Red Lightning Bolt on Car: Why the Lightning Strikes?

One of the really typical vehicle failure modes is the appearance of a red lightning bolt on car. This bolt conducts current from the car’s battery to the electrics, but if it shorts out, the electronics will not get power. Do not immediately contact experts for help if you see any flashing red lights on your dashboard. Instead, read this guide first.

What Does the Term “Lightning Bolt” Mean?

If the Electronic Throttle Control warning light appears on the dashboard, there is an issue. This could be because of broken electronic throttle control, a problem with the electric system, or a broken sensor.

First, you need to narrow down the issue to one of these three possible causes and have that addressed. The red lightning bolt indicates a possible problem with the ETC module. Potential examples of this are:

  • Problems with the ECM (engine control module) preventing proper speed and throttle control
  • Due to a broken connection between two ETS parts

What Does a Red Lightning Bolt on Car Represent?

An issue with the electronic throttle control is shown by the lightning bolt, as mentioned above. The lightning bolt symbol will be accompanied by a blinking red light. The red lightning bolt on car may not be the only indicator of an ETC issue.

It’s also possible that you’ve observed an increase in the truck’s fuel consumption rate. Although poor gas mileage can be caused by a number of engine problems, the presence of the red ETC light suggests trouble. It’s possible that you’ve observed your Dodge Ram randomly accelerating or idling.

If that’s the case, the ETC might be broken. The engine may misfire or stall sporadically, leading to idling. Finally, a red lightning bolt on car that periodically flashes indicates trouble with the electronic throttle control. If pedal resets don’t fix the problem, repair the ETC. Otherwise, the truck could break down.

How to Reset the Red Lightning Bolt on Car

If unplugging the battery for 5 minutes doesn’t work, try something more drastic. You may reset the red lightning bolt on car dashboard by disconnecting the negative terminal connection behind the steering column. The red lightning bolt can be reset in this fashion. But if the problem persists, you should have a mechanic look into it to determine why it occurred in the first place.

Car Warning Light Symbol Meanings: Lightning Bolt

All sorts of warning signs can be found on vehicles like the Dodge Ram. By looking at the color of the bolt light coming from each symbol, you can figure out what the vehicle wants. This section explores the significance of various lighting effects, including:


The following are possible causes for concern when a red lightning bolt on dash jeep is flashing:

  • The application of brakes

When the red light and the word BRAKE appear, it means that your brakes are on. The red light may indicate a problem with the braking system, even if you haven’t applied the brakes.

  • Disconnected safety belt or malfunctioning airbag

A red light with a front-facing passenger wearing a seatbelt indicates that you have failed to fasten your own. Damaged airbags may be represented by a red symbol showing a person’s side profile with a circle on their lap.

  • Engine temperature is really high

A red thermometer-shaped light indicates a hot engine. Therefore, prevent engine overheating by taking appropriate action.

  • Oil pressure is low

A red light representing an antique oil lamp may appear as oil pressure drops. Upon observing this, immediate action must be taken to raise oil pressure.

  • Faulty electronic throttle control

Lightning striking a red light indicates a problem with the electronic throttle control. Take immediate action to fix it once more.


What should you do if you see a yellow warning light or lights on your dashboard? The various interpretations are listed below.

  • Broken engine

Check engine lights are recognizable to drivers. The check engine light is usually a yellow light with a picture of an engine. Warning signs like this indicate a major problem. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your Dodge Ram, you should probably take it to a good repair shop.

  • Stopping safety features, such as anti-lock brakes

This “ABS” indicator indicates a problem with the anti-lock braking system. Like the previous, this needs to be dealt with right away.

  • Superheated signal transmission

Your Dodge pickup’s transmission warning light could turn yellow if the temperature gets too high. Transmission temperatures are represented via an internal thermometer.

  • Stability control using electrical active devices

A yellow light within an automobile with crisscrossing trend lines.

?Blue or White

Simple meanings are conveyed by white and blue indicator light icons. They are in standby mode for any automotive component they represent.


There are several possible interpretations of a green indicator light. Those problems are listed below:

  • Turn on the high lights

If your car’s headlights are turned on, you’ll see a symbol that looks like a bunch of headlights. A headlight image consisting of lines both vertical and horizontal indicates that the fog lights are on.

  • Initiated the cruise control system

A green light in the speedometer’s arrow icon will illuminate after the cruise control has been activated.

What Does the Red Lightning Bolt Mean on a Car?

