Volkswagen Golf Dashboard Warning Lights

On-board computers linked to many sensors in and around your car notify you of warnings, malfunctions or certain functions that have been activated on your Volkswagen Golf.

Certain systems perform a ‘self check’ upon engine ignition, illuminating certain dashboard lights which shortly go out once the engine has started or the car is moving. This is normal.

Typically, warning lights and symbols signify the level of urgency by colour. Blue and green lights inform the driver that a utility has been activated, such as the external driving lights for example.

Amber / yellow / orange lights usually illuminate to inform the driver that something requires attention but is not urgent. This could be that pressure in a tyre is a little low or that the vehicle requires a service soon. They’re also used to inform the driver that certain driving safety aids have been deactivated.

Red lights and symbols, particularly those that flash and may be accompanied by and audible signal are far more urgent and may require immediate attention. These lights may signify risk of safety or potential damage to vehicle.

Certain dashboard symbols are generic, whilst others are used specifically to a particular make and / or model of vehicle. Depending on your model of VW Golf, a light or symbol may illuminate on the dashboard, along with a text message in the instrument cluster.

Detailed here are many of the Volkswagen Golf dashboard warning lights along with their meaning and appropriate action to take. Lights and symbols may vary slightly depending on the model of Golf.

Volkswagen Golf STOP dashboard warning light
STOP Light
STOP Warning Light

The Volkswagen Golf STOP light is typically used alongside another dashboard symbol or message to signify an urgent message. STOP light will illuminate with engine ignition and shortly extinguish shortly thereafter. If light remains on without a secondary symbol or message, this could signify an electrical or sensor fault.

Volkswagen Golf red central warning light dashboard warning light symbol
Warning Red
Volkswagen Golf amber central warning light dashboard warning light symbol
Warning Amber
Central Warning Light

The Volkswagen Golf red triangle or less urgent issue of amber triangle with a exclamation mark inside is a central warning light. If you see this symbol, read and follow text messages in the instrument cluster display.

Volkswagen Golf PARK dashboard warning light symbol
Parking Brake
Parking Brake Warning Light

May be seen alongside the STOP warning light. If safe to do so, stop the vehicle before releasing the handbrake / parking brake. Once stopped, pull the parking brake lever up slightly, press the release button and ensure lever is pushed all the way down. Continuous driving with the parking brake partially applied can cause brake overheat, wear and damage.

Volkswagen Golf BRAKE dashboard warning light symbol
BRAKE Symbol
Brake Dashboard Warning Light

May be seen alongside the STOP warning light. The BRAKE warning light illuminates because either there brake fluid level is too low or there is a malfunction within the vehicle braking system. Stop the vehicle when safe to do so and check brake fluid reservoir. If fluid requires replenishing regularly, it suggests a leak within the braking system which requires immediate assistance. If brake fluid reservoir levels do not require replenishing, there is a malfunction within the braking system. Seek assistance immediately.

Volkswagen Golf engine coolant dashboard warning light symbol
Engine Coolant
Engine Coolant Dashboard Warning Light

May be seen alongside the STOP warning light. Stop vehicle as soon as safe to do so. This symbol illuminate because either the engine coolant is too low, coolant temperate is too high, or there’s a malfunction within the system. Allow the engine to cool down so that temperature is once again in the normal region. Check coolant levels and add coolant if necessary. If engine coolant levels are correct, or problems persist shortly after topping up coolant, do not drive the vehicle and seek Volkswagen assistance. Continuing to drive may seriously damage engine components.

Volkswagen Golf (oil can) engine oil pressure dashboard warning light symbol
Engine Pressure
Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light

May be seen alongside the STOP warning light. Stop and turn off the engine as soon as safely possible, then check engine oil levels. If warning light flashes and oil levels are normal, do not attempt to turn on engine as damage may occur to mechanical engine components due to low oil pressure. Seek assistance from VW engineer.

