West Coast Rovers Lake Forest, CA

Specializing in Land Rover Service and Repair

West Coast Rovers Lake Forest, CA - Specializing in Land Rover Service and Repair

Straight And True In LAKE FOREST: Wheel Alignment

Most Irvine folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by LAKE FOREST drivers is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more pricey than an alignment check in LAKE FOREST. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Irvine.

Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your minivan. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the minivan may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your minivan can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy LAKE FOREST street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Foothill Ranch driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your minivan, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any West Coast Rovers service advisor will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or West Coast Rovers service specialist can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider a diagnostic examination more often. Ask your thoughtful service advisor for a recommendation.

If your minivan is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your minivan pulls to one side when you drive around Irvine. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

LAKE FOREST motorists should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get an automotive analysis, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for El Toro motorists, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all LAKE FOREST residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to LAKE FOREST Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in LAKE FOREST.

  • Some cars in LAKE FOREST no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in LAKE FOREST if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.

Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.

It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.

So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers to check on the recommendation right away.

Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.

For our friends in LAKE FOREST, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at West Coast Rovers. You’ll find us at 22552 Muirlands Blvd. in LAKE FOREST, CA 92630. Just give us a call at (800) 614-3878.

West Coast Rovers Smart Car Care Videos: Air Conditioning

Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.

A common A/C problem is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber obstructs passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.

Leaks can occur at seals and gaskets and may cut down the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.

Ask your West Coast Rovers technician for an air conditioning system examination to make sure everything is up to spec.

Give us a call

West Coast Rovers
(800) 614-3878
22552 Muirlands Blvd.
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From West Coast Rovers

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the CA news. LAKE FOREST people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel efficiency and receive a government rebate.

A lot of LAKE FOREST motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, LAKE FOREST grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their minivans for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of LAKE FOREST drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own minivans on the road in CA.

The astute LAKE FOREST car owners of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At West Coast RoversThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your minivan’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is detrimental for your engine.

There’s another critical reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for LAKE FOREST car owners. It’s simple – a West Coast Rovers professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your West Coast Rovers technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or expensive repair.

Your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service advisor will also visually inspect your minivan for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your West Coast Rovers advisor will be able to remind you of other vital services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your LAKE FOREST dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your minivan gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some income, but they are less costly than new minivan payments in LAKE FOREST. With proper service at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more income in your wallet.

Drive Train Service in LAKE FOREST at West Coast Rovers

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the vital components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.

Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.

West Coast Rovers service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.

West Coast Rovers service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.

All-wheel drive minivans provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.

Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.

Servicing an all-wheel drive at West Coast Rovers involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions LAKE FOREST car owners encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.

LAKE FOREST auto owners would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their minivan drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional as well. You may live in an area in CA where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.

If you drive off-road, it is important to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the Irvine area are particularly hard on your driveline.

Good car care at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your minivan becomes a very large paperweight.

West Coast Rovers is located at 22552 Muirlands Blvd. in LAKE FOREST. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of LAKE FOREST, El Toro, Foothill Ranch, Laguna Niguel and Irvine.

West Coast Rovers Vehicle Maintenance Tips and Videos: Battery Testing

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most LAKE FOREST motorists and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Your West Coast Rovers service specialist can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for CA auto owners because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

Give us a call

West Coast Rovers
(800) 614-3878
22552 Muirlands Blvd.
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630

Technician Training at West Coast Rovers

Your car is important to you and keeping it running properly is vital to your LAKE FOREST lifestyle. That’s why you’re smart to have it serviced regularly at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It’s also very important to your LAKE FOREST service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our LAKE FOREST auto service center spends annually to make sure our thoughtful techs are properly trained.

  West Coast Rovers offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our LAKE FOREST centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. West Coast Rovers technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at West Coast Rovers require the use of specialized equipment. West Coast Rovers technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that thoughtful service specialists be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious (and expensive).

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to drivers. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

CA folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at West Coast Rovers) are trained in compliance with federal and local LAKE FOREST laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It’s the goal of West Coast Rovers to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your thoughtfulservice professional or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

At West Coast Rovers, well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best auto service in LAKE FOREST.

Engine Air Filter From West Coast Rovers


Many LAKE FOREST auto owners have found themselves in the following situation: they go to get their oil changed and their thoughtful West Coast Rovers service advisor recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don’t know what an air filter is or what it does.

If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your West Coast Rovers technician for more information. It’s your money and you have a right to understand what you’re paying for.

Let’s review: “What does an air filter do??”:

Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in LAKE FOREST right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in CA with hay fever can tell you that there’s plenty in the air that you can’t see. Well, the engine air filter’s critical job is to clean that air before it goes into your minivan engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your minivan engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, for every gallon of gas you burn, your minivan engine needs 12,000 gallons of air. That little filter does a very big job. It’s no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn’t clean as well. It can’t move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way – the minivan engine can’t get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced gas mileage.

That’s why your auto manufacturer has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the LAKE FOREST conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in CA where it’s very dusty or where there’s lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement, or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you’ll need to replace it soon – like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty minivan air filter hurts your MPG, many LAKE FOREST motorists find that a new air filter pays for itself in better gas mileage before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

The better your car breathes, the better it runs – kind of like LAKE FOREST people. And don’t worry – if you have a question or don’t understand a recommendation just ask your West Coast Rovers service advisor.

22552 Muirlands Blvd.
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630
(800) 614-3878

Automobile Fluids For Your minivan

If you’ve walked through the automotive fluids of an auto parts store in Irvine, you’ll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what’s right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Irvine area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First let’s talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles around Irvine come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what’s been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

LAKE FOREST CA Auto Fluids A good quality oil has more additives that are engineered to clean and protect the engine. They cost a bit more, but are worth the extra protection. If you buy budget oil, you might want to consider shortening your oil change interval.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We’ve seen special coolant in Irvine for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that your Irvine service center has databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that’ll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Of course, your full-service oil change will top off your fluids. But it’s a good idea to have some of everything at home in case you need to top something off yourself or to take on a trip. Ask your Irvine service advisor at West Coast Rovers or check your owner’s manual for fluid specifications.

It’s important to know that there are national warranty laws that say that a manufacturer cannot require you to use their brand of fluid to maintain your warranty. That said, there are two things that may affect your warranty.

Using the wrong type of fluid may void the warranty. Going back to radiator coolant, the correct type protects against corrosion and the wrong type will not. So it’s important to be right.

Also some warranty protections are conditioned on taking care of scheduled preventive maintenance. Please review your warranty if you have questions.

Tire Replacement: What El Toro Drivers Need to Know

Looking at getting some new tires? The choices at El Toro tire stores can be a little overwhelming. Suppose you have an SUV and are trying to decide between all season tires or some that are also rated for off-highway. Do you get off the payment on the outskirts of El Toro more than most? If so, some additional off-road traction would be nice.

Tire Replacement: What El Toro Drivers Need to KnowMaybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there’s nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you’ve got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let’s suppose you zip around El Toro in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather’s good. When CA weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most El Toro drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it’s time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable West Coast Rovers tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He’ll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for El Toro drivers. With so many choices, you’ll be able to get what’s best for you. Take their time. And don’t worry about what’s in stock. If you want something that isn’t here at West Coast Rovers, manager Eddie Bostock can order it. Chances are you’ll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.