Citroen C3 Warning Lights and Dashboard Symbols

When you’re behind the wheel of your Citroen C3 [2002-2024], it’s essential to understand the various warning and indicator lamps on your dashboard. These visual identifiers provide critical information about your vehicle’s systems, whether they are in operation, switched off, or have developed a fault. Here, we’ll delve into each of these warning and indicator lamps to ensure you’re well-informed while on the road.

When the Ignition is Switched On

When you first switch on your vehicle’s ignition, you may notice that certain warning lights illuminate for a few seconds. This is a normal part of the startup process. However, when you start the engine, these lights should extinguish. If any of them remain lit, it’s crucial to consult the relevant information associated with that warning lamp before driving further.

Associated Warnings

It’s important to note that certain warning lights can appear in one of two modes: fixed (continuous) or flashing. To determine whether your vehicle is in a normal operating state or if a fault has occurred, you must understand the type of lighting and its relation to your vehicle’s status. In cases of faults, the warning light may be accompanied by an audible signal and/or a message.

Understanding Warning Lights

When your engine is running or your vehicle is in motion, the illumination of a warning light signifies a fault that requires your attention. If you encounter such a warning, it’s essential to investigate the issue further using any associated messages. In case of problems, it’s advisable to contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop for assistance.

Operation Indicator Lights

Certain indicator lights confirm that specific vehicle systems are actively engaged, helping you stay aware of their status.

Deactivation Indicator Lamp

The appearance of this indicator lamp indicates the intentional deactivation of a particular system. You might also hear an audible signal and receive a message when this occurs.


Stop Warning Light

If the STOP warning lamp illuminates, it signifies a serious fault detected in critical systems like the engine, braking system, or power steering. In such a situation, you must immediately pull over when it’s safe to do so, park your vehicle, switch off the ignition, and contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Parking Brake Warning Light

This warning indicates that the parking brake is either applied or not correctly released. To extinguish the warning lamp, release the parking brake while keeping your foot on the brake pedal.


Citroen C3 Brakes (Fixed) Warning Light

When you see this warning, it signifies a significant drop in brake fluid level. It’s essential to stop your vehicle as soon as possible and top up the brake fluid as specified by CITROËN. If the problem persists, seek assistance from a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Brakes (Fixed, associated with the ABS warning lamp.)

This warning points to a fault in the electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) system. While your vehicle will retain conventional braking, it’s advisable to drive cautiously at reduced speed and contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop immediately.


Assisted Steering Warning Light

If you receive this warning, it indicates a major failure in the power steering system. Drive carefully at reduced speed and have the system checked by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Citroen C3 Door(s) Open Warning Light

This warning typically appears when your vehicle’s speed is below 6 mph (10 km/h), and a door or the trunk is not securely closed. Ensure all doors and the trunk are properly closed to extinguish the warning.


Belt(s) Not Buckled / Unbuckled

This warning informs you that a seatbelt has either not been fastened or has been unbuckled. Make sure to pull the strap and insert the tongue into the buckle to secure it.


Front Left Belt Not Buckled/Unbuckled

This specific warning is related to the front left passenger’s seatbelt. Ensure it is correctly fastened to turn off the warning.


Front Right Belt Not Buckled/Unbuckled

Similar to the previous warning, this one relates to the front right passenger’s seatbelt. Fasten it properly to eliminate the warning.


Citroen C3 Battery Charge Warning Light

When this warning appears, it indicates a fault in the battery charging circuit. Potential issues include dirty or loose terminals or a loose alternator belt. Normally, this warning light should go off when the engine starts. If it remains lit, it’s advisable to contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light

If this warning illuminates, you must stop your vehicle as soon as it’s safe to do so. It typically signifies a critical issue with engine oil pressure. After parking your vehicle, switch off the ignition and promptly contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Maximum Coolant Temperature Warning Light

This warning alerts you to an excessively high temperature in your vehicle’s cooling system. It’s crucial to stop your vehicle when it’s safe and allow the engine to cool down before checking and topping up the coolant if necessary. If the issue persists, consult a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Engine Self-diagnosis System Warning Light

The engine self-diagnosis system warning lights come in three variations:

Fixed: When the emission control system has a fault, the warning light should go off when the engine starts. If it remains lit, contact a CITROËN dealer or qualified workshop without delay.

Flashing: If the engine management system has a fault, it may result in the catalytic converter’s potential destruction. In such cases, it’s crucial to have it checked by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.

