Mazda 3 Dashboard Warning Lights Symbols

Mazda 3 Dashboard Warning Lights

Made by Japanese car manufacturer, the Mazda 3, or Mazda3 was introduced in 2004. Higher performance versions of the Mazda 3 are known as the Mazdaspeed3 in North America, Mazdaspeed Axela in Japan and the Mazda3 MPS in Europe.

Almost all modern cars have on-board computers, which by use of sensors detect if a fault has occurred with the vehicle. These lights display on the dashboard and range from a light indicating a service is running, through to a serious problem.

Red, or red flashing lights in particular should not be ignored. If you’re not too sure what it is, pull over if safe to do so and investigate. Some warning lights may indicate a risk to driver and passenger safety, or potential vehicle damage. Detailed below are the Mazda 3 dashboard warning lights, along with each symbol meaning and recommended action to take.

Mazda 3 Brake System (exclamation mark in circle) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Brake System
Urgency: High
Description: The brake system light has the following meaning:

  • Without Electric Parking Brake
    The Mazda 3 exclamation mark in a circle symbol comes on in red when the parking brake is on and should go off when the parking brake is released. If the light remains on when the parking brake is released, it may indicate low brake fluid levels or a malfunction with the braking system.
  • With Electric Parking Brake
    If this light stays on, it indicates either low brake fluid levels or a system fault.

What to do: Stop your vehicle as soon as it’s safe to do so. Check under the bonnet in the brake fluid reservoir and top up with fluid if required. If fluid doesn’t require topping up and the hand brake is released but the light remains on, it could be dangerous to continue driving.


Mazda 3 Electronic Brake Force Distribution (exclamation mark in circle + ABS) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: EBFD
Urgency: High
Description: EBFD, or ‘Electronic Brake Force Distribution’ system has determined that some brake components have a malfunction. This is illustrated by the illumination of both the brake system light (red) and the ABS light (amber).
What to do: Do not attempt to drive if both the brake light and ABS light up simultaneously. This is dangerous and it’s advisable that you stop the car and arrange the vehicle to be recovered.

Mazda 3 Charging System (Battery) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Battery
Urgency: High
Description: The Mazda 3 battery light comes on (red) for a short time with ignition as normal. If it comes on while driving, it indicates a malfunction with the charging system of generator. Engine may cut-out at any time.
What to do: If the light comes on while driving, immediately turn off any unnecessary electrical equipment such as the heater or air conditioning for example. This may prolong the use of the vehicle for enough time to find somewhere safe to stop.


Mazda 3 Engine Oil Pressure (oil can) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Oil Pressure
Urgency: Critical
Description: The red oil can symbol indicates a loss of engine oil pressure. High engine oil pressure is required to enable oil to circulate the engine. The light will come on at startup and shortly go out as normal. If the light comes on during driving, immediate action is required.
What to do: Stop and turn off the engine as soon as safely possible. Do not restart engine as engine components are highly likely to be damaged. Arrange for vehicle to be recovered.


Mazda 3 High Engine Coolant Temperature (red thermometer) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Coolant Temperature
Urgency: Critical
Description: The red thermometer symbol comes on at start-up and goes out shortly as normal. If it comes on when driving, it indicates that the engine coolant temperature is too high. Immediate action is required if this light comes on else engine components may be damaged. Other symptoms include a loss of power, knocking or pinging noise.
What to do: The Mazda3 coolant warning may either flash or stay on constantly:

  • Stable Light
    Immediately and as soon as safely possible, pull over and switch off the engine. Allow 15 minutes or so for engine to cool down. Check for water leaks. If no leaks, continue driving.
  • Flashing Light
    Slow down to reduce engine load. This may be sufficient for engine to cool. If light remains flashing, pull over and switch off as above.

Mazda 3 ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: ABS
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Mazda 3 ABS lights up in amber and stands for Anti-Lock Braking System. ABS prevents wheel lock and under most conditions, prevents skidding and aids in steering whilst under heavy braking.
What to do: Your normal brakes will remain unaffected if the ABS light comes on. However, the safety features associated with ABS will remain deactivated. Have vehicle checked. Often the fault is due to ABS wheel speed sensors.


