What Does The Wrench Symbol On Dashboard Mean?

When any notification appears on your car’s dash, it can cause a fair amount of stress. Especially if you don’t know how serious the alert may be. If you’re driving your car at the office, you might notice a yellow or green warning light that features a wrench with the open portion pointed upward or a symbol of a car with a wrench lying vertically in its center. What does the wrench symbol on dashboard means? Both of these symbols indicate that your car needs service. Usually, it’s because of some sort of time-based milestone not being met. Or there’s a fault with the car that needs professional attention.

What Does The Wrench Symbol On Dashboard Mean?

The wrench light on a car dashboard means that the vehicle is due for maintenance. Different automakers use variations of this light, such as a car with a wrench in the middle, but a wrench is always incorporated in some way. In most cases, these symbols are used only as a reminder that routine maintenance is needed, such as an oil change, although the car on the lift could suggest a more serious problem. Note immediately that some manufacturers use the image of a vehicle with the wrench inside to indicate an electrical problem.

In many European vehicles, a simple wrench (spanner) image will be displayed temporarily as a service interval approaches. It will likely be in grayscale, rather than a more expected amber. Note that if you see a wrench or spanner in red, it indicates a serious powertrain problem.

What Can Cause The Service Light To Come On?

The service light indicates that it is time to take the car for servicing. Every mechanical contraption needs servicing every once in a while to maintain efficiency and optimize utility. Cars are no different. When a vehicle is new, all parts are more or less in prime condition.

As time goes on, however, parts of the vehicle start to deteriorate. For car owners, it can be hard to know when exactly the car needs servicing; servicing a lot of times within a short time frame wastes money while going on for too long without servicing can be bad. That’s why the service light is there.

The manufacturers of most cars program the light to come on after the vehicle has traveled a reasonable mileage or time frame through which the car is expected to have undergone wear of expected sort. The service light pertains to faults or conditions in the chassis network, places like the brake hydraulic, the traction control, the suspension, and the ABS (anti-lock brake system). It can also indicate the need for an oil or filter change.

Is It Safe To Drive With The Maintenance Light On?

Your maintenance light is a failsafe that helps you understand when to work on your car. There have been reports of some people that ignored the lights and eventually had no engine issues. However, this is not ideal, and it’s far from being the safest option. Ignoring the warning light could increase your vehicle’s predisposition to failures, spoilage, and wear and tear.

How Long Can You Drive With The Service Light On?

It has been said that a service light i.e. wrench symbol on dashboard is more like a guide than a warning alert. In most cars, one would notice that the service light is yellow or orange, as opposed to green (which means a particular function is in use) or red (an indication of a more urgent factor to look at).

This means that you can drive for quite a while after it has come on. You can turn it off through reset, but it is ideal to take your car for servicing as soon as possible to reduce the risk of maintenance problems arising in the near future.

Is There a Difference Between A Service Light And A Service Engine Light?

Yes, there is a difference. Although they were both used interchangeably before 1996, they are now different. The service light comes in the form of a car and a spanner, while the service engine light takes the form of the shape of an engine. The service engine light is also known as the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp.

They also differ in functionality. Both the service engine light and service light come on when the car is ignited but go off after a while when there are no problems. Both remain on when the issues they serve as indicators are on hand.

How To Fix The Service Light When It Comes On?

Most people prioritize getting the wrench symbol on dashboard to stay off when it comes on. This is not advisable. It lulls one into a false sense of calm, the opposite of what the service engine light indicates. In that scenario, the best thing to do is to take the car for proper servicing, which includes oil and filter changes, tire rotations, etc.

It is important to know all the warning symbols that come with your dashboard so that you can at least be familiar with them when the time comes to act on them appropriately. Remember to take your car out for servicing as soon as possible after seeing the service light come on.


We hope the above-mentioned information about the wrench symbol on dashboard will be helpful to all the readers. If anybody’s doubts persist feel free to comment in the comment section below. We’ll try to solve your doubts as soon as possible.

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