If the Electronic Throttle Control warning light appears on the dashboard, there is an issue. This could be because of broken electronic throttle control, a problem with the electric system, or a broken sensor.

First, you need to narrow down the issue to one of these three possible causes and have that addressed. The red lightning bolt indicates a possible problem with the ETC module. What causes a red lightning bolt? Potential examples of this are:

  • Problems with the ECM (engine control module) preventing proper speed and throttle control.
  • A breakdown in the ETS’s circuitry between two parts
  • The TPS signal wire at one of the sensor inputs has a short that has affected both high-voltage circuits.
  • The red lightning bolt also means that something is wrong with the screen on your Jeep’s dashboard like you can’t read it or you see lines across it.

☀ Electronic Throttle Controls

If an ECU failure is to blame for your lightning bolt, removing the batteries should fix the issue. Wait five minutes after disconnecting to test the car’s performance.

What causes the red lightning bolt? Some of the reasons for a red flash of lightning are listed below.

red lightning bolt on car
  • 1. Bad Throttle Control Sensor

Information regarding the throttle’s position is sent to the engine’s ECM via a throttle position sensor. It has moving parts, which can become worn and require replacement. If the throttle position sensor in your car is broken, the onboard computer will get the wrong information, which will make your car use more gas. If you know the signs of a bad throttle position sensor, you can quickly figure out what’s wrong.

  • 2. Failing Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

Enhanced engine idling by raising the idle speed. The accelerator pedal has no effect on the vehicle. The car goes into limp mode. The cockpit’s engine warning light has come on.

  • 3. System Electrical Problems

Power-frequency control, optimization, and regulation of voltage and reactive power. The high voltages are some of the biggest problems with controlling the electric power system.

  • 4. Stuck Throttle Body

The failure to open it could prevent the engine from starting. Sticking the throttle open will let in too much air, leading to a high or erratic idle in your vehicle.

☀ Some Signs That Indicate That the ETC Has Gone Bad

If your car’s electronic throttle control (ETC) has failed, you’ll notice a few warning indicators in addition to the red lightning bolt on the dashboard. Some of the more obvious warning indicators are:

  • 1. Decreased Fuel Mileage

When the ETC fails, one of the first things to notice is a drop in gas mileage. This symptom may indicate many other issues. If you see this symptom with a red lightning bolt on the dashboard, your ETS is malfunctioning.

  • 2. Acceleration Problems

For no apparent reason, your car may suddenly speed up. It is a possible indication of a malfunctioning ETC.

red lightning bolt on car
  • 3. Sporadic Idling

The health of your ETC is not excellent if you notice unpredictable increases in idle time. You may also notice other problems with the engine, such as misfiring, rough idling, or stalling. Your car may have an issue with its idling speed.

  • 4. Intermittently Flashing Indicator Light

If the red light flashes intermittently following pedal resets, the ETC has a problem. To fix the problem, you should have a trustworthy technician look at the car.

☀ Electrical System Malfunctions

There may have been a problem with one of the car’s main electrical circuits because of faulty wiring or a lack of grounding. You can fix the problem by checking on the red lightning bolt on dash dodge charger for loose or broken connections and fixing any corroded terminals.

The right way on how to fix red lightning bolt on dash are the following:

  1. Have a look at the breaker box.
  2. Seek out any sloppy joins
  3. Find out if a wire is broken or has come unplugged.
  4. Put in a new dashboard that looks the same and reconnect the wiring properly.
  5. Replace your fuses.
  6. Turn on the lights, fan, radio, etc., and give it a test drive before reassembling it.

☀ Faulty Sensor

A broken sensor could be the cause of problems with the red lightning bolt dash. In this scenario, you should find a suitable replacement.

What to Look For in a Malfunctioning Electronic Throttle Control?

A red lightning bolt icon on the instrument cluster shows that the electric transmission control (ETC) isn’t working right. Your car’s electrical system relies on this control system, which might break down if it isn’t serviced regularly. If you notice any of these signs, have your vehicle checked out:

  1. Problems with the car’s ignition system
  2. Constantly, the engine dies out of the blue.
  3. The headlights stop working.
  4. The instrument panel lights dim or turn off.

1-Issues with Acceleration

On occasion, your car may suddenly accelerate without explanation. Keep a lookout for this, as it could indicate a malfunctioning ETC.

2-Gas Mileage Drops

When there is an issue with the ETC, one of the first things that usually happens is a decrease in fuel efficiency. This symptom may also indicate a more serious problem. If you see this symptom and a red lightning bolt on the dashboard, your ETS is broken.

