Fiat Panda Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols

Fiat Panda Dashboard Warning Lights + Symbols Explained

The very first generation of the Fiat Panda was introduced in 1980 and is still being built today. Though modern cars are increasingly reliable, technology is becoming more complicated, meaning there’s more that can go wrong. When something does go wrong, you’ll often have a dashboard warning light telling you about it. The Fiat Panda displays these lights in red, amber, green and blue.

It’s important to take note of these lights, or symbols, particularity those that are red or flashing red. Red dashboard lights indicate that something has gone wrong and may impact occupant safety or may result in vehicle damage if not resolved. Here we’ll take a look at the Fiat Panda dashboard warning lights with an explanation of what they mean and what action to take.

Red Warning Lights

Important warning lights such as the red symbols are accompanied by a specific message and/or sound. In case of failure, serious faults are indicated by a prolonged and repeated warning, while less serious faults are indicated by a temporary warning. Listed below are the red warning lights for the Fiat Panda.

Fiat Panda Seat Belt Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Seat Belt
Urgency: High
Description: The seat belt warning symbol lights up and a buzzer will sound if the driver and/or passengers belt is not fastened. The light will only come on if the vehicle is not moving.
Action: Fasten your seat belt.

Fiat Panda EBD Failure Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: EBD
Urgency: High
Description: The Fiat Panda Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) failure is indicated by brake light (red), abs light (amber) and ESC light (amber) illuminating simultaneously. EBD is essentially an additional braking system that improves the function of anti-lock brakes. In the event of EBD failure, when braking heavily, the wheels may lock and the vehicle may swerve.
Action: Drive carefully to have the vehicle inspected immediately.

Fiat Panda Air Bag Failure Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Airbag
Urgency: Medium
Description: This is the airbag fault light. It should come on in red with the ignition switched to MAR and go out shortly after. If the light does not come on or comes on when driving there is a malfunction with the airbag / restraint systems. The airbags or seat belt pretensioners may not be deployed in a collision or, in a lower number of cases, they may be deployed accidentally.
Action: Have vehicle checked as soon as possible.

Fiat Panda Brake Fluid / Parking Brake (red exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Parking Brake
Urgency: High
Description: The red circle containing an exclamation mark has 2 meanings:

  1. The handbrake is on. If moving, you’ll also hear an alarm.
  2. There is insufficient brake fluid in the reservoir tank. The brake circuit is a sealed system and only requires infrequent refilling of brake fluid. This may be an indication of a leak.

Action: The following actions should be carried out if the brake warning light comes on:

  1. Release the handbrake / parking brake.
  2. Check brake fluid reservoir tank and top up with fluid if necessary. Vehicle braking ability may become seriously reduced. If frequent fluid top ups are required, have vehicle checked for leaks.

Fiat Panda Battery Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Battery
Urgency: High
Description: The battery warning symbol should come on when the ignition is switched to MAR and go out shortly. If it stays on, comes on when driving or flashes, it indicates low battery charge. This could be a fault with the battery, battery charging system or cable / wiring on the Fiat Panda.
Action: Turn off any electrical systems that are not necessary. This may include heaters, demisters, radio or any charging outlets. Drive immediately to have vehicle repaired as breakdown is likely.

Fiat Panda Engine Oil / Pressure Low Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Oil Level / Pressure
Urgency: High
Description: On the Fiat Panda, this red oil lamp is an indication of either low engine oil levels or low pressure.

  1. Low oil levels – Running with low engine oil levels can cause damage with prolonged driving.
  2. Low oil pressure – If the oil pressure is low, this can cause significant damage to engine components.

Action: The following actions should be carried out if the oil pressure warning light comes on:

  1. Stop the vehicle as soon as safely possible and check engine oil levels using the dipstick. Top up if required to the maximum indicator on the dipstick. Continue driving and check to ensure oil light does not come back on.
  2. If engine oil levels does not require topping up, or if the oil light remains on, do not continue driving. Significant engine damage will likely occur due to low oil pressure. Arrange to have vehicle recovered.

Fiat Panda Engine Oil Degraded Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Oil Degraded
Urgency: High
Description: The same dashboard symbol will illuminate but diesel versions of the Fiat Panda with DPF, it indicates degraded engine oil. The warning light flashes for 3 minute cycles until the oil is changed. A dedicated message may also be displayed. This is not a fault light or related to the amount of oil in the engine but is informing the owner that oil must be changed. Engine oil must be changed as soon as possible and no more than 500 km (310 miles) from when the light first came on. Failure to do so may result in serious engine damage and may void any warranty.
Action: Change oil as soon as possible. Engine oil deterioration is accelerated by:

  1. Frequent short town journeys so that the oil fails to reach optimum running temperature.
  2. Frequent interruptions to the diesel particulate filter regeneration process signaled by the DPF warning light coming on.

