People enjoy driving fast and powerful cars. With that speed, however, comes a price in the form of lift. Like an airplane, as a car speeds up, it begins to generate lift which will start to pull the vehicle away from the road. To prevent your car from taking flight, a rear-mounted spoiler will generate downward force to counteract the lift and keep your vehicle planted on the ground. Some drivers don’t like how spoilers look and prefer to have a sleek, understated appearance for their car. To get the best of both worlds, many high end sports cars have adjustable rear spoilers these days. At normal speeds, the spoiler is lowered to keep the car looking clean and simple. Once you reach highway speeds, the spoiler is raised to generate downward force and keep the car on the ground. The spoiler can also be manually raised and lowered with a button inside the car. A warning light on the dash will inform you of any issues detected with the functioning of the spoiler.
What the rear spoiler warning light means
The rear spoiler warning light indicates that a fault has been detected with the spoiler system. The system will be temporarily deactivated to prevent any damage from occurring. A code will be saved to help identify any problems so you’ll need to scan your car using a diagnostic tool.
Most of the time, the issue is fairly small, like a loose/broken connector or a blown fuse. Occasionally, leaks can develop or the motor itself can fail, but that is more uncommon. The system should work like normal again once you perform any necessary repairs.
Is it safe to drive with the rear spoiler warning light on?
Without the rear spoiler, your vehicle may not feel quite as stable at high speeds. This generally occurs at speeds greater than the freeway speeds so as long as you aren’t trying to break the sound barrier, you should be able to use the car normally. The spoiler does help with the overall stability of the vehicle so you shouldn’t ignore the the warning.
If you are experiencing any issues with your adjustable rear spoiler, our certified technicians are available to help diagnose any problems.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Rear Spoiler Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.