3-Inefficient or Excessive Idling

If your engine’s idle speed suddenly increases, it could mean that your electronic throttle control (ETC) is malfunctioning. In addition to the random idling, you may also hear the engine misfire, idle too hard, or stop. It’s also possible that your car’s idle speed is too fast or too slow.

Symptoms Determining The Red Lightning Bolt-On Dash

Electronic throttle control (ETC) systems are what often operate the vehicle’s flashing red light. Therefore, the accelerator pedal is connected to the throttle via this arrangement. The process relies on the fact that fluid flow can be controlled by narrowing the openings.

If the system isn’t functional, the dashboard will display a red lightning bolt. Symptoms of throttle control system problems vary. Several of the most typical examples are given below. So let’s have a look at a quick summary of each.

1. Car Won’t Accelerate Or Lacks Power When Accelerating

If there is a problem with the throttle control system, you will notice differences or have trouble accelerating. As a result, your car won’t be able to accelerate as smoothly as usual or as quickly as you’d like.

The opposite of what happened above is when you realize your car is going faster. Then it’s likely that the engine is malfunctioning. These are some of the same things that happen when an electronic throttle control system goes wrong. As a result, the throttle sensor stops working and a red lightning bolt appears on the dashboard.

2. Engine Won’t Idle Smoothly Or Idles Too Slow

This is further evidence that the throttle mechanism has failed. When you come to a halt and the engine misfires, stalls, or idles roughly, it’s likely due to a damaged or broken sensor. Therefore, when idling, your car’s engine speed should remain steady or idle. In order for the dashboard indicator light to work, there needs to be a sensor that constantly checks how much gas is in the tank.

3. Facing Trouble While Accelerating

There will be challenges for your control unit when shifting gears. Clearer still, shifting between ratios has a sluggish, sticky feel. As a rule, we may expect to see vehicles speeding up, but only by a factor of 20–30 mph. It artificially restricts the power available from the accelerator. It’s as if the car stalls out at the start, or maybe the second gear can’t pick up speed any further.

4. Investigate Engine Lights Coming On Along With The Accompany

Most of the time, engine lights on the dashboard don’t mean anything bad, but sometimes they can mean a big problem. As a result, we usually can’t just disregard these lights. Problems with the throttle position sensor are ultimately caused by the way the sensor-based light switch works. Indirectly, it’s what triggered the red lightning bolt to appear on the car’s dashboard.

If your gas mileage or MPG drops all of a sudden, it could be a sign that your throttle control system is broken. When this happens, you’ll notice that the same amount of fuel doesn’t get you as far as it used to. Obviously, this is a sign that you need to talk to a trustworthy mechanic about what to do next. In addition, you may estimate how much it will cost to fix your automobile and work to keep it in a safe, dependable condition with the information provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is the function of a vehicle’s red lightning bolt?

The flashing red light on the car is run by the electronic throttle control (ETC) system. Therefore, the accelerator pedal is connected to the throttle via this arrangement. Constriction-based fluid management is used in this system.

Q: What is a choke control’s red lightning bolt?

Electronic choke control, represented by the red lightning bolt, limits the output of light. It’s a crucial aspect of every car’s interior, according to most.

Q: When does a red throttle control light indicate trouble?

The red warning light indicates a problem between the accelerator and the throttle.

Q: Can you drive with the electronic throttle control light on?

There’s no need to pull over if you notice the ETC light on, but you should get your automobile checked out as soon as possible. If no other warning lights are on and acceleration is normal, you can keep driving. However, you should either reset the system or take the car in for service.

Q: How do I clear the red lightning bolt from my dashboard?

The red lightning bolt on the dashboard may make the motor-control sensor think that the position of the accelerator has changed. The wear and tear on the gas pedal cause this to happen. However, resetting it is simple and takes just under 10 minutes.

Wrapping Up

There’s no need to freak out once the ETC or red lightning bolt warning light comes on the dashboard. But just like any other problem with your car, this one needs your full attention and the right steps. The first step is to try resetting the pedal, and if that doesn’t work, have your mechanic inspect the electronic throttle control in your vehicle.

And if the brake reset did the trick but the ETC, or red lightning bolt, the light remains blinking, it’s time to take the car in for service. When a red lightning bolt icon appeared on your dashboard, you probably found this post and thought it answered everything. I really hope this essay was of some use to you.