Anyone who makes a habit out of taking long car journeys will know how important it is to check and top-up your engine oil regularly. The fact that this amber liquid is widely regarded as a car's "lifeblood" signifies its importance, and it is up to you to keep this blood flowing and your engine running smoothly.

If you do happen to find yourself in a spot of trouble after getting your car rental in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, never fear – East Coast Car Rentals offers 24-hour roadside assistance. However, it definitely pays to know how you can help to keep your engine happy!

Checking your oil is quick, easy and could save you a lot of trouble down the track.

Step One: Make sure your car is on a flat surface. I usually make a point of checking my car's oil when I'm at a gas station, but any level ground will do.

Step Two: Your car should be off and your engine cold before you go any further. That done, open the car's hood and locate the oil dipstick. This will be in different places in different cars, so you might have to look around for it. It should have a little looped handle at the top that you can put your finger through. Pull it out.

Step Three: Wipe the dipstick with a cloth or paper towel and reinsert it into the pipe. This can sometimes be difficult to do, as the pipe you're placing it in is curved.

Step Four: Pull the dipstick out again. Look for the two little marks at its end that say "Add" and "Full", or something along those lines. If the oil film is a long way below the "Full" mark, you should add more oil.

We strongly recommend that you check your oil every month or so, just to be on the safe side.