Fixed, associated with the service warning lamp: A minor engine failure has been detected, and it’s advisable to have it checked by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.

Fixed, associated with the STOP warning lamp: A major engine failure has been detected, and you must stop your vehicle as soon as it’s safe to do so. Park, switch off the ignition, and contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop promptly.


Collision Risk Alert / Active Safety Brake

This warning comes in two variations:

Flashing: Indicates the system is in operation. It briefly applies the brakes to reduce collision speed with the vehicle ahead.

Fixed (Accompanied by a message and an audible signal): This indicates a fault in the system. Contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop for further examination.


Citroen C3 Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

When this warning appears, it signifies a fault in the anti-lock braking system. Your vehicle will still retain conventional braking capabilities, but it’s recommended to drive cautiously at reduced speed and promptly contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Under-inflation Warning Light

Fixed, accompanied by an audible signal and a message: This warning indicates that one or more of your vehicle’s tires have insufficient pressure. Check the tire pressures as soon as possible, preferably when the tires are cold. After adjusting tire pressures or changing a wheel, remember to reinitialize the system.

Flashing then fixed, accompanied by the Service warning lamp: If you encounter this warning, it means the system monitoring tire pressures is faulty, and tire pressures are no longer being monitored. Check the tire pressures and consult a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop to resolve the issue.


Citroen C3 Dynamic Stability Control (DSC/ASR)

The Dynamic Stability Control warning comes in two variations:

Flashing: Indicates that the DSC/ASR regulation system is active. It optimizes traction and enhances the vehicle’s directional stability in situations where grip or trajectory is compromised.

Fixed: Suggests a fault in the DSC/ASR system. It’s essential to have the system examined by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Airbags Warning Light

This warning has two variations:

Temporarily On: When you turn on the ignition, this warning may briefly appear for a few seconds, then go off. It should go off entirely when the engine starts. If it remains lit, contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.

Fixed: This indicates a fault in one of the airbag or seat belt pyrotechnic pretensioner systems. It’s crucial to have it inspected by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Passenger’s Airbag System Warning Light

This system allows you to deactivate the passenger front airbag using a control switch. If the passenger front airbag is deactivated, you can install a rearward-facing child seat. However, if there is a fault with the airbags (the airbag warning lamp is on), do not install a rearward-facing child seat on the front passenger seat. To activate the passenger front airbag, set the control switch to the “ON” position.


Citroen C3 Particle Filter (Diesel) Warning Light

This warning comes in two variations:

Fixed (Accompanied by an audible signal and a message about the risk of particle filter blockage): This indicates that the particle filter is beginning to saturate. To address this, regenerate the filter by driving at a speed of at least 40 mph (60 km/h) when traffic conditions permit. Refer to the corresponding section for more information.

Fixed (Accompanied by an audible signal and a message about the particle filter’s additive level being too low): This warns that the level of additive in the tank is low. Arrange for a top-up by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop promptly.


Minimum Fuel Level Warning Light

When this warning appears, it’s accompanied by an audible signal and a message. Initially, around 5 liters of fuel remain in the tank. You’re now using the fuel reserve, so refuel as soon as possible to avoid running out of fuel. Until you add sufficient fuel, this warning lamp will reappear each time you switch on the ignition, accompanied by an audible warning and a message. The frequency of this warning and message increases as the fuel level approaches “0.”


Water Present in the Diesel Fuel Warning Light

This warning indicates that the diesel filter contains water, posing a risk of damaging the fuel injection system on diesel engines. It’s imperative to contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop as soon as possible.


Citroen C3 Lane Departure Alert Light

This warning comes in two variations:

Flashing (Orange) with Audible Signal: Indicates that your vehicle is crossing a lane on the right side or the left side. To correct this, turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction to return to the correct trajectory.

Fixed: Suggests a fault in the lane departure warning system. It’s important to have the system checked by a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Citroen C3 AdBlue® (BlueHDi Diesel) Warning Light

This warning has three variations:

Fixed (Upon Ignition) with Audible Signal and Remaining Driving Range Message: When you start your vehicle, this warning appears, indicating the remaining driving range, which is typically between 350 miles (600 km) and 1,500 miles (2,400 km). It’s crucial to top up the AdBlue® as soon as possible. You can add up to 10 liters of AdBlue® to its tank.

Flashing with Audible Signal and Remaining Driving Range Message: If the remaining driving range drops to between 0 and 350 miles (0 and 600 km), this warning will flash. To avoid running out of AdBlue®, refuel promptly. You can add up to 10 liters of AdBlue® to its tank.

