Did you know that each Kenworth caution light on your semi-truck dash has a specific purpose? The icons on the dashboard provide a plethora of information. As a driver, you should familiarize yourself with each of them in order to best be able to understand the information they are relaying.
The condition of several systems on your vehicle is shown via indicators on the dashboard. They either let you know action needs to be taken or alert you to a problem. Knowing what each light represents allows you to make accurate decisions about what actions to take to resolve the indicated error. Continue reading to learn about the most prevalent Kenworth warning lights that every truck driver should be aware of.
Check engine light
A yellow picture of an engine block serves as a malfunctioning warning light (MIL). When planned maintenance is overdue or an engine issue arises, this Kenworth warning light illuminates. To show the gravity of the problem, it may flicker or become red.
If you see the MIL on your semi-truck, take it to a technician to get it diagnosed and addressed. If the situation is extreme and MIL flashes or becomes red, you should pull over to the side of the road and switch off the motor. Other dashboard symbols and messages may be included with this indication.
The visual symbol for a kingpin lock is an unlocked padlock on what seems to be a double-pin. A kingpin lock is a device that connects to your kingpin and prevents the secured semi-trailer from being unintentionally coupled and towed. If it illuminates, the driver is reminded to secure the kingpin lock. Always ensure the kingpin lock is closed to avoid an unauthorized tractor from drawing up and driving your trailer away.
Engine heat light
During the heating process, the rising hot air is represented by an engine heater, which is a sign of an engine block with wavy arrows within. Before starting the engine, engine heaters warm the engine and its fluids. This gets the coolant up to operational temperature during cold weather, reducing damage from cold starts and idling.
When you turn on the switch to warm the engine, an engine heater light or indicator appears, and it implies a system problem if it displays at any other time.
Truck body up indicator
The truck body up indicator (also known as the dump trailer light) is a red symbol depicting a dump truck with its body lifted as if it were releasing a load. It comes with one to show you where the trailer is and warn you not to drive away until you've lowered it. An audio alert often accompanies this red warning light. Lowering the body reduces the risk of overhead crashes and other safety concerns. Keep your body down if you're not dumping any stuff.
Filter regeneration indicator
Filter regeneration indicators are made up of two-column circles separated by bars and with smoke trails running through them. The presence of a yellow or amber sign indicates that regeneration is long overdue. When driving, the filter regenerates automatically. If that isn't the case, you may manually fix the light by increasing your speed to 50 mph and keeping the pace until the filter has regenerated.
To burn off extra soot deposits, filter renewal is required. This reduces the toxic and black smoke that certain trucks emit as they accelerate.
Transmission temperature light
A yellow/amber light indicates the temperature of the transmission. It's a toothed circle with a thermometer inside. When the transmission system overheats, this light flashes on the Kenworth dashboard. A low transmission fluid level or a cooling system mechanical issue might cause this to illuminate as well.
These Kenworth warning lights demand that you pull over quickly to cool off. Once your truck has cooled off you should drive straight to a heavy-duty diesel repair shop. Don't drive your vehicle if the dashboard warning light is still on.
Air suspension dump indicator
An air suspension system keeps the truck from bouncing over rugged terrain when the truck is unloaded. Depending on the weight and vehicle speed, it enhances the ride. The air suspension dump indication shows a vehicle without a trailer body and an arrow pointing down. When you use the dashboard switch, it turns on to dump air from the suspension bag to lower or elevate the truck's rear. If it shows at any other moment, the system may be malfunctioning. It would help if you had a certified mechanic inspect it as soon as possible.
Check transmission light
A toothed or rough circle with an exclamation point within serves as a check transmission indication. If there is a problem with your truck's transmission system or related components, this light will illuminate. Overheating or damage to internal parts are the most typical causes, and low or depleted transmission fluid that cannot cool effectively might cause overheating.
Symptoms such as sliding out of gear, low transmission fluid, and maintenance reminders may be caused by the check transmission light. Driving with this light on the dashboard is not recommended. To have your Kenworth diagnosed and repaired, take it to a heavy-duty diesel repair shop as soon as possible.
A crane with a hook on its arm serves as the crane-up warning light. When you lift the arm, it will turn on and remain on as long as the crane is raised. To prevent an overhead collision and other potential hazards, you should lower the crane before driving. This Kenworth warning light may be limited to crane-equipped vehicles.
Always be mindful of these indicators. You should pay special attention to them and ensure that you take good care of your Kenworth truck.