Acura TL Dashboard Warning Lights

Acura TL Dashboard Warning Lights

These are the dashboard warning lights for the Acura TL. Each symbol is displayed along with an explanation of the symbol meaning. There will also be the manufacturer’s recommended action to take.

The dashboard layout design may vary depending on your location and the year of manufacture of vehicle. Warning light dash location and icon style may also vary.

Acura TL Engine Warning LightEngine Warning Light

The Acura TL engine warning light comes on while driving, meaning one of the engine’s emissions control systems may have a problem. The engine warning light usually comes on before any noticeable faults can be noticed with the car. The message ‘ CHECK EMISSION SYSTEM’ will also illuminate depending on your version of Acura TL. You can continue driving, but have the fault diagnosed as soon as possible. While the problem persists, there may be an increase in fuel consumption and emissions. Continual long-term driving may damage the vehicle’s emissions control system.

The engine warning light doesn’t come on due to a specific reason and is therefore considered a generic warning. Due to there being many possible faults, diagnostic equipment is required. When the engine warning light comes on, fault codes are stored in the ECU which can then be read with diagnostic equipment. The engine warning light can also come on due to a loose or missing fuel cap. If the engine warning light begins to flash, slow down the vehicle and avoid engine stress such as harsh acceleration.

Acura TL Oil Pressure Warning LightOil Pressure Warning Light

The Acura TL oil pressure warning light should never come on when the engine is running. If it starts flashing or stays on, the oil pressure has dropped very low or lost pressure. Serious engine damage is possible, and you should take immediate action. You will also see the message: ‘ CHECK ENGINE OIL LEVEL ‘ on the dashboard display depending on your version of Acura TL. Though low oil level may be a factor, it’s the low oil pressure that may cause initial engine damage.

  1. Pull off the road as soon as it’s safe to do so and shut off the engine.
  2. Allow the engine to rest for a minute, open the hood and check oil levels. An engine very low on oil can lose pressure during cornering and other driving maneuvers.
  3. If necessary, add oil to bring the level back to the full, upper mark on the dipstick.
  4. Start the engine, and watch the oil pressure warning light. If it does not go out within 10 seconds, turn off the engine. There is a mechanical problem that needs to be repaired before you can continue driving. Arrange to have your vehicle towed.
Acura TL engine oil dipstick location and oil level indicator
Acura TL engine oil dipstick location and oil level indicator

Acura TL Brake Warning LightBrake Warning Light

The Acura TL brake warning light serves two purposes; the first being as a reminder that the parking brake is on and secondly, that the brake fluid level is low. You’ll also see the message ‘LOW BRAKE FLUID’ illuminated on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL. If the parking brake is properly released and the brake warning light comes on while driving, press lightly on the brake pedal to see if it feels normal.

If it does, check the brake fluid level the next time you stop at a service station. If the brake pedal does not feel normal (it feels spongy for example), you should take immediate action. You may see the message ‘CHECK BRAKE SYSTEM’ illuminated on the dashboard. The Acura TL’s dual circuit braking system will still give you braking at two wheels, though braking ability may be reduced. In this instance, have your brake system serviced immediately.

Acura TL ABS Warning LightABS Warning Light

The Acura TL ABS warning light stays on due to there being a fault with the Anti-lock Brake System. You may also see the warning ‘CHECK ABS SYSTEM’ on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL.

The Acura TL ABS helps prevent the wheels from locking up, and helps you retain steering control by pumping the brakes rapidly, much faster than a person can do it. The ABS operates separately from the vehicle’s normal brakes and so if the ABS warning light comes on, normal brake will operate as usual, but without the safety features of ABS.

ABS uses wheel speed sensors located at each corner of the vehicle. They are prone to damage due to their location and sometimes require replacement. This is often the cause of the ABS fault.

Acura TL Airbag Warning LightAirbag Warning Light

The Acura TL airbag or ‘Supplemental Restraint System’ (SRS) warning light constantly illuminates in red indicating a problem with the front airbags or airbag components. The ‘CHECK AIRBAG SYSTEM’ warning message may also display depending on your version of Acura TL. On older versions of the Acura TL, a ‘SRS’ warning light may illuminate. Problems with the airbag system may occur if:

  • The airbag light does not come on at all when the ignition is switched on
  • The airbag light stays on after starting the engine
  • The airbag light comes on or flashes while driving

Check cables and connectors under front seats. Other issues can relate to driver and front passenger seat occupancy sensors and airbag sensors.

Acura TL Stability Assist Warning LightVehicle Stability Assist Warning Light

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) attempts to increase traction when accelerating and to stabilize the vehicle when cornering (understeer and oversteer). When the system is in action, the light flashes. If the light remains always lit, there’s a problem. On older versions of the Acura TL, the ‘TCS’ (Traction Control System) warning light may illuminate.

