How to Read Dashboard Lights on Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry Dashboard 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
Being the top-selling vehicle for the past eleven years in America, with over 10 million units sold, it’s normal that some Toyota Camry owners may not figure out what all the dashboard lights mean.
So let us show you here some of the most important ones that you may find on the whole Camry range. Bear in mind that most of the lights, including the warning lights, will show up for a short period of time until you start the engine. So it is perfectly normal to see the engine fault or any other warning light when you turn on the ignition.

“Check Engine” light - this is one of the most important lights on the dashboard. If your Camry runs OK, this light should go off after you turn on the engine. If not, it means that your engine has a problem and it exceeds the CO2 emissions limit. This is generated by anything that can upset the combustion cycle, like a bad sparkplug, clogged injector, incorrect timing, busted CO2 sensors, clogged EGR valve or anything in between. If you can’t figure yourself what generated the problem, it’s best to take your Camry to a certified service.

“SRS” light - if this shows up, it means that you may have a problem with an airbag (or you have disabled one). Do not perform any repairs on the airbag system under no circumstance, they are practically bombs and very bad injuries may occur. Go to a certified service for help.

“Check Oil” light - resembles to a small canister (like Aladdin’s lamp) with a drop of oil at its nozzle. If that shows up, the oil pressure might be low. This may be generated by a clogged system, weak oil pump or a low oil level in the engine. See a service if you have no idea what is causing the problem.

“Small car with taillights flashing” - if this shows up on your Camry dashboard, it means that one or both of your brake lights have failed or is about to. Replace any busted light bulbs and if the problem persists go see a dealership.

“Battery” light - this will basically show up when the engine is not running and there are consumers like the stereo or lights working. It means that the battery is consuming and there is nothing to recharge it. If it lights up when the engine is running, it may say that your alternator is not charging the battery.

“BRAKE” light - this means that the parking brake is applied. It should go off once you release the parking brake. If not, the parking brake may be stuck.

“Exhaust Temperature” light - it looks like a muffler with heat waves going out of it. This means that the internal temperature of the catalytic convertor is above normal. Stop the engine immediately and let it cool for about 10 min. If the light doesn’t go out see the service.

“Oil Level” light - means that the engine oil level is low. It may also warn about a high oil level if your Camry has a diesel engine.

“Radiator Level” - looks like a radiator and it means that the coolant level in the secondary radiator tank is low.

“Fuel Water” light - resembles a conic chamber with a fluid level inside and a drop pouring underneath. This means that the fuel water filter contains a high amount of collected water and should be emptied as soon as possible. Continuing driving may damage the fuel injectors.

“Door Open” light - looks like a vehicle with its doors open. Means that one of the doors is not properly shut.

“A/T Oil Temp” - means that the engine oil is overheated and you should pull over immediately. Normally you should stop the engine to let it cool down, but this means that the hot fluids won’t circulate through the radiators and wont cool. So let the engine run for a few minutes and see if the light disappears. If not, turn off the engine.

“Low Pressure Tire” light - looks like a sectioned tire with an exclamation mark inside. Means that one or multiple tires have a lower or exceeding air pressure. Stop at a service and correct the pressure in all tires.

“ABS” light - a circle with "ABS" written in it or just "ABS" without a circle. Means that either the anti-lock braking system is operating (you should also feel it pulsating when applying the brakes hard) or that it has encountered a problem. Another cause might be a temporary error caused by false data collected by its computer, such as performing a burnout or spinning the wheels on ice and then stopping suddenly. This may misinform the system that you are braking hard and the wheels have blocked; its job is to cut the braking power in such conditions to let them spin, but the vehicle being stationary it will result in generating an error. So if this might be the cause, stop the vehicle’s engine, turn it back on and drive a bit while braking periodically so the system can recalibrate. If not, go see a service.

“Low Windshield Washer Fluid” light - it looks like a butterfly but it depicts a windshield with two water jets flowing at the top. If it shows up, it means that the washer fluid for the windshield wipers was consumed. To make it disappear, top up the container with the same symbol on its cap in the engine bay area.

This should cover the most important warning lights on your Toyota Camry’s dashboard. There is also a short clip bellow depicting some of them. For any other questions feel free to ask in the comment section bellow.

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