Nissan Note Dashboard Warning Lights

Nissan Note Dashboard Warning Lights

Japanese manufacturer Nissan, first produced the Nissan Note first generation in 2004 and with a second and current generation following in 2012. This dashboard warning light guide explains all the symbols for both generations (Mk 1 and Mk 2) and all model variations of the Nissan Note. Dashboard instrument displays vary depending on year of vehicle manufacture and model version.

SymbolFault Description / Action
Nissan Note ABS Warning Light
ABS Warning Light
ABS, or Anti-lock Braking System is an add on safety feature to conventional vehicle brakes that helps to prevent wheels from locking during an emergency stop. The affect of this is to allow the driver to steer. The Nissan Note ABS warning light comes on with ignition but should go out shortly after. If it stays on or illuminate as you're driving, there is a fault with ABS. This is usually a fault related to a sensor.
Note: This amber symbol may display simply as 'ABS' text depending on location.
Note: This ABS warning light may illuminate along with the BRAKE warning light (see below).
Note: Normal brakes are not affected and will work as usual. There is an increased risk with locking wheels when braking harshly.
Nissan Note BRAKE Warning Light
BRAKE Warning Light
The Nissan Note brake warning light illuminates for three possible reasons. These are:
• The parking brake is applied. If driving, ensure the parking brake is fully released.
• The brake fluid level is low. Low brake fluid may result in reduced braking ability. Check brake fluid level and top up with fluid if necessary.
• If after checking the parking brake is properly released and if brake fluid levels are normal and if the warning light remains on, before driving any further, contact a Nissan workshop. The braking system may be defective.
Note: The red exclamation symbol could be replaced by red BRAKE text depending on location.
Nissan Note Battery Charge Warning Light
Battery Warning Light
The red Nissan Note battery warning light will come on for a short time with ignition and go out as the engine starts. The charging system is not functioning correctly if the light comes on when the engine is running. Without sufficient charge, the engine is likely to stop. To prolong engine use turn off all utilities that consume electric and that are not essential. Frequent reasons for the battery charge warning light are:
• Loose, broken or missing alternator / generator drive belt.
• Corroded or loose battery terminals / wiring connections.
• Faulty generator / alternator.
• Old battery.
Nissan Note Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light
Engine Oil Pressure
The red oil can is the Nissan Note oil warning light. This particular symbol isn't a low oil level indicator, it means low oil pressure. Engine components require oil lubrication else friction will heat them up and seize the engine resulting in severe damage not covered by Nissan warranty. A lack of oil pressure means that engine lubrication will not work properly.
What to Do
If this Nissan Note oil warning light illuminates, as soon as it's safe to do so, pull off the road and immediately switch off the engine. Do not restart the engine and contact a Nissan workshop.
Nissan Note High Temperature Warning Light
High Temperature
When the ignition is switched to on, the Nissan Note high engine temperature warning light comes on for a short time and goes out. This indicates the high temperature sensor in the engine coolant system is operational. If the high engine temperature warning light comes on as you're driving, do the following:
1. As soon as safely possible, pull off the road, apply the parking brake and move the shift lever to N (Neutral) (manual transmission) or to P (Park) (continuously variable transmission). Unless steam or coolant is escaping from the engine, avoid turning off the engine as the cooling fan will help cool the engine.
2. If applicable, turn off the air conditioner and turn the heat to maximum heat and fan control to maximum.
3. Look for steam coming from under the hood / bonnet and listen for coolant escaping. If there is coolant or steam escaping, do not open the hood / bonnet. If this isn't the case, then open the hood or wait for steam / coolant to subside.
4. Look for leaking coolant from radiator hoses and check the water pump belt is operational. If the belt is broken or loose or if coolant is leaking from pipes, switch off the engine. Be careful not to get hands caught in moving belts.
5. Allow several minutes for the engine to cool and add coolant if necessary.