Volkswagen Golf steering exclamation mark) malfunction dashboard warning light symbol
Steering Malfunction
Volkswagen Golf power steering reduced dashboard warning light symbol
Power Steering
Steering Malfunction Warning Light

May be seen alongside the STOP warning light. If the steering wheel with an exclamation mark symbol illuminates but stable, there’s a power steering system malfunction fault. Have the fault checked by a Volkswagen specialist. If the symbol flashes, the electronic steering column lock has malfunctioned. Switch the ignition off and back on again. If ignition cannot be turned on or off, gain professional assistance. If the light is amber, there’s a reduction in power steering. Stop and restart engine. If the light remains on, seeks assistance.

Volkswagen Golf seat belts not buckled dashboard warning light symbol
Seat Belts
Seat Belts not Buckled Warning Light

Driver and/or passenger safety seat belts are not fastened. You may on occasions experience problems with the seat belt light not going out on your VW Golf. For help with this, see seat belt light staying on.

Volkswagen Golf battery (alternator) dashboard warning light symbol
Battery (Alternator) Warning Light

The battery symbol illuminates, indicating either a battery fault, alternator malfunction or a fault within the electrical system. If light illuminates whilst driving, switch off any unnecessary electrical loads. Seek assistance from authorised dealer. See Why is the battery warning light on for further help.

Volkswagen Golf ignition switch (key) dashboard warning light symbol
Ignition Switch
Ignition Switch Warning Light

This key symbol indicates that there’s a malfunction with the Golf ignition switch. Regardless of whether the symbol is red or amber, do not turn off the ignition as you may be unable to restart. Drive to an authorised workshop.

Volkswagen Golf front assist dashboard warning light symbol
Front Assist
Volkswagen Golf front assist off dashboard warning light symbol
Front Assist Off
Front Assist Warning Light

Front Assist technology issues a warning if your Volkswagen Golf is equipped. If Front Assist activates, brake or take action to avoid the vehicle in front. If symbol is amber, Front Assist has be manually turned off.

Volkswagen Golf ACC Adaptive Cruise Control dashboard warning light symbol
Volkswagen Golf ACC Adaptive Cruise Control unavailable dashboard warning light symbol
Volkswagen Golf ACC Adaptive Cruise Control on dashboard warning light symbol
Adaptive Cruise Control Warning Light

ACC, or Adaptive Cruise Control helps to maintain an individually stored constant speed and a set distance in time intervals between your vehicle and those in front. If the red symbol of a circle with a foot inside illuminates, it means the system does have sufficient time to decelerate and brake and requires driver intervention. The amber symbol indicated ACC is currently unavailable. The green ‘CRUISE’ symbol indicates ACC is activated.

Volkswagen Golf ESC dashboard warning light symbol
Volkswagen Golf ASR on or ESC off dashboard warning light symbol
ASR on / ESC off
ASR / ESC Control Warning Light

The skidding car symbol is ESC, or Electronic Stability Control which aids in keeping vehicle stable. If light illuminates, it means ESC has been switched off by the system. Turn ignition off and on again to reactivate. If light remains on, there is a ESC malfunction – see a Volkswagen technician. ASR or Anti-slip Regulation if deactivated manually will see the ESC ‘off’ illuminated. This will also illuminate if ESC Sport mode is activated.

Volkswagen Golf ABS dashboard warning light symbol
ABS Dashboard Warning Light

One of the two ABS (anti-lock braking system) lights may illuminate and may also illuminate alongside the ESC light. This is to inform that ABS has malfunctioned. ABS aids in emergency braking by preventing the wheels from locking up. Normal braking remains unaffected. See VW engineer soon.

Volkswagen Golf electronic parking brake dashboard warning light symbol
Electronic Parking Brake
Volkswagen Golf held by electronic parking brake dashboard light symbol
Vehicle Held
Electronic Parking Brake Warning Light

One of the starting assistance systems is the electronic parking brake. When illuminated in green, it prevents rolling and is indicating that vehicle is being held. If illuminated in amber, the electronic parking brake has malfunctioned – see Volkswagen engineer.