If there’s a fault, the Hill Start Assist system may also be affected. The warning message: ‘CHECK VSA SYSTEM’ or ‘CHECK HILL START ASSIST SYSTEM’ may display on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL. VSA makes heavy use of wheel speed sensors and a fault with one of these can often be the cause.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

The Acura TL tire pressure warning light comes on for two reasons. Firstly, if it comes on while driving, it indicates that one or more of your vehicle’s tires are significantly low on pressure. The ‘CHECK TIRE PRESSURE’ warning message may also display on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL. You can check wich tire has lost pressure on the information display.

Secondly, if the tire pressure light flashes then remains lit, it means there’s a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The ‘CHECK TPMS SYSTEM’ or ‘TPMS ERROR’ warning message may also display on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL. The tire pressure warning light flashes due to:

  1. The spare tire has been fitted and does not contain a pressure sensor
  2. A non-Acura approved tire or wheel has been fitted
  3. A puncture repair agent has been used and the sensor has not been replaced
  4. You’re in an area where radio wave is interfering with the TPMS sensors

Acura TL Power Steering Warning LightPower Steering Warning Light

If this warning light remains constantly lit, it means there is a problem in the electric power steering system. The ‘CHECK POWER STEERING SYSTEM’ warning message may also display on the dashboard depending on your version of Acura TL. If this happens, reset the power steering system by stopping the vehicle in a safe place and turning off the engine.
The warning light will stay on, but should go off after driving a short distance.

If the power steering warning light remains on, the system requires servicing by an approved Acura workshop. Sometimes the power steering motor can overheat and temporarily be disabled. This can happen due to:

  • Making frequent full left to right lock steering movements
  • Leaving the steering on full lock while the engine is running

The warning light should go off as soon as the motor has sufficiently cooled.

Acura TL Cruise Control SymbolCruise Control Symbol

The Acura TL ‘CRUISE MAIN’ symbol illuminates when you turn on the cruise control system by pressing the CRUISE button on the steering wheel. The ‘CRUISE CONTROL’ symbol illuminates when you set the cruise control system.


Acura TL Message Warning LightSystem Message Symbol

The ‘i’ symbol illuminates on the Acura TL’s dashboard indicating that there’s a system message to read. The message symbol often illuminates along with other warning lights. Check and read messages by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the corresponding symbol on it.

Acura TL SH-AWD Warning LightSH-AWD Symbol

SH-AWD stands for ‘super handling-all wheel drive’ and it’s a constantly on, all-wheel drive system that’s designed to improve the Acura TL’s stability in all driving situations. If the warning light flashes along with the message: ‘SH-AWD DIFF TEMP. HIGH’ pull off to the side off the road, set the vehicle to Park, idle the engine until the warning light goes off.

If the warning light remains constantly lit along with the warning message: ‘CHECK SH-AWD SYSTEM‘ it means there’s a fault with the system and it requires servicing. In this instance, the vehicle will have front-wheel-drive only.

Acura TL Key Warning LightKey Warning Light

The Acura TL key warning light is the keyless access system indicator and if the light comes on constantly, it indicates a problem with the system. The warning light may come on along with the message: ‘ CHECK KEYLESS ACCESS SYSTEM’ meaning there’s a problem with the keyless access system or ‘ CHECK KEYLESS STARTING SYSTEM’ meaning there’s a problem with the keyless starting system. In this situation, do not shut off the engine until you’re in a position such as at a repair workshop.

If you’re having issues accessing or starting the vehicle, use the built-in mechanical key inside the fob to lock/unlock the doors and insert the keyless access remote into the slot to start the engine.

Access the Acura TL by placing key in slot
Access the Acura TL by placing key in slot

Acura TL Blind Spot Warning LightBlind Spot Warning Light

The blind spot information (BSI) warning light comes on if you’ve turned the system off as a reminder. The BSI warning light also comes on if the rear bumper becomes dirty while driving. You will see a ‘BLIND SPOT NOT AVAILABLE’ warning message on the information display. When you clean the rear bumper, the warning light and message should go off after you begin driving again. If the warning light and message: ‘ CHECK BLIND SPOT SYSTEM’ come on, it means there’s a fault with the system and it requires servicing.

Acura TL Immobilizer Warning LightImmobilizer Warning Light

This key symbol is the Acura TL immobilizer system warning light. It should go off when a properly coded key is inserted or remote is used. If it’s not properly coded, the immobilizer warning light flashes and the engine’s fuel system is disabled.

The immobilizer system may not recognize your key’s or remote’s coding if another immobilizer key or other metal object (i.e. key chain) is near the ignition switch or the keyless access remote when you insert the key or set the power mode to ON.

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