Nissan Note Low Fuel Warning Light
Low Fuel
The Nissan Note low fuel warning light comes on when the fuel level in the fuel tank is getting low. Refuel as soon as possible and ideally before the fuel gauge reaches empty. When the fuel gauge shows empty, there is a small reserve of fuel remaining. When the Nissan Note low fuel light is triggered, an amber warning light also illuminates to warn the driver that fuel is very low. At this point, there is approximately 2.6 gallons of fuel remaining, which is good for between 80 to 100 miles depending on driving style and road/traffic conditions.
Nissan Note Tyre Pressure Warning Light
Tyre Pressure
The Nissan Note tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) monitors tyre pressures in all tyres except the spare. The tyre pressure warning light on the Nissan Note illuminates for the following reasons:
Illuminates steady: This indicates one or more tyres has become deflated. As soon as possible, stop and check tyre pressures in all four tyres, or change a flat tyre over for the spare if necessary. The recommended pressure values can be found on a sticker inside the driver's door. After tyres have been adjusted, the tyre pressure light does not go out right away. To reactivate the TPMS, the vehicle must be driven at speeds above 16 mph (25 km/h). The warning light will then go out.
Flashing: The tyre pressure warning light will flash for 1 minute then remains steady indicates a fault with the TPMS or that the spare wheel has been fitted.
Nissan Note Intelligent Key Warning Light
Intelligent Key
The Nissan Note Intelligent Key warning light illuminates in different colours and flashes indicating the following:
Green: The Intelligent Key warning light illuminates green when the ignition switch can be turned.
Flashing green: The Intelligent Key warning light flashes green indicating that the key fob battery is almost discharged. Replace the battery as soon as possible.
Red: The Intelligent Key warning light illuminates red when the ignition switch cannot be turned.
Flashing red: The Intelligent Key warning light flashes red if the key is removed outside of the vehicle when the ignition switch is placed in the ACC or ON position. If the light begins to flash, check the location of the key as soon as possible as it should be carried by the driver while operating the vehicle. Once the key is located and inside the vehicle, the warning light goes out after 10 seconds.
Nissan Note P Position Selector Warning Light
P Position Selector
This warning light flashes in red along with an audible buzzer alarm if you are outside of the Nissan Note with the Intelligent Key and the engine if switched off, but the gear shift lever is not in the 'P' (park) position. When the warning light is flashing, switch the ignition to the on position, shift the gear selector into the P position and then place the ignition switch into the lock position.
Nissan Note Power Steering Warning Light
Power Steering
The illuminated 'PS' is the Nissan Note power steering warning light. With the ignition being set to on, this light illuminates and goes out once the engine has started. This indicates the power steering is operational. If the warning light comes on when the engine is running, a fault in the power steering system has been detected. You will still have control over the vehicle, but the steering wheel may be much harder to turn - particularly at slow speeds. Have the system serviced by a Nissan workshop soon.

Nissan Note Airbag Warning Light
The airbag warning light illuminates for about 7 second when the ignition is set to on and should then go out. Possible faults related to the front airbag, side airbag, curtain airbag, pretensioner seat belt systems and that may result in the Nissan Note airbag warning light illuminating are:
• The airbag warning light remains on for longer than 7 seconds.
• The airbag warning light flashes.
• The airbag warning light does not come on at all.
In any of these instances, these safety systems may not activate during an impact. Have the airbag system serviced by a Nissan workshop as soon as possible.
Nissan Note Engine Malfunction Light
Engine Malfunction
The engine malfunction light is a generic fault light and has no specific fault associated with it. The warning light either comes on steady or may flash. Specialised equipment is required to diagnose faults. For further information about this warning light, the possible faults and what you should do, see Nissan Note engine warning light.
Nissan Note O/D Overdrive OFF Light
Nissan OD or Overdrive is for automatic vehicles and allows the vehicle to operate in the highest gear possible, allowing for lower engine speed (RPM) and so increasing fuel economy. The Nissan Note overdrive (O/D) button is located on the gear selector and if pressed will switch the system off. Turning off overdrive can be beneficial if you want to increase engine braking. The overdrive OFF light illuminates when the overdrive OFF mode is selected.
Nissan Note Security Indicator Warning Light
Security Indicator
The red car and key is the Nissan Note security indicator warning light that flashes when when the Nissan Anti-Theft System (NATS) is operational as a theft deterrent. The warning light should go out when the vehicle is started. An indication that the NATS has malfunctioned is when the warning light remains on when the ignition is set to the on position. If the engine will not start, the security key/s may require battery replacement or reprogramming.
Nissan Note Dynamic Stability Control Warning Light
Dynamic Stability Control
The Nissan Note Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) is a stabilisation system that:
• Reduces wheel slip by controlling brake pressure and engine power output. Braking a slipping wheel and transferring power to a non-slipping wheel. VDC is on by default at each engine start. VDC can be switched off, though almost always it's best left active. If VDC is manuall turned off, the VDC OFF light VDC OFF will illuminate. If the VDC light flashes, this indicates that the system is actively working to stabilise the vehicle due to grip limits being met. If the warning light comes on and the system has not been switched off, a fault has been detected.

