Smart Fortwo Dashboard Warning Lights

Smart Fortwo Dashboard Warning Lights

The Smart Fortwo was first introduced in 1998 and is now in its third generation. The dashboard warning lights detailed below cover both the Smart Fortwo and Smart Fortwo Cabrio.

Dashboard layouts may vary depending on the Smart Fortwo model, age and location but the warning lights all have the same meaning. Locate your warning light on the image above to find out its description and what action to take below.



SymbolFault Description and Action
Smart Fortwo ABS Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
ABS stands for 'anti-lock braking system' and is a safety feature most new cars. It's an add-on to the normal brakes where prior to ABS, locking up the wheels when braking hard was common. A functioning ABS system prevents locking wheels, which in turn allows the driver to steer and brake hard simultaneously. The Smart Fortwo ABS warning light constantly staying means there's a fault in the ABS system. It's usually sensor related but also means other driving aid may fail to function, such as the electronic stability program.
What to do:
Drive carefully and avoid heavy brake usage due to wheels being more likely to lock. Have system checked as soon as possible.
Smart Fortwo ESP Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The ESP warning light (Electronic Stability Program) on the Smart Fortwo illuminates for the following reasons:
• Yellow ESP warning light, may include the message 'System Inoperative' depending on your model of Fortwo. This means the ESP has malfunctioned and is no longer able to stabilise the vehicle. There is now an increased risk of skidding. Other driving aids such as ABS may not be functioning due to using the same components. This may also be a brake light fault.
What to do:
Check that your brake lights are working. If this is the case, it's highly advisable to not drive on. If brake lights are functioning, drive carefully and have ESP checked.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow ESP warning light along with the message 'Brake Assist System (BAS) Inoperative'. Brake assist is an emergency brake system that increases braking pressure to aid in stopping sooner.
What to do:
Drive carefully and have vehicle system serviced as soon as possible.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow ESP warning light flashing indicates that ESP is intervening and attempting to stabilise the vehicle. This means that the vehicle is being driven to its limits.
What to do:
Try to pull away and accelerate more carefully and take corners at a slower rate.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow ESP warning light and the doors open warning light (20), other warning lights may be illuminated along with the message 'Electronics Malfunction Visit Workshop'. The central vehicle electronics system is malfunctioning.
What to do:
Be cautious as after switching off the engine, it will no longer possible to lock or unlock the doors using the remote control on the key and you will be unable to start the engine.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow ESP warning light and the warning message 'Hill Start Assist Inoperative'. Hill start assist will no longer be able to hold the vehicle. Other driving aids such as ABS and ESP may not function. Drive on carefully.
Smart Fortwo Battery Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo battery warning coming on has the following meaning:
• Red battery warning light illuminates when the vehicle is ready to start along with a warning tone. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message 'Stop' may display. Possible faults include the alternator / generator, battery or a broken / torn V-belt.
What to do:
Do not continue driving. Switch off engine and contact a Smart workshop.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Red battery warning light illuminates and depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message 'Malfunction Visit Workshop' may display. This is related to the battery monitoring system.
What to do:
You can continue driving. Have vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Rear Window / Seating Heating:
• The rear window heating or seat heating automatically switches off or does not turn on. This indicates insufficient charge in the battery.
What to do:
Switch off any electrical devices that are not essential




Smart Fortwo Tyre Pressure Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo tyre pressure warning light comes on for the following reasons:
• Yellow tyre pressure warning light come on and depending on your version of Fortwo, with the warning message 'Correct Tyre Pressure'. This means tyre pressure is too low in at least one of the tyres, or the tyre pressure difference between the wheels is too great.
What to do:
Check tyre pressures, correct the pressures and then restart the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow tyre pressure warning light come on whilst driving and depending on your version of Fortwo, with the warning message 'Tyre Pressure Caution Tyre Malfunction'. In this instance the tyre pressure monitoring system has detected significant pressure loss in one or more tyres. This may indicate a burst tyre.
What to do:
Stop as soon as possible, secure the vehicle and check tyres. Change wheel if necessary.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow tyre pressure warning light flashes for one minute then stays on and depending on your version of Fortwo, with the warning message 'Tyre Pressure Monitor Inoperative'. This means that the TPMS has either malfunctioned or it was not reset after the previous wheel change or pressure change. This may occur if tyre pressures have been altered without recalibrating the run flat indicator.
What to do:
Restart the tyre pressure monitor system. If you have not adjusted tyre pressures, it indicates a fault with the system.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Yellow tyre pressure warning light flashes for one minute then stays on and depending on your version of Fortwo, with the warning message 'Tyre Pressure Monitor Inoperative Wheel Sensors Missing'. This means that a wheel has been fitted that has unsuitable tyre pressure sensors.
What to do:
Fit wheels with wheel sensors recommended by Smart.
Smart Fortwo Low Oil Pressure Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The red oil can is the Smart Fortwo low oil pressure warning light.
What to do:
Taking care of traffic conditions, pull over as soon as possible and switch off the engine. Check engine oil level and top up if necessary. Engine oil level should be checked regularly. If oil levels run too low, damage may occur.
Check to ensure the oil light has gone out. If oil levels were normal and no oil was added, or the light remains on, do not continue driving. Low oil pressure is an indication of a engine lubrication system malfunction. Contact a Smart workshop.
Smart Fortwo Power Steering Assistance Dashboard Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The yellow steering wheel and exclamation mark means a fault with the power steering assistance. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning light along with the warning message 'Steering Malfunction See Owner's Manual' or 'Electronic Malfunction See Owner's Manual' will display.
What to do:
The malfunction in the power steering assistance will make steering harder. Check to ensure you can continue steering particularly at slow speeds. If you can, you can continue to drive. Have system serviced as soon as possible.
Smart Fortwo Check Engine Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This is the Smart Fortwo check engine warning light. Here are the possible reasons the check engine light comes on:
• Check engine light flashes while driving. This means the ignition system is malfunctioning.
What to do:
Immediately reduce speed and keep the engine running at as low RPM as possible. There is a risk of damage to the engine or catalytic converter. Have vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Check engine light comes on and engine power is reduced. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message 'Reduced Power See Owner's Manual' may display. This is the engine emergency mode, also known as 'limp' mode which helps to protect the engine from damage. The ignition system may be malfunctioning.
What to do:
Drive carefully and have vehicle checked as soon as possible.
Warning Light Meaning:
• Check engine light comes while driving is an indication of these possible faults:
• Engine management
• Exhaust system
• Fuel system
• Accelerator pedal sensor




Smart Fortwo Engine Temperature Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo engine temperature warning light comes on if the engine coolant is too hot and overheating. The red warning light comes on and depending on your version of Fortwo, the following messages may appear on the display panel: 'Stop Switch Off Engine' or 'Stop Switch Off Motor'.
What to do:
• Safely pull over and switch off the engine.
• Leave the vehicle until the engine cools down.
• Check to ensure air supply to the radiator is not blocked.
• Check that there is sufficient engine coolant and add fluid if required.
• If coolant level is sufficient the electric engine radiator fan may have failed. If this is the case, contact a Smart workshop.
Smart Fortwo Right turn Signal Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This is the right turn signal warning light. It flashes in green when the right indicator has been applied, or when the hazard warning lights have been switched on.
Smart Fortwo Left turn Signal Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This is the left turn signal warning light. It flashes in green when the left indicator has been applied, or when the hazard warning lights have been switched on.
Smart Fortwo Brake Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This is the Smart Fortwo brake warning light. Depending on model and region, the circle and exclamation mark will show or the letters 'BRAKE'. This warning light has two meanings: the parking brake is applied or there is insufficient brake fluid. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the following messages may appear on the display panel: 'Check Brake Fluid Level' or 'Release Parking Brake'.
What to do:
The first thing to do is check that the parking brake is fully released. If it is, then there is a brake fault. This may be due to insufficient brake fluid. However, Smart recommend that adding brake fluid will not rectify the fault and to discontinue driving. Contact a Smart workshop.
Warning Light Meaning:
The brake warning light (11), the ABS (1) and the ESP (2) warning lights illuminate simultaneously. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the following messages may appear on the display panel: 'Electronics Malfunction Stop See Owner's Manual'. In this instance, the following systems have malfunctioned:
• ABS (anti-lock braking system)
• ESP (Electronic Stability Program)
• Crosswind Assist
• Hill start assist
Further driving systems could be switched off automatically. Due to vehicle instability, there is an increased risk of skidding and loss of control.
What to do:
It's highly advisable to discontinue driving and seek the assistance of a Smart workshop.
Smart Fortwo Rear Fog Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This light illuminates in amber / orange indicating that the rear fog lights are switched on.




Smart Fortwo Front Fog Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This light illuminates in green indicating that the front fog lights are switched on.
Smart Fortwo Main Beam Headlights Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This light illuminates in blue indicating that the main / full beam headlights are switched on.
Smart Fortwo Dipped Beam Headlights Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This light illuminates in green indicating that the dipped / low beam headlights are switched on.
Smart Fortwo Airbag Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This red light is the Smart Fortwo airbag warning light and depending on your version of Smart Fortwo, the warning message 'Malfunction Visit Workshop' may display. In this instance, the restraint systems such as the airbag or seat belt tensioner may trigger unintentionally or not trigger during an accident.
What to do:
Have the vehicle checked immediately.
• Safely pull over and switch off the engine.
Front Passenger Airbag
Warning light Smart Fortwo Front Passenger Airbag Warning Light lights up when the front passenger airbag has been enabled. In this instance, avoid using a rearward-facing child restraint system on the front-passenger seat. If the warning light does not come on when the front passenger airbag has been enabled, there is a fault with the front passenger airbag. Do not allow passengers to travel on the front-passenger seat.
Smart Fortwo Sidelights Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This light illuminates in green indicating that the sidelights are switched on.
Smart Fortwo Forward Collision Alert Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo forward collision alert warning light comes on in red along with an audible alert indicating that an obstacle has been detected in the road. This will also integrate with Active Brake Assist if your version of Fortwo has it.
Warning Light Meaning:
The forward collision alert warning light illuminates. This informs the driver that they are driving too close to the vehicle in front.
What to do:
Increase the distance.
Smart Fortwo Seat Belt Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The red seat belt warning light comes on along with an audible alarm informing that the driver and front passenger must fasten their seat belts.
Smart Fortwo Door Open Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
Red warning light comes on indicating that a door or tailgate / boot is not properly closed.
If the speed exceeds 20 km/h, a warning tone also sounds.



Other Warning Lights

These warning lights illuminate on the Smart Fortwo information display panel.

Smart Fortwo Start / Stop Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo yellow start stop warning light illuminates in yellow while driving or stationary and depending on the version of Fortwo, the following message displays: 'Malfunction See Owners Manual'. This means the automatic engine start / stop system has a fault and has been automatically turned off.
What to do:
Restarting the vehicle may clear the fault. If not, have system serviced by a Smart workshop.
Warning Light Meaning:
The yellow start / stop warning light comes on when stationary.
This means that not all conditions for the automatic start / stop system have been fulfilled.
What to do:
Check what conditions are required for automatic start / stop to resume. Find out about required conditions by reading Smart Car start / stop not working.
Smart Fortwo Flashing N Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo flashing N shows on the information display and depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message 'To Start Engine: Shift to Neutral or Depress Clutch'. This is for manual transmission versions and means the clutch pedal is not fully depressed. If the clutch pedal is fully depressed by the engine fails to start, it means the clutch sensor has failed.
What to do:
Shift to neutral and try to start the engine.
Warning Light Meaning:
Flashing N on the instrument display along with the warning message 'Parking Lock Malfunction. To Park: Apply Parking Brake'. This means the vehicle is not secured against rolling away.
What to do:
To secure the vehicle, apply the parking brake.
Smart Fortwo Flashing N or P Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo N or P alternately flash in the instrument display. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message: 'To Start Engine: Shift to P or N' will show. This means an attempt was made to start the engine with the transmission in D or R.
What to do:
Shift to N or P to start.
Smart Fortwo Flashing N or D or R Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo N or D or R alternately flash in the instrument display. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message: 'To Start Engine: Shift to N' will show. This is when automatic versions of the Fortwo, the engine switches off while the vehicle is in motion.
What to do:
Shift to N to start.
Smart Fortwo Flashing B Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo B flashes for 15 seconds in the instrument display. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message: 'To Start Engine: Apply Brake' will show. This is for automatic versions and where an attempt was made to start the engine with the transmission in N and without applying the foot brake.
What to do:
Depress the brake pedal.
Smart Fortwo Flashing N or D or R or P Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo P. D / R, N alternately flash in the instrument display along with a warning tone. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the warning message: 'Risk of Vehicle Rolling Away Transmission Not in P' will show. This is for vehicles with automatic transmission, the driver door is open and the gear selector lever is in R, N or D.
What to do:
The vehicle may roll away. Switch the gear selector into P, switch off the engine and close the driver's door completely.
Smart Fortwo Transmission Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
This warning light illuminates on manual transmission versions of the Smart Fortwo and depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Electronic Malfunction Visit Workshop' will display. In this instance, the system deactivates the automatic start / stop system and
cruise control.
What to do:
Fully depress the clutch to start the engine and contact a Smart workshop.
Warning Light Meaning:
This warning light illuminates on automatic transmission versions of the Smart Fortwo and depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Transmission Malfunction Visit Workshop' will display.
What to do:
Contact a Smart workshop.
Warning Light Meaning:
This warning light flashes alternately with current transmission position P, D, R, N and depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Clutch Protection Active See Owner's Manual' will display. This indicates the clutch is overheating on automatic versions of the Fortwo.
What to do:
Pull over as soon as safely possible and wait until the automatic transmission has cooled down and that the display message and warning light have gone out.
Warning Light Meaning:
This warning light flashes alternately with current transmission position P, D, R, N, a warning tone sounds and depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Transmission Overheated See Owner's Manual' will display.
What to do:
Allow the transmission to cool down. When the warning light and message disappear, you can resume your journey.




