Chevrolet Equinox Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols Meaning

Chevrolet Equinox Dashboard Symbols / Warning Lights Meanings

The first generation of the Chevrolet Equinox was released in 2004 and on the current third generation, it’s still being manufactured today. Detailed below are the dashboard warning lights for all three generations of the Chevy Equinox.

Acting on Warning Lights

Warning lights are used to signal the driver that something has been switched on (blue or green symbols), that something has been switched off (when it’s usually on by default) or a non-critical fault/ maintenance issue has been detected (amber / yellow symbols) or that a urgent or critical fault has been detected (red symbols).

Acting immediately to a dashboard warning light may prevent a serious and expensive repair and in some cases may prevent injury. Many warning lights come on when the engine has started. This indicates that the system is working. If a warning light comes on your Chevrolet Equinox dash while driving, check below to see what the symbol means and what you should do.

Chevrolet Equinox Dashboard Symbols

These are the Chevrolet Equinox dash warning lights and symbols. Each symbol meaning is explained along with what action to take based on manufacturer recommendations.

Chevrolet Equinox Engine Overheating Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols MeaningName: Engine Overheating
Urgency: High
Description: If the engine coolant warning light or the temperature gauge high along with an overheat message on the Chevrolet Equinox Driver Information Center.
What to do: Stop as soon as possible on a level surface and switch off the engine. Lift the hood to check that the engine cooling fan is working. If the cooling fan is not running, do not continue to run the engine. Check engine coolant levels and refill if required but first wait for engine to cool before removing cap – particularly if steam is coming from the engine – high chance of scolding. If no steam is coming from the engine, it’s usually not too serious. Possible reasons are:

  • Climbs a long hill on a hot day
  • Stops after high-speed driving
  • Idles for long periods in traffic
  • Towing a trailer
    If temperature gauge is high, you have overheating message but no steam:
  • Turn off the air conditioning system.
  • Turn on the heater to the hottest setting with the highest fan speed.
  • Pull over and allow engine to idle.

Chevrolet Equinox Seat Belt Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols Meaning Name: Seat Belt
Urgency: High
Description: When the engine is started, a driver and passenger seat belt reminder light will flash, along with a chime to remind vehicle occupants to fasten their belts.
What to do: Sensors are located in seats to detect vehicle occupants. If a load is placed on the passenger seat, the seat belt reminder light will flash along with the chime. Either remove the load or buckle the seat belt.

Chevrolet Equinox Airbag Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols MeaningName: Airbag
Urgency: High
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox airbag light should come on temporarily with ignition and go out. If the light fails to come on at all or comes on when driving, and electrical fault has been detected with the airbag system.
What to do: To help avoid risk of injury during a collision, have system serviced as soon as possible. Possible faults may include:

  • airbag sensor(s)
  • passenger sensing system
  • seat belt pretensioners
  • airbag modules
  • wiring / connections
  • crash sensing and diagnostic module

Chevrolet Equinox Battery Charging System Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols MeaningName: Battery
Urgency: High
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox battery warning light is an indication that there’s a fault with the battery charging system / generator.
What to do: If the light comes on while driving, it’s highly likely that the battery power will drain and the engine will soon stop. Immediately switch off any electrical accessories to conserve battery power as this may allow you to travel further.

Chevrolet Equinox Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) Dashboard Warning Symbols MeaningName: MIL
Urgency: Medium
Description: The malfunction indicator light (MIL) or check engine light as it’s also called is part of the Chevrolet Equinox emission control on-board diagnostic system. If this light comes on when driving, a malfunction has been detected in emissions control. On diesel versions of the Equinox, the sash warning light may also come on indicating a fault with the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) management system.
What to do: Steady Light: Have vehicle serviced. Continual driving with the warning light on may increase fuel consumption and may result in the engine not running smoothly. Poor fuel quality may result on the MIL coming on as can a capless funnel adapter where the adapter has not been removed.
Flashing: if MIL is flashing, (gasoline engines only) a fault has occurred that may cause damage to the emissions system, in particular the catalytic converter. Avoid heavy acceleration, reduce speed and avoid steep uphill climbs. Reduce trailer loads if applicable. If light continues to flash, stop when possible and switch off engine for at least 10 seconds. If light continues to flash, have fault diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.

