Red Lightning Bolt On Dash | 100% Fixed

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David Lawrence

Red Lightning Bolt On Dash

While driving, if you witness a red lightning bolt on car dash, the car is trying to warn you of some inherent problem. This will need immediate fixing and a proper solution at the earliest. This problem can be solved by following a few simple steps, and we will explain those steps in detail here. 

A car is one of the most cherished items in a household. It requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep to keep it in driving condition for longer. One of the best ways to ensure that the car is healthy and maintained is to see the warning signs it gives from time to time and act on them accordingly. 

If you are seeing a warning in your car and want to know how to reset red lighting bolt on dash then we are here to help you out. This article will discuss why this dot might appear and how to make it go away legitimately. 

Meaning of A Red Lightning Bolt On Car Dash 

An Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system measures the pressure the driver applies on the gas pedal while driving, then sends this information via a sensor to the motor. The motor then opens the throttle, providing acceleration to the car. In some older models, a cable might connect the gas pedal to the throttle instead of a sensor. We will discuss the potential reasons for the issues in detail below.

  1. One possibility is that the car is experiencing communication difficulties with the engine control module, affecting engine speed regulation and throttle opening.
  2. Another potential cause is a short circuit due to high voltage in one of the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) signal wires for the sensor input.
  3. An issue with the car’s dashboard might also be the cause, preventing it from receiving proper inputs and leading to difficulties interpreting the indicators.
  4. Lastly, an open circuit between two components in the ETS system could be a problem.

Regardless, observing and interpreting the signs is crucial to understand what is happening with your car. This will help you take appropriate action to address the issue. However, to accurately read the signs, be aware of other symptoms that may indicate a problem with your car’s ETC system.

Symptoms Of A Bad ETC

A red lightning bolt on dash of car is a warning sign given by the car. However, to understand the problem entirely, you might also want to focus on the functioning of your car. As we explained above, there can be other symptoms that show that there is a problem with the ETC. We are going to elaborate upon those symptoms here. 

Problems in Acceleration 

While driving, if you are witnessing problems in accelerating, it might mean that the ETC is not working properly. This may be in the form of sudden or poor acceleration, even when trying to. 

Fuel Mileage 

Reduced fuel efficiency is one of the most prevalent indicators of a malfunctioning ETC in a car. The ETC allows the engine to respond to the driver’s input on the gas pedal. However, a defective ETC may provide incorrect information, resulting in erratic fuel consumption by the vehicle.

Consequently, diminished fuel mileage and a red dot on the dashboard are classic signs of a faulty ETC.

While other factors could contribute to reduced fuel efficiency, the presence of a red dot in conjunction with this issue typically signals a problem with the ETC.

Arbitrary Idling 

Sometimes, due to faulty ETC, the car might experience sporadic idle surges. Along with this, the rider might also experience engine misfire, stalling, etc. All these symptoms are a sign that the ETC is having problems. If your car is idling too high or too low, something might be wrong. 

This, along with a red dot, might mean that your ETC is faulty, and you might want to get it checked as soon as possible. 

Flashing Indicator Lights

If you do pedal resets, and the lightning bolt car symbol flashes between them, it shows that the ETC is faulty and needs urgent care. Probably, the car engine is not working correctly. 

If a red lighting bolt is on your car dash, there is an issue with your ETC. This may be due to various reasons, such as malfunctioning of the electrical system or a damaged sensor. 

How to Reset Red Lightning Bolt On Dash?

Now that we have told you everything there is to know about the red dot and its meaning, we will tell you a sure-shot method of resetting the flashing lightning bolt on your dashboard. All you have to do is follow the steps explained here. 

The red dot shows that the pedal position has changed from earlier, increasing miscommunication. We have explained this system earlier as well. Over time, due to usage, the pedals may be misaligned. If you are experiencing the same, do not worry; there are some simple ways to reset it. 

Step 1- turn on the car to the ‘On’ position but do not start. 

Step 2- Press the gas pedal to the fullest and slowly return it to the resting position. 

Step 3 – Start the car with the engine as well. 

Step 4– Once again, depress the gas pedal. 

Once the fourth step is complete, you might see that the engine has started functioning normally again, and the warning light is gone. However, if you see that the light is still there, there is some inherent fault in the system that needs urgent care. In such cases, it is better to call a mechanic.


Here we present frequently asked questions regarding the red lightning bolt on dash. Let’s delve deeper to enhance our comprehension.

Can you drive with the electronic throttle control light on?

Driving with a flashing electronic throttle control light is very dangerous as it can cause further damage to the vehicle’s engine and internal parts, compromising the driver’s safety.

How much does it cost to fix the electronic throttle control?

It will cost you somewhere between $500 to $1500 to replace an electronic throttle control depending on the time and location to complete the job. The cost will be the same if the throttle body is damaged and must be replaced.

Can throttle control make the car not start?

The throttle body is essential in determining the amount of air passing through your engine. So when it does go bad, your car will have difficulty starting. Get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.

Can a dirty air filter cause throttle body problems?

A dirty air filter will cause airflow and pressure problems in the throttle body. Uneven airflow because of a clogged air filter can cause system pressure problems and lead to mediocre performance and acceleration.


This article addresses a common issue in jeeps and cars by explaining the significance of a red flashing lightning bolt on the vehicle’s dashboard, along with its associated symptoms. We have also provided a method to help resolve the warning sign.

While the ETC light is not a significant concern, it is recommended to contact a mechanic if the problem persists after following the suggested steps.

It’s crucial to have the car inspected to prevent any significant issues from occurring. As emphasized earlier, ensuring the car’s long-term health requires paying attention to warning signs indicating potential system faults. With proper care and informed decisions, a vehicle can exceed its expected lifespan and continue to serve its owner reliably.

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David Lawrence

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