Mazda 3 Power Steering Fault (Steering wheel + exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Steering
Urgency: Low
Description: The steering wheel and exclamation mark light up on the Mazda 3 dashboard in amber indicating a fault with the electronic power steering. Whilst operation of the steering wheel will remain unaffected, turning the wheel will feel heavy.
What to do: The system may have activated protection mode which results in jerking the wheel left a right when moving slowly or stationary. If this happens, park the vehicle and wait several minutes for the system to reactivate.

This fault can occasionally be due to an overheated power steering motor (temporary fault) or the steering angle sensor.


Mazda 3 Master Warning Light (Triangle + exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Master Warning
Urgency: Variable
Description: On the Mazda 3, the red triangle containing an exclamation mark is the master warning light. There are various faults associated with this symbol.
What to do: Carry out the following depending on your version of the Mazda 3:

For vehicles with C/tyre D audio
To establish what the warning message is:

  1. Select the Mazda 3 home screen icon icon on the home screen which will display the application screen.
  2. Select Vehicle Status Monitor.
  3. To display current warnings, select Warning Guidance.
  4. Select the applicable warning for further information.

For vehicles without C/tyre D audio

  1. There is a malfunction in the battery management system.
  2. There is a malfunction in the brake switch.

Mazda 3 Electronic Parking Brake (P + exclamation mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Parking Brake
Urgency: Medium
Description: The following description depend on the type of parking brake:

  1. The ‘P’ illuminated in red indicates the electronic parking brake has been applied. The light should go out once the parking brake has been released.
  2. The ‘P’ with an exclamation mark in red indicates a malfunction with the electronic parking brake.

What to do: Carry out the following:

  1. If the light remains on when the parking brake has been released, it indicates a malfunction. If the light flashes with the parking brake applied, it indicates a malfunction.
  2. This symbol indicates a malfunction. Have vehicle checked if any of those faults occur.


Mazda 3 Check Engine Light Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Check Engine
Urgency: Medium
Description: This light is referred to as the check engine light or malfunction indication lamp (MIL). This light comes on the Mazda 3 dashboard in amber indicating:

  1. The fuel tank level is very low / approaching empty (on models SKYACTIV-G 1.5, SKYACTIV-G 2.0, SKYACTIV-G 2.5).
  2. Engine electrical system has a fault.
  3. Emissions control system has a fault.

What to do: If symbol flashes, avoid driving at high speeds. Risk to catalytic converter damage. Seek help from qualified engineer. When the check engine light comes on, a fault code is stored in the ECU. Diagnostic equipment is required to read the fault codes.


Mazda 3 Check i-stop Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: i-stop
Urgency: Low
Description: The Mazda 3 i-stop is an engine start/stop system that turns off the engine when the vehicle becomes stationary to save fuel. If the i-stop symbol illuminates on the dashboard in amber, despite continuously pressing the i-stop OFF switch and other when the bonnet is open and where the driver is not in the vehicle with the seat belt unfastened and the door open, there’s a fault with the system. The i-stop light flashing also indicates a malfunction.
What to do: See Mazda i-stop not working for possible reasons.


Mazda 3 Automatic Transaxle (AT) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: AT
Urgency: Medium
Description: The amber AT symbol on the Mazda 3 dashboard indicates a electrical fault with the Automatic Transaxle.
What to do: Continued driving may cause damage to the transaxle. Have vehicle checked.


Mazda 3 Traction Control TCS / DSC (Car Skidding Symbol) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: TCS/DSC
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Mazda 3 has a Dynamic Stability Control system and Traction Control System (TCS and DSC) that aids in keeping the car in control if skidding is detected. The amber symbol may come on when the system is active (it looks like a car skidding).
What to do: If the warning light stays on continuously, there may be a fault with the Active Safety Technology (TCS/DSC). Have vehicle checked as soon as possible. This system relies on ABS wheel speed sensors and due to these sensors location, they often need replacing.


Mazda 3 Air Bag / Seat Belt Pretensioners Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Air Bag
Urgency: High
Description: This red symbol represents vehicle safety systems for the air bag and seat belt pretensioners. Seat belt pretensioner system tightens the seat belt in the event of a collision. Under normal operation, this red symbol should come on with ignition and shortly go out.
What to do: If the light does not come on with ignition, stays on constantly or flashes, there’s a fault with the system. Have vehicle checked as soon as possible. Check cabling under front seats.


