VW T5 / T6 Transporter Dashboard Warning Lights

VW Transporter Dashboard Warning Lights

These are the dashboard warning lights for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter (2003 – 2016) and the Volkswagen T6 Transporter (2016 – present).

The layout of the dashboard instruments and warning lights will vary depending on whether you have the T5 or T6. Warning lights also include VW Transporter variants such as the California, Caravelle,  Shuttle and Sportline.

SymbolWarning Description and Action
VW Transporter Brake Dashboard Warning Light
The red exclamation mark is a potential brake system fault. The VW Transporter brake warning light comes on for the following reasons:
1. The parking brake is applied.
2. The brake fluid level is low.
3. Brake system fault.
If the parking brake is fully released, the next step is to check the brake fluid level and if required, top up with brake fluid recommended by Volkswagen. If the brake fluid level is normal and/or the brake warning light remains on, it's advised to not continue driving. In this instance, a brake circuit or the brake servo (which helps to increase brake force) may have failed. Contact a qualified Volkswagen workshop immediately.
VW Transporter Coolant Temperature Dashboard Warning Light
Coolant Temperature
The VW Transporter engine coolant temperature light either comes on constantly or flashes. In normal driving conditions, the temperature needle remains in the middle section of the gauge. The temperature may rise when the engine is working hard, especially at high ambient temperatures.
If the coolant temperature warning light comes on:
Constant: Engine is overheating. Stop as soon as safe to do so, turn off the engine and allow plenty of time for the engine to cool. Check the coolant level. Add coolant if necessary.
If the coolant level is correct, there is a fault in the system.
Flashing: There is a fault in the coolant system. It's advised not to drive on. Significant engine damage may occur.
VW Transporter Oil Pressure Dashboard Warning Light
Oil Pressure
The VW Transporter red engine oil warning light coming on or flashing indicates low engine oil pressure.
1. Pull over as soon as safely possible and immediately switch off the engine.
2. Check the engine oil level. If oil level is very low, top up immediately.
3. If engine oil level is normal or the warning light remains on, do not continue driving. There is a fault with the engine lubrication system that may result in serious engine damage.
Yellow Engine Oil Warning Light
The yellow oil warning light VW Transporter Low Engine Oil Level Dashboard Warning Light may become lit constantly or flash:
Constant: Low engine oil level. Check engine oil level and add oil immediately. On certain versions of the VW Transporter, the low engine oil level warning light may be slightly different: VW Transporter Low Engine Oil Level Dashboard Warning Light
Flashing: Engine oil system fault. You can continue driving. This is likely due to the oil level sensor being at fault.
VW Transporter AdBlue Red Dashboard Warning Light
AdBlue Red
The VW Transporter red Adblue bottle warning light means that the AdBlue level is too low and the engine cannot be restarted. Refill the AdBlue tank immediately. The red AdBlue and spanner warning light VW Transporter AdBlue Red + Spanner Dashboard Warning Light indicates that the engine cannot be restarted due to a fault in the AdBlue system.
Yellow AdBlue Warning Lights
The yellow Adblue warning light VW Transporter AdBlue Yellow Dashboard Warning Light means the AdBlue level is low. You can continue driving until the distance displayed reaches zero. The yellow AdBlue and spanner warning light VW Transporter AdBlue Yellow + Spanner Dashboard Warning Light indicate a minor fault with the AdBlue system or that the tank has not been filled with standard fluid.