Chevrolet Equinox BRAKE Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: BRAKE
Urgency: High
Description: USA versions of the Chevrolet Equinox will use the BRAKE dashboard warning light, other regions may use the metric symbol with an exclamation point Chevrolet Equinox BRAKE Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning (Exclamation Point)
If either of these dash lights stay on, there’s a brake fault. The Chevy Equinox brake system consists of two hydraulic circuits. The vehicle will still stop by using one hydraulic circuit, but for best braking performance, both circuits need to be working.
What to do: There is a risk to occupant and other road users safety. Have vehicle checked immediately.

Chevrolet Equinox PARK Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: PARK
Urgency: Medium
Description: USA versions of the Chevrolet Equinox will use the PARK dashboard warning light, other regions may use the metric symbol with a ‘P’ Chevrolet Equinox Electronic Parking Brake Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning
The symbol illuminates when the parking brake is applied. If the light flashes when the parking brake is released, comes on when driving, or does not come on at all when the parking brake is applied, a fault has been detected with the electronic parking brake.
What to do: Parking brakes may become stuck due to ice. Allowing the engine to warm around the brake area can be enough to release it. Corrosion is another cause of a stuck parking brake. Pressing and holding or engaging and disengaging the button may release the brake. Rocking gently in forward then reverse is another method. Have electronic parking brake maintenance as soon as possible. If the electronic parking brake fails to apply, the rear wheels should be blocked to prevent vehicle movement.

Chevrolet Equinox Service Electronic Parking Brake (Spanner) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: EPB Service
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) symbol with a spanner under it indicates that the system requires servicing. If the service brake light symbol comes on or Chevrolet Equinox PARK Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning or Chevrolet Equinox Electronic Parking Brake Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning light flash when the ignition is on, pull the EPB switch and continue to hold it until the Chevrolet Equinox PARK Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning or Chevrolet Equinox Electronic Parking Brake Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning remain steady on. To release, press and continue to hold until the parking brake light goes out.
What to do: If the service electronic parking brake remains on, have vehicle serviced.

Chevrolet Equinox Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: ABS
Urgency: Medium
Description: Though anti-lock braking systems (ABS) have been available as an add-on for vehicle for many years, ABS has only become mandatory on all new passenger cars manufactured in the USA since 2013. ABS helps in preventing the wheels from locking under harsh braking, or when braking on unstable road surfaces. The result is reduced stopping distances and better steering control. If the ABS light comes on, it indicates a fault with the system.
What to do: If driving, stop as soon as possible and switch off the engine. Restart the engine to reset the system. If the ABS light remains on, have the system checked. Your normal brakes will work as usual, but the ABS component will not work. Be cautious of braking excessively.

Chevrolet Equinox Tow / Haul Mode Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning Name: Tow/Haul
Urgency: Low
Description: On newer models of the Chevrolet Equinox, tow / haul mode is a feature that can assist when towing or hauling a heavy load up to 3,500 lbs. Select Tow/Haul Mode by pressing the button on the center console and the transmission will automatically assist you in towing / hauling.