Mazda 3 Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: TPMS
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Mazda 3 is equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). There is a fault with the system if the symbol flashes for around 1 minute when the ignition is switched to ON.
What to do: If the amber light illuminates (stable, not flashing), slow down and avoid sudden or sharp steering movements. Check tyre pressures as soon as possible.

Mazda 3 Key Warning Light (Key + Exclamation Mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Key
Urgency: Medium
Description: If the key warning light illuminates in red or the push button start flashes in amber, the engine may not start. Try starting using the emergency start procedure.
What to do: Ensure you have the key in the vehicle, depress the clutch (if manual) or brake pedal (automatic) then press and hold the engine start button until the engine starts.


Mazda 3 Security (car + lock) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Security
Urgency: Medium
Description: If the engine fails to start using the correct key and the security light illuminates or flashes, try to the following.
What to do: Ensure you have the key with you so that it’s in operational range. Switch off the ignition and attempt to restart. Try this 3 times. If the engine fails to start, have vehicle checked.


Mazda 3 Tyre Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: ALH
Urgency: Low
Description: ALH or ‘Adaptive LED Headlights’ illuminates in amber on the Mazda 3 dashboard to indicate a problem with the system. The system uses cameras that are mounted inside the windscreen.
What to do: Ensure the windscreen is clear from dirt or condensation to enable the Forward Sensing Camera to work correctly.


Mazda 3 Tyre Blind Spot Monitoring Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: BSM
Urgency: Medium
Description: BSM or Blind Spot Monitoring is a safety feature that warns the driver that a vehicle is in the door mirror blind spot. If the symbol comes on with ‘OFF’, it indicates a possible fault with the system or the BSM system has paused.
What to do: If the system isn’t working, ensure the sensors located in each corner or the rear bumper are not damaged or obscured.

Mazda 3 Front Radar System Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Radar
Urgency: Medium
Description: The Mazda 3 Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) will display the front radar sensor system malfunction light if a problem occurs.
What to do: This may be due to the radar being obscured by dirt. Clean the area around the radar on the front grille.


Mazda 3 Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Lane Keep Assist System (LAS) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: LDWS/LAS
Urgency: Medium
Description: This is the same warning symbol for the Mazda 3 Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Lane Keep Assist System (LAS) Dashboard Warning Symbol Light. This symbol flashes along with a message when there’s a fault with LDWS or LAS. Or the light does not come on when the ignition is switched to ON.
What to do: This fault may occur if tyres are used that are not of the same specified size, manufacturer and tread pattern. Tyre that have significantly different wear may also trigger a fault. LDWS and LAS may not operate properly in this case. Either system may not operate if the emergency spare wheel is in use.


Mazda 3 LED Headlight (Light with Exclamation Mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: LED Light
Urgency: Medium
Description: This symbol of a light bulb with an exclamation mark comes on if there’s a malfunction with the LED headlights.
What to do: Have the system checked.


Mazda 3 Smart Brake Support (cars crashing) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: SBS/SCBS
Urgency: Medium
Description: SBS (Smart Brake Support), SCBE (Smart City Brake Support) and also known as FOW (Front Obstruction Warning illuminates in red if a fault is detected in the system.
What to do: This could be due to dirt obstructing the camera and radar systems. Clean windscreen (camera) and clean radar front emblem.

Mazda 3 120 KM/H Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: 120 km/h
Urgency: Medium
Description: This light comes on some models of the Mazda 3 dashboard if the vehicle speed exceeds 120 km/h (75 mph) and a chime sounds for 5 seconds.
What to do: Reduce speed.


Mazda 3 Low Fuel Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Low Fuel
Urgency: Medium
Description: This symbol comes on when the fuel is low and the remaining quantity is 9.0 L (1.9 Imperial gallon)
What to do: Add fuel.


Mazda 3 Key Warning Light (Key + Exclamation Mark) Dashboard Warning Symbol LightWarning Light Name: Key (red flashing)
Urgency: Medium
Description: The red flashing key indicates potential issues. There are:

  1. The battery is dead.
  2. The key is not within operational range.
  3. The key is in an area within the car that is difficult to detect.
  4. The key is taken out of the vehicle with all doors locked and the ignition is still on.

