Interior cockpit of a 2020 Honda Civic.

Honda Dashboard Light Meanings

Honda likes to keep its drivers in-the-know with a wide array of dashboard lights that convey essential information about the state of the vehicle. However, reading these symbols can be like attempting to decipher ancient hieroglyphs if you don’t know what they mean. To help, we’ve provided what we hope will be the Rosetta Stone to opening up effective communication with your Honda vehicle.

Types of Honda Dashboard Lights

There are three types of Honda dashboard lights: Malfunction Indicators, Condition Indicators, and On/Off Indicators.

Malfunction Indicators

These indicators are typically red and amber colored. They indicate serious issues, and the vehicle should be brought to an authorized dealer for maintenance.

Condition Indicators

These let the driver know that there’s an action that needs to be taken. These include elements such as fastening one’s seatbelt or fully closing a door. They also tend to be red or amber in color, but are quicker to fix.

Honda malfunction indicator diagram.

On/Off Indicators

These indicators don’t indicate a serious problem. They just let the driver know that a system is activated. They generally do not require immediate attention.

Honda on.off indicator diagram.

Honda Dashboard Light Colors

Just like traffic signals, Honda dashboard lights illuminate in three colors: red, green and yellow. And also just like traffic signals, the colors of these lights follow the same approximate meanings: green means go, red means stop, and yellow means exercise caution (or speed yourself up to get to the nearest service shop… just kidding).


A green circle.

Green Dashboard Lights

A green light applies to something like your cruise control or turn signal. Its purpose is simply to tell you that the feature is activated, and is nothing to worry about.

A yellow circle.

Yellow Dashboard Lights

A yellow indicator applies to something that could become dangerous soon. Your vehicle is still operable, but it could be on its way to inoperable status. It’s best to get this checked out at a service center before this happens.

A red circle.

Red Dashboard Lights

Red lights indicate a serious condition. It doesn’t always mean something is wrong with the engine or the mechanics; the seatbelt reminder, for example, is also red, along with the door ajar signal.

However, several of the red lights, such as the high-temperature warning signal, do indicate impending doom for your vehicle and should be heeded. These latter types are known as “Malfunction indicators” and are described below. If a Malfunction indicator is illuminated, take your Honda to a certified maintenance shop.