VW Passat Dashboard Warning Lights

VW Passat Dashboard Warning Lights

These are the warning lights for the Volkswagen Passat. The VW Passat dashboard warning lights guide below can be used for understanding the various warning symbols that might illuminate due to a fault, maintenance issue or a vehicle system that has been switched on or off.

Serious or urgent warning lights typically illuminate in red, they may also flash or be accompanied by an audible signal. To avoid possible vehicle breakdown or a risk to occupant safety, always take immediate action if a warning light illuminates.

SymbolWarning Light Description / Action
VW Passat Transmission / Gearbox Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat gearbox warning light.
Description: The yellow cog symbol is an indication that the gearbox is overheating and the DSG dual clutch gearbox is too hot. You must pull off the road, stop and place the gear selector into position 'P' to allow the gearbox to cool down. Do not drive on until the warning light goes out.
VW Passat Central Warning  Light / Triangle
Warning Triangle
Warning light name: VW Passat central warning light.
Description: These red or yellow warning triangles that contain exclamation marks illuminate to let the driver know that vehicle information is available. The red triangle represents urgent information compared the the yellow triangle which is less urgent.
VW Passat Parking Brake Warning Light
Parking Brake
Warning light name: VW Passat parking brake warning light.
Description: This red 'P' symbol indicates that the parking brake is applied. If the parking brake warning light flashes, it indicates a fault with the system. This could be due to a faulty switch, brake caliper etc. A VCDS scan should display any fault codes. Depending on your model of Passat, the parking brake fault light may illuminate VW Passat Parking Brake Fault Light This is either an indication of a faulty parking brake or the Hill Start Assist function.
VW Passat Brake Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat brake warning light.
Description: On certain versions of the VW Passat, this red exclamation mark system represent the hand brake being applied. If the brake warning light comes on when driving, it indicates either:
▷ A fault with the brake system
▷ Low brake fluid
If the brake fluid level is correct, it's advised that you do not continue driving and seek assistance from a VW workshop.
Brake support system
The brake warning light illuminating along with the ABS, TCS and ESC warning light, indicates a fault with the brake support system. Normal brake will continue to work.
VW Passat Temperature Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat temperature warning light.
Description: The temperature warning light illuminates due to the engine coolant getting too hot and the engine overheating. If the engine temperature warning light comes on, pull off the road as soon as it's safely possible and switch off the engine. Allow time for the engine to cool and check coolant level. If the coolant level is correct, do not continue driving as this indicates a malfunction in the engine cooling system. If you have added coolant, only continue driving if the warning light has gone out. See Engine coolant light on or flashing for further information.
VW Passat Electromechanical Steering Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat power steering warning light.
Description: The electromechanical steering warning light may come on or flash in red or yellow. Warning messages may also be displayed.
Red: The red steering warning light indicates a severe malfunction. In this instance, the steering lock may engage whilst driving or the electromechanical system has failed. Do not continue driving. Contact a Volkswagen workshop for assistance and arrange for vehicle recovery.
Yellow: The yellow steering warning light indicates a partial malfunction where you are able to continue driving the vehicle, unless the warning light continue to flash with the ignition set to on or if the steering column remains locked with the ignition set to on.

