Urbanek Driving School
Urbanek's Driving School
Safety First



Urbanek's Online Classroom







Lesson 2

Part 1





Instrument Panel


The instrument panel is the panel directly in front of you as you sit in the driver’s seat. The location of the gauges and warning lights vary from one vehicle to another. No matter where these gauges and lights are located, their purposes are the same. You can make sure the warning lights are working if they light when the ignition switch is turned to On.


Speedometer – This instrument tells you the speed you are traveling in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour. Some vehicles have a digital speedometer.


Tachometer – Some vehicles have a tachometer that indicates the engine revolutions per minute. Engine damage ay occur if the needle enters the red zone.


Odometer – The odometer indicates the total number of miles the vehicle has been driven. Most vehicles have a trip odometer that can be set back to zero when you want to know the number of miles driven during a certain period of time.


Fuel Gauge – The fuel gauge shows the amount of fuel in the tank. If you let the fuel tank fall below one-quarter full, you risk running out of fuel. Try to keep the fuel tank at half full in cold weather to help prevent fuel line freeze. This can occur when moisture condenses and freezes inside the tank and fuel line. Ice particles can then block the flow of fuel.


Temperature light or gauge – This light or gauge warns you when the coolant in the engine is too low, warning you that your engine is about to over-heat and break down.


Oil pressure warning light or gauge – This warning light or gauge warns you when the oil is not circulating at the proper pressure. However, it does not tell you the amount of oil in the engine.


Alternator warning light or gauge – Your vehicle’s electrical system is in trouble if this light comes on or the gauge shows “discharge” while the engine is running. The alternator is not generating enough electricity to run the vehicle. When this happens, the engine must use stored electricity from the battery. The alternator warning light or gauge warns that the battery is being drained. The more electricity used, the sooner the battery will be dead. Turn off as many electrical devices as possible, and have the system checked without delay.


Brake system warning light – This warning light serves two purposes. First, the light reminds you to release the parking brake before moving the vehicle. Second, if the light comes on while you are pressing the foot brake or while you are driving, it means that part or all of the braking system is not working properly. If this occurs, brake gradually to a stop, have the vehicle towed, and have the problem corrected.

Antilock braking system light – This light tells you if the antilock braking system (ABS) is functioning properly. ABS keeps the wheels from locking if the driver brakes hard. If this light comes on, it indicates a problem with the system.


Safety belt light – This light reminds you to fasten your safety belt before moving your vehicle. This light comes on when you turn the key. In some vehicles the light stays on for a few seconds after the engine is started.


Air bag warning light – This light tells you if the air bags are in proper working condition. When the ignition is turned on, the air bag light comes on for a few seconds and then goes off. If the air bags are not in proper operating condition, the warning light will stay on.


Turn signal indicators – These indicators tell you the direction you have signed to turn.

Each indicator is usually a small green arrow that flashes when you signal for a turn. The arrow stops flashing after you make the turn or when the turn signal is cancelled.


High beam indicator – The light glows when the high bean headlights are on. This indicator usually appears as a small light in some area of the instrument panel.

Proceed with Lesson






Safety First
© 2011 Urbanek Driving School