What is Car Dashboard? All You Want to Know

What is Car Dashboard All You Want to Know

Everyone has been in this situation: You’re enjoying the scenery as you drive along when all of a sudden you hear a beep. You look down, and you see a symbol on your dashboard. You start to wonder what might be wrong with your car. Below are specific details about what is Car Dashboard.

A dashboard is a control panel located in a car or small airplane’s center console. It displays instrumentation and controls for the vehicle’s operation and is typically placed directly in front of the driver (or pilot). An electronic equivalent may be called an electronic instrument cluster, digital instrument panel, digital dash, digital speedometer or digital instrument cluster.

Types of Car Dashboard Symbols

Not every icon that appears on your dashboard is a warning light. Some of them relate to mechanical problems like low tire pressure and engine temperature warnings, while others are safety-related like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warnings. Other examples of these include lights and cruise control.

Colors are important for dashboard lighting! Green or blue lights simply let you know that a system is on or operating. Orange/yellow warning lights generally signify that your vehicle needs to be serviced or repaired soon. These warnings are less urgent than if you have a red and/or flashing light.

When the light is red, you need to move right away! Some red dashboard lights are mechanical warnings (like the engine overheating) while others are safety reminders (like the seat belt reminder). In the event that a mechanical red light appears, stop as soon as you can to investigate. If you carry on driving, your car is probably going to break down or get damaged.

As you read through this list, here are two things to keep in mind:

  1. The symbols on your dashboard may differ slightly from those on our list because every car is unique. If unsure, check the owner’s manual for your car!
  2. When you turn on your car and it runs a system check, many of these dashboard lights will briefly come on. Everything is in order as long as the lights go out quickly.
What is Car Dashboard? All You Want to Know
What is Car Dashboard? All You Want to Know

Gauges Found in a Dashboard

The most frequent data you always look for while driving will be provided by gauges. On the dash panel of your car, there are a number of gauges. Below is a list of some commonly found.


You’re curious about your current speed, aren’t you? Just take a quick glance at the speedometer.

A speedometer provides information about the speed of your car at a specific moment (the reading time). Both kilometers per hour (kph) and miles per hour (mph) are typically used to express speed. [1 mile = 1.60934 km]

Most modern speedometers get their data from the transmission’s mounted Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS), which measures speed.


Basically, a vehicle’s odometer will show the total distance traveled up until the reading was taken. Pretty straightforward, right? However, this is more than just a small piece of knowledge that can assist you in maintaining your vehicle.

You can determine when to service your vehicle by knowing how many kilometers or miles it has traveled. Consider how you drive when determining when to replace your tires and engine oil. The mileage can be calculated as well.

Of course, if you intend to sell, the mileage on your car can also be taken into account when determining its resale value.

Most often, the speedometer and odometer are packaged together as a single unit and referred to as a speedometer.


A tachometer displays the engine speed (in Revolutions Per Minute, or RPM), or the number of crankshaft rotations per minute, of your vehicle.

You can get better mileage by using the tachometer, which is essential. If you accelerate less and keep your rpms low, your fuel economy will improve. You can change into higher gears to accelerate faster while also minimizing your engine’s rotational speed (rpm). Consequently, changing gears is crucial.

It is always recommended to change to the desired gear at a specific engine rpm, and the tachometer will be of assistance. Every time you change gears, you must look at the tachometer. This is especially necessary for a manual transmission system. Gear shifting is completely unnecessary if your vehicle has an automatic transmission.

What is Car Dashboard? All You Want to Know
What is Car Dashboard? All You Want to Know

Fuel Level Indicating Gauge

It displays how much fuel is still in your fuel tank.

To keep your fuel pump constantly lubricated, you need a specific volume of fuel. Your fuel pump will cool thanks to this. Maintaining the fuel level at at least 25% to 30% of the tank’s volume is always advised.

Coolant Temperature Gauge

This gauge will inform you whether the coolant in your engine is hot, cold, or within the normal operating temperature range (1950 F–2200 F). The displayed information is obtained from the thermostat housing’s coolant temperature sensor, also known as a thermistor. You can see the exact information on a digital thermometer.

The temperature of your coolant is something you should always monitor. Any unusual behavior could be a sign that your engine is overheating.

Some Interesting Facts

  • LED, LCD, and Vacuum Fluorescent Displaysare the most commonly used types of displays today.
  • Certain Manufacturers use a new-age technology called Head-Up-Display (HUD), basically a transparent display that projects information onto the windscreen so that the driver will not have to look at the dashboard repeatedly.
  • There is something called a “Padded Dashboard” generally meant for the safety of the driver and front passenger during a collision.

So, did you folks find it helpful? Just tell me in the comments section below. Please add any additional dashboard symbols you may have seen.

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