VW Passat Front Assist Warning Light
Front Assist
Warning light name: VW Passat front assist warning light.
Description: The red front assist warning light comes on along with a audible tone indicating that the driver must press the brake pedal to reduce a potential impact. If the driver fails to react, the vehicle can be automatically braked. The yellow front assist warning light indicates a fault with the system. If you receive a sensor impaired message, ensure the radar located at the front of the vehicle is clear of debris.
VW Passat Oil Pressure Warning Light
Oil Pressure
Warning light name: VW Passat oil pressure warning light.
Description: The low oil pressure warning light either flashes in red or comes on in yellow:
Flashes red: A flashing red oil light means low oil pressure. It's essential that you pull off the road and immediately switch off the engine. Running the engine with low oil pressure will cause significant engine damage.
1. Once parked up with the engine off, check the oil level.
2. If the oil level is low, add oil ensuring you do not exceed the MAX marker on the dipstick.
3. Check that the warning light has gone out.
4. If the warning light has gone out, continue your journey.
5. If the low oil pressure warning light remains on, do not continue your journey and arrange for vehicle recovery.
Yellow: The yellow oil warning light indicates that the oil level is low. You can continue driving, but top up with oil as soon as possible.
VW Passat Battery Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat battery warning light.
Description: The red battery warning light should always go out shortly after the engine has started. If it stays on or comes on while driving, it means the alternator is not charging the battery. If driving, immediately switch off any electrical consumers that are not essential and make your way immediately to a repair workshop. The engine may continue running for a limited time only. Check alternator, alternator belt, battery and battery terminals for corrosion.
VW Passat Worn Brake Pads Warning Light
Brake Pads
Warning light name: VW Passat worn brake pads warning light.
Description: This warning light comes on when the brake pads are worn and require replacing. As a rough estimate, there are approximately 1000 miles remaining from when the VW Passat low brake pads warning light has come on.
New brake pads requiring running in and are not fully effective until around 150 miles of use. Braking distances may be a little longer initially.
VW Passat Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat ESC warning light.
Description: The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is a stability aid that helps to improve traction and vehicle stability by the use of ABS and when necessary, reducing engine output. The ESC light will flash when the system is actively stabilising the vehicle. If the light remains permanently on, it indicates a fault with the ESC system. ESC shares components with the ABS system and so it might be a related fault.
VW Passat Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat ABS warning light.
Description: Anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a brake support feature than prevents wheel locking during heavy braking. This means the driver can continue to steer. The ABS warning remaining illuminated indicates a fault with the system. The fault is usually due to wheel sensors. You can continue to drive but without the braking support features of ABS.
ABS and Brake warning light
The ABS warning light may illuminate along with the brake warning light VW Passat Brake Warning Light. This may indicate a fault with Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD or EBFD), where wheels are braked individually to improve brake performance. The ABS function will also malfunction. You can continue to drive cautiously. Have vehicle checked as quickly as possible.
VW Passat Lights Fault Warning Light
Lights Fault
Warning light name: VW Passat lights fault warning light.
Description: This warning light comes on due to a fault in the vehicle lighting. Check all lights and change bulb if required. This may also indicate a fault in the dynamic cornering light.

VW Passat Check Engine / Exhaust System Fault Warning Light
Check Engine
Warning light name: VW Passat check engine warning light.
Description: This exhaust system fault warning light, also known as the check engine light illuminates due to an engine fault. The VW Passat check engine warning light may illuminate steady or flash:
Illuminates steady: The engine is not running smoothly. An increase in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions may result. Have vehicle checked using diagnostic equipment / fault code reader. Drive at a steady pace, avoid high engine loads. If the fault has occurred immediately after refueling, switch off the engine to avoid damage. Contact a VW workshop for assistance.
Flashing: A flashing check engine warning light is an indication of misfire. Faults in the exhaust management system may result in catalytic converter damage. Drive carefully whilst reducing engine load to your nearest VW workshop.
VW Passat EPC Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat EPC warning light.
Description: Electronic Power Control (EPC) warning light is an indication of a vehicle electrical problem, It's often associated with your Volkswagen's throttle system, though diagnostics equipment is required to obtain fault codes. Your vehicle may enter reduced engine power mode (limp mode) which is a safety process the vehicle goes through to help avoid damage. You can usually continue driving, but it's advisable that you have diagnosis performed immediately.
VW Passat Engine Speed Limitation Warning Light
Engine Speed
Warning light name: VW Passat engine speed limitation warning light.
Description: The engine speed limitation warning light comes on due to an engine fault (Engine management system fault) and/or due to the engine running too hot. To prevent the engine from overheating, this warning light illuminates along with the engine speed displayed on the instrument display. Ensure that the displayed engine speed is not exceeded. If the engine speed limitation warning light illuminates along with the EPC warning light, it has been triggered by a fault in the engine management system. Do not exceed the displayed engine speed and have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.
VW Passat Tyre Monitoring System Warning Light
Tyre Monitoring
Warning light name: VW Passat tyre monitoring system warning light.
Description: The tyre monitoring system indicates a loss of pressure of a fault:
Lit up: This indicates a loss of pressure in at least one tyre. You should:
• Check pressures for all tyres and adjust if necessary.
• Check all tyres for damage.
• Change the wheel or if possible drive at a low speed to the nearest repair workshop
Flashing: This warning light flashes for 60 seconds then remains lit. It indicates a potential fault in the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
• Drive for a few minutes to see if the warning light goes out.
• Check to ensure all wheels are fitted with tyre pressure monitoring sensors. The spare tyre may not have one installed.
• If the warning light remains lit, switch off the ignition then back on.
• Remove or switch off any devices that emit radio frequency and may cause disruption to the system such as two-way radios, remote controls or children's toys.
VW Passat Fault in Rain / Light Sensor Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat rain / light sensor fault warning light.
Description: This warning light comes on when a fault has been detected with automatic windscreen wipers and/or lights. Try switching the ignition off then back on again. If this doesn't clear the fault, have system checked. You can still operate the wipers and lights manually.
VW Passat Low Engine Oil Level Warning Light
Oil Level
Warning light name: VW Passat low oil level warning light.
Description: This warning light remains lit or flashes in yellow:
Lit: This indicates low engine oil levels. Check the oil level using the dipstick and top if if necessary.
VW Passat Engine Oil Dipstick
Dipsticks vary depending on the engine. Ensure the oil level remains within the blue section

