Whitesburg KY

Warning light lacks good design

Car Talk

Dear Car Talk:

My mom’s car is a Honda 2011 minivan, and on the dashboard there is a yellow-orange fishbowl with an exclamation mark. I was wondering what that means? — Kathleen

It means it’s time to feed the guppies, Kathleen.

“Fishbowl” is a funny description. The icon is actually supposed to be a cross-section of a partially deflated tire. The warning light is on because the air pressure is low in one or more of your mom’s tires.

It’s not a great icon. And you’re not the first one to have no idea what that image is, Kathleen. To me, it looks like someone’s large posterior sitting on a lawn chair. But once you mentioned it, I can see it as a fishbowl, too. Chalk it up to bad icon design.

For the rest of the Car Talk readers: What do you guys see in the “low tire pressure” icon? Send us your thoughts, and I’ll share your answers with Dr. Freud.

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Why do unmitigated cheapskates like Ray continue to buy nothing but old clunkers? Find out by ordering Car Talk’s guide “How to Buy a Great Used Car: Secrets Only Your Mechanic Knows.” Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Used Car, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

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Got a question about cars? Write to Car Talk in care of this newspaper, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.

(c) 2014 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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