Nissan Note ESP Warning Light
ESP, or Electronic Stability Programme is another version of VDC (see above). Like VDC, ESP regulates engine power output and also applies brake pressure to wheels that are slipping. The Nissan Note ESP OFF warning light illuminates when the system has been manually switched off. The ESP warning light ESP flashes when the system is attempting to stabilise the vehicle. If the ESP dashboard warning light remains on (non-flashing) and the system has not been intentionally switched off, a fault has been detected with the system. Like VDC above, ESC faults are often related to bad wiring or ABS sensors.
Nissan Note Auto Start Stop Warning Light
Auto Start / Stop
The Nissan Note green auto warning light is part of the engine automatic start / stop system. The auto start stop light flashing is often an issue related to battery charge. Have the vehicle battery charge checked and replaced if necessary.
Nissan Note DPF Warning Light
DPF Warning Light
The Nissan Note DPF warning light (Diesel Particulate Filter) comes on to indicate that diesel particulate matter has accumulated to a high level in the filter. The filter has reached a high level of particles and requires cleaning. This is called DPF regeneration and is usually performed automatically. Frequent short journeys often make this process to be automatically and may require driver intervention. To do this, drive at 60 km/h (37.5 MPH) or more until the warning light turns off. Try to avoid stopping. This is ideally done on a main road where it is less likely to stop or slow down. If the DPF warning light fails to go out or flashes, there may be a fault with they system.
Nissan Note Glow Plugs Warning Light
Glow Plugs
For diesel versions of the Nissan Note, this glow plug warning light comes on when the ignition switch is in the ON position, and goes out when the glow plugs have been pre-heated. When the light goes out, the engine is ready to start. The glow plugs light may stay on for longer period in colder climates. If the glow plugs light stays on, come son when driving or flashes, it indicates a fault in the diesel pre-heating system.

44 thoughts on “Nissan Note Dashboard Warning Lights”

  1. Hello I find the information here is extremely helpful but unfortunately I must have something more serious going on with my Nissan note. ( Mil) Do not want to buy parts that are not needed. Too many warning lights compared to my old Honda CR-V but your page is very useful 👍

    1. Hi Collin,
      Glad you find the page helpful. Yes, the malfunction indicator light (MIL) is difficult to diagnose due to it being a generic light for many potential problems. Rather than throwing parts at it, you’re better off purchasing or taking your Nissan to a workshop to have diagnostics. This tool brings up faults codes that help you locate the issue. See Nissan Note Engine Warning Light

    1. SPORT is a driving mode, so ‘Sport Mode’. When sport mode is enabled, it can make changes such as gear shift a little faster (if it’s automatic), steering more responsive, gears change up later (if auto). Some models of cars can make for firmer suspension. Sport mode will usually use a little more fuel though.

    1. Hi Yaqub,
      Usually and warning light of a light bulb is to inform you that one of your lights is out, particularly if it’s accompanied by an exclamation mark or cross. Though I’m not sure if you mean the gearstick icon that looks a bit like a light bulb. If so, it’s for manual cars and it’s the gear shift indicator. When the car is moving, you’ll see up and down arrows alongside it. It’s to encourage and environmentally friendly / economical style of driving and upshift when you see the up arrow and downshift when you see the down arrow.

  2. My nissan note just have a temperature light instead of the number an temperature sign as indicated above. Mine is totally different from what you shared

  3. Thanks so much for this info its really helpful. I have a question in relation to 2017 Nissan Note diesel. The auto light was blinking and yes the battery needed to be replaced. That has been done however the light continues to blink what do I need to do next? Any help much appreciated thanks

    1. Hello Li,
      Did you have a good battery installed compatible with start stop? They’re usually referred to as AGM batteries and are better at holding a charge, important for cars with start stop. Ensure all electrical loads are switched off if not essential, things like defoggers / demisters, A/C use a lot of power. Are you sure the battery, although new is fully charged? Can also be worth having the alternator tested to ensure it’s charging the battery sufficiently. There are quite a lot of things that they system checks before initiating an auto stop. They range from coolant temperature to brake booster vacuum pressure. It can end up being a bit of a guessing game, but it’s usually battery / alternator related. If you know someone who has a fault code reader, or can get an independent vehicle workshop to check for fault codes (at a reasonable price), these may help in locating a fault that may be causing auto stop to not initiate.