Chevrolet Equinox Lane Keep Assist Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: LKA
Urgency: Low
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox Lane Keep Assist (LKA) is available to assist when the light is green. If the vehicle starts to drift out the lane it is currently traveling in, LKA gently steers the vehicle back into the appropriate lane. When the system is in operation, the light turns amber and flashes. The system uses a camera to detect lane markings at speeds between 37 mph (60 km/h) and 112 mph (180 km/h).
What to do: The system does not continuously steer the wheel and may not keep the vehicle directly in the lane. The lane Keep assist function can be overridden by turning the wheel. If LKA is failing to operate correctly, keep the windshield clean directly in front of the rear view mirror where the camera is located. Other situations that may prevent the operation of LKA is:

  • Roads with poor markings
  • Driving too close to the vehicle in front
  • Sudden light changes

Chevrolet Equinox Vehicle Ahead Alert Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: FCA
Urgency: Medium
Description: FCA, or Forward Collision Alert is a safety system in certain models of the Chevrolet Equinox that helps to reduce the harm caused by front-end impacts. When approaching a vehicle ahead too quickly, FCA provides a red flashing alert on the windshield and rapidly beeps or vibrates the driver seat. Operational speeds are from 5 mph (8 km/h) and at a distance of 197 ft (60 m).
What to do: FCA does not apply the brakes and it is the drivers responsibility to do so. The light is green when the system is ready and active.

Chevrolet Equinox Traction Control (TCS) Off Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: TCS
Urgency: Low
Description: TCS, or the Traction Control System helps to reduce wheel slip / wheelspin and is an aid to maintain maximum traction between the road surface and the Chevrolet Equinox tires. The TC light comes on when the system has been turned off via the Driver Information Center.
What to do: The light should come on briefly at startup, if it doesn’t there may be a system failure.

Chevrolet Equinox StabiliTrak Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: StabiliTrak
Urgency: Medium
Description: StabiliTrak is the Chevrolet Equinox electronic stability control / traction control program to help the driver maintain control. The system is on by default which is indicated by the warning light at engine startup. This light should go out soon after, but if it doesn’t come on at all, have the system checked. The light will also turn on (stable) and stay on if there’s a system failure detected. The system can be manually turned off in the Driver Information Center. The dashboard symbol Chevrolet Equinox StabiliTrak Stability Control OFF Dashboard Warning Light Symbols Meaning will illuminate when the system is manually switched off.
What to do: The StabiliTrak light will flash when:

  • the system is limiting wheel spin.
  • StabiliTrak is activated and helping to increase vehicle stability. If the light flashes, reduce speed.

Chevrolet Equinox Wait-to-Start (glow plugs) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: Wait-to-Start
Urgency: Low
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox wait-to-start, or glow plugs dashboard light if for diesel models only. Switch the ignition key to ON and wait until the light goes out before attempting to start the engine.
What to do: If the wait-to-start light stays on after starting the engine, the vehicle may not run properly. Have the vehicle checked immediately. If the engine fails to start after 15 seconds of turn-over, wait one minute before attempting again. This allows the cranking motor to cool.

Chevrolet Equinox Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: TPMS
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) where fitted indicates that one or more of the tires are significantly underinflated. Stop as soon as possible and inflate the tire/s to the recommended pressures on the tire pressure sticker located inside the driver door.
What to do: If the tire pressure light flashes for one minute and then stays on steady, this indicates that the TPMS has failed. Turn off the engine and restart to reset the system. If the light stays on, have system serviced. The light may come on in cool weather temporarily and go out after the tires have warmed. The light may also come on if a tire has been replaced with a spare which doesn’t have a TPMS sensor fitted, rotating the tires and not resetting the TPMS / sensor matching process in the Driver Information Center and in certain cases, using electronic devices or being close to external radio wave frequencies similar to the TPMS could cause the TPMS sensors to malfunction.

Chevrolet Equinox Oil Pressure Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: Oil Pressure
Urgency: High
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox Engine Oil warning light is and indication that oil levels are low or that oil pressure is low. Damage due to incorrect engine oil usage is not covered by vehicle warranty.
What to do: Check oil levels and and add if required. If oil level is correct, or the warning light stays on, this means the oil pressure if low and that oil may not be flowing through the engine correctly. Significant engine damage may occur. Do not continue to run the engine.