What to do: Try the following:

  1. Replace the battery.
  2. Bring the key closer to the vehicle.
  3. Locate the key and place in a location that can be detected. This may include moving the key away from devices that may cause wireless interference such as a phone.
  4. Bring the key back to the cabin.

46 thoughts on “Mazda 3 Dashboard Warning Lights

    1. Park the car, put the transmission in P and set emergency brake, undo your seatbelt, then safely exit the vehicle through the drivers door, walk around the front of the car, when you reach the passenger door pull up on the handle and pull towards you, the door should open.

      Plan B: Follow instructions above to unbuckle your seat belt, if are at least 5’ tall and flexible, twist your body to the right, lean over the council, outstretch your right arm until you reach the interior door handle and pull the handle towards you, the door should open but you may only just open the door slightly, to open the door wide you will have to exit the car.

      Hope this helps, remember to not try and open the door while in motion,
      that is far too dangerous.

  1. I am looking to find out what is the problem. What is wrong when the red key warning light appears randomly and car wont start. How do I resolve this.
    The explanation given does not solve the problem.

    1. Hi Steve, it can be numerous things, software fault in the receiver, key/s fault that might need reprogramming, dead battery in key, radio signal interference – could be by another similar device…

        1. Need some help please. My engine management light, Traction Control light and an exclamation mark light (all yellow) came on my Mazda 3 1.6 Diesel 2010 earlier. The car immediately went into limp mode and under acceleration would cause a lot of vibration from the engine causing the entire car to shake. Any ideas of what it could be?
          Thank you.

          1. Hi Sean,
            The traction control light comes on due to the engine management light coming on. The engine management problem needs sorting then the traction control light will go out. You’ll need fault codes read to get an idea where the fault is, otherwise it’s just guess work. Sounds perhaps like an engine misfire due to the vibration. Blocked fuel injector perhaps, but you need fault codes reading.

  2. Hi, I can’t find anything about an amber key light in this oversized manual. What does an amber key light on mean? Thank you for your input.

    1. Hi Gerald.
      It sounds like the front passenger seat belt warning light (PASS lit up in red). If you have an object placed on the front passenger seat, it may trigger the warning light. If there’s nothing on the passenger seat, it may be a fault with the front seat passenger occupancy sensor.

    1. Hi Heather.
      Snow can play havoc with these Smart Brake Support / Smart City Brake Support systems. The falling snow can interrupt the camera, laser and radar sensor systems. Also if there’s snow / ice covering the camera or laser at the top center of the windscreen or covering the radar located within the Mazda badge on the front grille, it may throw up errors.

  3. Need some help. My Istop function is doing the reverse. The green Istop light is on permanently on while driving and when I stop at traffic lights the light turns off. It seems it is doing the reverse. I also changed the battery as I thought it would fix the issue. I have taken in to mazda 5 times and they can’t find any issue with it though the Istop light was never on when I bought the car. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Mazda cx 3. Red key light on dashboard appearing just after moving the clutch less than a centimetre. If I further press the clutch down the green light appears and the car starts perfectly but key red light with exclamation mark never dissappear. For 4 days it has been like that. Bought a new battery for the key fob but it didn’t help. Changed position of key but no change. Please help me out.

  5. 2008 Mazda 3 didn’t start on a cold morning. A bunch of lights came on indicating everything from brakes to engine to battery etc. I replaced the battery and the vehicle started however, several lights are still on. If I disconnect the negative battery connection and pump the brakes a few times, like five to ten, will this drain the remains voltage and allow it to reset without warning indicator lights?

  6. 2005 mazda 3, 2.0 automatic,
    Had motor replaced with a used motor, same size and year. Car does nothing. Red flashing light all around outer edge of speedometer and a red car emoji underneath the dial arm, center.
    Airbag had been deployed previously but car started and ran great till motor was replaced. Help please

  7. Hi ya, I’ve had problem for about 3 months with my car as my head gasket blew and I got told I needed a whole new motor. Done it, finding out it was a very used second hand motor. The warning light with steering exclamation mark is on. I’ve spent 3,000 to get this fixed and the problem has just come back again (it came back when car was on and I had just gone up the curb abit to park as soon as tyres touched the curb it came on.. Only 2 weeks after having the steering rack replaced. Please are you able to give any ideas as to what it could be. They are now trying to say they need to replace the rack again. But it’s only been 2 weeks so it doesn’t seem right to me. Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Cara,
      The Mazda 3 has electronic power steering and not hydraulic power steering meaning that if there’s an issue, it’s something electronic rather than hydraulic. It’s difficult to say as it depends how hard you hit the curb. If you didn’t hit it hard, then I would say it’s unlikely that the steering rack needs replacing again. If you ‘touched’ the curb as you said, it sounds more like an electrical short somewhere.