    1. Hi Tecla,
      I assume you mean the handbrake warning light is remaining lit, even when you release it? First thing to do is to ensure you have properly released it, pull in the button and make sure the lever is pushed all the way down. Also, check if the handbrake is working as it should. You can check this by stopping on a slope, in neutral and release the handbrake. The car should roll, but should be held in place once the handbrake is applied. When the handbrake is down, jiggle the lever around, if the warning light flickers on and off, it’s often the handbrake switch. The parking brake warning light also doubles as a warning of low brake fluid. This is the most important one to check, and that’s your brake fluid. whatever the problem, if there’s an issue with your car’s brakes, it’s best to get it looked at right away.

  4. wanted to know meaning of icon displayed above screen showing outside temperature & mileage-Nissan note acenta 1.2 -2013

  5. Mark Lagerstedt

    My temperature warning light intermittently shows orange when driving my Nissan e note. My manual does not mention the orange light. Do you have any further information. Is it a problem?
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Mark,
      Assuming that you’ve checked coolant levels, all are topped up to the recommended level and there’s no sign of the engine overheating, then it’s likely a problem with the coolant temperature sensor. This can cause false signals and result in your engine running rough, but if it is the sensor, there wont be any immediate harm to be concerned about. Regardless of what your problem is, anything to do with excessive temperatures should get checked out right away. Excessive temperatures in engines can result in breakdown and damage.

    1. Hi Donna,
      Do you know if the battery has been changed since you had the car? If not, being as it’s getting on for 7 years old, it might be struggling. Start stop systems do require a battery that’s in good shape.

      Start stop will often not kick in if you have AC operating, make sure you switch off any electric accessories. Usually an idea to give the battery a charge overnight, then see how it goes the next day (ensuring you switch off any AC or anything else that pull electricity that’s not essential). That then gives you an idea if it’s battery related and if it is, might be time to buy a new AGM battery. Constant short trips will make things harder for the battery as there’s less time for it to charge.

      Also check your engine coolant is topped up to recommended levels. If the engine is running hot and cooling fans are operating a lot, the auto stop wont work (it’s very hot lately).
      I know you said the battery is fine, but it’s the most common cause of start stop problems and the easiest to fix.

      Failing that, you’ll probably need diagnostics. There’s quite a lot of checks the system goes through from the engine, particulate filters, to the brakes which determine whether engine stop occurs.

          1. Yes, you’ll have an engine coolant reservoir tank that should have min and max on the side of it.

        1. I know, but perhaps it’s not quite up to spec for the start stop system. Always worth going through the easiest, cheapest and most common reasons first.

  6. My Nissan Note 17 reg has had the Engine Management light on for months. When it first came on – the diagnostics showed that the EGR valve had failed and so it was replaced. The rest of the EGR and DPF was checked and pristine clean so no issues there and yet the light kept coming on. 4 diagnostics by different garages showed no fault.I’ve now been driving it with the light on for 5 months now and it’s not gone into limp mode yet. Now when I go round a left hand bend sometimes the handbrake light will come on. Thirdly the VDC light has started to come on initially at the same time as the handbrake light as I go round a left hand bend. The handbrake light will go off but the VDC has started to stay on. Interestingly when driving down the motorway – no lights except for the Engine one. I’m going to have a 5th Diagnostic (costing me a fortune!) Any thoughts?

    1. Hi JH,
      VDC / ESC can sometimes be disabled when the engine management light is on, but this is usually limp home mode being activated and it would likely permanent until the fault is rectified. In terms of the brake / handbrake light coming on, have you checked brake fluid levels? Wheel speed sensors is a common fault, usually the ABS light comes on, but VDC / ABS are all linked. When the diagnostics initially found EGR fault, did you return the garage when the light stayed on for another diagnostics? There’s a small chance that is could be an electrical short causing the engine light to come on. Worth checking your fuses if you’ve not already done so. It could also be the scanners that have been used so far haven’t been compatible. Some people have had better results going to a main dealer as they will might have equipment better suited. That’s a bit of a gamble though as it’ll probably cost you more than an independent and may not prove beneficial.

  7. Thank you – incredibly helpful.

    3 of the garages were smaller organisations but the 4th was an approved after care Nissan specialist but not the main dealer and they only serviced Nissan and Hyundai – so I thought they were pretty reliable. They found no codes and suggested that maybe the DPF was dirty. I told them to inspect it and they were surprised to see how clean it was. They could offer no advice as to what to do. Equally this afternoon driving back almost all the way on the Motorway – no handbrake or VDC lights at all. It only seems to happen in the morning…..-condensation issues?

    1. Does seem odd doesn’t it. That’s what drew me to an electrical fault / short of some kind. Is your car kept in a garage overnight? Do the lights appear to come on more in wet weather? Problem is of course, without any fault codes or any other symptoms of what it might be, you could spend a fortune replacing parts and still never get to it. If you have a weak battery / alternator, that can throw up some random electrical issues and warning lights.