Fiat Panda Engine Coolant Temperature High Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Coolant
Urgency: High
Description: Under normal operating conditions, this engine coolant temperature too high symbol comes on with ignition and goes out shortly after. The engine is overheating if the light comes on while driving.
Action: Normal driving: Stop and switch off the engine. Allow time for the engine to cool down and check engine coolant (water) levels and top up if required. Ensure levels do not exceed ‘MAX’ on header tank. Check for water leaks.
Demanding driving: This may be towing a trailer or driving uphill with fully loaded car for example. Slow down and if the light remains on after 2 minutes, stop and do as above.

Fiat Panda 'Dualdrive' Electric Power Steering Failure Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Power Steering
Urgency: Medium
Description: If the light stays on after ignition or comes on while driving, there is a failure in the ‘Dualdrive’ electric power steering system. Steering will become notably harder. This is not a serious fault though steering assistance will be unavailable. If the battery has been disconnected, the steering must be calibrated. To do this, simply turn the steering wheel all the way from one end to the other or drive in a straight line for about a hundred metres.
Action: A certain fault means the warning light may come on due to factors unrelated to power steering. If this happens and if driving, stop when safe to do so and switch off the engine for around 20 seconds and restart. This should resolve the issue. If light remains on, have vehicle checked by qualified Fiat engineers.

Fiat Panda 'Dualogic' Gearbox Failure (Red cog / exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Gearbox
Urgency: Medium
Description: The red cog containing an exclamation mark symbol on the Fiat Panda indicates a failure with the ‘Dualogic’ gearbox. It is normal procedure for this symbol to come with ignition key set to ‘MAR’ but to go out shortly.
Action: If the light remains on, have vehicles checked as soon as possible to avoid breakdown.

Amber Warning Lights

These are the amber warning symbols that can display on your Fiat Panda dashboard. Amber lights are generally less urgent than red and may be accompanied by a message depending on your model of car.

Fiat Panda Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Failure Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: ABS
Urgency: Medium
Description: This light indicates a fault with the ABS which stands for Anti-lock Braking System. ABS is a safety aid that helps to stop your wheels from locking under harsh braking. The benefits of this are to enable you so steer due to the wheels not locking and to slow down sooner.
Action: Normal braking system remains unaffected but have your car looked at as soon as possible.

Fiat Panda Passenger Airbag / Side Bag Deactivated Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Passenger Airbag
Urgency: Medium
Description: This symbol indicates that the passenger airbag / side bag has been deactivated manually. If there’s a fault with the Airbag will illuminate in red.

Fiat Panda City Brake Control Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: City Brake Control
Urgency: Medium
Description: This symbol indicates that Fiat City Brake Control, or “Collision Mitigation” has been deactivated. Fiat City Brake Control is an emergency braking system which automatically helps a driver avoid a low-speed crash.

Fiat Panda Check Engine / EOBD Dashboard Warning Light Name: EOBD
Urgency: Medium
Description: Often referred to as the ‘check engine’ or MIL (malfunction indicator lamp), this is the injection / EOBD warning light. If the light comes on while driving or stays on after ignition, it indicates the injection system is not working correctly. This is a malfunction in the fuel supply / ignition system and may result in excessive exhaust emissions. Other symptoms will include high fuel consumption, poor performance and vehicle not driving very well.
Action: You can continue to drive at moderate speed, but prolonged driving may cause engine / catalytic converter damage, particularly if the light flashes.

Fiat Panda Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: ESC
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Fiat Panda ESC light stands for Electronic Stability Control. If the light stays on continuously, it indicates a fault.
Action: The following applies if the ESC light is on:

  • Flashing: This indicates that ESC is active. Moderate your speed.
  • Steady On: Indicates a fault with Hill Holder system, or a fault with ELD – electronic locking differential.

Fiat Panda CODE System Failure Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Code System
Urgency: Medium
Description: This indicates a failure with the Fiat CODE system. If this light flashes with the engine switched on, the car is not protected by the engine inhibitor.
Action: To reactivate the Fiat Code System, contact a dealership to have you keys memorised.

Fiat Panda Glow Plugs Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: Glow Plugs
Urgency: Medium
Description: On diesel versions of the Fiat Panda only, this light indicates a fault with the diesel pre-heating system. If the glow plugs light is flashing, it’s probable that one of the glow plugs is faulty.

Fiat Panda DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: DPF
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Fiat Panda diesel particulate filter (DPF) warning light comes on constantly informing you that the system must be cleaned by eliminating diesel particulates from the filter via the regeneration process. This process is often done automatically, if the light symbol comes on, you are required to help the process.
Action: For the light to go out and to regenerate the filter, drive constantly 15 minutes or more at 37 mph (60 km/h) with engine speed above 2000 rpm.

Fiat Panda Low Tyre Pressure (iTPMS) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: iTPMS
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Fiat Panda iTPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) light comes on indicating that one or more tyre pressures is below the stored values. Once tyre pressure has been corrected, you must follow the iTPMS reset procedure.
Action: Running with low tyre pressure increases fuel consumption and reduces vehicle handling. It also increases tyre wear.

Fiat Panda General Failure (triangle / exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Light SymbolName: General Failure
Description: The triangle containing an exclamation mark on the Fiat Panda is a general failure light and has many meanings. A message may accompany the fault light. The following faults are as follows:

Exceeded Speed
If you have a speed limit set in the setup menu and it is exceeded, the failure light will come on.