VW Transporter Adaptive Cruise Control Not Available Dashboard Warning Light
Adaptive Cruise Control
The VW Transporter cruise control + exclamation mark indicates that adaptive cruise control is not available. Depending on your vehicle, the warning light may display in red. Pull over and switch off the engine. Check the radar for obstructing dirt, ice, etc. The radar is located between the air ventilation grill and the registration plate. If the warning light remains on after cleaning the radar and restarting the engine, there's a fault with the system.
Lane Change Assist
If you have a lane change assist currently unavailable, check the sensors. The system sensors In the bumper must be kept clean and free of ice and snow and not be covered up otherwise the system will not work properly.
VW Transporter Battery / Alternator Fault Dashboard Warning Light
Battery / Alternator
The VW Transporter battery warning light illuminates often due to a fault with the charging system / alternator. If the battery light stays on, the alternator is not charging the battery. The engine will stall when the battery is depleted of charge. To prolong engine activity, switch off any electrical consumers that are non-essential and immediately make your way to a repair workshop.
VW Transporter DSG Dual Clutch Gearbox Hot Dashboard Warning Light
Gearbox Hot
The red cog and thermometer is the VW Transporter DSG (direct shift gearbox) gearbox too hot warning light. If this warning light illuminates on the dashboard, do not continue driving. Pull over when safe to do so, select the 'P' position for the gear lever selector and allow the gearbox to cool. When the warning light goes out, you can continue your journey. If the warning light remains on, contact a Volkswagen workshop and do not continue driving. The spanner warning light Spanner may also illuminate indicating a fault with the dual clutch gearbox. The spanner warning light will flash intermittently with the gear selector display. Keep engine speed low and have vehicle checked immediately.
VW Transporter Worn Front Brake Pads Dashboard Warning Light
Worn Brake Pads
This symbol is the VW Transporter worn front brake pads warning light. If this warning lamp illuminates either on its own or with a text message in the instrument cluster display, have the brake pads checked and any worn brake pads replaced Immediately. There is enough usable pad remaining to continue driving for a short time only (usually around 2 mm).
VW Transporter ESC Dashboard Warning Light
The VW Transporter ESC (Electronic Stability Control) warning light illuminates for the following reasons:
1. The ESC system has been switched off by the system. Switching off and back on the ignition and driving a short distance should reactivate ESC.
2. If the light remains on, there is a fault with the ESC system. The ESC may illuminate with the ABS VW Transporter ABS Dashboard Warning Light warning light (they use the same sensors). ESC and ABS will be deactivated. Normal brakes will resume but without the benefits of ABS.
3. The ESC light may stay on if the battery has been disconnected and reconnected. Drive a short distance at a speed of 10 -12 mph (15 - 20 km/h). If the warning light remains lit up, the vehicle should be checked by a VW workshop.
4. If the ESC warning light is flashing, it means the stability program is operational and taking corrective action to steady the vehicle.
5. The ESC OFF light will illuminate when the system is manually deactivated. This turns off traction control which may be beneficial when stuck in snow.

VW Transporter ABS Dashboard Warning Light
The VW Transporter ABS warning light illuminates constantly when there's a fault with the Anti-lock Braking System. This is often a sensor fault or a worn / corroded connection around the wheel hub. The ESC warning light may also illuminate due to sensor sharing. ABS helps to prevent wheels locking during emergency braking. Normal brakes continue to operate, though with an increased risk of locking wheels.
VW Transporter Brake Light Bulb Failure Dashboard Warning Light
Brake Light
Depending on your version of the VW Transporter, this warning light illuminates when a failure has been detected in one of the brake light bulbs. The bulb monitoring warning light VW Transporter Exterior Light Bulb Failure Dashboard Warning Light illuminates when failure has been detected with an exterior bulb.
VW Transporter EPC Dashboard Warning Light
EPC Light
The VW Transporter EPC warning light is an engine management system fault, or more specifically the Electronic Power Control. It's often a throttle relates problem though due to the nature of the warning light being non-specific, diagnostic equipment is required to read fault codes. An EPC light typically involves faults related to:
• Mass Air Flow Sensor
• Brake Light Switch
• Engine Speed Sensor
• Throttle Body
It's usually safe to continue driving, but without knowing the fault specifics, it's recommended to have the fault diagnosed and fixed immediately.
VW Transporter Emissions Control / Check Engine Dashboard Warning Light
Engine Management
The VW Transporter emissions control, or 'check engine' warning light is an emissions control fault. If the light is on constant, stop, switch off the engine remove the key for 30 seconds and restart. This may clear the fault. This fault is usually related to catalytic converter issues. If the check engine light is flashing, it may indicate engine misfire. This may result in engine vibration and a drop in engine power. Have vehicle checked as soon as possible as this may result in damage to the catalytic converter.
VW Transporter Engine Management / Glow Plugs Dashboard Warning Light
Engine Management
Often referred to as the diesel 'glow plugs' light The VW Transporter engine management warning light is a pre-heat warning light that goes out when the engine is ready to start. If the light is flashing, it indicates a fault in the engine management. there are many faults associated with this warning light and on some versions of the VW Transporter, is can simply be a brake light / switch fault. Diagnostic equipment is required to read fault codes. More serious fault include:
• Fault ECU
• EGR valve (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)
Depending on the fault, the vehicle may enter reduced engine power mode (limp mode).

