Keeping your vehicle running smoothly is important, which is why you should understand your dashboard indicator lights and what each means. These lights allow your vehicle to communicate with you, since each light describes its own specific problem. To keep your vehicle up and running, here is a guide to understanding the dashboard indicator lights and their meaning.

 
Check Engine Light: This light is one of the easiest to understand. If something is wrong with your engine, an illuminated engine will show up on your dashboard. These issues can range from the gas cap on your vehicle being lose to needing new spark plugs. When this light comes on, it's always a good idea to bring your vehicle in for service.

Battery Alert: Batteries usually last around five years and lose their charge as they age. When your battery loses charge, the Battery Alert light is likely to show up on your dash. This battery-shaped light means you should check or replace your battery.

Coolant Temperature Warning: When your coolant temperature has exceeded its normal limits, this light will turn on. It is shaped like a thermometer surrounded by liquid. This illuminated light usually means you should check the coolant temperature, fan operation, and radiator cap for any potential coolant leaks.

Oil Change Reminder: Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, your vehicle needs an oil change. Because of this, many vehicles have an oil change reminder that tells you when it's time to bring your vehicle in.

Tire Pressure Monitor: Tire pressure can change depending on how old your tires are or the temperature outside. If the pressure ever dips too low or too high, the Tire Pressure Monitor light will let you know. This light, which is shaped like the front-view of a tire with an exclamation point, means you should check your tire pressure immediately and either fill up your tires or decrease the pressure in them.

Source: http://www.autozone.com/landing/page.jsp?name=vehicle-warning-indicators