Some signals in life are easy to spot and resolve. Needing a recharge? Make that coffee a large one. Sending a voice note when you’re missing your family. Or pizza date with a mate who just needs a friend.

But what about your car’s calls for attention? Think of the dashboard as a dive into its heart. The signs are usually there – it’s all about reading them right. Warning lights can vary from car to car. So, we’ve pulled together a quick guide to the basic ones – and the lowdown on what they may mean.

Things could feel like they’ve lost their spark – because when your battery’s not charging it’s sometimes down to the electrics. Or maybe your car feels a bit left out in the cold. There’s hope on the horizon, take some time to understand why things feel a bit strained.

This may appear to flash, or it might light up in a warning colour like amber or red.  Above all else, remember – safety first. Although this needs your immediate attention, only pull over when you’re not putting you or other road users at risk. This light can mean a few different things, from an alert to a leak in your brake fluid, or the brake pads wearing thin. It is best to get these checked by a professional as soon as you can.

Often accompanied by a lack of get up and go. Something’s causing your car engine to fail. It could be a minor blip or something more major. For this one, you’re going to need professional help. Make an appointment with your garage asap.

Either it’s all getting a bit overheated, or the pressure’s too much.

Things needs your urgent attention. High oil temperature or low oil levels can lead to engine damage. If this light appears, stop your car as soon as it’s safe and turn off the engine.

Check the oil levels and top up if they’re low. If the levels are fine, or the light stays on once topped up, then it could be a faulty oil pump. And breakdown assistance may be needed.

Don’t let yourself get deflated.  This one should be solvable if you show your tyres some TLC. Because, by the time this light appears, the air pressure in at least one of your tyres may be running low. It could be down to a puncture, or some other type of damage.  Check the air pressure as soon as you can, as low pressure can mean it takes you longer to brake and can also affect steering control. If the light stays on once you’ve pumped up your tyres, then you could have a slow puncture and will need to get it checked and possibly replaced.

Remember – warning lights and how they appear will be different depending on the make and model of your car. If in doubt, reach for your car manual. Keep it handy in the glove compartment if you can. But above all else, it’s always best to give your car regular checks – especially headlights, brakes, and tyres – and keep your petrol, oil and water topped up at all times.

If you think you’ve fixed the problem and a warning light stays on, always check with your manual or a professional on what to do next.