Fiat 500 Warning Lights and Dashboard Symbols

Your Fiat 500 is equipped with a sophisticated dashboard that communicates vital information about your vehicle’s status through an array of warning lights and messages. Understanding the meanings behind these warning symbols is not only essential for your safety but also for the longevity and performance of your car. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide an in-depth explanation of these warning lights and messages, ensuring you’re well-prepared for any situation.


Air Bag Warning Light

This light, which briefly illuminates upon ignition, alerts you to potential issues with your airbag system. If it stays on or activates during driving, it’s signaling a fault. In such cases, it’s imperative to promptly consult your authorized dealer for a thorough inspection.

Brake Warning Light

This warning light monitors various brake functions, including parking brake status and brake fluid levels. If it turns on after disengaging the parking brake or if it indicates low brake fluid, immediate attention is needed. Such occurrences might suggest a problem with the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) or Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, so don’t delay – contact your dealer for necessary service.

Battery Charge Warning Light

This light indicates that your battery is not charging correctly, implying a malfunction in your charging system or related components. If it remains illuminated while the engine is running, it’s crucial to contact your authorized dealer as soon as possible to diagnose and address any electrical system issues.

Fiat 500 Door Open Warning Light

This simple yet vital indicator lets you know if one or more doors are not completely closed. It’s especially important when the vehicle is in motion, as an open door can lead to dangerous consequences.

Electric Power Steering Fault Warning Light

This light signals a fault in the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. Continuing to drive with reduced assist could compromise safety. Schedule servicing at your earliest convenience to ensure optimal steering performance.

Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Warning Light

This light is designed to notify you of Electronic Throttle Control system problems. If a fault is detected while your vehicle is running, the light will either remain on or flash, depending on the nature of the issue. It’s recommended to cycle the ignition when the vehicle is safely stopped and in the PARK position to see if the light turns off. If it remains on while driving, consult an authorized dealer for service.

Engine Coolant Temperature Warning Light

When the engine coolant temperature rises to dangerous levels, this light serves as a red flag. If it activates while driving, pull over safely, turn off the engine, and request immediate service. Ignoring this warning can lead to severe engine damage, so caution is paramount.

Fiat 500 Hood Open Warning Light

If this light is illuminated, it means the hood is open or not fully closed. Driving with the hood open or improperly secured is hazardous and can lead to accidents or damage.

Liftgate Open Warning Light

Similar to the hood open warning, this light tells you when the liftgate is open or partially closed, emphasizing the importance of securing it properly.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

Low engine oil pressure triggers this warning light. If it comes on during your drive, it’s crucial to pull over safely, turn off the engine immediately, and contact your authorized dealer. Driving with low oil pressure can lead to engine damage, so it’s not a risk you should take.

Seat Belt Reminder Warning Light

This light indicates when the driver or front passenger’s seatbelt is unbuckled. When you start the ignition with an unbuckled driver’s seatbelt, a chime will sound, and the light will turn on. While driving, if the driver or front passenger fails to buckle up, the Seat Belt Reminder Light will either flash or remain continuously illuminated, accompanied by a chime. Ensuring that all occupants wear their seatbelts is crucial for their safety.

Fiat 500 Transmission Fault Warning Light

When this light, accompanied by a message and a buzzer, appears, it signals a transmission fault. If the message persists after restarting the engine, it’s advisable to contact your authorized dealer for further diagnosis and service.

Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) Warning Light

This light briefly illuminates upon ignition and may stay on for a few seconds. However, if it remains continuously illuminated while driving, it indicates a malfunction in the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). The conventional brake system should continue to operate normally unless the Brake Warning Light is also activated. If the ABS light does not activate during ignition or if there’s a sudden activation while driving, your brake system should be inspected by your authorized dealer.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Warning Light

Upon ignition, the “ESC Indicator Light” in the instrument cluster briefly illuminates and should turn off once the engine is running. If it remains continuously illuminated during your drive, a malfunction within the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is suspected. In such cases, it’s recommended to visit your authorized dealer for a thorough diagnosis and to correct any identified issues. The ESC system is crucial for maintaining stability during various driving conditions, so its proper functioning is essential for your safety.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Off Warning Light

Turning off ESC intentionally. This light is designed to indicate that the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) has been intentionally turned off. Each time you start the ignition, even if you turned off the ESC previously, the system will automatically turn it back on. It’s important to understand that ESC plays a significant role in maintaining vehicle stability, especially in slippery or challenging road conditions. Thus, turning it off is generally not recommended unless specific driving conditions require it.