VW Transporter Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Dashboard Warning Light
This warning light means the VW Transporter diesel particulate filter (DPF) has become saturated with soot (except for courier vehicles). This is often cleaned automatically but on occasions requires driver input. To clean the DPF:
• Drive in 4th gear (manual gearbox) or in gear D (DSG dual clutch gearbox)
• Drive at a speed of at least 43 mph (70 km/h)
• Continue driving for at least 15 minutes and the light should go out.
• Try to do this on a road where there will be no requirements to slow down or stop (this interrupts the cleaning process)
If the warning light stays on, have vehicle checked immediately as this may result in engine / catalytic converter damage.
VW Transporter Tyre Pressure Dashboard Warning Light
Tyre Pressure
The VW Transporter tyre pressure warning light will either comes on constantly or flash.
Constantly: One or more tyre pressure has considerably decreased to the set values stored by the driver. Stop as soon as possible to check or change tyres.
Flash: A flashing light indicates a fault in the tyre pressure monitoring system. Switch the ignition off and back on again. Try to calibrate the system. If the light stays on, have system serviced.
Tyre pressures should be checked at least once per month and when cold. Check for uneven tread wear and for any cuts or bulges in the tyre. Incorrect tyre pressures can result in uneven tyre wear and an increased possibility of a puncture.
Resetting the tyre pressure monitor
After each wheel change or tyre pressure change, the system must be reset. This is easily done by switching on the ignition, while the vehicle is stationary and by pressing and holding the tyre pressure button until a audible alert is heard.
VW Transporter Airbag Dashboard Warning Light
The VW Transporter airbag warning light should temporarily become lit with the ignition set to on as part of a system check. If the warning light remains on, there's a fault with the airbag and belt tensioner system. If the passenger airbag OFF passenger airbag OFF warning light is not continuously lit or if it lights up together with the airbag warning light VW Transporter Airbag Dashboard Warning Light in the instrument cluster when the front passenger front airbag is switched off, there may be a fault in the airbag system.
VW Transporter Air Filter Dashboard Warning Light
Air Filter
This VW Transporter warning light is the air filter symbol. The air filter is dirty and requires changing. As the air filter becomes increasingly clogged with dirt and dust, you may notice a reduction in performance and fuel economy.
VW Transporter Wrong Key (Key and Car Light) Dashboard Warning Light
Wrong Key
The VW Transporter key and car warning light comes on informing you that you have the wrong key. The engine immobilizer helps to prevent the engine from being started and driven with an unauthorised vehicle key. With a genuine key, the electronic chip inside the key deactivates the immobilizer when the key is inserted into the ignition lock.
VW Transporter Rear Axle Differential Lock Fault Dashboard Warning Light
Rear Axle Differential Lock
The VW Transporter rear axle differential lock fault warning light comes on when:
• If there is a large difference in the speed of rotation of the rear wheels
• If the drive train is loaded heavily
• If the mechanical teeth of the rear-axle differential lock are 'tooth to tooth' the warning light in the instrument cluster flashes.
VW Transporter Start Stop System Unavailable Dashboard Warning Light
Start Stop System
The VW Transporter automatic engine start / stop system warning light illuminates when the system is unavailable. It's likely preconditions for the start / stop system have not been met. In order for engine stop to occur, there are many conditions that must first be met, for list of all possible conditions, see Volkswagen Transporter start / stop not working.

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