Buick Encore Dashboard Warning Lights

Buick Encore Dashboard Warning Lights

These are the dashboard warning lights for Buick’s small SUV, the Encore. Warning lights cover both the Encore and Encore GX versions. Symbols are displayed similarly to how they would display on your instrument cluster display, with a description below. Along with the description, there’ll often be recommended action to take.

1. Fuel Gauge Fuel Gauge

With the ignition switched on, the fuel gauge indicates approximately how much remaining fuel is in the tank. The arrow next to the fuel pump symbol indicates the side of the vehicle where the fuel filler cap is located.

2. Engine coolant temperature gauge Engine Coolant Temperature Gauge

This gauge shows how hot or cold the engine coolant is. The pointer will start off in the cold section on a cold engine start and move into the center when the engine reaches optimal operating temperature. The pointer will fluctuate towards the hotter end of the gauge depending on engine load and speed and this is normal.

If the pointer remains towards the hot warning area, it means the coolant is too hot and risks overheating. The red engine coolant warning light may illuminate. In this situation, safely pull off the road, let the engine idle, switch off the air conditioning and put the heater up full.

Allow several minutes for the engine to cool and once cooled, open the hood and check coolant levels. Top up if required and check for leaks. If there is a leak, it’s advised not to run the engine. For further information, see red engine coolant warning light on or flashing.

3. Airbag warning light Airbag Readiness Light

With the ignition switched on, the airbag readiness light should come on for several seconds, then go off. If the light doesn’t come on, have the bulb fixed. If the light stays on or comes on while driving, it means there’s a problem with the airbag system. In this situation, it means there airbags may not inflate in the event of a collision, or may inflate even without a collision.

Common causes of airbag light staying on is usually to do with the airbag crash sensors fault, airbag clock spring, cabling under the front seats become loose or airbag module fault.

4. charging system warning light Battery Warning Light

With the ignition switched on, the red battery warning light should come on and go off shortly after the engine has started. If the battery light remains on, do not drive the vehicle. If it comes on while driving, it means there’s a problem with the vehicle’s charging system. The Buick Encore battery warning light may come on due to:

  • A malfunctioning alternator
  • Loose or broken alternator belt
  • Loose electrical / battery connections
  • Ageing battery

If driving, the engine may stop after some time. Switching off any electrical accessories that are not essential may help to extend your journey. It’s advised that you make your way immediately to the nearest auto repair shop. See why is my car battery warning light on for further information.

5. Engine warning light Engine Warning Light

The engine warning light, otherwise known as the check engine light or engine malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) relates to the Buick Encore’s emissions control system. The vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system has determined that there’s a fault within the emissions control system and has illuminated the engine fault light.

Faults related to the emissions control system can extend from the quality of fuel used, through to engine components, all the way to the exhaust. As such, diagnostic equipment is required to locate the fault.

When the Buick Encore engine light is triggered, a fault code is generated and stored. Diagnostic equipment is then required to read the fault codes to help locate the problem.

Modifications to the engine, transmission, exhaust, intake, or fuel system, or the use of replacement tires that do not meet the original tire specifications, can cause this light.

Engine Warning Light on (Steady)
You can usually continue driving if the engine warning light is on steady. Early diagnosis and repair at the early stages can often avoid more costly repairs if left unfixed.

Engine Warning Light on (Flashing)
If the engine warning light is flashing, it can indicate an engine misfire. Reducing speed and avoiding hard acceleration should see the engine light return to a non-flashing status. If the engine light continues to flash, pull off the road and switch off the engine for at least 10 seconds. For further information about the engine warning light and why it comes on,  see reasons why the engine warning light is on.

6. Brake Warning Light Brake Warning Light

The red brake warning light may illuminate in English text, or as a red exclamation point in a circle symbol. The brake light comes on when the handbrake is set and also remains lit if the handbrake is not fully released.

If the brake light remains lit when the handbrake is fully released, it means there’s a problem with the vehicle’s brake system. You may notice the brake pedal is harder to press, or feels light and spongy. It’s advised that you discontinue driving until you have the brake system serviced.

7. ABS Warning Light ABS Warning Light

The ABS system is responsible for preventing the wheels from locking during heavy braking. ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is independent from your vehicle’s brake, so if the ABS warning light remains lit and a fault is detected, your normal brakes will operate as usual. One of the most common reasons for the Buick Encore ABS warning light coming on is a damaged wheel speed sensor.

8. Lane Departure Warning Light Lane Departure Warning Light

The Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system can help avoid collisions due to unintentional lane departures. LDW uses a camera sensor mounted behind the rear view mirror to detect the lane markings at speeds of 35 mph or greater.

It may provide an alert if the vehicle is crossing a lane without using a turn signal in that direction. LDW light will not alert you if the turn signal is activated in the direction of lane departure, or if LDW detects that you are accelerating, braking or actively steering.

