The poll of 2,000 drivers, by breakdown firm Britannia Rescue, found that despite the fact that technology now advises us when our cars need attention, the majority continue driving simply because they don't recognise the warning lights.
A sizeable majority of 95 per cent of those quizzed failed to recognise the symbol telling then that the catalytic converter was faulty, and 86 per cent were baffled by the air-conditioning light.
But perhaps more worrying was that 70 per cent could not identify the tyre pressure warning, and 48 per cent didn't recognise the brake warning light.
The study asked the respondents to look at 99 warning lights from 15 of the UK's most popular cars. Only one motorist out of 52 was able to correctly identify 16 of the most common symbols.
The Mercedes-Benz E Class, for example, comes with an array of 41 dashboard warning lights, while the Volvo S40 has only 21.
Of the motorists polled, one in four said warning symbols had lit up on their dashboard during the last 12 months, but the majority continued driving for an average of 12 days before heading to the garage.
What do you think? Do modern cars contain too many dashboard warnings, or are motorists to blame for not knowing their stuff? Leave your comments below...