In this lightning bolt Dodge Ram warning light symbol guide, you will learn how to tell when your truck has malfunctioned.
Dodge Ram trucks have advanced dashboard lights with unique symbols. As a Ram user, you should easily interpret the meaning of each light symbol.
While some show when it is time to repair or maintain your Dodge Ram, others indicate activation of headlights and fog lights.
Gaining this knowledge is the only way to avoid confusion when these light symbols illuminate your dashboard. We will educate you on this matter next.
Lightning Bolt Dodge Ram Warning Light Symbol Guide With Meanings
Dodge Rams have various warning light symbols. By looking at the color of the light each symbol displays, you can tell what your truck needs.
Below, we will discuss lights and their meanings.
When you see a red indicator light symbol, it could be a warning about the following things.
- An engaged braking system – If you notice the red light plus the word BRAKE, it is an alert that you have engaged your braking system. If you have not touched your brakes, the red light could point to a braking system problem.
- Unattached seat belt or damaged airbags – A red light symbol displaying a front-facing passenger seated with a buckled seatbelt means you have forgotten to buckle up. A red symbol with the side view of a person with a circle on their lap may indicate damaged airbags.
- High engine temperature – A red light symbol with the shape of a submerged thermometer indicates a high engine temperature. So you should act to protect your engine from overheating.
- Low oil pressure – When the oil pressure decreases, you might notice a red light with an old oil lamp symbol. After seeing it, you should take quick measures to increase oil pressure.
- Failing Electronic throttle control – If you notice a red light with a bolt of lightning symbol, the electronic throttle control has failed. Again, take quick measures to restore it.
What if you notice one or more yellow indicator light symbols on your dashboard? Here are their different meanings.
- Engine failure– Any driver is familiar with the check engine light. Usually, a yellow light with a vehicle engine symbol, the check engine light indicates a serious problem. Take your Dodge Ram truck to a professional mechanic if you cannot personally diagnose the problem.
- Anti-lock braking system: This icon reads “ABS” and signals a problem with your anti-lock braking system. This also requires immediate attention.
- High transmission temperature– If the transmission temperature of your Dodge truck is abnormally high, you might see a yellow light. A thermometer inside the gear is the symbol that indicates a high transmission temperature.
- Active electronic stability control – If the yellow light is within a car with interlacing trend lines, your electronic stability control is enabled.
03. Blue or white
If you notice white or blue indicator light symbols, the message they are trying to convey is simple. Any car component they represent is on standby mode.
Any minute from now they will become active.
A green indicator light symbol can mean different things. Find more on this next.
- Activated high beams – If your car wants to tell you that the headlights are on, it will display a headlight symbol with many front lights. If the fog lights are on, you will see a headlight image with vertical and horizontal lines.
- Activated cruise control – When you have turned on the cruise control, a green light in a speedometer with an arrow icon will appear.
Now you know the meaning of each indicator light symbol on your dashboard. Once you notice any of these lights, take the necessary action as soon as possible.
Red and yellow indicator light icons mostly point toward a problem with your car components. Take control of the situation by engaging a professional mechanic in your locality.
If you have car repair knowledge, that is even better because you can rectify the issue at once. Never ignore these indicator lights or you will pay a heavy price for them.
We will now discuss the red lightning bolt.
What does the term lightning bolt mean?
For you to understand the meaning of a lightning bolt, you must first know the purpose of the electronic control throttle.
An ETC is a component found only in vehicles made after the 1990s and works better than the manual throttle system.
An electronic Throttle Control uses sensors to gauge the pressure exerted on the gas pedal.
After that, it sends the information to the motor. On receiving the message, the motor opens the throttle based on the foot pressure on the gas pedal.
An ETC is more efficient than the traditional cable throttle control system. So, it can save fuel. If an ETC develops issues, a red lightning bolt symbol will appear on your dashboard.
If you notice it, check if the ETC is functioning. Whenever the red lightning bolt light emerges, the odds of solving an ETC problem are high.
So, do not hesitate to assess the ETC.
What does a lightning bolt symbolize?
As indicated above, the lightning bolt symbolizes an Electronic Throttle Control problem. A red light will accompany the lightning bolt icon.
If you truly have an ETC problem, the lightning bolt red light is not the only symptom you might notice.
Furthermore, you might notice that the truck’s fuel consumption rate has gone up.
While other engine issues can lower fuel mileage, it can indicate an ETC failure if the red light is also present.
Perhaps you have noticed that your Dodge Ram is accelerating randomly or if it has sporadic idling.
If so, the ETC could be faulty. Sporadic idling will also come with engine misfiring or stalling.
Lastly, the electronic throttle control is not okay if you notice the red lightning bolt light flushing intermittently.
If you do pedal resets and the problem persists, repair the electronic throttle control system immediately. If not, your truck may fail.
What does red lightning bolt mean on Dodge Ram?
In a Dodge Ram, the red lightning bolt light points to an electronic throttle control system. As the electronic throttle control system has components, any of them may have a problem.
Perhaps the throttle body, sensor, or motor has a problem. If the motor has failed, the ETC cannot close and open normally.
