Warning light lacks good design



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

Dear Kathleen:

It means it’s time to feed the guppies.

“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 your answers will be shared with Dr. Freud.

Tom and Ray Magliozzi

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Get more Click and Clack in their new book, “Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk.â€ Got a question about cars? Visit the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.

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