Through generations of car models, our vehicles have become increasingly complex. To obtain reliability and efficiency, on-board computers and sensors are used to maintain and monitor vehicle systems.
With such complexity, comes complications and failures. These issues are displayed to the driver via dashboard lights and symbols. Audible sounds may also be used on occasion.
Kia dashboard warning lights are a combination of universal recognised symbols and symbols unique to Kia. The colour of the light will typically signify the importance or severity of the issue. Green and blue lights inform the driver that a system is active, such as full beam headlights (blue) or that cruise control is active (green) for example.
Attention should be paid to orange / amber and in particular red symbols. An amber symbol will signify that something requires attention soon, such as a non-urgent issue on the vehicle or an engine service. Red is used to signify something more urgent such as low oil levels or engine temperatures running hot. Flashing lights accompanied by an audible sound signify immediate attention where potential harm to vehicle or driver / passengers may ensue.
Below details Kia dashboard warning lights and symbols with pictures, an explanation of the symbol along with the appropriate action that should be taken. The Kia dashboard lights on this page cover models:
Active ECO Indicator
Not equipped on all models. When the active ECO is operating the ECO indicator illuminates green. The ECO system is designed to encourage eco-driving by providing feedback to the driver. The ECO symbol assists you to drive in the most economical method. The green indicator comes on when driving at high fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency depends on driver’s habits, weather and road conditions.
Kia Air Bag Warning Light
Warning symbol will illuminate for approximately 6 seconds when ignition is switched to the ON position. Light also comes on when SRS has a fault. If the air bag warning light does not come on at ignition, or continuously remains on after running engine for after 6 seconds, we recommend that the system be inspected by an authorised Kia dealer. For further information about airbags and possible faults, see why is the airbag light on?
Seat belt warning and chime light
Serves as a reminder to the driver to secure seat belt. The seat belt warning light will flash or illuminate for approximately 6 seconds each time you turn the ignition switch ON regardless of belt fastening.
Immobiliser Indicator Warning Light
Without smart key system – Symbol illuminates when the immobiliser key is inserted and turned to the ON position to start the engine. You can start the engine and the light goes out after the engine is running. If this symbol flashes when the ignition switch is in the ON position before starting the engine, it’s recommended that the system be seen by an authorised Kia centre.
With smart key system – If any of the following occurs in a vehicle equipped with the smart key, the immobiliser symbol illuminates, flashes or goes out. 1. When the smart key’s in the vehicle, if the engine start/stop button’s in the ACC or ON position, the symbol will light for around 30 seconds to indicate that you are able to start the engine.
However, when the smart key is not in the vehicle, if the engine start/stop button is pressed, the symbol will flash for a few seconds to indicate that you are not be able to start the engine. 2. If the symbol illuminates only for 2 seconds and goes out when the engine start/stop button is turned to ON position with the smart key in the vehicle, it’s recommended that the system be seen by an authorised Kia centre. 3. When the battery is weak, if the engine start/stop button is pressed, the symbol will flash and you are not able to start the engine. However, you are able to start the engine by pressing the engine start/stop button directly with the smart key. Also, if the smart key system related parts have a problem, the symbol will flash.
When the ENGINE START/STOP button is in the ACC or ON position, if any door is open, the system checks for the smart key. This indicator symbol flashes when the smart key is not in the vehicle and any door is open with the ignition switch or Engine Start/Stop
button in the ACC or ON position. If you close all doors, the chime will also sound for around 5 seconds. The light will go off while the vehicle is moving.
Low Fuel Level WARNING LIGHT
The low fuel warning light indicates the fuel tank is almost empty. When it comes on, add fuel as soon as possible. Driving with the fuel level warning light on or with the fuel level below “O/E” can cause the engine to misfire and damage the catalytic converter if equipped with one.
EPS (Electronic Power Steering) WARNING LIGHT
The steering wheel with exclamation mark (EPS) light comes on after the ignition key is turned to the ON position and then it will go out shortly if system is operating correctly. If it comes on whilst driving or remains on after engine ignition, we recommend that the system be seen by an authorised Kia dealer. Vehicle can still be used, though steering may become more difficult.
