What Does the Triangle With Exclamation Point Mean?

The yellow triangle symbol in a car means that you have a malfunctioning tire pressure monitoring system or your traction control system is disabled.

This system, which is often found on newer cars, monitors the air pressure in each tire and displays a yellow triangle with exclamation point on the dashboard when it detects an irregularity.

For example, if one of your tires goes flat, the system will recognize that the pressure in that tire has dropped below normal levels and display a car warning lights triangle. When this happens, you should stop driving immediately and check your tire for any damage or punctures.

Possible causes of Triangle Symbol

Following are the most probable causes for this warning to pop up:

Malfunction in TPMS sensor

If there is a problem with any of the four TPMS sensors, it will cause the triangle light to come on. These sensors are located inside each tire and monitor air pressure.

A common sign that these need to be replaced is when you have recently changed your tires or had them rotated. Usually, all four will need to be replaced at the same time.

Low Tire Pressure

This is probably the most common reason why people see this dashboard light come on. When one (or more) of your tires doesn’t have enough air, it can throw off your car’s handling and increase fuel consumption.

You’ll want to check all of your tires for a proper PSI, and if one is low, inflate until it’s at the appropriate level.

There are many reasons why you might see this symbol:

  1. Some of the most common causes are:
  2. A puncture in the tire or sidewall which allows air to escape
  3. Tire pressure that’s too low for driving conditions (high pressure for cold weather, low pressure for hot weather)
  4. A leak in a valve stem or valve stem seal, which will cause air to escape through the valve stem hole

Disabled Traction control system

Another possible causes is that the traction control system is disabled. It can appear when the vehicle is running and in neutral, or while it’s in gear.

This symbol isn’t a problem in itself, but it can indicate that there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

A disabled traction control system may be caused by a number of different issues, including:

  • A faulty brake light switch
  • A bad PCM (powertrain control module)
  • A faulty speed sensor

Low window washer fluid reservoir

The orange triangle symbol on your car’s dashboard also means that the low window washer fluid reservoir is causing this warning.

The problem can be solved by simply filling up the tank with more fluid, but if you continue to drive with an empty tank, it can eventually cause damage to your windshield wipers.

If you think you might have a leak in your windshield wiper system, first check the reservoir itself.

If there are bubbles coming up through the reservoir, then your problem is likely due to a leaky wiper blade and not low fluid levels.

If there are no bubbles in the reservoir, then it’s time to put some water in it!

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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