Flashing: This indicates a fault in the engine oil system. You can continue driving, but have system checked as soon as possible.

VW Passat Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat DPF warning light.
Description: For diesel versions of the Volkswagen Passat, the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) collects harmful soot that would otherwise be released into the environment. On occasions, this requires cleaning (regenerated), a process which is done automatically. If you predominantly use your car for short trips, the filter may require driver help to be cleaned more often. To do this:
• If possible, choose a road that does not require stopping.
• Drive at speeds between 31 - 75 mph (50 - 120 km/h).
• Driving in a lower gear with a higher engine speed will speed up the process.
• The DPF warning light will go out when regeneration is complete. If the warning light remains on and the DPF fails to regenerate, damage may occur. In this instance, contact VW support.
VW Passat Airbag Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat airbag warning light.
Description: The airbag warning light remaining lit indicates a fault in the airbag system and seat belt tensioner system. The airbag warning light flashing indicates that least one airbag or belt tensioner was switched off using a diagnostic device. In this instance, the airbag warning light remains lit for approximately 4 seconds, then flashes for around 12 seconds. Go to a VW workshop to have the fault rectified or the airbag system reactivated.
VW Passat SCR Fault Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat SCR warning light.
Description: The red AdBlue bottle and red spanner illuminating simultaneously indicates a SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) fault. SCR is a vehicle emissions technology. If driving, do not switch off the engine as it will not be possible to restart it. Drive immediately to a VW workshop to have fault corrected. The yellow AdBlue bottle VW Passat Yellow AdBlue Bottle and yellow spanner VW Passat Yellow Spanner may illuminate simultaneously. This is less severe and the engine will restart. This means there's either a fault in the SCR system or the tank was refilled with non-standard AdBlue. Have system checked immediately.
VW Passat AdBlue Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat AdBlue warning light.
Description: AdBlue is a liquid that injected into the exhaust system on diesel vehicles to help reduce nitrous oxide emissions. The Adblue warning light illuminates in red or yellow:
Red: This indicates that the AdBlue level is too low. If the level reaches critical, you will be unable to restart the engine once it has been switched off.
Yellow: Refill with AdBlue as soon as possible. The remaining amount of miles / km is shown on the dashboard instrument display.
VW Passat Glow Plug Warning Light
Glow Plug
Warning light name: VW Passat glow plug warning light.
Description: For diesel versions of the Volkswagen Passat, wait for the glow plug light to go out before starting the engine. In warm ambient temperatures, the light will illuminate briefly.
VW Passat flashing glow plug light
The glow plugs light flashing is an indication of a fault with the engine management system. This may be accompanied by a warning beep and engine fault message. Diagnostic equipment is required to read fault codes. Faults range from using dirty diesel or more commonly, blocked injectors or injector failure.
VW Passat Water in Diesel Warning Light
Water in Diesel
Warning light name: VW Passat water in diesel warning light.
Description: This warning light indicates that there's water present in the diesel tank. This can cause severe engine damage. If the warning light comes on while driving, reduce speed and make your way immediately to a VW workshop to have the water drained. If the warning light illuminates immediately after refueling, to avoid engine damage, immediately switch off the engine and contact VW support.