AFLS (Adaptive Front Lighting System) WARNING LIGHT
If the AFLS malfunction symbol illuminates, the Adaptive Front Lighting System is not working properly. Drive to the nearest safe location and restart the engine. If the symbol continuously remains on, it’s recommended that the system be seen by an authorised Kia technician.
PArking Brake / Brake Fluid WARNING LIGHT
This symbol illuminates when the parking brake is applied with the ignition switch in the START or ON position. The warning light should go off when the parking brake is released. If the light remains on, it may indicate that the brake fluid level in the reservoir is low. In this situation, drive carefully to the nearest safe location and stop your vehicle and turn off the engine. Check the brake fluid level and add fluid if applicable. Check around brake components for any leaking fluid. If leaks are found, do not drive vehicle and contact a Kia technician.
EPB (Electric Parking Brake) WARNING LIGHT
The EPB malfunction light will illuminate when the ignition switch is turned ON, but should go off after around 3 seconds. If the warning symbol does not illuminate, or continuously remains on, have system checked with Kia technician. The EPB malfunction light may
illuminate when the ESC light (see below) comes on to indicate that the ESC is not working correctly. If this occurs, it does not indicate the EPB has a failure.
ESC (Electronic Stability Control) WARNING LIGHT
The ESC symbol will illuminate when the ignition switch is turned ON, but should go off after around 3 seconds. When the ESC is active, it monitors driving conditions. Under normal driving conditions, the ESC indicator will remain off. When a slippery or low traction condition is encountered, the ESC will operate, and the ESC indicator will blink to indicate ESC is active. If ESC system malfunctions the symbol stays on. In this situation, contact a Kia dealership.
Anti-lock brake system (ABS) WARNING LIGHT
Symbol illuminates on ignition and goes off in approximately 3 seconds if the system is operating normally. If the ABS warning light remains on, comes on whilst driving, or does not come on when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, this indicates that there may be a problem with the ABS. In this situation, contact your Kia dealership. The normal braking system will still be operational, but without the assistance of the anti-lock brake system. See why is the ABS light on for further information.
ABS / Braking System Dashboard WARNING LIGHTs
If two warning lights illuminate at the same time whilst driving, your vehicle’s ABS and EBD system may have malfunctioned. In this case, your ABS and regular brake system may not work normally. You may experience an unexpected and dangerous situation during sudden braking. In this case, avoid high speed driving and abrupt braking. You should contact your Kia dealership immediately. Also, the speedometer or odometer/tripmeter may not work, the EPS warning light may illuminate and the steering effort may increase or decrease.
Auto stop indicator DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHTS
Symbol will illuminate when the engine enters the Idle Stop mode of the ISG (Idle Stop and Go) system. When automatic starting occurs, the auto stop indicator on the cluster will blink for 5 seconds. For vehicles equipped with instrument cluster type B, the indicator illuminates on the LCD display. When the engine automatically starts by the ISG system, some warning lights (ABS, ESC, ESC OFF, EPS or Parking brake warning light) may turn on for a few seconds. This happens because of low battery voltage. It does not mean the system is malfunctioning.
Battery Charging DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHTS
Illuminated symbol indicates a malfunction of either the generator or electrical charging system. If the warning light comes on whilst the vehicle is in motion you should drive to the nearest safe location and with the engine off, check the generator drive belt for looseness or breakage. If the belt is adjusted properly, a problem exists somewhere in the electrical charging system. At this point, you should contact your local Kia dealership. See Why is the battery warning light on for further help.
TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) WARNING LIGHTS
The low tyre pressure symbol comes on for 3 seconds after the ignition switch is turned to the ON position. The low tyre pressure and position symbol illuminates when one or more of your tyres is significantly underinflated. The TPMS malfunction indicator will illuminate after it flashes for around one minute when there is a problem with the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. In this situation, you should contact a Kia technician.
Engine Oil Pressure WARNING LIGHTS
This warning symbol indicates the engine oil pressure is low. If the symbol illuminates whilst driving, pull over and stop as soon as possible and turn off the engine. Once stopped, check engine oil levels and if low, add engine oil. If the warning light remains on after adding oil or if oil is not available, call a Kia dealership before starting the vehicle. Do not continue journey if light remains on as severe damage could result to the engine.
