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

The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at West Coast Rovers

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is a key part of preventive maintenance for bright LAKE FOREST motorists. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your minivan’s wheels would have to come from you.

The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer minivans have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

LAKE FOREST auto owners should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner’s manual or ask your thoughtful West Coast Rovers tech to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your thoughtful West Coast Rovers technician will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Your West Coast Rovers service advisor can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner’s manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, LAKE FOREST auto owners who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough CA driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. LAKE FOREST car owners should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at West Coast Rovers. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

Hitting The Brakes In Foothill Ranch

Hello LAKE FOREST, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all CA car owners know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between LAKE FOREST, Irvine and Foothill Ranch.

Hitting The Brakes In Foothill RanchBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new minivan or truck rolls off a local LAKE FOREST showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the minivan. LAKE FOREST auto owners tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of auto makers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around CA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at West Coast Rovers is important for your minivan and your family’s safety. At West Coast Rovers we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at West Coast Rovers. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the minivan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at West Coast Rovers cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the minivan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Irvine area interstates and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. CA auto owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

West Coast Rovers Smart Car Care Videos: Making a Battery Last Longer

One thing all LAKE FOREST car owners can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. West Coast Rovers can help maintain your battery.

Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very dangerous to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.

Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.

Give us a call

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

Charge It In LAKE FOREST For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our drivers in LAKE FOREST, CA: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping minivan batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

It’s clear that you LAKE FOREST motorists need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around LAKE FOREST or El Toro. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we LAKE FOREST car owners do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold in LAKE FOREST, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between LAKE FOREST or Irvine will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very harmful to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your thoughtful West Coast Rovers technician.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at West Coast Rovers suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a key word on safety for LAKE FOREST drivers. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At West Coast Rovers, we provide quality automotive service including brake service, tire rotation and winter preparation.

Tracking True In CA: Wheel Alignment In El Toro

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy El Toro and Foothill Ranch drivers until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Irvine highway or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive minivan suspension problems.

Tracking True In CA: Wheel Alignment In El Toro

But the big issue for El Toro, Foothill Ranch, and LAKE FOREST drivers is safety. When your minivan wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST.

When undergoing an alignment service at West Coast Rovers, your minivan is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Foothill Ranch drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Irvine service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in CA that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but El Toro drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your minivan owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Eddie Bostock or your service advisor at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at West Coast Rovers is cheaper for El Toro car owners than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine In LAKE FOREST, CA

 




If the fuel system in your minivan is dirty, you will be hurting your fuel economy and losing performance as you drive around LAKE FOREST, CA.

Unless they drive a vintage car, LAKE FOREST car owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your minivan owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your thoughtful service advisor at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. West Coast Rovers uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at West Coast Rovers, you’ll notice more power, improved MPG and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your vehicle manufacturers fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your minivan running strong.

LAKE FOREST drivers don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your thoughtful West Coast Rovers tech and see when your car is scheduled for a vital fuel system cleaning.

Blind Spot Safety For LAKE FOREST Driving

Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in LAKE FOREST, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Irvine car owners’ blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the minivan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the minivan for a few minutes before backing up, it is important to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in LAKE FOREST. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other LAKE FOREST drivers have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Foothill Ranch roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in CA, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if LAKE FOREST drivers learned to properly share CA roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is essential to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane CA highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is important to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your minivan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in LAKE FOREST body shops because the drivers thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Irvine area roads and interstates with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good LAKE FOREST car care. Keeping your minivan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

Tire Maintenance In Foothill Ranch



With the recent focus in Foothill Ranch on improving fuel efficiency, we’ve been told how important it is to maintain our tire pressure.

LAKE FOREST auto owners know that tires wear out, but we want to make them last as long as possible because they’re not cheap to replace. In addition to saving gas, properly inflated tires last longer. Under-inflated tires will wear out more quickly.

Some Foothill Ranch motorists wonder if they should add a few extra pounds of pressure when they fill up their tires. Bad idea. In fact, there are very good reasons not to over-inflate your tires. For one, the middle of the tread will wear unevenly because the full tread is not contacting the road properly. That also adversely affects your handling.

Stop by West Coast Rovers to see about tire maintenance for your LAKE FOREST, CA vehicle.

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

Every vehicle in the Foothill Ranch area has a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb that tells you the auto manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. This recommendation is an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension tuning. A lot of engineering actually goes into the recommended tire pressure, so it’s vital for Foothill Ranch car owners to follow it.

What else do LAKE FOREST motorists need to know about tire maintenance? Tire rotation and balancing are very important. Let’s start with rotation. Because the front tires handle the brunt of turning forces, the shoulders of the front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. At West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST, we rotate the tires so that they all get to do some duty on the front and they’ll all wear evenly over their life.

For most vehicles, front tires are rotated to the rear and vice versa. Others recommend a cross rotational pattern. Some vehicles use an asymmetrical tire so those tires need to stay on either the right or left side – it’ll say which on the tire. Some high performance cars have asymmetrical tires and different sizes on the front and rear. These can’t be rotated at all. Your owner’s manual will have details for your car or speak with your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional.

How often should Irvinecar owners rotate their tires? Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation. Your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST can do a visual inspection to let you know if it looks like it should be done. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles.

You know, some LAKE FOREST people don’t think new tires need to be balanced. What they aren’t taking into account is the wheel. Between the wheel and the tire – even a new tire – there’s enough variation to require balancing.

When you add the valve stem and tire pressure monitoring sensors required on new cars, balancing is definitely essential. When a tire’s out of balance, it’s actually hopping down the road. LAKE FOREST motorists with tires out of balance will feel the vibration through the steering wheel if a front tire’s out of balance and through the seat if it’s a rear tire.

Proper wheel balance promotes tire life and increases safety for Irvine motorists and their passengers. Historically, lead weights have been attached to the wheel to bring it into balance. Lead gives some environmental concern, so steel weights are starting to be substituted. 

The team at West Coast Rovers also wants to remind you that it is important to always use the same size tire on an axle. Different size tires on the front or on the back can lead to some real handling problems. And CA tire manufacturers recommend that when you get two new tires, they be installed on the rear because that’s where you need the most traction to avoid spinning-out.

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

LAKE FOREST motorists can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system, however, they can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. The thoughtful team at West Coast Rovers can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find West Coast Rovers at 22552 Muirlands Blvd. in LAKE FOREST, CA 92630. Or just give us a call at (800) 614-3878 to schedule an appointment.

You’ll enjoy more power, better gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate critical engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent costly repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your thoughtful service advisor at West Coast Rovers and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat and
  • the water pump

The cooling system is important for LAKE FOREST car owners. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your minivan from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

the radiator
the radiator cap
the hoses
the thermostat and
the water pump

The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your minivan. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at West Coast Rovers. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your auto manufacturer’s owners’ manual or thoughtful West Coast Rovers service advisor to see what’s recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can LAKE FOREST car owners tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it’s got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you’ve got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can’t see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have your West Coast Rovers technician check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles – some longer. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it’s one of those that’s driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work’s already done with the timing belt change. And, if you don’t, and develop a leak later, you’ll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

LAKE FOREST drivers can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin’ new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some income, but ask your thoughtful West Coast Rovers technician what he thinks. Don’t feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. Your West Coast Rovers tech can get you back on the road and on with your life.