Car Won’t Start with a Red Lightning Bolt on the Dashboard?

You turn on your car and notice a small sign of red bolt lighting on the dashboard. Similar to other warning lights, you need to take the red bolt warning light seriously to avoid further damage to your car. But what does the light indicate?

The red lighting bolt on the dash won’t start, indicating issues with your car’s electronic throttle control unit. More precisely, the throttle body might become bad. A defective throttle position sensor, and a faulty battery, additionally, can be the reasons behind the warning light.

Having a better understanding of what causes the warning light is better for our automobiles. So, today, we will find out the actual causes and possible solutions for the red lighting bolt sign.

Red Lightning Bolt On Dash Car Won’t Start;

Symptoms of the Red Lightning Bolt Signal on the Dashboard of Your Car?

You already know precisely what the red bolt light on your car’s dashboard indicates. Additionally, other symptoms can tell you about electronic throttle control malfunctions along with this warning light. To mention a few; 

  • Low fuel mileage
  • Hard acceleration
  • Engine poor idling
  • loss of engine power

What Causes Red Lightning Bolt on Dash Car Won’t Start? 

The electronic throttle control system is vital, no matter what modern-day vehicle you own. If the system fails, you will find it challenging to start your car. Let’s know what to check and fix in this case.

Cause 1: Battery Replacement

Battery Replacement
Battery Replacement

Many car owners have experienced the red bolt warning light popping up on the dashboard whenever they replace their car’s battery. After that, the warning light comes on when they turn on the ignition switch.

However, this is not a problem to feel worried about. There is no issue regarding the electronic throttle body in such a case. It might be an error with the computer system of your car. 

Cause 2: Faulty Throttle Body

Faulty Throttle Body
Faulty Throttle Body

In 95% of the cases, if you are dealing with the red lighting bolt warning light, this is due to the malfunction of the throttle body. This is because the warning light is mainly incorporated with electronic throttle control. 

A throttle body is constructed with too many important components. Some of them are; the throttle control motor, flange, butterfly valve, throttle position sensor, etc. 

Therefore, if a single component malfunction, the entire electronic throttle control system can malfunction. Now, what bad can happen with the throttle control body?

Well, if too much dirt and dust on the throttle control body, it tends to malfunction. This mostly happens when you are unconscious about the maintenance of the throttle body in your car. When you pull out the throttle body, it just looks dirty and nasty.

Additionally, the wiring harness of the throttle body might be worn out or damaged sometimes. If this happens, the electronic throttle control won’t work.

Cause 3: Throttle Position / Pedal Sensor

Throttle Position / Pedal Sensor
Throttle Position / Pedal Sensor

The throttle position sensor plays a significant role in the smooth operation of the electronic throttle control. The sensor determines the pressure of the pedal or monitors how far the throttle valve is open. 

And thus, the throttle position sensor can send the signal to the engine control module. Then, the engine control module controls the amount of fluid entering the engine’s intake manifold. 

Now, what if the throttle position sensor goes bad? Unfortunately, if this happens, the sensor can’t inform the engine control module about how much fuel to inject based on the engine’s requirement. 

In most cases, the throttle position sensor in your car becomes faulty or worn out. And this untimely caused the failure of the electronic throttle control system. Sometimes, the sensor can also be affected by extreme dirt and dust.

Cause 4: Faulty Battery

Faulty Battery
Faulty Battery

The red lighting bolt signal could happen if something is wrong, like the dead battery. Besides, the battery might still need to be fully charged. 

And according to Jessica Howe, an automotive mechanic with more than 5 years of experience, issues like a faulty battery can affect the electronic throttle control.

Moreover, if nothing else mentioned above is the cause of the red bolt warning light, the faulty battery can cause the problem.

How Severe Is the Red Lighting Bolt Warning Light on Your Car?

Any issues regarding the throttle control system on your car can threaten your car. Therefore, there is no valid reason to take the red light on your car dashboard lightly, especially when you have trouble starting your car.

And according to a good number of automotive experts, a bad throttle body can also cause engine damage. We’re unsure whether you can bear the enormous engine replacement cost. 

Red Lightning Bolt – Diagnose and Replace Throttle Body

The red lighting bolt on your car’s dashboard lets you know there is a problem with the electronic throttle control unit. However, checking the trouble code using the OBD2 scanner will be better. 

Once you know the red bolt warning light’s trouble codes, you can proceed to fix the issues. If you don’t have an OBD2 scanner, call a mechanic. 

Check this video regarding how to use the OBD2 scanner tool.

How to Fix Red Lightning Bolt on Dash Car Won’t Start?

You have seen the possible issues that might cause the red bolt light to appear on your car’s dashboard. Now, we should perform the methods to eradicate the warning light based on the causes. 

Method 1: Reset the Red Light Bolt on Your Car’s Dashboard

This is important! When you notice the red lighting bolt flashing on your car’s dashboard, you first attempt to reset the warning light. But how do you do so? Let’s reveal!

  • Step 1: Turn the ignition key into the ‘On’ position but never start the engine.
  • Step 2: Wait until the check engine light flashes and stops blinking.
  • Step 3: Press the gas pedal inside and then release slowly. 
  • Step 4: Turn the ignition key into the ‘Off’ position and turn on the car. 

Doing so will fix your problem in most cases. So, before checking any components of the electronic throttle control, make sure you try to reset the warning light by following the steps above. 

Method 2: Clean/Replace the Dirty Throttle Body

Car owners must know how to clean dirt and dust from their vehicles. In order to fix the issue of the dirty throttle control body, you need to clean it first. But, if the cleaning doesn’t work, you should go on to replace it with a new one. 

Here you can check this video to replace the throttle control body.

Method 3: Clean/Replace the Throttle Position Sensor

First, you must carefully check the throttle position sensor’s condition. You will find the sensor located or mounted on the throttle body. 

If the sensor becomes contaminated with dirt and dust, clean it with a brush or soft cloth. However, you need to replace the sensor if it becomes damaged or worn out.

But you should only do so when you have confirmed that the sensor has become faulty. How do you know it? You need to check the throttle position sensor in your car. 

There are times when the throttle position sensor might become unadjusted. So, make sure you adjust correctly. Here’s a video that can help you out in this regard. 

Method 4: Replace the Battery

You need to check the battery’s condition first. Inspect the wiring harness and search for defects. If nothing seems faulty, disconnect and connect the battery again. Additionally, make sure the battery is charged enough. 

But, before replacing the battery, check your car with a technician. You can also check the battery’s health if you have a voltmeter. However, don’t just randomly replace the battery. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s know what other car owners often ask regarding the dashboard’s red lighting bolt warning signal. You might also have these questions in your mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix The Red Light Bolt On Dash?

The cost will vary depending on the part you need to replace. However, replacing the throttle body and the pedal sensor might cost you anything between $100-$400. The price includes both parts and labor costs.

How Long Does The Pedal Sensor Last On Your Car?

Surprisingly, you don’t need to change the throttle pedal sensor on a car at regular intervals. Most throttle pedal sensors are supposed to last for a lifetime unless there is any major issue.

Do You Need To Hire A Mechanic To Fix The Red Light Bolt Signal On Your Car’s Dashboard?

If you have prior knowledge regarding the electronic throttle control of your car, you can fix any issue related to this on your own. Otherwise, it’s better to hire a mechanic in this case.

Can I Drive With an Electronic Throttle Control Light on?

You can usually drive your car with the electronic light on. However, this is not recommended by experts as doing so can severely impact your car’s engine. A decrease in fuel mileage is also an expected outcome of the problem.

Related Posts:

Similar Posts