Ford Ranger Dashboard Warning Lights

Ford Ranger Dashboard Warning Lights

The Ford Ranger is now on its forth generation (Mk 4). Depending on which version you have, new 2019 Ranger features a digital or analogue instrument panel. These Ford Ranger dashboard warning lights cover all the latest versions, including the XL, XLT, Lariat, Limited and Wildtrak models. The warning lights also apply to the previous generation 3 (Mk 3) model.

The following warning lights alert you to a vehicle condition that may become serious, in particular red symbols. Some lights illuminate when you start your vehicle to make sure they work. If any warning light stay on or come on when driving, check the list below to find out what they mean and what you should do.

SymbolFault Description / Action
Ford Ranger ABS Fault Dashboard Warning Light
The Ford Ranger ABS system helps you maintain steering control during emergency stops by keeping the brakes from locking. The Ranger ABS (anti-lock braking system) warning light comes on temporarily at engine startup. If it stays on or comes on as you're driving, ABS may be disabled.
Note: Normal brakes will continue to operate as usual but without the benefits of ABS. Have your vehicle checked by a Ford workshop as soon as possible.
Ford Ranger Blind Spot Monitor Fault Dashboard Warning Light
Blind Spot Monitor
The blind spot monitor system is designed to detect vehicles
that may have entered the blind spot zone - the area where vehicles cannot be seen in your side mirrors. When a vehicle is detected, a warning light illuminates in the side mirror of the affected side. The Ford Ranger blind spot monitor light comes on when the system is turned off. Faults may occur with the system and a information message may appear in the dashboard display if the sensor is blocked by dirt / stickers or the area has had an impact. Sensors are located in the tail lights on both sides of the vehicle.
Ford Ranger Battery Fault Dashboard Warning Light
The Ford Ranger battery warning light illuminates when a fault has been detected with the battery charging system. Typical faults are:
• Generator / alternator
• Electrical connections including battery terminals
• Generator / alternator belt
• Ageing battery
If the battery fails to charge whilst driving, the engine will stall. To prolong engine activity, turn off any electrical draining devices that are not essential.
Ford Ranger Brake Fault / Parking Brake Dashboard Warning Light
Brake Fault / Parking Brake
The Ford Ranger brake light vary between the red exclamation mark / point and the textual BRAKE symbol depending on region. The brake light illuminates for the following reasons:
• The parking brake / handbrake is applied. Ensure the parking brake is fully released.
• If the parking brake is released, the vehicle brake fluid levels may be too low. Immediately check brake fluid levels and add Ford recommended brake fluid if required.
• If the parking brake is released and fluid levels are normal, there is a brake system fault. This is dangerous due to a significant decrease in braking performance that may occur. It may take much longer to stop the vehicle. Have vehicle checked immediately by a Ford workshop.
Ford Ranger Automatic High Beam Headlights Dashboard Warning Light
Automatic High Beam
The Ranger automatic headlights turns on high beams if it is dark enough and when no other traffic is present. When the system detects an approaching vehicle’s headlights or tail lights, or street lighting, high beams are switched off in time before lights dazzle other road users. The Ford Ranger automatic headlights warning light comes on when high beams are activated.
• The Ford Ranger uses a camera mounted at the top of the windscreen. If the view of the camera is obscured, the system may not operate correctly - a message may display on the dashboard panel. Clean the windshield.
• The system may not function correctly is bad wet / snowy weather.
• If the cabin becomes extremely hot (parked under direct sunlight for example) the camera may not function until cooled.
• Different tyres / tires that alter ride-height may impair operation.

