What is the Red Lightning Bolt Symbol in a Jeep? Meaning and Cause

Wondering what is the red lightning bolt symbol on a Jeeps dashboard?

Perhaps you may not understand what all warning signs appearing on your Jeep dashboard mean. But it is important to know what this key warning sign means.

The red lightning bolt symbol on the Jeep dashboard means that the Electronic Throttle Control has a problem.

The Electronic Throttle Control or ETC is what replaced the previous mechanical system with an electronic sensor. It gauges the force that you exert on the throttle using sensors. It then transmits this information to the motor that opens the throttle in proportion to the force you have applied.

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Red Lightning Bolt Symbol in a Jeep

In older vehicle models, the throttle and gas pedal were connected via a cable. The pressure exerted on the gas influenced how much the throttle would open. This controlled how much gas was allowed to enter.

This mechanism was not particularly efficient due to higher fuel consumption. It was in response to this that the Electronic throttle control emerged.

This electronic technology was first implemented in vehicles during the nineties. Its purpose was to replace the older system that was not very efficient with a new electronically controlled system that was more efficient.

However, the electronic system can suffer faults at times. The red lightning bolt gives you a warning when this happens. It means that your electronic throttle control system has a fault.

When this light switches on, it implies that communication between the throttle and the gas pedal is not happening the way it should. You will have to carry out a gas pedal reset when this happens.

What Should I Do When the Red Lightning Bolt Sign Flashes On?

If the red lightning bolt sign is activated when driving, stopping is not necessary. You can go on driving. However, you will need to get your Jeep checked by a professional. If it does not work, you may have to carry out a pedal reset or get it done by a qualified mechanic.

How to Reset the Electronic Throttle Control

If the red lightning bolt sign switches on, it implies that the pedal is out of position. Due to this misalignment, the pedal cannot communicate properly with the sensors that are controlling the throttle.

How much the throttle opens or closes depends on the position of the gas pedal. After driving your Jeep for a certain amount of time, there is a chance that the gas pedal may get misaligned. However, resetting it is not that hard.

Here is how you can reset it. Turn the key on but don’t start the vehicle. Now press the gas pedal down fully on the floor and let it come back to its original position.

After that is done, you should start your vehicle. Depress the pedal and take careful note of how your Jeep responds. If the red lightning bolt sign does not go away, you may have to sort it out by taking it to a mechanic.

It is best to take your Jeep to a mechanic as soon as you see the red lightning bolt or any other warning light.

Here is what other warning lights mean.

Battery Charge Warning

This warning light is shaped by a red battery that shows the positive and negative terminals. There is a plus sign towards the right side of the battery and a negative sign towards the left side of the battery.

This light flashes when there is a problem with the vehicle battery. The battery may need to be replaced. So you should take your vehicle to the nearest service center to get it checked.

Electric Power Steering Fault Warning

Jeep makes use of power steering so that you can have a smoother driving experience. However, there may be times when you feel that there is a problem with how the steering functions. You can look down towards the dashboard and confirm a problem if the electric power steering light has switched on.

This light has the shape of steering along with an exclamation mark placed on the right. This warning light will appear in red to indicate a problem with the steering that needs to be addressed. It is best to take your Jeep to the nearest service center.

Brake Warning

The brake warning light can switch on for various reasons. There is an easy way for you to determine a problem with the brakes. The brake warning light shows up as the word “BRAKE” where all capital letters are in red.

It can be activated when the parking brake is engaged. So this could be a reason for the brake warning flashing on. However, if your brake is not activated and the brake warning light has flashed on, it is likely that you have a brake problem that can be fixed by a service center near you.

Anti-Lock Braking System Warning

The Anti-Lock Braking System light flashes on with the capital letters “ABS” inside a circle. ABS is the system in your vehicle that prevents it from skidding. If there is a problem with the ABS, then this light will switch on in yellow. It is best to get your vehicle checked if this happens.

Engine Check Light

The Engine Check Light is one of the most common lights that can be seen on the dashboard. It can display for various reasons. The engine may be misfiring or the transmission may have a problem.

When this yellow light switches on, you should go to your service center to have it fixed.

Tire Pressure Warning

The tire pressure warning light will show in yellow when the air pressure inside your tires is too low. This sign appears in the form of an exclamation mark inside a horseshoe. There will be wavy lines underneath it.

Your tires must be inflated to the optimal pressure level if they are to maintain traction and grip on the road. If the pressure is too low, then the traction could reduce substantially creating the risk of an accident. Hence, you should get your tires checked for pressure as well as any possible holes that are causing the fall in pressure.

Bottom Line

You now have a better idea of what various common warning lights on your Jeep dashboard mean. It is best to take the vehicle to your mechanic to have the issue addressed as soon as possible.

Mark Anders

I love my Jeep and will share my years of knowledge with you here! Stay with me and read on!

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