The LDW light turns green when the system is active and ready to operate and flashes in amber to indicate a lane has been crossed with first activating a turn signal. If the LDW warning remains constantly lit in amber, it means a fault has occurred. Always ensure the windshield is kept clean, particularly around the area of the camera sensor.

9. Traction Control Off Warning Light Traction Control Off Warning Light

Traction control (TCS) is responsible for helping to prevent wheel slip. The traction control warning light will come on when the system has been deactivated by pressing the  TCS/StabiliTrak/ESC button. It’s recommended to keep traction control activated (default) at all times. Where deactivating traction control may benefit, is if you’re trying to free your vehicle from snow, mud etc.

If there’s a fault with the vehicle often displayed by the illumination of the engine warning light, traction control can sometimes be automatically deactivated by the system.  See traction control dashboard warning light for possible faults.

10. StabiliTrak Off Warning Light StabiliTrak Off Warning Light

This warning light comes on when the StabiliTrak system is turned off. As with traction control, the system can sometimes be disabled if there’s an engine fault. If the StabiliTrak system has been switched off, the traction control system is also off.

11. StabiliTrak Warning Light StabiliTrak Warning Light

StabiliTrak is the Buick Encore’s version of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and is a system assists driver in controlling the vehicle by helping to reduce understeer, oversteer and wheel slip. For more information, see What ESC is in Cars and How Does ESC Work in Cars.

If the light flickers or blinks, it means the system is actively operating. If the light remains steady lit, it means there’s a fault. As with ABS and traction control, the StabiliTrak system makes use of wheel speed sensors. This is often the cause of the fault.

12. Tire Pressure Warning Light Tire Pressure Warning Light

This warning light is related to the Buick Encore’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The tire pressure light illuminates when a underinflated tire has been detected and flashes (for around 1 minute then stays on) when a fault has been detected. If tires are underinflated, consult with the tire and loading information label inside the driver’s door. This label displays original equipment tires and cold tire inflation pressures.

Tire Pressure Warning Light Flashing
The Buick Encore tire pressure warning light may flash if the system detects:

  • A fault with one of the pressure sensors
  • A tire has been fitted that doesn’t contain a sensor
  • The TPMS sensor matching has not been completed
  • Tires or wheels have been fitted that do not match original equipment specification
  • Electronic devices are causing interference with the radio frequency

13. Oil Pressure Warning Light Oil Pressure Warning Light

The low oil pressure warning light shouldn’t be confused with the low oil level warning. Low engine oil pressure results in improper lubrication of engine components. Possible reasons for the Buick Encore low oil pressure warning light include:

  • Failing oil pump
  • Badly maintained oil and filter
  • Low oil level
  • Wrong oil type

If the low oil pressure warning light comes on while driving, safely pull over and switch off the engine. Check oil levels and add oil if required. If after adding oil the warning light remains lit, or if the oil level is already at recommended levels, do not continue driving.

14. Immobilizer Warning Light Immobilizer Warning Light

To indicate that the immobilizer system is working correctly, the warning light should turn off just after the engine has started. If it remains lit, it means there’s a fault with the immobilizer system.

When the electronic key fob transmitter leaves the vehicle, the immobilizer system is automatically armed. The Buick Encore immobilizer warning light remaining lit means that you’ll be unable to start the vehicle. Possible reasons include faulty transmitter (key fob), expired battery inside the fob or a problem with the receiver. Try placing the electronic key fob in the pocket in the front cupholder and try starting the vehicle.

If you’ve tried an alternative key and replaced the battery, it could be a problem with the engine immobilizer receive located in the steering column.

15. High Beam Headlights High Beam Headlights

This blue symbol illuminates on the dashboard instrument display indicating the the high beam headlights are activated.

16. Front Fog Lights Front Fog Lights

This green symbol illuminates on the dashboard instrument display indicating that the front fog lights have been activated.

17. Lamps on Reminder Lamps on Reminder

This green symbol light comes on when the exterior lamps are in use, except when only the Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) are active.

Using the Buick Encore Menu

You run through the options and vehicle settings to be displayed on the dashboard instrument display panel. Use the controls on the left lever on the steering wheel column.

Buick Encore menu settings control lever
Controls on the left steering wheel column lever give you access to the Buick Encore’s settings


Press this button to clear the menu item after it’s been displayed.

2. Navigation Arrows

Turn this band to scroll through the list of available menu items. Available items include:

1. Vehicle Information

  • Digital Speedometer
  • Trip A or B,
  • Average Fuel Economy
  • Fuel Range
  • Oil Life
  • Tire Pressure
  • Fuel Economy

2. Navigation

Select this option to use the Buick Encore’s navigation system.

3. Options

Use this option to adjust vehicle settings.

3. Menu Button

Press the menu button to access the Buick Encore’s applications. You can also use this button to return to or exit the last screen displayed on the dashboard information center.

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