Notice A Green Car Symbol on the Dashboard? Here's What It Means

Notice A Green Car Symbol on the Dashboard? Here’s What It Means

Wondering what that green car symbol on your dashboard represents? Today’s cars are full of sensors and cameras intended to increase driver safety through various automated measures-this light is related to these systems, but how? 

Certain dashboard notifications often serve as reminders or notifications regarding your car’s engine health, tire status, and various other metrics. Some of these lights may be indicators of automatic driver assistance systems, and others could even be indicators of non-functional features! 

It’s important to know how to understand the symbols on your dash if you want to ensure your car is well taken care of, and that you are taking advantage of the onboard systems. So stick with us below to unravel what that green car symbol on your dash really means! 

Table of Contents

What Does The Green Car Symbol Mean?

We have already mentioned the fact that most modern cars include additional safety systems determined through a variety of sensors and cameras. Often, these systems collect and display their data through notifications on the driver’s dashboard, primarily using the color green. 

If you notice a green car symbol pop up on your dashboard, this likely means that your car has engaged Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The sensors on your car help ACC to determine the distance between your vehicle, and the next one in front of you. 

Your vehicle’s dashboard won’t just display this information alone. The dash is also home to everything else you’ll need to be in the know for all the goings on in your car. The function of these lights are determined by the specific color of the notification. Each color is listed below with an explanation of what they mean:

  • Green – System is currently functional and operating 
  • Blue – System is currently functional and operating
  • Orange – Service warning 
  • Yellow – Service warning 
  • Red – Safety warning/critical problem 
  • Flashing Light – Safety Warning

Why Does The Green Car Symbol Activate?

Not all ACC systems function in the exact same way, but across the board, the principles of why it is activated remain the same. When ACC is engaged, the green car symbol is typically displayed in solid green colors. If you get closer to other vehicles nearby, this symbol will change in order to alert the driver. 

The symbol may warn you by blinking in synchronization to an onboard sound or may shift colors based on the exact distance you are from the vehicle being picked up by the sensor. 

What Does Adaptive Cruise Control Do?

Using front-facing camera sensors, your car’s ACC system is able to determine its distance from the car in front of itself. If the sensor calculates that you are close to the set distance to maintain, the car will automatically slow down, and warn the driver using a flashing green car symbol, located on the dashboard. 

Most systems will allow the user to input their own preferred distance that this occurs, so you can determine your own needs. 

Can I Turn Off Adaptive Cruise Control?

You can turn off adaptive cruise control! You can typically find a cruise control button located on your steering wheel, or somewhere close to the dashboard display. Turning ACC off will also turn off the green car symbol. 

If you do decide to turn off adaptive cruise control, you will need to pay extra attention to your speed, and the current road conditions. In general, you should maintain enough distance between yourself and the car in front of you to allow effective braking without needing to slam suddenly on the brakes. 


Understanding how to read the notifications on your dash can make a big difference in the way that you utilize your vehicle’s onboard systems. With features warning you of engine issues displays reminding you that your high beams are still on (oops), to systems automatically managing your driving, your car has lots of features to keep you informed. 

Now that you know the color coding for all onboard systems, and more precisely what the green car symbol means, you will be able to figure out everything you need the next time a light, whether it’s foreign or familiar, shows its face on your dashboard!

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