      Anyway, I fail to see how they can state you need the steering rack replaced again without even checking it. That in itself sounds off. Personally I would have it checked over by a different workshop and get their opinion.

  8. Can u help me guys, my Mazda3 I saw in a panel board negative 40 degrees C never change, and no more AC, and the heater is too much hot. It happened when I changed the battery. Thanks!

  9. hello.

    I have a Mazda 3/Axela 2007. sometimes when before start the engine the AT signal turns on and 1 or 2 seconds later it turns off (the same that happens with other signals such as airbag). is that a problem or it is the system doing its check ?

  10. Hi! My Mazda 3 2015 model suddenly started flashing a red Security warning light (icon of a car with a padlock beside it). It only flashes when engine is off (& it flashes NON STOP over the weekend when I’m not driving it). Once engine starts, the icon disappears. Is it something i should get checked Immediately or can it wait a week or so before I bring it to the mechanic if it doesn’t go off?? TIA!

  11. Hi! My 2015 Mazda 3 suddenly has the Security warning light (car with padlock icon) blinking after shutting off the engine. It goes off when engine is on though. BUt once I shut down the engine, the warning light comes back. Is it of utmost importance that I get it checked by the mechanic ASAP, or can it wait for like a week?? Will the battery drain more rapidly with this continuously blinking light when I’m not driving my car?? TIA!

    1. Hello,
      The security indicator light is supposed to flash (every 2 seconds) when the system is armed. The security system is armed when you shut off the engine and the ignition is switched from on to off.
      The security light flashes as an indication that the system is armed and securing the vehicle. If the security warning light was flashing while the engine is on, that would be a problem. The tiny amount of energy consumed by this light will have no impact on your Mazda’s battery.

      1. Thanks! The Security indicator light doesn’t flash previously when engine’s off though. It only started flashing recently, so I got worried!

  12. Amber triangle with ! sign inside lit up upon starting engine. Also, i-stop flashing continously in amber. Sometimes it goes off by itself after i restart engine. What could be the cause? I had my regular car servicing done just 4 days ago … could the mechanic not have fixed the battery wiring properly during servicing??

    1. Hi Winnie,
      The amber triangle with exclamation mark and the flashing i-stop certainly could be linked if you had a battery issue. Engine auto stop (i-stop) is heavily dependent on a healthy battery / charging system. I should contact the mechanic and hopefully they will take another look.

  13. My daughters Mazda 3 SP25 has a red light displaying a side on profile of a car, it’s only on when the car is switched off, any ideas appreciated.

    1. Hi Jacko,
      It’s just a symbol of a side of a red car? Nothing else, not the symbol of a key inside the car? It’s normal for the security indicator light to come on in red when the engine is switched off (usually a flash every 2 seconds or so), to indicate that the system is armed. This is usually in the form of a car and key symbol.

  14. Thanks Dash Lights! My car mechanic said mazda cars’ signals system is hypersensitive. Every little thing, the signals will light up even when its nothing worth worrying. My amber ! signal came on due to battery slight depleting (still 3/4 full though!) ….. -_-”
    Thinking of switching back to Toyota / Honda cars once this car COE expires …………………….

  15. My new Mazda bought in March 2022 and which had a service in April 2022 is causing problems. It’s speed limit indicator doesn’t work correctly – shows 40 when it should be 60. The windshield- front heating light is permanently on just can’t seem to switch it off!! Now another light is flashing on the front panel, just above the P parked indicator!!!

  16. Hi, I have a mazda 3 2017 and my start and stop button flashes amber when I’m driving at high speed on a highway, it only happens sometimes. Fob battery has been changed. Would anyone be able to help?

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