What Does This Light Mean? | What Are These Symbols For on my Subaru Dashboard? | What Do I do When Dashboard Lights Come On? | Subaru Vehicle Symbols

Technical Schmecnical Lesson 6: Subaru Dashboard Lights; What Do These Symbols Mean? What Do I Do When They Come On?

Check the update at the bottom of the page for more specific information about what you need to do about one of these lights if it comes on.

Please refer to your Subaru Vehicle's Owner's Manual to learn more about the Vehicle Symbols, Warning, and Indicator Lights.

Here are two images from the Subaru Impreza WRX/STI Quick Reference Guides. (This model is chosen due to the abundance of available symbols to display.)

Please note the items in RED need IMMEDIATE ATTENTION, Yellow (Caution) items Need Attention Soon, and Green and Blue items are informational gauges.
If any of the RED Indicator Lights come on and you are unable to resolve the issue, please CALL Stanley Subaru's Service Department at 800-439-8989 and we would be glad to assist you. For more information, visit Subaru.com to learn all about Subaru technology, safety systems, and for complete, downloadable Owner's Manuals and Quick Reference Guides.

My "Check Engine" Light Has Come On, and What Should I Do When It Does?

When you start your vehicle, the check engine light comes on momentarily to test the engine/emission control system and bulb. The system is self-diagnostic and the light is a way to communicate trouble. The system is designed to function in a "limp home" mode when trouble occurs and the light comes on - and stays on. However, take your vehicle to Stanley Subaru's Service Department right away (or if you are traveling, to the nearest Subaru Authorized Service Center). Our Subaru Certified technicians have specialized tools and training to access trouble codes stored in the vehicle's memory each time the light is illuminated. This is a sophisticated system, with the ability to detect and store information about even the slightest changes.

One item which may seem insignificant but which can cause the system to detect trouble is a loose or missing fuel filler cap. Remove the cap, then tighten it until it clicks. If you are unsure whether the loose cap was the cause or if the light stays on, call Stanley Subaru at 207-667-4641 or toll-free 800-439-8989.

The light also can come on if you have installed electrically powered accessories (such as a radar detector or keyless entry system) that aren't compatible with your vehicle's systems. If the light comes on and such accessories are installed, Subaru technicians may insist they be removed or disconnected before any further diagnosis can take place. Subaru-approved accessories are thoroughly tested to prevent such problems.


We have some more detail on what each of these lights mean and what you can do about them to get them to go away (or stop beeping).

Part one: Seatbelts and Airbags


Part two: Fluids and Batteries PLUS How to deal with an overheating engine

Part three: Moving parts and lights which includes that snowflake (sometimes orange snowflake) that shows up!

Were you looking for why your lights are still on in your Subaru even if you don't have the key in the ignition? Check out our post here.

For more information, Check out our FAQ.

About Technical Schmecnical:
"Technical Schmecnical" is an ongoing series and serves as a helpful guide and resource for vehicle owners to better understand their vehicles. All of our information comes from Subaru Owners Manuals, Quick Reference Guides, technical manuals, and even our Subaru Certified Master Technicians themselves!

Have more questions? Need to know what other stuff means? Check out the Technical Schmecnical tag or try our FAQ.