Fuel cut-off system intervention
In the event of a collision, the fuel cut-off system activates. If there is a fault with the system, the general fault lamp illuminates.

Start / Stop system failure
This fault light comes on when there’s a problem with the Fiat Start / Stop system.

Exterior lights failure
This fault light may indicate a failure of exterior lights, including: side lights, number plate lights, rear fog lights, direction indicators, daytime running lights (DRL).

Engine oil pressure sensor failure
This fault light may indicate a failure engine oil pressure sensor failure’

Water in diesel filter (diesel versions)
For diesel versions only, this fault light may indicate there’s water in the diesel filter.

Electronic Locking Differential (ELD) system fault
Only for Fiat Panda Cross and Panda 4×4 versions when a fault is detected in the 4×4 drive.

Parking sensor failure
The general fault light illuminates and depending on your model of Fiat Panda, a dedicated message indicating a fault with the parking sensors.

27 thoughts on “Fiat Panda Dashboard Warning Lights + Symbols Explained

  1. The exclamation mark symbol on dashboard comes on as you put a foot on the brake pedal even when standing still with or without the engine and does it consistently. What can it be.

    1. Hi did you find out what the yellow triangle with exclamation mark light staying on. Did you find out what this was as mine has done it tonight.

  2. I’m borrowing my daughters Fiat Panda. Today a red light that looks like a box came on. I cannot find this in the handbook. Any idea if this indicates a serious problem. Thank you very much

  3. Hi guys, i’m looking for help here please.. I have a 2018 panda, today I got the reg changed for private plates. shortly after this I noticed the yellow triangle light on, I contacted the garage who says he never touched anything else.. Any ideas of the problem, the car seems to be running fine apart from this light..

    1. Hi Thomas,
      Where possible, I would check all the lights, ensure they’re working. Obviously the licence plate bulbs, don’t forget others such as those in the door mirrors and centre brake light. Sometimes it can be a bulb connection issue. Failing that, you’ll have to have diagnostics to scan for fault codes.

  4. Hi,
    My fiat panda’s Amber warning triangle with exclamation mark inside came on last night. I’d just done a two hour journey and don’t usually do long journeys in it.
    This morning I checked the lights – they were fine, so I called the RAC. They ran a diagnostic test and reset the dashboard. We found I was very low on oil and topped it up.

    Everything was fine until it came on again after 20 mins driving! I went to Halfords and the guy kindly checked the oil and put in a bit more, but that didn’t fix the problem . He thought it might be too much coolant and sent me to tgrir garage.

    The mechanic thought the coolant was fine, and checked everything else – no problems.

    He suggests I drive the 2 hours back home tomorrow and maybe find a fiat dealership to check it. He says it’s safe to drive as he’s checked it. But the warning light persists and is worrying. What do you think?

    1. Hi Karen,
      Did you check all the lights including centre brake light, number plate lights and daytime running lights? Sometimes a bulb can still be illuminated but the connection might not be secure, or there could be some moisture in the light fittings causing the warning light to come on. The mechanics have checked the main things such as the oil and water and all seem fine. The good thing to know is that the most critical faults will have a dedicated warning light, such as brakes, oil pressure and engine overheating (coolant) and none of those are on. The engine warning light isn’t on, so it doesn’t appear to be an engine fault / emissions problem.

      Did the RAC guy say anything about any fault codes? Problem is, simply resetting the warning light using his diagnostic tool will not resolve the fault and as you can see, the warning light just comes back on. As the Halfords guy said, you may be better off going to the Fiat dealership and they’ll have more experience on common issues that may cause the light to come on, and their diagnostic tools may be able to dig a little deeper that the RAC’s tool. But as I said, it’s not likely to be anything too serious else a dedicated warning light will come on.

    1. Hi Janet,
      Its a gear shift indicator. Its purpose is to inform you when to change up a gear (up arrow) so as to make the best fuel economy. Some people find it annoying.

  5. on my old ’95 panda eco dashboard, next to the word “city”, there’s a red triangle that looks like bikini bottoms. That stays on whether the city button is pressed or not.
    What’s it trying to tell me, please?

  6. My “new” Fiat Panda 2010 EOBD light came on after 4 hours driving home. I had pressed city mode out of interest but did nothing else other than motorway cruise. Should I be worried & or check anything?

    1. Hi Hugh,
      It’s nothing to usually worry about, but it should be checked out if it stays on, or keeps coming on. It’s often called the check engine warning light and is related to the vehicle’s emissions control system. If you have no other symptoms of anything that might be wrong, then it’s almost impossible to know what the problem is without testing. Without resolving and fixing the issue, the problem is likely to worsen and the vehicle may use more fuel.

      If you book the Fiat Panda into a repair workshop, thy will connect a scanner computer to the vehicle’s OBD II port. When the engine light comes on, a fault code is usually generated and stored. This scanner tool scans for fault codes that the engineer can read via the scan tool. The codes usually indicate the location of the fault. If the light doesn’t come on again, don’t worry about it.

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