Ford Ranger Auto Start Stop Dashboard Warning Light
Auto Start Stop
The Ford Ranger auto start stop dashboard light illuminates when the engine has automatically stopped. The light flashes when the engine needs to restart. The indicator is shown with a strike through the symbol if the system is not available. If you are having problems with the start stop system, see Ford Ranger auto start stop not working to find possible reasons why.
Ford Ranger Electronic Locking Differential Dashboard Warning Light
Electronic Locking Differential
Electronic locking differential can help to provide additional traction if the vehicle becomes stuck by allowing the rear wheels to turn at the same time. The Ford Ranger electronic locking differential light illuminates when the system has been activated.
Ford Ranger Low Beam Malfunction Dashboard Warning Light
Low Beam Malfunction
The light symbol with an exclamation mark / point is the Ford Ranger low beam headlight malfunction indicator light.
Ford Ranger Engine Coolant Temperature Dashboard Warning Light
Engine Coolant Temperature
The engine coolant temperature warning light illuminating when the Ford Ranger is moving indicates the engine is overheating. As soon as it's safely possible, pull off the road, stop and switch off the engine. Continual driving is likely to result in engine damage. Allow several minutes for the engine to cool and once cool, check coolant levels. If coolant level is normal, this indicates engine cooling system failure. Avoid driving and contact a Ford workshop.
Ford Ranger Hill Descent Dashboard Warning Light
Hill Descent
This warning light illuminates when the Ford Ranger hill descent has been activated.

Ford Ranger 4 Wheel Drive Dashboard Warning Light
4 Wheel Drive
The Ford Ranger 4 wheel drive dash light illuminates when:
• 4L: Four-wheel drive low is engaged.
• 4H: Four-wheel drive high is engaged.
Ford Ranger Airbag Dashboard Warning Light
Airbag Warning Light
The airbag warning light on the Ford Ranger should as a system check come on briefly as the ignition is set to on or when the engine has started. It should then go out after a few seconds. If the light stays on, flashes, or fails to come on at all, it indicates a malfunction in the airbag system.
Ford Ranger Check Engine Warning Light
Check Engine Warning Light
The Ford Ranger service engine soon warning light is a fault light often referred to as the check engine light. This light comes on briefly and if all is operating correctly, goes out as the engine starts. If the light comes on whilst driving, the vehicle diagnostics system has detected a malfunction. This is often a fault in the emission control system. If the warning light flashes, an engine misfire may occur leading to very high exhaust gas temperatures. This can cause damage to vehicle components. Avoid hard acceleration and drive at a moderate speed. If the light keeps flashing, have vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Ford Ranger Tyre Pressure Warning Light
Tyre / Tire Pressure
The tyre pressure monitoring system on the Ford Ranger alerts the driver that one or more tyres have become significantly deflated when the warning light comes on. It's advisable to stop as soon as possible and check pressures or change for the spare wheel. If this warning light flashes for around 1 minute then remains on continuously, this indicates a fault with the monitoring system.
Ford Ranger Oil Pressure Warning Light
Oil Pressure
The Ford Ranger oil warning light comes on briefly as the ignition is switched on and goes out when the engine has started. If the oil warning light comes on when driving, it indicates a possible malfunction with the engine lubrication system. It's important to act swiftly as severe damage may occur.
1. Stop as soon as possible and turn off the engine.
2. Check oil levels using the dip stick.
3. Add engine oil if required ensuring you do not exceed the MAX. level indicator on the dip stick.
4. If when checking oil levels they are normal and within the MIN. and MAX. level indicator on the dipstick, do not continue to drive and seek assistance from a Ford workshop.

