The SEAT Leon car first came to market in 1998. The second generation follows in 2005, with the third and current generation being released in 2012. The SEAT Leon dashboard warning lights guide will cover all 3 generations.
Warning Light Colouring System
As with almost all modern cars, the SEAT Leon displays a warning light on the dashboard for varied reasons. There’s a general colour system for warning symbols that most vehicles follow, though it does vary a little for all makes and models.
- Blue / green symbols: informs that a utility is active
- Amber / yellow symbols: informs that something usually non-urgent requires your attention soon
- Red / flashing / sound: informs that something is urgent and requires immediate attention
What to Do When a Warning Light Comes On
It’s advisable to never ignore a warning light, particularly red symbols. Red warning lights are usually associated with a potential risk to the:
- safety of the vehicle occupants and/or
- vehicle’s electrical and/or mechanical integrity
SEAT Leon Dashboard Warning Lights
The SEAT Leon dashboard warning lights detailed below show an image of the symbol, an explanation, how urgent the symbol is and in some cases the vehicle manufacturers advice on what action to take.
Red Warning Lights
These are the red, more urgent dashboard warning lights that may display on your SEAT Leon.
Warning light name: Notification
Description: The SEAT Leon red triangle that contains an exclamation mark indicates that a notification and further information is available on the information display panel.
Action to take: This light may come on in yellow or red. If the light comes on in red, the notification is urgent and should be looked into immediately.
Warning light name: Parking Brake
Description: This symbol indicates that the parking brake is applied. Only use the electronic parking when the vehicle is stationary or in an emergency where the foot brake fails. In an emergency, press and hold the parking brake button. An audible sound can be heard.
Action to take: If the light remains on while driving, check that the manual parking brake lever is fully released. Failure to fully release the parking brake will cause the rear brakes to overheat.
Warning light name: Brake Fault
Description: The SEAT Leon red circle containing an exclamation mark indicates a brake system fault.
Action to take: If the brake warning symbol lights up while driving, stop as soon as safely possible and:
- Check brake fluid levels. You’ll find the reservoir tank under the bonnet. Ensure levels are set between the MIN. and MAX. markers. Top up if required.
- If fluid levels do not require topping up, this may indicate a fault with the brake system. It’s highly advised to not continue driving if this warning light comes on as the braking system may not be effective.
Warning light name: Steering Fault
Urgency: Medium / Urgent
Description: The SEAT Leon steering fault light (steering wheel with exclamation mark) may come on in red or yellow. This light will come on with ignition briefly as normal.
Action to take: Action to take depends on whether the warning light is red or yellow:
- Red Symbol: A red steering fault light indicates a malfunction that may risk driver and passenger safety. Do not continue driving.
- Yellow symbol: This indicates a fault with the power steering system. Power steering aid the driver in turning the wheel and normal steering will remain unaffected. This can also indicate a steering lock fault. This isn’t a safety issue and you can continue driving.
Warning light name: Coolant
Description: The SEAT Leon engine coolant temperature warning light comes on with ignition for a short time then goes out. This is normal procedure. There are two instances where this light may come on; constant or flashing.
Action to take: Take the following action depending on whether the light is constantly on or flashing:
- Constant: This means the engine coolant is overheating and/or there may be insufficient engine coolant. Do not continue driving. Stop, switch off engine and allow to cool. Check coolant levels and top up between the MIN. and MAX. markers on the tank. If the light goes out, you can continue to drive.
- Flashing: There is a fault in the engine coolant system. It’s highly advisable to stop driving and call an engineer for assistance.
Warning light name: Oil Pressure
Description: This red oil can is the SEAT Leon low oil pressure light. This light may flash along with an audible alarm. With low oil pressure, it means insufficient oil will circulate within the engine and may cause severe engine damage.
Action to take: As safely and as quickly as possible, stop and turn off the engine. Check engine oil levels. If engine oil does not require topping up, do not continue to drive, do not have engine running even at idle. Seek recovery assistance.
Warning light name: Battery
Description: The battery warning light comes on the SEAT Leon dashboard at startup for a short period of time as normal. If it stays on or comes on when driving, there is a charging fault. The alternator charges the battery when driving.
Action to take: It’s likely the vehicle will continue to drive for a short period of time only. This may be a fault with the battery, connections and/or wiring or a fault with the alternator / alternator belt. Immediately turn off any utility that consumes electricity. This could be heaters, demisters, USB charging etc. Drive straight to recommended vehicle specialist to have fault fixed.
Warning light name: Foot Brake
Description: This symbol can illuminate in:
- Red: This means the speed reduction set out by the automatic cruise control to maintain the distance from the vehicle in front is not sufficient. Reduce speed now.
- Green: Press the brake pedal to select a gear.
- Flashing green: The interlock button on the gear selector lever is not pressed.
Yellow Warning Lights
These are the yellow / amber, often less urgent dashboard warning lights that may display on your SEAT Leon.
Warning light name: Brake Pads
Description: The yellow circle light on the SEAT Leon indicates the front brake pads are wearing low.
Action to take: Change the front brake pads soon. There’s roughly around 1000 miles of driving from the point that the brake pads wear light comes on before the pads become dangerous. This does of course depend on the driver’s style of driving.
Warning light name: ASR / ESC
Description: This is the ESC / ASR dash light. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps improve the stability and roadholding of the vehicle. The system detects a loss of control and takes measure to correct. ASR is a traction control system that helps to prevent wheel spin.
Action to take: The light may come on in your SEAT Leon for the following reasons:
- Lights up: The system has either been manually deactivated or has been deactivated due to a system fault. These stability system use wheels speed sensors to gauge rotational speed and a faulty sensor is often the cause of fault.
- Flashes: The ESC / ASR system is activated and is in use. If the light flashes, you are reaching the limit of your vehicle stability capabilities.
Warning light name: ABS
Description: The SEAT Leon ABS warning light should come on with engine ignition as a self-check and go out approximately 2 seconds later. If the light stays on or comes on while driving, there is a fault with the anti-lock brake system (ABS). ABS allows the driver to steer whilst simultaneously braking hard. This is due to the wheels not locking.
Action to take: If the ABS light comes on along with the brake light , this may cause the rear wheels to lock quickly when braking. This is a risk of skidding and accident. Immediate vehicle assistance is required. ABS heavily relies on wheels speed sensors – one located at each wheel and is often the cause of fault.
Warning light name: Engine Management
Urgency: Medium / High
Description: The SEAT Leon ‘check engine’, or ‘MIL’, or engine fault light can either come on constant, or flash if a fault is detected.
Action to take: You will need diagnostic equipment hooked up in order to read fault codes that are stored in the vehicle’s ECU. A fault code is generated when the check engine light comes on. The check engine light either remains constantly lit or flashes:
- Constant: There is a fault with vehicle emissions control system. This is often due to a fault lambda sensor. Have fault checked soon.
- Flashing: There is a fuel combustion fault which may cause backfiring. This may cause significant damage to the catalytic converter. Have vehicle checked immediately.
Warning light name: Diesel Preheat
Description: The is the glow plug, diesel preheat symbol. When the light goes out, you can start your engine right away.
Action to take: If the light flashes, there is a fault in the management of diesel engines system. Take vehicle to repair shop.
Warning light name: EPC
Description: The SEAT Leon EPC dashboard warning light stands for Electronic Power Control and only applies to petrol versions. The light comes on with ignition as normal while the system is verified. It goes out soon after if all is working correctly.
Action to take: If the light comes on when driving or stays on after ignition, there i a fault with the management of petrol engines system. Take vehicle to repair shop.
Warning light name: Diesel Filter
Description: On diesel versions of the SEAT Leon, diesel particulate filters are fitted to help eliminate harmful soot from exiting the exhaust. Over time, these filters can become clogged and are usually cleaned automatically. Sometimes they require manual intervention by the driver. This is often the case when only short trips are made in your car.
Action to take: To help the cleaning process:
- Drive for approximately 15 minutes at a minimum speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) in 4th or 5th gear (automatic gearbox: S gear range).
- Maintain the engine speed at approximately 2,000 rpm. Once the cleaning process has been completed, the light will go out.
Warning light name: Tyre Pressure
Description: Fitted on all new vehicles are tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) which altert you if one or more tyres is deflated. The tyre monitoring system can only operate correctly if all of the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure when cold. Driving at high speed on new tyres can cause the TPMS to trigger. This is due to the tyres expanding.
Action to take: Take the following action depending on whether the light is flashing or remains constantly lit:
- If the light comes on: One or more tyres pressures has reduced compared to those set in the system by the driver or tyre structural damage has occurred. Stop vehicle as soon as safely possible and check tyre pressures.
- If the light flashes: There;s a fault in the tyre pressure monitoring system. Light will flash for 1 minute then stay on permanently. If tyre pressures are correct, switch ignition off then on again. If the light stays on, the system requires calibration.
Warning light name: Airbag
Description: The SEAT Leon airbag warning light should illuminate when the ignition is switched to ON and then go out shortly after. This is a self-check. If the light stays on or comes on when driving, there is a fault in airbag system and seat belt tensioners.
Action to take: Have the system checked immediately. There airbag may not activate in the event of a collision. Check cabling and connections under front seat.
Warning light name: Engine Oil Level
Description: This light illuminating in yellow is the engine oil level light. It will either stay on constantly or flash.
Action to take: Constantly on: Low oil level. Check oil levels and top up if necessary as soon as possible.
Flashing: This indicates a fault with the oil level sensor.
Warning light name: Gearbox Fault
Urgency: High / Medium
Description: The cog containing an exclamation mark indicates a gearbox fault. This fault light may illuminate in yellow or red. Symbol may be illuminated along with a message.
Action to take: Action to take depends on the colour of the symbol:
- Red: Clutch overheating, stop vehicle to allow gearbox / clutch to cool down. Wait for warning light to go out else clutch may be damaged.
- Red: Gearbox fault – stop vehicle and do not continue driving.
- Yellow: Gearbox fault, you can continue driving with restrictions.
- Yellow: Gearbox too hot. Adapt your driving until light goes out.
Warning light name: Service
Description: The SEAT Leon spanner warning light indicates that a service is required.
Action to take: One of the following messages should appear in the information display alongside the spanner warning light:
- Service now!
- Request an inspection.
- Oil service required!
- Oil service and inspection required!