Chevrolet Equinox Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: DEF
Urgency: Medium
Description: Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is used in diesel models to reduce harmful exhaust emissions.
What to do: If the warning light comes on, fluid is low. Purchase DEF from your local dealer. The vehicle speed may be reduced.

Chevrolet Equinox Security / Immobilizer (Car with Lock) Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: Immobilizer
Urgency: Medium
Description: This car with lock light should illuminate on the Chevrolet Equinox dashboard when the engine starts and go out shortly. If the light does not come on or comes on when driving, there may be a fault with the theft-deterrent system.
What to do: The immobilizer / anti-theft light may come on if one or more RKE transmitters matched to an immobilizer control unit in your vehicle. You must have a matched RKE transmitter to start the vehicle. If you cannot start the vehicle, try an alternative transmitter or replace the batteries. If the vehicle still fails to start, the RKE transmitter may require reprogramming.

Chevrolet Equinox Cruise Control Dashboard Warning Light Symbols MeaningName: Cruise Control
Urgency: Low
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox cruise control light is white when the system is ready and green when the cruise control system is active.

33 thoughts on “Chevrolet Equinox Dashboard Symbols / Warning Lights Meanings”

    1. If the light is flashing, it means the system is working as intended and if the traction control light stays on constantly it means there’s a fault. If it’s a fault, then it wont cause any damage to the vehicle, but you may experience a decrease in vehicle stability and control on occasions. These stability systems share components with the ABS system, so it can often be related – wheel speed sensors etc. Ultimately this fault may affect other systems such as StabiliTrak and ABS.

  1. I had put in a new battery in the 2012 equinox 1 yr ago and now the charging system light has come on and I need the car to go to work and back is it unsafe to drive my car I don’t want to be left on the side of the road. I don’t want to be stuck on side of road is this something to worry about.

    1. I wouldn’t advise driving it Brenda. It could be the alternator is not properly charging the battery which could result in vehicle breakdown.

  2. What is the symbol that looks like the high beam but its green and only flashes a few times and goes off. This happens once in a while while driving or while idling

    1. Hi Joe,
      Sounds like the autolights or as Chevrolet call their version ‘IntelliBeam’. Does it have an ‘A’ in the symbol?

    2. We have a 2011 Chevy equinox, and there is a B with a square or circle around it on the dashboard light that we cannot figure out what that is; we took it to our mechanic, and he can’t figure out what it is either and there’s nothing in the book about it either. Could you please enlighten my husband and myself with what this is?
      Thank you,

      1. Hi Margaret,
        I know that on some versions of the Equinox there’s a trip meter 1 and 2 and on others, there’s a trip meter A and B. Could it be trip meter B that you’re seeing? You should be able to use the controls on the steering wheel to switch between A and B.

  3. They missed one in particular that I was looking for… It is an engine symbol sign with the down arrow inside of it… What does that mean…?

    1. Hi Marquesha,
      That warning light usually means reduced engine power. It’s a mode that the vehicle enters intentionally to reduce the potential of damage. Because of the reduced power, other warning lights might come on such as traction control / ESC etc. You’ll need to have scan equipment check for any fault codes to locate the fault.

        1. Hi William,
          It means due to an engine fault, a safety override system reduces the engine power to help prevent damage. Once the fault is rectified, normal power will resume.

  4. I have 3 different engine lights on my equinox . The top one has an ⬆️ inside the engine light, the middle has a 🔧 inside and the bottom of the 3 is just a standard engine light. What is the difference in meaning between the 3?

    1. Hello Suzanne,
      All three lights are bad news unfortunately. The engine warning light with and arrow (it’s a down facing arrow I assume?) is a reduced engine performance light. It means that due to a fault, engine performance has been intentionally reduced / limited to help in preventing damage. The normal engine warning light simply indicates a fault. It’s a generic fault light, meaning the fault could be anywhere in the engine / emissions system and the spanner / wrench light is an electrical fault light I believe. None of the lights will point you towards a specific problem, so you’ll need to have a diagnostic scan tool connected to your car. When engine warning lights come on, fault codes are generated and (hopefully) stored. The scan tool reads the faults codes which then help you locate the fault.