Ford Ranger ESP / Stability Control Warning Light
ESP Warning Light
The Ford Ranger ESP warning light (Electronic Stability Program) has many functions. These include:
• Electronic stability control
• Roll stability control
• Traction control
ESP helps by providing independent wheel braking on corners to increase stability (stability control), to help decrease vehicle roll on rough ground and to prevent wheel slip (traction control). The ESP will come on steady or flash.
Steady: A fault has been detected within the ESP system. This is often a sensor malfunction - typically an ABS issue as they share the same sensors.
Flash: ESP is actively engaged and attempting to stabilize the vehicle.
ESP Button
Briefly pressing the ESP button will disable traction control only. Holding the button for 5 or more seconds will disable the entire system. When stability control is manually switched off, a warning light illuminates.
Ford Ranger Spanner / Wrench / Powertrain Warning Light
Spanner / Wrench / Powertrain
The Ford Ranger spanner warning light is related to a powertrain, electronic throttle control or four-wheel drive malfunction. This spanner / wrench warning light is generic and has no specific fault identification. A Ford Ranger powertrain warning light includes anything from engine faults, transmission faults and driveshaft, differentials and axles fault. If the powertain light illuminates, you may notice reduced power. Often referred to as 'limp mode', this is a software safety system that is implemented automatically to help protect vehicle components from damage by reducing performance. With the spanner / powertain warning light illuminating on the dash, the only option is to have fault codes read using a diagnostic reader. This will localize the fault.
For certain models of the Ford Ranger, the powertrain fault light will be displayed as a cog and exclamation mark Ford Ranger Cog and Exclamation Mark Warning Light. If this warning light flashes, reduce speed and avoid pushing the engine hard.
Ford Ranger Check Engine + Powertrain Warning Light
Check Engine + Powertrain
The cog warning light (powertrain) and check engine warning illuminating together requires you to stop the vehicle as soon as possible. Reduced engine power is likely and the engine may stall / cut out soon. Turn off the engine and attempt to restart. If the warning lights remain on, contact a Ford workshop.
Ford Ranger Immobiliser Warning Light
The car and lock light is the Ford Ranger immobiliser warning light. This light will flash if the key is removed from the ignition or a wrong key is
Ford Ranger Oil Can and Spanner Warning Light
Change Oil
The oil can and spanner warning light on the Ford Ranger applied only to diesel versions and is indicating that the engine oil requires changing due to a high level build up of soot within the engine oil. Continual driving without changing the oil over time may result in engine lubrication problems.

Ford Ranger Water in Fuel Warning Light
Water in Fuel
Ford diesel versions of the Ford Ranger, the water-in-fuel light (fuel filter warning light) will come on if there is excess water in the fuel filter. This requires draining immediately to avoid faults occurring. The fuel filter is located passenger cabin side of the battery and just to the left of the engine junction box.
1. Switch the ignition off.
2. Connect and secure a suitable hose on the filter drain plug which is located at the underside of the filter.
3. Use a suitable container to drain the fluid into as diesel will also expel from the filter.
4. Loosen the drain plug by around 1.5 turns. The drain plug is located under the filter.
5. Switch the ignition on to activate the in-tank pump.
6. Drain the water till it is replaced by a clean diesel fuel.
7. Switch the ignition off.
8. Tighten the drain plug and remove the hose.
9. Start the engine and check for leaks. The warning light should now go off.
Ford Ranger DPF Warning Light
The Ford Ranger DPF warning light indicates that the diesel particulate filter requires cleaning. This is often done automatically, but if you frequently travel only short journeys, the DPF may require driver input to help the cleaning (regeneration) process. If the DPF warning light comes on, do the following:
• Continually drive at a constant speed for up to 20 minutes. To avoid stopping, this will usually involve a motorway / freeway or main road.
• Use a lower gear than normal so that the engine operates at a higher speed. This helps with the cleaning process.
• Avoid switching off the engine until the cleaning process is complete.
When the DPF cleaning process is complete, the warning light will go out. If the warning light remains on, try the cleaning process again. If still the light remains on or begins flashing, have the vehicle checked immediately.
Ford Ranger Ice / Frost / Snowflake Warning Light
Ice / Frost Warning
The snowflake symbol is the Ford Ranger ice / frost warning light and will illuminate in orange when the outside air temperature is between 4°C and 0°C (39°F and 32°F). It will glow red when the temperature is below 0°C (32°F). Drive with caution.
Ford Ranger Glow Plugs Warning Light
Glow Plugs
The Ford Ranger glow plugs warning light comes on diesel versions of the Ranger dashboard when the ignition is switched on and goes out when the engine is ready to start. When temperatures are low, -15°C (5°F), engine cranking may require up to 25 seconds. The starter motor can be used for a maximum of 30 seconds each time. If the glow plug light begins flashing, a fault has been detected. In this instance, contact a Ford workshop or connect diagnostic equipment to establish fault codes.
Ford Ranger AdBlue Warning Light
The Ford Ranger AdBlue warning light may vary depending on model of Ranger. The AdBlue tank holds around 20L of AdBlue fluid and when the warning light comes on, it indicates AdBlue levels are getting low. A full tank of AdBlue will typically last for around 5000 to 6000 miles.