If a lightning bolt occurs when driving, find a safe spot and park the car. Find a code reader to assist you to reset the ETC and scanning the engine. Resetting the gas pedal entails:
- After inserting your ignition key, turn it ON. Do not start the engine.
- Wait until the warning lights disappear.
- Press on the gas pedal until it touches the car floor
- Release the gas pedal gradually until it goes back to its position
- Turn the ignition key off and start the engine as you press the ETC.
The red lightning bolt on the dash car won’t start
A car computer cannot time anything if the electronic throttle control sensor becomes faulty. There has to be consistent communication between the ETC and the car computer.
Sometimes the ETC is okay, but its body is stuck or damaged. If such a situation, you might notice the red lightning bolt icon.
Although you can continue driving your truck, it might not start one day. One of the symptoms of a damaged ETC is reduced acceleration.
If the ETC fails, the throttle body will not open when you step on the accelerator pedal. Although the system may not fail immediately, the car may not accelerate one day.
When there is a normal idle, the throttle body should close completely. But, if the ETC is faulty, the throttle body will close partially, triggering a high idle.
Again, the throttle body might close too tightly when driving or idling, minimizing the quantity of air the engine needs to run well.
Hence, the engine might stall. If the engine stalls, your car will not start or move.
If you address ETC issues soon after seeing the red lightning bolt light, the car will not stop working unless it has other mechanical problems.
FAQs On Lightning Bolt Dodge Ram Warning Light Symbol Guide
Should I still drive my Dodge Ram if the ETC is faulty?
We do not recommend driving with a faulty ETC. If you are in the middle of nowhere, drive to a nearby gas station or mechanic shop.
Inspect the electronic throttle control system or have an expert assist you. As a faulty ETC reduces acceleration or makes it inconsistent, you are not safe driving with a faulty ETC.
What should I do if there is a lightning bolt light on my dashboard?
First, avoid panicking and keep driving until you find a safe parking area. Test the Electronic Throttle Control personally or hire someone to help you.
If my ETC is okay, could my gas pedal be out of alignment?
Yes, the gas pedal regularly goes out of alignment if you drive your Dodge Ram for several hours.
Due to misalignment, the computer and the ETC communication might get out of order. Solving this problem is easy as you only need to follow our resetting steps above.
What if resetting the ETC does not remove the red lightning bolt light?
If the red light persists, first check the symbol twice. We mentioned earlier that other icons display a red light. If the ETC is fine, maybe the red light points to another problem.
For instance, if you see a passenger icon, it might be the case that you have not buckled up or your airbags are faulty.
If you are sure that the red light symbolizes ETC, take the car to the mechanic.
What is a code reader for?
A code reader is a diagnostic tool for reporting trouble codes for the check engine light and other issues. You can use a code reader to evaluate the engine and search for trouble codes.
After scanning the engine with your code reader, you might need to replace the ETC sensor or another engine component.
Unless the red lightning bolt occurs with other symptoms of a faulty ETC, you cannot be sure of not having other engine issues.
How can I be sure my electronic throttle control system is okay?
Conducting visual and mechanical inspections should help you determine if your ETC is okay. During a visual inspection, open and close the throttle body and check if it is dirty or stuck.
Ask your mechanic to inspect the throttle body if you cannot open and close it effortlessly.
Is there any ETC part that could fail other than the accelerator pedal position sensor?
An ETC also has an accelerator pedal module. Once the pedal position sensor gathers information about the current position of the gas pedal, it informs the control module.
If it wears out, you can get a trouble code as the ETC will not work.
Can I repair or replace my Electronic throttle control at home?
Yes, you can watch YouTube videos and try the task at home. However, ensure you are confident and passionate about car repair and maintenance.
Here comes the end of our lightning bolt dodge ram warning light symbol guide. Do you now understand the meaning of different light symbols on your dashboard?
Grasping this knowledge can help if you suddenly notice the red lightning bolt on the dashboard.
Although all the other lights are crucial, the red one indicates the failure of the electronic throttle control.
If the ETC fails, you might have acceleration problems, increased fuel consumption, engine idling or stalling, etc.
Any symptom could worsen if you ignore the red lightning bolt indicator light. Ignoring the red brake light could mean driving with a faulty braking system or ABS.
Dodge has played its role in ensuring that drivers are in control of their trucks. All they have to do is to interpret the light symbols and act accordingly.
If you can repair the ETC problem, then try it. If not, hire someone.
Originally from England, I’ve been repairing cars for over 16 years and am an automotive journalist. I’ve been working on cars for as long as I can remember, and it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
It is my intention to be your mechanic friend, that person who will assist you with any problem you may have with your vehicle and explain in detail how the problem can be fixed to you as soon as possible.
I produce and anchor a weekly auto news program. As well as providing insights into all things automotive, including expert analysis of the latest trends in the automotive industry, and ensuring you always know where to go for the latest automotive news, I also provide insight into all things automotive before the news breaks.
If I am not working, I am a riding motorcyclist and I do volunteer work with local charities whenever I have time. When I’m not riding my motorcycles or volunteering at local charities, you will find me at home in Portland, Oregon.