  5. I have a Chevy equinox 2012. On the dash in the same line 8r says speed is the number 1 inside a half Pentagon on the right side. I cannot figure out what it means.

  6. My husband had to jump his 2014 Equinox this evening. Once it was started the anti-theft light (orange car and lock light) came on and has stayed on. The car is mobile. We had to jump the car the other morning and could not figure out why it was dead as no lights were left on and all doors were shut. Same thing with the incident tonight. AAAAAND….GO!

  7. I have a 2019 chevy equinox, I have drove it out of town twice since I got it over a year ago… And when I would drive it I experienced the warning light coming on saying temperature rising pull over. Which I did both times. The engine was not hot, there was no smoke, and I waisted money getting it towed and now whenever I travel I’m still wasting money cause I have to rent cars because the dealership said they don’t see anything and can’t do anything unless they have that code number that comes up… What do I do.

    1. Hi Denise,
      Have you checked to ensure you have sufficient coolant in the engine coolant reservoir? Sounds a bit pathetic on Chevy’s part. I assume it has a warranty, so I can’t see why you would need any form of error code being as you clearly have a warning light on. If the car has no symptoms of being hot / overheating, it’s most likely engine coolant temperature sensor.

  8. The immobilizer, anti theft symbol comes on when I lock my 2006 Chevy Equinox. I had the body control module replaced a few months ago and thought this solved the problem. How do I fix this?

    Thanks Brenda

  9. I have a 2006 Chevy Equinox and the immobilizer/ anti theft light comes on when I get out of the car and lock the doors. How can I fix this and will this drain my battery?

  10. I have a 2011 equinox and the brake,abs, and traction lights came on at the same time yesterday. I reset it by turning car off n on and it helped but when i turned car in this morning the were on there again and have not turned off.

    1. Hi Norma,
      Anything to do with a brake warning, you should get it checked ASAP. First thing to do is to check your brake fluid to ensure it’s up to the recommended level in the reservoir. Usually issues with ABS / traction control relate to a faulty wheel speed sensor. If it is a wheel speed sensor, your vehicle’s brakes will work as usual, but without ABS and traction control – quite a cheap and easy fix if it is that. I should have diagnostics, hopefully you’ll have a fault code that will point you in the right direction.

  11. I have A 2019 chevy equinox ls. It has lane keep assist symbol near my odometer but i don’t have a button on the steering wheel to turn it on. Does anyone know how else to turn it on ?

    1. Hi Makayla,
      Yes, as you say, you should have this function button on the steering wheel. Take a look in your vehicle personalization menu to see what options you have and see if you have Lane Change Alert (LCA).

      To access the vehicle personalization menu:
      1. Touch the Settings icon on the Home Page of the infotainment display.
      2. Touch Vehicle to display a list of available options.
      3. Touch to select the desired feature setting.
      4. Touch circle or l to turn a feature off or on.
      5. Touch x to go to the top level of the Settings menu.

  12. We have a 2019 equinox an it won’t start. We called dealer a man came out an still couldn’t start it. It is low on gas thanks to my husband. The brake pressure feels different. He said it may be the starter. What do you think. Thank you

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I’d recommend topping up the tank with a can of fuel if it’s possible. Running out of fuel is more common than you might think. If it is the starter, you can push start the vehicle if it’s manual transmission. I’m assuming the engine cranks but does not fire up? If there’s some strange clicking noise when attempting to start the engine, that’s a symptom of a failing starter motor. Sometimes giving the starter motor a bang with an object can actually get it going. Use your tire wrench if you have it. If the engine is not turning over at all, you’ll need to check the battery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *