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

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.

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.

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.

The Harm In Skipping An Oil Change For LAKE FOREST Drivers

People in LAKE FOREST have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers in LAKE FOREST are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in LAKE FOREST were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Visit West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST, CA 92630

Severe driving around LAKE FOREST includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in LAKE FOREST just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.

Some types of minivan will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.

The Maintenance Free Myth


Sometimes we hear LAKE FOREST motorists say, “What’s up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don’t break down.” While it is true that today’s cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most LAKE FOREST auto owners don’t realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today’s automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle’s components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don’t think we’re using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance – but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staff members to emphasize and show how critical it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and bucks. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from a staffer who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in CA and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced – just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundred of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. Our staffer took his SUV in for the CA safety inspection to renew his registration. At the LAKE FOREST inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the cash. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind – over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little bucks on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for LAKE FOREST auto owners: don’t skip your important annual inspections. The irony is that many LAKE FOREST service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy’s little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn’t get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire – so it was effective enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later – and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same auto manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son’s maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done – it cost several hundred dollars. His wife’s car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed and the entire head was shredded and had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does – every time he passes a big-screen TV.

The team at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better and is more economical to operate in CA. Remember to save those maintenance records. It’ll show potential buyers that you’ve taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren’t any, assume that the maintenance hasn’t been done and take it to your El Toro or Foothill Ranch service center or West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST for an inspection. Take care of unperformed vital routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

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

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the car maker to issue recall notices to LAKE FOREST residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The auto manufacturer then tries to contact all LAKE FOREST car owners who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their LAKE FOREST service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
West Coast Rovers
22552 Muirlands Blvd. LAKE FOREST, CA 92630
(800) 614-3878

These recalls always affect safety, so LAKE FOREST auto owners would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for LAKE FOREST drivers and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that LAKE FOREST car owners still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell LAKE FOREST service centers (including West Coast Rovers)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your LAKE FOREST tech receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. LAKE FOREST car owners can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to LAKE FOREST vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Economics of Maintenance For LAKE FOREST Auto Owners

Buying a new car in LAKE FOREST is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in LAKE FOREST who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in LAKE FOREST and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in LAKE FOREST, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around LAKE FOREST:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
West Coast Rovers
22552 Muirlands Blvd.
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630
(800) 614-3878

The Importance Of LAKE FOREST Drivers Following Service Intervals

Today in our West Coast Rovers blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your minivan isn’t the only aspect of your life in LAKE FOREST with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of LAKE FOREST Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in LAKE FOREST takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our minivans? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our LAKE FOREST neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, LAKE FOREST people don’t need to memorize their minivan owner’s manuals. You can let your West Coast Rovers advisor remind you of the guidelines established by manufacturers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your minivan. You really can rely on West Coast Rovers professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For LAKE FOREST drivers who want to be more proactive with their minivan care, here are some simple ways for LAKE FOREST motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your minivan go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if LAKE FOREST car owners remember to take their car or truck in to West Coast Rovers for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your minivan doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around LAKE FOREST and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at West Coast Rovers. We’re at 22552 Muirlands Blvd. in LAKE FOREST, CA 92630. Or give us a call at (800) 614-3878

Experts in LAKE FOREST recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long LAKE FOREST winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your LAKE FOREST friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many LAKE FOREST service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days CA folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most LAKE FOREST auto owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for LAKE FOREST motorists. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us CA penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us LAKE FOREST car owners making sure we follow the car maker’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some minivan parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older minivans. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in LAKE FOREST at West Coast Rovers, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at West Coast Rovers is cheaper than a a costly new car payment for LAKE FOREST car owners. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.