Smart Fortwo Service Spanner Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo spanner / wrench warning light flashes indicating a service is due or has already passed. Depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Next Service Due in XXX Km' or 'Service Due XXX Days Ago' will display.
• One spanner indicates a minor service.
• Two spanners indicates a full service.
Smart Fortwo Forward Collision Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The yellow forward collision warning lights up while driving and depending on your version of the Fortwo, the warning message 'Distance Warning Inoperative' or 'Electronic Malfunction Visit Workshop' or 'Active Brake Assist Inoperative' displays.
What to do:
The forward collisions sensors on the front grill of the vehicle are dirty and require cleaning.
Warning Light Meaning:
If the forward collision light comes on along with the doors open light (20) and possibly other warning lights, it indicates the central vehicle electronics system has malfunctioned. After switching off the engine, it will no longer be possible to lock or unlock the doors using the remote control on the key or to start the engine.
What to do:
Visit a Smart workshop immediately.
Smart Fortwo Lane Keeping Assist Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The lane keeping assist warning lights flashes and depending on your version of the Fortwo, the warning message 'Lane Keeping Assist Inoperative' displays.
What to do:
• This is likely to mean the forward facing camera mounted inside the top centre on the windscreen view is obscured. Clean the windscreen.
• Or environmental interference such as heavy rain or snow can impact the operation of the system.
• Lanes cannot be detected.
• Fault in the system.
Smart Fortwo Cruise Control Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The cruise control warning light flashes for approximately 10 seconds, with a warning tone and depending on your version of Fortwo, the message 'Cruise Control Inoperative' displays. In this instance, cruise control automatically deactivates due to a malfunction.
What to do:
Have the system services by a Smart workshop. If the cruise control warning light flashes, with a warning tone and the doors open light (20) and possibly other warning lights, it indicates the central vehicle electronics system has malfunctioned. After switching off the engine, it will no longer be possible to lock or unlock the doors using the remote control on the key or to start the engine.
Smart Fortwo Speed Limiter (LIM) Warning LightWarning Light Meaning:
The LIM warning light comes on, the speed display flashes and a warning tone sounds indicating that you are exceeding the set speed limit.
What to do:
Paying attention to traffic conditions, brake the vehicle to slow down. If this warning light flashes for approximately 10 seconds with a warning tone and depending on your version of the Fortwo, the warning message 'Limiter Inoperative', the speed limiter system has malfunctioned.
Smart Fortwo Snowflake SymbolWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo snowflake symbol flashing is an indication that outside temperatures have fallen below 3 °C and there;s a risk of ice on the roads. The warning message 'Black Ice Warning' may appear.
What to do:
Adapt your driving style for the road conditions.
Smart Fortwo Light Bulb SymbolWarning Light Meaning:
The Smart Fortwo light bulb symbol with an exclamation mark inside has the following meanings:
• Dipped beam headlights are constantly on and main beam cannot be activated.
What to do:
Switch off the engine and restart. If this does not rectify the fault and the warning light remains lit, it could be an indication that the brake lights are not working and t bulb or LED is faulty. Other drivers are not alerted to your braking and may result in an accident. Another reason for this warning light is a malfunction in the rain / light sensor. You will have to manually operate lights and windscreen wipers.






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