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.
Name: Engine Overheating
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.
Name: Seat Belt
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Description: USA versions of the Chevrolet Equinox will use the PARK dashboard warning light, other regions may use the metric symbol with a ‘P’
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.
Name: EPB Service
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 or light flash when the ignition is on, pull the EPB switch and continue to hold it until the or 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Name: Oil Pressure
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.
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.
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.
Name: Cruise Control
Description: The Chevrolet Equinox cruise control light is white when the system is ready and green when the cruise control system is active.