Tesla Warning Lights Icons

Tesla Warning Lights and Icons Explained

Explained are the warning lights and icons for the electric car manufacturer Tesla. Warning lights may illuminate on the dashboard or touch screen and apply to the Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X.

SymbolWarning light description / action
Tesla Brakes Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla brakes warning light.
Description: This red exclamation mark represents the brake fault icon. If this warning light stays on continuously or comes on while driving, it means there's either a:
• Fault with the brake system
• Brake fluid levels are low
If you're not too confident on topping up the brake fluid yourself, book your vehicle in for Tesla Service to complete.
Topping up brake fluid
1. Read the owners manual to determine the correct fluid type, usually Dot 3 or Dot 4 fluid. It should also say on the reservoir cap. Only use brake fluid from a new, sealed container.
2. Open the hood.
3. Locate the brake fluid reservoir. Remove the maintenance panel under the windshield. The brake fluid reservoir has a black cap and the brake symbol Brake Symbol on it.
4. Locate the Min. and Max. marker on the reservoir.
5. To avoid contamination, thoroughly clean the cap and the area around the cap before removing it.
6. Brake fluid is highly corrosive. It's advised to place a cloth around the reservoir before topping up. The fluid will eat right through paintwork. Also, do not shake the bottle before use as this will put air into your brake system.
7. Top up brake fluid to the MAX. mark.
Tesla Parking Brake Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla parking brake warning light.
Description: This warning light comes on when the parking brake has been applied. If there is an electrical fault with the parking brake, the yellow warning light comes on along with a fault message.
Tesla Parking Brake Fault Warning Light
Parking brake fault light

Loss of 12v Power
If your vehicle loses 12v electrical power, you may not be able to release the parking brake. In this instance, the vehicle must be jump started. The battery can be located under the hood and in the maintenance compartment under the windshield. If there is no 12v power, you will need to release the hood by opening the tow eye cover at the front and connecting a portable 12v jump starter.
Tesla Tire Pressure Warning Light
Tire Pressure
Warning light name: Tesla tire pressure warning light.
Description: The tire pressure warning light serves two purposes:
▷ The warning light comes on if one or more tires is under- or over-inflated.
▷ The warning light flashes for 60 seconds then remains on when a fault has been detected with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Checking tire pressures
Check tire pressures when cold. Cold is defined as outside ambient temperatures and when the vehicle has been parked for 3 or more hours. If you have to drive some distance to a gas station to check and adjust pressures, use a reliable gauge to check before the drive, make a note of the pressures and make up the difference at the station.
Warning light
After adjusting pressures, the tire pressure warning light will go out when you have been driving for 10 minutes or more and at a speed of 15 mph (25 km/h) for more.
Flashing warning light
If after changing wheels, rotating wheels or changing tires the tire pressure warning light continues to flash even after driving for 10 minutes or more and at a speed of 15 mph (25 km/h), the TPMS may require manually resetting. To do this, locate the 'Service' section in your vehicle options and then 'Reset TPMS Sensors'.
Tesla Seat Belt Warning Light
Seat Belt
Warning light name: Tesla seat belt warning light.
Description: This warning light illuminates when a seat belt for an occupied seat is not fastened. If all occupants have their seat belts fastened and the warning light remains on, re-buckle seat belts to ensure they are correctly latched.

Tesla Airbag Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla airbag warning light.
Description: To ensure correct operation of the airbag system, the airbag warning light should come on briefly when the vehicle is powering up, then go off. If the warning light does not come on during this stage, or the light comes on while driving, contact Tesla service. If the airbag warning light remains on, check the following:
• Remove any objects under the seat.
• Remove any heavy objects placed on the seat.
• Remove any objects wedged between the seat back and seat cushion.
• Rearrange any cargo that may be interfering with the seat.
• Remove any after market items such as seat covers, mats etc.
Tesla ABS Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla ABS warning light.
Description: The anti-lock braking system (ABS) allows the driver to apply maximum brake pressure without locking the wheels. This helps to increase steering control and in some cases, braking distances are reduced. If the ABS warning light comes on while driving or stays on continuously, it means ABS is not functioning.
An ABS failure will not impact on normal brakes and they will continue to operate as usual. However, there is an increased risk of locking wheels during emergency braking. ABS failure is usually associated with sensors or wiring being damaged on the wheels.
Tesla Front Fog Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla front fog warning light.
Description: If equipped, this warning light comes on when the front fog lights are switched on.
Tesla Parking Lights Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla front fog warning light.
Description: This icon illuminates when the parking lights (side marker lights, tail lights, and license plate lights) are on.
Tesla High Beam Warning Light
High Beam
Warning light name: Tesla high beam warning light.
Description: This blue icon means the high beam headlights are on and Auto High Beam is disabled or currently unavailable.
Tesla Low Beam Warning Light
Low Beam
Warning light name: Tesla low beam warning light.
Description: Icon illuminates when low beam headlights are on.

Warning light name: Tesla TCS warning light.
Description: The Traction Control System (TCS) is responsible for helping to reduce wheel slip. By default, TCS is on each time the vehicle is powered up and should only be disabled on specific circumstances such as:
• When driving on a loose surface such as gravel or snow.
• Driving in deep snow, sand or mud. Switching off TCS can prove beneficial when trying to free the vehicle from snow.
• Rocking out of a hole or deep rut.
Tesla Auto High Beam Warning Light
Auto High Beam
Warning light name: Tesla auto high beam warning light.
Description: This warning light illuminates when automatic high beam headlights are enabled. The icon is grayed out when light is detected and high beams are automatically switched to low.
Tesla ESC Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla ESC warning light.
Description: The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system helps to maintain vehicle stability by either reducing motor power or by applying brake pressure. This is beneficial to preventing wheel slip and in reducing understeer / oversteer. When ESC is actively attempting to stabilize the vehicle, the warning light will flash. If the warning light remains on constantly, it means there's a fault with the system.
Tesla Snowflake Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla snowflake warning light.
Description: The Tesla snowflake icon appears in blue when some of the stored energy in the battery may not be available due to cold weather conditions. The blue snowflake icon will go off when the battery is sufficiently warm. This can be achieved by turning on climate control via the phone app when the battery is charging.
Tesla Tortoise Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla tortoise warning light.
Description: The Tesla tortoise icon appears when the vehicle power is currently reduced because the energy remaining in the battery is low or the vehicle's systems are being heated or cooled.
Tesla Hold Warning Light
Warning light name: Tesla hold warning light.
Description: The Tesla H icon appears the vehicle Hold system is actively applying the brakes. Vehicle hold will continue to apply the brakes when you have removed your foot from the brake pedal. To enable vehicle hold, when coming to a stop, press the brake pedal again until you see the vehicle hold 'H' icon in the instrument panel. This also acts as a hill-holder assist. To deactivate vehicle hold, either press the accelerator or press the brake pedal again.

6 thoughts on “Tesla Warning Lights and Icons Explained

  1. How does a tesla let the driver know if the battery was dead when the driver is trying to drive somewhere

    1. Firstly the car would send a notification to the app telling you that the battery is below 10% and you would have the car charging when not using it.

  2. WE have a flashing light in the screen on our 2018 S.

    It looks like a gas range fire with a black dot in the center and it’s flashing.

    There are no words to tell us what it is

  3. I have a red warning light show up that I cannot find in the owner’s Manuel nor in this presentation. The best description I can come up with is it looks a Darth Vader helmet with a bowl under it. Anyone knows what it means?

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