VW Passat Freezing Temperature (Snowflake) Warning Light
Warning light name: VW Passat snowflake warning light.
Description: The snowflake warning light means that outside temperatures may be freezing resulting in hazardous road conditions. The warning light will illuminate when the outside temperature falls below approximately +4°C (+39°F) and will remain lit until outside temperatures rise above +6°C (+43°F). When the vehicle is stationary, heat radiated from the engine may cause the temperature display to show a slightly higher value than the actual outside temperature.
VW Passat Engine Start Stop Warning Light
Start Stop
Warning light name: VW Passat start stop warning light.
Description: The green engine start stop indication light illuminates when conditions are right for automatic engine standby to initiate. If conditions are not suitable for automatic start stop, the amber light VW Passat Engine Start Stop not suitable will illuminate. There's many reasons that inhibit engine stop. To find out more, see VW Passat stop start not working.
VW Passat Driver Assist Warning Light
Driver Assist
Warning light name: VW Passat driver assist systems warning lights.
Description: Driver assist systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane assist rely on cameras, radars and sensors to operate correctly. If any of these sensors become covered in dirt, snow etc, the systems will fail to operate. Sensor locations are:
• Front windscreen in front of the rear view mirror. Keep the windscreen clean and free from dirt.
• Front VW badge logo.
• Front grill.
• For lane assist, sensors are located on the side of the vehicle at the front and rear - located close to the wheels.
• Rear VW badge logo for Area View and reversing camera.
• Rear bumper, parking sensors are located.

14 thoughts on “VW Passat Dashboard Warning Lights

  1. All the following warning lights came on today, ABS,ESC, Front Assist Warning, Power Steering Warning, Air Bag Warning, Tire Pressure Warning, This is on my 2017 Passat S ,46,000 miles, never any problems , been serviced regularly. WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM????

    1. I am also having this problem ABS, ESC, Tyre pressure, Parking Brake, Lights Fault, Steering warning – only 4 months out of standard service

    1. Hello Musa,
      Best to check for fault codes using a OBDII diagnostic scanner. ABS, traction control ESC etc all use wheel speed sensors. The most common cause of ABS light is a faulty wheel speed sensor.

    2. Car is a 2010 passat . All lights go on ..dasboard. It.stops running.
      Newest is the oil pressure lite goes on. I need to get out of the car. Is it a spark plug issue? It has plenty of oil. Also
      I cant keep it running.in.park it will for out.
      Please. Help


  2. My Data information ie miles to gallon, Miles left in tank on my 2001 VW passett estate ( uk) went out now back on but given wrong total in tank (1.000 miles left) . its dropping but should be around 200 miles in tank any idea thank you

  3. have a 2004 Passat. 119k miles was running good. now I want to sell. But, EPC, air bag and check engine light comes on. My mechanic had previously checked engine light and found nothing wrong, but says take it to a dealer to reset light. But now EPC and airbag come on. any thoughts?

  4. Gary, my ’14 has same basic prob. googled clock wire in steering column, it goes bad. VW won’t make recall, but will repair up to 120K. part is on serious B/O. (not body odor). good luck, get ‘er to dealer!

  5. Got a 2015 Passat epc light on And tire pressure light stay on And I get it serviced And oil change like I suppose too but oil keep burning out fast And it’s not leaking

  6. 2016 passat rsi
    Muti dashboard warning lights all came on at once this happened shortly after I needed some other part replaced
    Left it with the dealer for the day
    Airbag anti sway low tire line
    Many Many other
    How in the hell can all these things fail all at the same time
    Estimate was outrageous over 3 grand
    I looked up parts I could order penny’s on dollar really reasonable rates
    Some replacement parts I found for 20 dollars they wanted $318.00 not included the labor 175 a hour and that was just for one little part something to do with air flow and gas a modular of some type
    I truly feel they sabotage my car I find it incredibly unbelievable for multi lights coming on with multi problems that have to be fixed for that particular price the parts are not not doubled they are quadruple in price
    This a Volkswagen dealership
    Is this possible can all these fail at once
    I never heard of anything like this before
    Would live to hear
    I feel very strongly that they’re telling me fairy tales or somebody sabotaged my car digitally or some other trick in the trade but all of this happens at once I don’t know

    1. Hi Steven,
      If all the apparent failures are unrelated components, then it does sound unusual. You’re going to be paying over the odds at a dealer anyway. Is it possible for you to get another opinion, perhaps from an indy?

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