Volkswagen Golf EPC engine control dashboard light symbol
VW Golf EPC Warning Light

If the EPC symbol illuminates, this indicates an engine control malfunction (Electronic Power Control). Have engine checked by a VW specialist immediately. The other symbol is engine malfunction light (MIL). If this illuminates, also contact VW specialist. There could be several reasons why the MIL illuminates. Vehicle can be driven to service station. If the MIL flashes, it indicates a misfire which can damage the catalytic converter.

Volkswagen Golf engine speed limited dashboard light symbol
Engine Speed
Engine Speed Limited Warning Light

The rev counter and exclamation mark symbol indicates a reduction in RPM. On certain models of VW Golf, engine speeds (rpm) may be automatically limited to the speed shown on the instrument cluster to prevent overheating. Once temperature is non-critical, speed will be increased. If the engine speed is limited, along with the EPC light, have the engine checked by a specialist.

Volkswagen Golf tyre pressure dashboard warning light symbol
Tyre Pressure
Tyre Pressure Warning Light

Symbol lights up indicating pressure is significantly lower in one or more tyres than the pressure set by the driver. May also include audible chime. Check tyres for damage and pressure. If light flashes, check pressure in all 4 tyres, turn ignition off and on again. If light continues to flash, there’s a malfunction in the system which requires technical assistance. If on your VW Golf you’re having problems with the light, see possible reasons why the tyre pressure warning light keeps coming on.

Volkswagen Golf engine oil level dashboard warning light symbol
Engine Oil Level
Engine Oil Level Warning Light

If the symbol of the oil can lights up in amber, engine oil level is too low. Running the engine on low oil for may cause damage – replenish oil level as soon as possible. If symbol flashes, there’s a malfunction with the engine oil system which requires assistance from a qualified engineer.

Volkswagen Golf airbag / seat belt dashboard warning light symbol
Airbag / Seat Belt Warning Light

If the top symbol lights up, it indicates a fault within the airbag and safety belt pretensioner system. This requires attention from a VW specialist. The lower symbol indicated passenger airbag has been manually turned off. For further information about airbags and possible faults, see why is the airbag light on?

Volkswagen Golf transmission (cog) dashboard warning light symbol
Transmission Malfunction Warning Light

The cog containing an exclamation mark indicates a transmission malfunction for automatic gearbox. Release the brake pedal, depress once again. If light remains illuminated, contact authorised workshop.

Volkswagen Golf lane assist no active dashboard warning light symbol
Not Active
Volkswagen Golf lane assist active dashboard warning light symbol
Lane Assist
Lane Assist Dashboard Light

Illuminated in green indicated Lane Assist is active, in amber, Lane Assist is on but not active.

Volkswagen Golf bulb dashboard warning light symbol
Bulb Warning
Golf Bulb Warning Light

The bulb symbol illuminates to inform either one or more of the driving lights have failed, or there’s a lights malfunction, excluding AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting System). If all light bulbs are not blown, contact authorised workshop.

Volkswagen Golf diesel pre-heat (glow coil) dashboard warning light symbol
Diesel Pre-heat Light

The ‘coil’ symbol is for diesel engines only and is part of the glow plug pre-heating system. Turn ignition on until symbol extinguishes before starting diesel engine.

Volkswagen Golf diesel diesel exhaust particulate filter dashboard warning light symbol
Particulate Filter
Diesel Particulate Filter Light

The ‘exhaust’ symbol is for diesel vehicle only and requires the particulate filter to be cleaned (regeneration). To do this, drive at a speed of at least 60 KM/H (37 MPH) with an engine speed of between 1800 to 2500 RPM and for at least 15 minutes. If in an automatic, select sport mode.

Volkswagen Golf worn brake pads dashboard warning light symbol
Brake Pads
Worn Brake Pads Warning Light

This symbol inform the driver that the vehicle brake pads are badly worn and braking ability may become reduced. Take your vehicle to an authorised service centre as soon as possible.

Volkswagen Golf service (spanner) dashboard warning light symbol
Service Reminder Dashboard Light

The VW Golf spanner or wrench symbol informs the driver that a service is required soon. A text message may inform the driver when the service is due, after how many miles and the types of service required.

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