46 thoughts on “Ford Ranger Dashboard Warning Lights

    1. Hi Mark,
      Are the new tyres the manufacturer’s recommended and when replaced, were they fitted with pressure sensors? The new version of the Ford Ranger will automatically reset the tyre pressure monitoring system after a drive of around 2 minutes and of 20 mph or over.

    1. Hi Debruin,
      Often if the engine warning light or powertrain light comes on and if the vehicle enters reduced power mode, ESP can be automatically disabled as it can impair driving ability, hence the ESP warning light.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Depends on your version of Ford Ranger. Here’s a couple of options. Look for the dimmer switch on the dash gauges or for newer versions, there are +/- controls with the lighting to the side next to the truck’s ‘A’ pillar.

      Ford Ranger Dashboard Dimmer Switch

  1. Hi I had shaking and loss of power and loads of oil in the engine bay, went into limp mode, what could be the cause of this? Ford ranger 62plate

    Many thanks


  2. I am a new owner of brand new Ford ranger which i picked up from the dealership on the 8th April.
    On the 9th i was trying to push it to its limit but to me it Failed, whe i pushed it to 180+ km per hour the car stsrted making the is an air presure or air cuming out as i accelarates. I reduced my accelaration and re accelarate untill the spanner popped up on the dash.

    Well though the dealers rep promised to send or adviced me to take this Ranger back. I wm worried if this car will still be reliable. Km are 89

    1. Hi Mosikare,

      With a brand new engine, you should really take it easy. Some recommend for up to 1000 miles as everything is new and it needs a little time to break in. Piston rings need a little time to seat properly, the transmission needs a little time to adjust and smooth out etc. Pushing a brand new engine to its limit isn’t recommended. It should be ok, but I’d recommend taking it easy for a bit.

    2. Seriously, well, in my opinion you are simply too stupid to own a new vehicle, take it back to the dealer, get your money back and get some maturity before buying another car…

  3. HI, I own a Ranger 2017 xlt 3.2 and recently the transmission was replaced by the dealership, ever since then the spanner warning light comes on periodically and then disappears. There is no impact on the vehicles power when this happens. i have had it back to the Ford dealer 5 times now and each time they do a diagnostic on it and clears the faults and report back that it was an update that was required and the car is perfect. last time it was reset was 2 days ago and it started happening again yesterday. Any idea what this could be

    1. Hi Charles.
      Does your Ranger still have warranty? The fact that it’s been back 5 times and they simply clear the faults saying it’s an update sounds a little suspicious.

    1. Hi Carl,
      I would start by checking the battery. A failing battery can cause many problems. The check engine light coming on will have stored a fault code, so use a scanner to have those read.

  4. Good day,

    I have my 2013 XLT 3.2L Ford ranger. Recently I changed my rear tyres from 265/65/17 to 285/70/17 but to my surprise its now showing ABS and brake light when driving above 100km per hour and then the speedo goes Zero. The car will not switch off it will continue to accelerate well. I am not sure what causes that.

    1. Hi Connie
      If you have fitted different tyre sizes to those recommended by the vehicle manufacturers it can send the ABS and brake sensors out of whack.

  5. Hi ,my 2013 Ford Ranger xls, is now showing an A symbol by the Km display. Now it does not update the number of litres on the dashboard and I cannot know if my diesel is full or needs to be filled
    . What could be the problem. Please advise.

    1. Hi Ronald, my 2016 XL ranger 3.2L has the same problem as well, did you find what was the problem? Found the sensor, is located besides the oil filter. Cheers

  6. I have the immobiliser key light flashing – have been using the spare key recently .. but now back to the normal key but both keys are the same , how do I fix this issue

  7. Hi all,
    I have a 2021 Ford Ranger 3.2L XLT and the Engine Coolant Temperature warning had activated twice, 4 days apart.

    My questions are:
    1.) Why is the Warning disappeared almost immediately after been activated?
    2.) If the warning is not showing, is it safe to continue driving the vehicle?