External Light Failure Indicator Light

This warning light comes on when a failure is detected in external lights such as direction indicators, backup lights, parking lights, daytime running lights, or license plate lights. Failures could result from one or more blown bulbs, a blown protection fuse, or a break in the electrical connection. If this light illuminates, inspect your vehicle’s external lights to identify and rectify any issues.

Fiat 500 Fuel Cutoff Warning Light

This light is designed to indicate that the vehicle’s fuel cutoff system has been activated due to a collision. After such an incident, it’s crucial to have the system inspected and serviced by your authorized dealer.

Fuel Cutoff Failure Light

If this light illuminates, it means there is a failure in the fuel cutoff system. In such cases, it’s recommended to take your vehicle to your authorized dealer for inspection and necessary repairs.

Generic Warning Light

The Generic Warning Light covers a range of conditions, including but not limited to an Oil Change Request, Engine Oil Pressure Sensor Failure, External Light Failure, Fuel Cut-Off Not Available, Parking Sensor Failure, and DST System Failure. If this light is activated, consult the specific message provided to understand the nature of the issue. It’s important to take appropriate actions based on the displayed message and, if necessary, seek service from your authorized dealer.

Hill Holder Failure Warning Light

This light illuminates when the Hill Holder System experiences a malfunction. To ensure your safety and maintain the vehicle’s optimal performance, contact your authorized dealer for professional inspection and service.

Low Fuel Warning Light

This light comes on when the fuel level drops to approximately 1 to 1.3 gallons (3 to 5 liters). To prevent running out of fuel, be sure to refuel as soon as possible when this light activates.

Engine Check/Malfunction Indicator Warning Light (MIL)

This light is part of the Onboard Diagnostic System, known as OBD II, and it continuously monitors the engine and automatic transmission control systems. It is intended to indicate certain issues or potential problems, such as a loose or missing gas cap. In some cases, it may illuminate due to specific conditions like poor-quality fuel. The behavior of the MIL may vary, but in most situations, your vehicle will continue to drive normally and will not require towing. However, if this light remains on, especially if it’s flashing, it can indicate severe issues that require immediate attention. The MIL may flash to alert you to serious conditions that could lead to a loss of power or significant catalytic converter damage. In such cases, it is imperative to have your vehicle serviced by an authorized dealer as soon as possible. Ignoring a flashing MIL can have serious consequences and may lead to damage to the vehicle control system. Additionally, it can affect fuel economy and driveability. If the MIL remains flashing, it is vital to seek immediate service.

Fiat 500 ParkSense Failure Warning Light

Signaling a ParkSense System malfunction. This light comes on when the ParkSense System is not functioning properly, indicating that service is required. The ParkSense System is designed to assist you with parking and avoiding obstacles, so its proper operation is important.

Service Warning Light

If your vehicle is equipped with a “Maintenance Plan” that includes scheduled maintenance at specific intervals, this light will come on, along with a warning message, when you approach these service intervals. The light is typically activated when you turn the key to the MAR (ACC/ON/RUN) position, 1,242 miles (2,000 km) before the scheduled maintenance. The light will reappear every 124 miles (200 km) until the service is completed. If you’re within 124 miles (200 km) of your next scheduled service, the indication will appear in miles or kilometers based on your “Unit Of Measurement” settings. When you turn the key to the MAR (ACC/ON/RUN) position and the next scheduled service is approaching, the word “Service” will be displayed, followed by the number of miles or kilometers remaining. When you see this message, contact your authorized dealership to have the necessary maintenance performed. The maintenance tasks specified in the “Maintenance Plan” will be completed during this service appointment, and the warning message will be reset.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Warning Light

