Auto Troubleshooting: Understanding The Common Problem Signs

« Back to Home

3 Audi Dash Light Warnings And Their Potential Causes

Posted on

Your Audi has the ability to let you know when it is having a problem through the illumination of lights in the dash display. The indicator system utilizes smart sensors that monitor all of the components for proper function during your drives. When the parts malfunction or cease working altogether, the sensors send a signal to the computer, which then immediately turns on the associated dash light. Here are three dash lights you will likely see while owning a new Audi.

Brake Indicator

The brake indicator lights on your Audi feature a circle surrounded by dashed lines. There are two main types, one that is yellow and another red. The yellow indicator lights up to let you know the front brake pads have exceeded their given service limit. You will need to have your mechanic confirm the diagnosis with a micrometer and compare the reading to the manufacturer's recommendations. If the brake pads are within spec, you may need the associated sensor replaced instead.

The red brake alert light states that something is wrong with one of the other components in the stopping system. The light may trigger due to a failure of anti-lock brake, or ABS, components, low fluid levels or sensor defects. You will need to have your mechanic inspect and test the brake system components to find and fix the fault.  

Oilcan Alert

Audi actually uses three separate oilcan illustrations to alert you to a problem with your vehicle. The three indicators let you know the oil levels are too low, pressure has fallen or sensors are not working.


The appearance of an oilcan image featuring the letters MIN is attempting to let you know that your oil level is too low. Your car may have simply burned through a portion of the oil during normal operation or has a leak that is letting oil flow out of the pan.


An oilcan shown in red indicates that oil pressure is at an unsafe level for normal operation of your vehicle. Without oil pressure, lubricant cannot reach the internal moving parts in the head, causing those components to overheat or fail outright. A clogged or defective pump, blocked galleys or sludge in the pan often causes oil pressure faults.


The word 'sensor' next to an oilcan image alerts you to a problem with one of the sensor units inside the engine. Without sensor feedback, your vehicle cannot measure the oil content or pressure levels in the engine. You will need to have your vehicle scanned by a technician to find and replace the sensor causing the dash light reading.

Since oil level and pressure is vital to the operation and health of your engine, all three of these indicators require prompt attention before driving your vehicle again.

Check Engine Sign

Unlike older German vehicles, the check engine light displayed by your new Audi is not a catch all for problems with the engine management system. Instead, this light lets you know that something has gone wrong with the emission controls.

The most common part failures associated with this warning light are spark plugs, oxygen sensor, air flow meter and fuel injectors. The simplest cause of the illumination of this warning light is a loose gas cap. Unfortunately, if the light is still on after tightening the gas cap and driving 100 miles, you will need to visit the Audi service shop to have your check engine light deactivated using a certified scan tool.

Taking Action

When the lights come on in your dash display, you might feel a moment of frustration. After all, it is difficult to impossible to identify the main cause and determine its severity without proper scan tools.

Since part failures often pose a risk to your safety or the vehicle's overall condition, it may be wise to simply seek help from a skilled Audi technician upon spotting a warning light. Your technician will use expert diagnostic techniques, including a full scan, to identify the problem and all associated repair options.