    1. Hi Samkom,
      If coolant levels are fine and the engine shows no symptoms of overheating, I would think it’s a sensor fault, but as your Ranger is so new and I assume has warranty, I would take it to your dealer for inspection.

  8. Hi there, my Oil pressure light doesnt turn on when I switch my ignition on, what can I do to test and see where the issue is. I have a 2016 PX2 XL Ranger 3.2L. Cheers

  9. Hi all I have a 2015 ford ranger xlt. Haven’t had any issues with it at all until today. Had a decent drive today 3 hours till destination stopped for bout an hour then return home. Half way home i got a spanner pop up and went into limp mode. Was driving fine till this point. Was on the side of the road for roughly 20 mins. When I turned the car back on there was no spanner and car drove fine. Is this something I should be worried about?

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Thing is with these problems, it may disappear for a while, but then they have a habit of coming back. Best to get diagnostics and look to see if there’s any fault codes that may help you locate the issue.

  10. I have a 2020 2l diesel auto, when I got it recently it had 12500 miles but the warning text spanner comes on it says see the manual, but there is no manual. If you press OK it goes away and and the small spanner stays on then goes off. I took it to my local Ford dealership as it is still under warranty. Unfortunately the warning lights were not on they said they could not find anything wrong but did a power train software update. It seemed to do the trick and the performance was much better. But on Friday on my way to airport the pesky light came on again. Are these warning lights not retained in the things memory for a while until they are cleared manually?

    1. Hello Pierre,
      Stored fault codes are a bit hit and miss, but if a fault code has been generated, it will be stored. Personally I might consider having a diagnostics check at an independent to see if they can pull up any codes. I’m not suggesting that the dealership is up to no good, but you do tend to hear ‘we can’t find anything wrong’ quite often.

  11. Hi, i have a 2016 ford ranger xlt. The ESP warning light popups randomly then car brakes suddenly. Need to stop the engine to turn off the light, otherwise car will almost brakes everytime when i exceed certain speed. Been to several mechanics but all have same answer, ran a diagnostic with no faulty, everything looks normal. I even changed the tyres to a new one and did an allignment but the problem is still there. I wanted to turn off the esp but my mechanic advice me not to do so. Any advice?

    1. Hello Ley,
      Wheels speed sensors are used in many of these safety systems, including ESP. These are prone to damage and are one of the most common to go wrong. Have you had those checked? Strange that diagnostics didn’t pull any fault codes. Perhaps it could be worth having diagnostics at a Ford dealer as their equipment might pull up something that others might not see. In my opinion, for general highway driving, turning off ESP is far safer than having your truck randomly braking.

  12. I have a 2019 ranger orange aprostrive light is showing next to a star on the radio the sound fades in and out what does this mean
    How to fix it

  13. Hi all, my 4×4 mode options reads ”unavailable” when trying to select. i cannot clear that message now. Also a flat line with a coffee cup is stuck on.

    i cant find either in manual – please off any comments please.

    1. Hi Greg, probably too obvious an answer, but are you putting the car in neutral before you attempt to engage 4×4 mode? If not, it probably won’t let you (not sure but guessing it could say “unavailable” when trying to select. No idea about the coffee cup symbol, unless you mean the tire pressure symbol above, would could kind of look like a cup with an exclamation mark in it?

    1. Hi Brighton,
      The cog warning light means there’s a problem with your transmission. It might be due to the transmission fluid or something else. There should be a fault code, so you’ll need diagnostics to find out what the problem is. Due to the fault, your Ranger has gone into reduced power mode. This is an automatic process to help reduce the chances of damage. When reduced power mode is activated, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and traction control (the anti-skid light) is also disabled. It’s disabled because the ESC and traction control causes problems when reduced power mode is active. Once the issue with your transmission is resolved, normal power will resume and ESC / traction control will become operational. Pretty much all vehicle workshops have diagnostic tools.

  14. Hi, my 2017 Diesel Ford Ranger has had the check engine light come on, the orange spanner light also came on and it also says check parking pilot. Took a slow ride home and parked it up, any ideas before I take it to the shop?

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