This light activates and a message is displayed when the tire pressure is lower than the recommended value or when slow pressure loss is detected. In such cases, optimal tire durability and fuel consumption cannot be guaranteed. If one or more tires experience these conditions, the display will show corresponding indications for each tire. It is essential to avoid driving with one or more flat tires, as it can affect vehicle handling and safety. When such an issue arises, pull over safely, avoiding sharp braking and steering, and consult your authorized dealer for immediate attention. It is recommended to regularly check the pressure in each tire, including the spare (if provided), to ensure it meets the inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If your vehicle has tires of a different size than those indicated on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure label, determine the proper tire inflation pressure for your tires. Your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which will activate the low tire pressure telltale when one or more of your tires is significantly underinflated. When this light comes on, it’s important to stop and check your tires as soon as possible, and inflate them to the proper pressure. Continuing to drive with a significantly underinflated tire can cause it to overheat and potentially fail. It can also reduce fuel efficiency, decrease tire tread life, and negatively impact vehicle handling and braking performance. However, it’s essential to understand that the TPMS is not a substitute for proper tire maintenance. Maintaining the correct tire pressure is ultimately the responsibility of the driver, even if the underinflation hasn’t reached the level required to activate the TPMS low tire pressure telltale. The TPMS is also equipped with a malfunction indicator that activates when the system is not operating as intended. This malfunction indicator is combined with the low tire pressure telltale. When the system detects a malfunction, the telltale will flash for approximately one minute and then remain continuously illuminated. This sequence will continue during subsequent vehicle start-ups as long as the malfunction exists. When the malfunction indicator is illuminated, the system may not be able to detect or signal low tire pressure as intended. TPMS malfunctions can occur for various reasons, including the installation of replacement or alternate tires or wheels that prevent the TPMS from functioning properly. Therefore, it’s important to check the TPMS malfunction telltale after replacing one or more tires or wheels on your vehicle to ensure the system continues to function as designed. It’s important to note that the TPMS has been optimized for the original equipment tires and wheels, so deviations in size, type, or style can lead to undesirable system operation or sensor damage. Aftermarket wheels, in particular, can cause sensor damage. Using aftermarket tire sealants may also render the TPMS sensor inoperable. After employing an aftermarket tire sealant, it is recommended to visit your authorized dealer for a sensor function check.

Immobilizer Vehicle Theft Alarm Warning Light

Anti-theft system alert. This light activates when the vehicle security alarm system detects an attempt to break into your vehicle.

Fiat 500 Fuel Level Sensor Failure

This light indicates a failure in the fuel level sensor. If it activates, it is recommended to consult your authorized dealer for inspection and repairs.

Icy Road Condition Indicator Light

Warning about icy roads. This light will come on to signal icy road conditions, helping you take necessary precautions when driving in cold weather.

Stop Light Failure Indicator Light

This light alerts you to a potential issue with your brake lights. When it illuminates, it indicates that one or more stoplight bulbs have failed. Failures might be caused by one or more blown bulbs, a blown protection fuse, or a break in the electrical connection.

Rear Defrost Light

This indicator illuminates when the rear window defroster is on. The defroster automatically turns off after 20 minutes. To protect the heating elements, it’s essential to exercise care when cleaning the inside of the rear window. Use a soft cloth and a mild washing solution, wiping parallel to the heating elements. Do not use abrasive window cleaners on the interior surface of the window, and avoid using scrapers, sharp tools, or abrasive cleaners on it. Additionally, it’s important to keep objects away from the rear window to prevent potential damage to the heating elements.


Cruise Control Set Indicator Light

This light turns on when the cruise control is set to the desired speed. For more information on using your vehicle’s cruise control, refer to “Speed Control” in “Starting And Operating.”

Front Fog Indicator Light

This indicator light activates when the front fog lights are turned on.

Park/Headlight On Indicator Light

This light indicates that the park lights or headlights are turned on.

Turn Signal Indicator Lights

When you activate the left or right turn signal, these indicator lights flash independently, and the corresponding exterior turn signal lamps also flash. Keep in mind that a continuous chime will sound if you drive more than 1 mile (1.6 km) with either turn signal on. If either indicator flashes rapidly, it may indicate an inoperative exterior light bulb.


Cruise Control ON Indicator Light

This light indicates that the electronic speed control is on, but a speed has not been set.


High Beam Indicator Light

When your high beam headlights are on, this light will activate. You can turn on the high beams by pushing the multifunction lever forward (toward the front of the vehicle). To deactivate the high beams, pull the lever rearward (toward the rear of the vehicle). When the high beams are off, you can pull the lever toward you for a temporary high beam activation, often used for a “flash to pass” scenario.

In this detailed guide, we’ve covered the array of warning lights and messages that you may encounter in your Fiat 500. Understanding these indicators is essential for your safety, as well as the longevity and performance of your vehicle. By being vigilant and addressing these warnings promptly, you’ll help ensure a safe and trouble-free driving experience.

Remember that this guide is not exhaustive, and it’s essential to consult your Owner’s Manual for more detailed information on your specific Fiat 500 model. Always refer to the information provided in your Owner’s Manual in the event of a warning light or message appearing. If you ever encounter a warning symbol or message that is not covered here or have any doubts about your vehicle’s status, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance from your authorized dealer.


Your Fiat 500’s dashboard indicator lights and warning symbols serve as crucial tools to keep you informed about your vehicle’s status. It’s imperative to familiarize yourself with these lights and what they signify to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your vehicle. Should any of these warning lights activate or if you have any concerns about your Fiat 500, always consult your Owner’s Manual and, when in doubt, seek assistance from your authorized dealer. By staying informed and addressing issues promptly, you can enjoy a safe and reliable driving experience in your Fiat 500.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

You can ask questions or comment