When something goes wrong with your car or if a feature you should know about gets activated, a signal funnels through the electrical system and into the dashboard. This illuminates a hieroglyphic, and these cover a wide range of issues—some of which may be serious. Here are the meanings behind 15 of these curious-looking markers (and what they look like, in case you need a mnemonic device to help your memory).

Your dashboard may be different and the symbols may have altered designs or indicate slightly different things, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual. Some of these lights could portend a serious malfunction. Don’t ignore them. When in doubt, have a professional sign 1

1. ENGINE TEMPERATURE WARNING LIGHT

What it looks like: A pirate ship with its sails down as if to say, “I’m just a normal boat, no pirates here.”

What it means: Your engine is too hot, friend..

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2. TIRE PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT

What it looks like: A Buckingham Palace guard telling you the field goal is GOOD!

What it means: The pressure in one or more of your tires is too low and needs to be attended to..

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3. OIL PRESSURE WARNING

What it looks like: You’re about to get three wishes.

What it means: Your engine is running low on oil, or there is a problem with your car’s oil pressure system..

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4. TRACTION CONTROL

What it looks like: Cthulhu wearing a fedora.

What it means: The car’s traction control system is engaged..

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5. ENGINE WARNING

What it looks like: Yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.

What it means: It can blink on for a number of reasons..

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