International Truck Dashboard Symbols And Meanings

Navigating the intricate array of lights and symbols on an International Truck's dashboard can be as challenging as steering through rush hour traffic. With various indicators that monitor everything from exhaust temperatures to fuel economy, understanding these signals is crucial for your vehicle's safe and efficient operation. In this comprehensive guide, we've decoded the mysteries of your dashboard, ensuring that every symbol is a signpost leading to peak performance and prolonged engine life. As we dive deeper into the world of International Truck Dashboard Symbols, we'll explore how these indicators are not just warnings but also the keys to unlocking the full potential of your heavy-duty companion.

Based on the image above, you can look at the meanings of the following International Truck Dashboard warning lights.


When the exhaust system's temperature rises significantly, it's typically part of normal operation and doesn't necessarily call for engine servicing. It is important, however, to ensure that the exhaust is directed away from people and combustible materials due to the high temperatures.

B- Engine Warning

This alert signifies that a particular aspect of the engine's operation, such as pressure, temperature, or the filling level of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), has reached a point where attention is needed. The engine might need to be serviced. The 3 items are explained in more detail below.

C- Engine Shutdown

This warning indicates a critical issue within the engine that requires immediate cessation of operation to prevent damage.


This light alerts you to a detected malfunction in the engine or the exhaust system that needs to be addressed soon.


The illumination of this light suggests that the DPF is heavily laden with soot. Under most circumstances, driving at highway speeds or performing a stationary regeneration can remedy this. If the light starts flashing, it signifies that a stationary regeneration must be carried out urgently. Instructions for this process are typically found on the visor or in the operator's manual.

Some Problems and Solutions Of the DPF System

Common issues with the Diesel Particulate Filter system in trucks and their troubleshooting methods.
Common issues with trucks' Diesel Particulate Filter system and their troubleshooting methods.

DPF Regeneration

To initiate a stationary regeneration:

  1. Position the vehicle away from combustible materials and allow for a 20 to 40-minute uninterrupted period.
  2. Engage the parking brake and keep the engine running.
  3. For automatic vehicles, ensure it's in the park; leave it in neutral for manual cars.
  4. Press the "parked regeneration" button on the dashboard's right side. If your vehicle has a "regeneration inhibit" switch, ensure it is not activated. It's

It is normal for the engine speed to increase as the regeneration process heats the exhaust and burns off the soot, cleaning out the DPF. Once complete, the DPF light will extinguish, and you can resume normal operation.

DPF Light Flashing

A blinking DPF light indicates that the filter is nearly full, and the vehicle won't be able to travel much further without a regeneration.

DPF Light Flashing With Beeping Alarm

If the DPF light flashes accompanied by a beeping sound, the filter is full, and the engine's power will be reduced to prevent damage. You may also see an "engine warn" light. Perform a stationary regeneration immediately to avoid severe engine or exhaust system damage.

Some Of The International Truck Problems And Solutions

An overview of typical mechanical issues in International trucks and effective solutions.
An overview of typical mechanical issues in International trucks and effective solutions.

Driving for Fuel Economy

Even small improvements in fuel efficiency can result in significant cost savings over time.

Before the Trip

Ensure your tires are at the correct pressure; underinflated tires can lead to increased fuel consumption and premature wear. Also, adjust the gap between the truck and trailer to minimize drag and improve fuel economy.

Idle Management

Turn off the engine when not in the truck. Use idling to control the temperature inside the cab only when necessary.

On the Road

Your driving style can greatly affect fuel efficiency. In traffic, smooth acceleration, deceleration, and foresight can help maintain momentum and reduce fuel consumption.

Cruise Control

Engage cruise control on flat terrain to maintain a consistent speed. However, be cautious in hilly areas, which may increase fuel usage.

Progressive Shifting

Shift at lower RPMs to keep the engine in its most efficient range, typically around 1500 RPM or just above, to maintain peak torque after shifting.

Engine RPM

To optimize fuel economy, driving in the highest sustainable gear and keeping engine speed low is key. It's also important to shift early and stay in a higher gear during deceleration.

Pulling Hills with the N13

Avoid downshifting before a hill. These engines produce peak torque at low RPMs, so it's more efficient to approach and ascend the mountain without downshifting too early.

Electronic Features

Your fleet manager, with support from a Navistar dealer, might enable various advanced electronic features to enhance driving efficiency and performance:

Adaptive Shifting

This system adjusts the engine's RPM threshold in each gear, promoting timely upshifts. It may seem as though the engine is losing power when, in fact, it's reaching the preset RPM cap. Shifting up allows the vehicle to resume acceleration until the next year's limit.

Downshift Regulation

Like adaptive shifting, this feature targets the two gears below the highest gear. It allows full use of the RPM range in lower gears and the top gear, enforcing early downshifts to prevent over-revving.

Shift Advisory Indicator

An indicator illuminates the signal when the engine operates at higher RPMs for a sustained period, suggesting an upshift is advisable. The engine runs within its optimal power range post-shift, albeit at a reduced RPM.

Speed Limiter Enhancement

This feature temporarily bypasses the truck's preset speed cap, which is useful for overtaking maneuvers. Activation is straightforward: at maximum throttle, release and depress the accelerator pedal quickly to engage the temporary speed boost for the duration set by the engine's programming.

Performance-Based Incentives

A merit-based system that allows for an increase in the regulated speed for acceleration or cruise control. This boost is contingent upon a driver's fuel efficiency and idle times. Fleet managers can inform drivers if their performance qualifies them for this benefit.

International Truck Service Manuel

We have attached the International Truck Service manual below. You can search the PDF file by model number. With this 289-page PDF, we hope you will be able to troubleshoot all your problems.

Please leave us a comment if you have any additional questions. Our technicians will respond as soon as possible.

Oops! You forgot to select a pdf file.

FAQs About International Truck Symbols

What does a flashing DPF light indicate?

A flashing DPF light suggests the Diesel Particulate Filter is nearly full and requires a parked regeneration soon.

Is high exhaust system temperature a cause for immediate concern?

High exhaust system temperature is normal during certain operations and does not typically necessitate immediate engine service.

When should the engine shutdown symbol be taken seriously?

The engine shutdown symbol indicates a critical condition that requires immediate engine stopping to prevent damage.

What action should be taken when the engine warning light comes on?

If the engine warning light is illuminated, checking engine conditions and service as necessary is important.

Can driving habits impact fuel economy in International Trucks?

Driving habits such as managing momentum and using cruise control efficiently can significantly impact fuel economy.

Final Thoughts

In heavy-duty haulage, knowledge is as valuable as the cargo carried. The dashboard symbols of an International Truck serve as the language through which your vehicle communicates its needs and performance status. By mastering this language, drivers can ensure optimal functionality, prevent costly repairs, and promote longevity in their trusted rigs. As we conclude our journey through the maze of dashboard indicators, remember that each light, no matter how small, is a sentinel guarding the health of your International Truck.

Keep this guide close; you'll hold a tool and roadmap to a smoother, more efficient driving experience.

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