Low ENGINE OIL Level WARNING LIGHTS
The engine oil level warning light illuminates when the engine oil level should be checked. If the warning light comes on, check the
engine oil level as soon as possible and add engine oil if levels are low. Use recommended oil in vehicle manual and pour slowly using a funnel. (Oil refill capacity :approximately 0.6 ~ 1.0 l) Do not overfill oil level so that it is not above F mark on the dipstick. If light remains on after replenishing levels, contact Kia dealership.
Cruise Control LIGHT Indicator
Symbol illuminates when the cruise control system is enabled. The cruise indicator in the instrument cluster is illuminated when the cruise control ON-OFF button on the steering wheel is pushed. The indicator goes off when the cruise control ON-OFF button is pushed again.
Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) LIGHT INDICATOR
This dashboard warning light illuminates when there is a malfunction with advanced smart cruise control system if equipped on your vehicle. In this situation, have your vehicle inspected by a Kia dealership. If the cruise control radar light illuminates, it indicates the radar of cruise control is covered or stained. Uncover or remove stains.
Cruise SET indicator LIGHT
Symbol illuminates when the cruise control switch (SET- or RES+) is ON. The cruise SET indicator in the instrument cluster lights when the cruise control switch (SET- or RES+) is pushed. The cruise SET indicator does not illuminate when the cruise control cancel button O is pushed or the system is disengaged.
Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Warning Light
This symbol is part of the Engine Control System which monitors various emission control system components. If this symbol illuminates on the dashboard whilst driving, it suggests that a potential problem has been detected somewhere in the emission control system. This symbol will also come on when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position and will go out shortly after the engine has started. If it illuminates whilst driving, or does not illuminate when the ignition key is turned to the ON position, contact Kia dealer.
Vehicle will generally be safe to drive, though prolonged driving with the Emission Control System Malfunction Indicator Light illuminated may cause damage to the emission control systems which could effect drivability and/or fuel economy. Prolonged driving with a petrol engine may cause catalytic converter damage. When the malfunction indicator light flashes, it may stop after driving the vehicle at more than 60km/h (37 mph) or at more than second gear with 1500 ~ 2000 engine rpm for a certain time (for about 25 minutes).
Engine Temperature WARNING LIGHT
This dashboard warning symbol illuminates if the temperature of the engine coolant is above 120±3°C (248±5.4°F). If light illuminates, pull over and turn off engine as soon as safe to do so. Allow engine to cool for around 20 minutes and check coolant levels. Continuing to drive whilst engine is too hot can cause irreparable damage to the engine. Do not continue driving with an overheated engine.
Fuel Filter WARNING LIGHT
Warning light illuminates for 3 seconds after the ignition switch is set to the ON position and then it will go out. If it lights up whilst the engine is running, it informs that water has accumulated inside the fuel filter. When the fuel filter warning light comes on, engine power (vehicle speed & idle speed) may decrease. If continual driving with the warning light on, damage to the vehicle’s engine parts and injection system of the Common Rail may occur. You will need to remove the water from the fuel filter. Have system serviced.
Master WARNING Dashboard LIGHT
The exclamation mark contained in a triangle is the Kia master warning light. This warning symbol informs the driver of the following situations: – Low washer fluid – TPMS – Blind Spot Detection (BSD) – Fuel cap open – Service required. The Master Warning Light illuminates when more than one of the above warning situations occur. If the warning situation is solved, the master warning light will be turned off.
Frost WARNING Dashboard LIGHT
The Kia snowflake light is a frost/ice indicator and warns that the road conditions are likely icy. The snowflake light will usually illuminate in amber at around 4°C (39°F) and may appear in red when colder. On the Kia, the icy road snowflake symbol will typically flash for 10 seconds until becoming stable and is often accompanied by a warning alarm or chime that can be annoying and distracting to many drivers. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable the alarm.
Autonomous Emergency Braking LIGHT
The Kia Autonomous Emergency Braking system (AEB) uses a radar sensor located under the registration plate on the front of your vehicle, along with a camera located at the top centre of the windscreen that is always monitoring the road ahead. If the system detects another vehicle or pedestrian and senses a collision, the brakes are automatically applied to help reduce impact. If this warning light comes on, check to ensure all sensors are clean from dirt or road debris. If the warning light remains on, a sensor may be damaged or faulty.