recognise common car warning lights.

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Most alarmingly, only half (50%) of drivers are able to identify the universal tyre pressure warning light.

A further 43% of drivers can't identify the brake system warning light and more than a third (36%) cannot identify the check engine warning light.

This is extremely worrying, as warning lights indicate potentially dangerous faults and should be investigated urgently.

UK drivers’ lack of confidence in basic car maintenance is particularly worrying.

The Highway Code recommends that drivers conduct checks weekly,  including engine oil and brake fluid.

They found that 86% of UK drivers, equivalent to 35.6 million people, do not conduct the weekly car maintenance checks that the Highway Code advises are essential for safe driving.

Katie Lomas, Head of Green Flag Breakdown, said: "It’s essential to carry out regular car maintenance checks to ensure your car is safe to drive, but many drivers wouldn’t know where to start.

"Without regular checks cars can quickly develop faults that can be dangerous and expensive to repair.

"Although these checks are quick and easy, a significant number of drivers end up with unnecessary expenses because they would rather pay a mechanic to conduct this work."

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