      1. Just to update – I had the car diagnosed again this morning. The mechanic couldn’t read any faults. So he then took it for a drive round the country roads and bingo just the VDC light came on- 2nd diagnostic however there was no fault code relating to that at all. I relayed your comment about brake fluid for the handbrake light and whilst the fluid wasn’t below the line at all, the mechanic topped it up. He then took it for another spin and no lights at all and clean uncoded diagnostic – reset the Engine management light again and I drove away. 10 miles later EML back on but no others. I think I have a hyper sensitive car and any teeny tiny change is flagged up and it appears unnecessary too. Bring back my old 2011 Note that gave me 146k miles with only minor issues! Thank you for your help.

        1. Thanks for the update. That’s a seriously annoying car you have there. Hopefully someone will chip in with a similar experience and possible solution, but at the moment, it seems nobody has a clue. Good luck with getting it sorted.

  8. Recently my 1.2 (2014) Nissan Note has had electronic issues as follows; although I have just changed the battery my start/stop is not working, the proximity warning sensors are not working and the lane sensors continuously flash. I had a diagnostic test, which apparently didn’t detect any faults, can you help. Brian

    1. Hi Brian,
      Did you have the alternator tested too?
      Have you made sure that all sensors and cameras around the vehicle are clean and have not received an impact of any kind?
      Some Nissans do also have a self-cleaning camera for the rear of the vehicle. Low washer fluid levels can cause issues.

  9. I bought my 2012 Nissan Note 1.5 diesel last November, and a month ago the engine warning light – red and orange – came on while on the motorway. RAC guy sighed and said it was probably nothing ‘these lights often come on’ and reset it so the lights went off. I thought that it may have been a bit sluggish before lights went on but could have been imagining that. Went to my local garage and they couldn’t find anything and said would have to go to Nissan dealer who would have more sophisticated diagnostic equipment. Had to wait 3 weeks for appointment, so barely used it just in case. After thorough diagnostic check they couldn’t find anything. My local mechanic said they had detected reduced power but the Nissan people didn’t find that – they took it for a short drive and the lights did not come on. As soon as I collected it from the Nissan dealer, the lights came back on! They said they could take some more time to search for the problem but at £140 per hour (!) I said I would see how it goes. Am just going to use it as usual and see if anything major happens – hopefully not. Any suggestions welcome!

    1. Hi Rosalind,
      It might be that the fault codes are resetting themselves for some reason. There are quite a few reasons why the engine light can come on, so without diagnostic fault codes, you could just keep throwing money at it. I would continue to drive it. If the problem worsens and the engine light comes on more frequently, take it in and they should have a better chance of diagnosing it. You can usually continue driving with the engine light on. Anything out of the ordinary that it does, make a note of it. Obviously if it loses power and goes into reduced power mode, you’ll have little choice but to take it in.

  10. Hi.

    My 2014 Nissan Note has the start/stop light constantly flashing. In the last month I have had a new battery and the car was cleaned (there’s a proper name but I can’t remember what it was) as it had a build up of carbon after one fantastic garage put in the wrong grade oil. Just last week I also got a new starter motor. When I picked the car up the light was not flashing but it came on a few days ago and isn’t going off. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Cars with start stop technology need a special AGM battery, which means it just stored charge better. Hopefully they installed one of those. If the problem has occurred only a few weeks after having it ‘fixed’, I would take it back to the garage. There’s quite a lot of things that can prevent the start stop system from operating, from brakes, steering, temperature, but it’s usually battery related. When you had the battery changed, did you have the alternator tested? There should hopefully be fault codes that the garage can scan for that will help to locate the fault.

  11. My automatic Nissan Note indicates an M1 instead of D yet it has no shift for manual. What could be the issue ?

  12. My Nissan Note check engine light is on , got diagnosed and the mechanic said the oxygen sensor was not okay and it got changed. The error was cleared and two days later the check engine light is on again. As a first time car owner I’m super scared and overwhelmed.

    1. Hi Adhiambo,

      I shouldn’t be scared. The engine warning light often scares people but it’s actually quite common for it to come on. There are many components that make up the emissions control system and if one of them go wrong, the engine light comes. You’re fine to keep driving with the engine light on for a bit. You’ll need to take your Nissan back to the same repair workshop as the fault is clearly not fixed. Did they read fault codes? When the engine light comes on, a fault code is generated and stored.

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