Flashing with Audible Signal and Starting Prevention Message: If the AdBlue® tank is empty, the starting inhibition system, required by legislation, prevents the engine from starting. To restart the engine, you must top up the AdBlue®. It’s essential to add at least 4 liters of AdBlue® to its tank.


SCR Emissions Control System (BlueHDi Diesel)

This warning appears in two variations:

Fixed (Upon Ignition) with Service and Engine Diagnostic Warning Lamps, Audible Signal, and Message: When you switch on the ignition, this warning is displayed. It’s associated with service and engine diagnostic warning lamps. The alert indicates a fault with the SCR emissions control system, and it will disappear once the exhaust emissions return to normal levels.

Flashing (Upon Ignition) with Service and Engine Diagnostic Warning Lamps, Audible Signal, and Remaining Driving Range Message: This warning appears when a fault with the emissions control system is confirmed. You can continue to drive for up to 650 miles (1,100 km) before the engine starting inhibition system activates. To avoid a breakdown, contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop promptly.

Flashing (Upon Ignition) with Service and Engine Diagnostic Warning Lamps, Audible Signal, and Message: This warning indicates that you’ve exceeded the authorized driving limit after a fault with the emissions control system is confirmed. The engine starting inhibition system prevents the engine from starting. To restart the engine, you must seek assistance from a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.


Citroen C3 Service Warning Light

The service warning comes in three variations:

Temporarily On with Displayed Message: In this case, one or more minor faults that don’t trigger specific warning lamps have been detected. You can identify the cause of the fault using the message displayed in the instrument panel. For some issues, like a door open or the start of particle filter saturation, you can take corrective actions yourself. However, for other problems, such as a fault with the tire under-inflation detection system, it’s best to contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop.

Fixed with Displayed Message: If one or more major faults are detected for which there are no specific warning lamps, the service warning lamp will remain lit, accompanied by a message. To address these issues, identify the cause using the displayed message, and then contact a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop for necessary repairs.

Fixed (Accompanied by Flashing and Then Fixed Service Spanner Display): On BlueHDi Diesel versions, this warning indicates that the servicing interval has been exceeded. Arrange for your vehicle to be serviced as soon as possible.


Diesel Engine Pre-heating Warning Light

When you switch on the ignition with a key or a “START/STOP” button, the engine temperature may require pre-heating. The duration of the indicator lamp illumination depends on ambient conditions, lasting up to approximately thirty seconds in severe winter conditions. When using an ignition switch and key, wait until the indicator lamp goes off before starting the engine. With Keyless Entry and Starting, the engine can be started immediately once the indicator goes off, provided that the brake pedal remains pressed for automatic transmissions or the clutch pedal remains pressed for manual transmissions. If the engine doesn’t start, switch off the ignition, wait for the indicator lamp to go off again, and then attempt to start the engine.


Rear Foglamp Warning Light

This warning indicates that the rear foglamp has been activated using the ring on the lighting control lever. To deactivate the rear foglamp, simply turn the ring on the lighting control lever to the rear.


Blind Spot Monitoring System Warning Light

This warning informs you that the blind spot monitoring system has been activated, enhancing your awareness of vehicles in your blind spots.


Citroen C3 Stop & Start Warning Light

The Stop & Start system comes in two variations:

Fixed: When your vehicle comes to a stop, such as at red lights or in traffic jams, the Stop & Start system switches the engine into STOP mode. The warning lamp goes off, and the engine restarts automatically when you wish to move off.

Flashes for a Few Seconds, Then Goes Off: This indicates that the STOP mode is temporarily unavailable, or the START mode is invoked automatically. The warning lamp goes off, and the engine restarts automatically in START mode when you’re ready to continue driving.


Foot on Brake Warning Light

This warning suggests that there is insufficient pressure on the brake pedal. If you have an automatic gearbox, press the brake pedal before releasing the parking brake to disengage the lever from position P. If you want to release the parking brake without pressing the brake pedal, this warning light will remain on.


Citroen C3 Foot on Clutch Pedal Warning Light

In STOP mode of the Stop & Start system, this warning occurs when the transition to START mode is rejected because the clutch pedal is not fully pressed. Ensure that you press the clutch pedal fully to enable the engine to transition to START mode.


Understanding these warning and indicator lamps in your Citroen C3 is crucial for safe and efficient driving. Always heed these signals, and if you encounter any issues or faults, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a CITROËN dealer or a qualified workshop. Your safety and the proper functioning of your vehicle depend on it.

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