Common Dashboard Warning Lights and their Meanings

October 15th, 2020 by

Mercedes-Benz of Smithtown is dedicated to helping our customers maintain their Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Understanding the below dashboard warning lights is important to ensure the safety of you and your passengers as well as other drivers on the road.  While it is helpful to know the meaning of common dashboard messages, it is always recommended that you visit a certified Mercedes-Benz service center if or when any of these messages appear.

ABS Warning Light:

The ABS warning light means that the Anti-Lock Brake System has been deactivated in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle.  In addition to the Anti-Lock Brake System, the ESP®, BAS®, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and Hill-Start Assist are deactivated as well.  You will be able to brake and stop your vehicle, but the system will not adjust vehicle instability or stop the vehicle in the event of an emergency.  

Airbag Light:

When the airbag light appears on your dashboard, it means that there is a malfunction with the Supplemental Restraint system.  This malfunction means that, in the event of an accident, your airbags may not deploy.  To maintain the safety of you and your passengers, it is important that you bring your vehicle to a certified Mercedes-Benz service center immediately. 


The ATTENTION ASSIST® light signifies that the driver attention monitor has detected that you are losing focus while operating your Mercedes-Benz vehicle.  When this light illuminates on your dashboard, you should safely pull over and take a break. 

Battery Light:

The Battery Light means that your vehicle’s battery is not charging properly.  This charging malfunction could be caused by a faulty alternator, poly-v belt, or an issue with the electrical system.  

Brake Wear Light:

When the Brake Wear light is illuminated, it means that your brake pads and/or your brake rotors are due for a replacement.  You should schedule a brake replacement as soon as possible to avoid brake failure or damage to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle.


Bulb Light:

The bulb light means that one of the light bulbs on your Mercedes-Benz vehicle has failed.  A light bulb failure can lead to limited visibility for you as well as other drivers on the road.

Check Engine Light:

The check engine light could mean that there is an issue with the engine itself, the fuel or fuel injection systems, the ignition, or the exhaust.  It is also possible that high emissions caused the engine to transition into emergency mode. 

Coolant Light:

The coolant light means that the coolant level could be too low or that the temperature gauge is malfunctioning.  You should monitor the temperature of your vehicle and pull over immediately if the coolant reaches above 248°F.  Continuing to drive your Mercedes-Benz vehicle at such high temperatures could lead to damage to the engine.

DEF/AdBlue Light:

The DEF/AdBlue light signifies that the Diesel Exhaust Fluid is low.  Diesel Exhaust Fluid is essential for the emissions system on your van as the fluid creates a catalytic reaction designed to remove particles from the exhaust.

ESC or ESP® Light:

When this light is illuminated, it means that there has been a malfunction with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®).  This means that if your Mercedes-Benz vehicle begins to skid, the Electronic Stability Control will not intervene to stop the skidding.  This light may also illuminate if any slippage is detected while operating the vehicle.  

Glow Plug Light:

The Glow Plug Light applies to our diesel engine vehicles such as the Sprinter van.  Our diesel engine vehicles use glow plugs to heat the cylinders inside the van.  When this light appears on the dashboard, it means that the glow plugs are currently heating the cylinders.

Steering Wheel Light:

The Steering Wheel Light means that your power steering is not functioning properly, and that you will need to be more forceful when turning the steering wheel to reactivate the power steering.

Tire Pressure Light:

When the Tire Pressure Light appears on the dashboard, this means that the tire pressure has dropped in either one or all of your vehicle’s tires.  It is recommended that you pull over safely and fill the tires to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of air inside all of the tires.

It is important to pay attention to any warning lights that may appear on your dashboard to maintain the performance and safety of your Mercedes-Benz vehicle.  The Service Center at Mercedes-Benz of Smithtown on 630 Middle Country Road in St. James is here to help you with any issue that you may be experiencing.  It is recommended that you schedule an appointment to have your vehicle serviced.  You can call 888-693-2406 to schedule a service appointment at the Service Center at Mercedes-Benz of Smithtown.