Check all fluids.
Your vehicle runs on six essential fluids: engine oil, windshield-washer liquid, and fluids for the power steering, brakes, transmission, and radiator.
Engine oil is vital for cars with combustion engines. Before checking, read the manual to determine if the car should be warm or cool for an accurate reading. When the car is the proper temperature and parked on a level surface, use the dipstick under the hood to make sure the oil does not need to be topped off. If the oil on the dipstick is no longer transparent and is thick and dark, it’s time to schedule an oil change.
Conventional wisdom used to be that you should change your engine oil every three months or 3,000 miles. Newer vehicles, however, recommend longer intervals of 5,000 to 8,000 miles. If your vehicle requires synthetic oil, you might be able to go as far as 15,000 miles between oil changes. The best way to know what kind of oil your vehicle requires and how often it should be changed is to consult the owner’s manual. While newer vehicles will inform you that it’s time for an oil change based on vehicle mileage, some advanced vehicle systems will monitor operating conditions to identify when the oil is starting to degrade, and then notify you accordingly.