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

West Coast Rovers: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most LAKE FOREST and El Toro drivers want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving MPG. At West Coast Rovers, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can LAKE FOREST drivers actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way LAKE FOREST car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your minivan engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in LAKE FOREST, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

West Coast Rovers: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s West Coast Rovers article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your minivan MPG driving around CA. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel economy. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at West Coast Rovers.

Here’s an easy one for wise LAKE FOREST motorists. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your minivan auto manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for LAKE FOREST auto owners that  want to save money: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on LAKE FOREST roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your MPG.

Cutting out aggressive driving around LAKE FOREST can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the interstate it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your LAKE FOREST expressway,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our minivans tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Time Out: Suspension Problems in LAKE FOREST

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two important jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your thoughtful West Coast Rovers technician look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for an automotive analysis is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get an automotive analysis of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for Irvine car owners.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At West Coast Rovers, we advise LAKE FOREST car owners never to procrastinate essential repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around LAKE FOREST, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for LAKE FOREST motorists. To avoid this, LAKE FOREST drivers should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the Irvine area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides LAKE FOREST drivers with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money On Tires

Irvine drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at West Coast Rovers puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a minivan wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns from LAKE FOREST to Foothill Ranch, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help Irvine folks’ tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear too fast in the middle.

Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more vital with them. Give West Coast Rovers a call to get our recommendation for your minivan.

See your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor at West Coast Rovers for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tires are pricey and they are one of the most essential safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

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

Super Slick at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST: Synthetic Oil

When you get an oil change, it’s always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the vehicle manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we’re asked if we’d like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for LAKE FOREST drivers.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides essential advantages over conventional motor oil.

First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for LAKE FOREST auto owners, cooler operating temperatures, more engine power and increased fuel economy.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around LAKE FOREST and very hot or freezing CA temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn’t generate detrimental oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your minivan engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their minivans before delivering them to be sold. Many auto manufacturer’s owner’s manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your minivan came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you’re used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can’t follow this longer service interval. You’ll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can communicate with your thoughtful West Coast Rovers technician. He can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of critical preventive maintenance at West Coast Rovers. All LAKE FOREST car owners need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there’s a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves in the long run. All LAKE FOREST drivers pay for car care. But understanding what we’re paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

Stay Headed In The Right Direction, LAKE FOREST

Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in LAKE FOREST, CA these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists car owners as they steer their minivan around LAKE FOREST, CA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to have your LAKE FOREST technician inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at West Coast Rovers because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it’s essential to use the correct type –just ask your service specialist at West Coast Rovers.

In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so LAKE FOREST motorists need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many vehicle manufacturers outline power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this essential service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For LAKE FOREST motorists who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At West Coast Rovers, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign for LAKE FOREST motorists is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center or West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST to keep you headed in the right direction.

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

Fuel Injection Basics For LAKE FOREST

All modern LAKE FOREST vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic Irvine auto owners need to know something about. The mighty fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.

So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in LAKE FOREST, CA. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty high-tech.

West Coast Rovers can help Irvine car owners with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. It’s vital that the fuel is sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.

Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and hurts fuel efficiency.

What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. It’s tempting to shop for bargains in  Irvine with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the LAKE FOREST, CA area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.

What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is an important component of the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.

It’s critical to replace the fuel filter when your auto maker recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.

There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines LAKE FOREST car owners are starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.

There are a lot of good products available in LAKE FOREST, CA that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used by LAKE FOREST motorists to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning, like those we offer at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had West Coast Rovers take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.

Give us a call if you think your minivan may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.

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

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello LAKE FOREST car owners! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your minivan feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel efficiency. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow dangerous particles into your engine.

A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around LAKE FOREST, but sputter and strain on the interstate because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in CA and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural CA, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain Irvine area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, auto manufacturers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that for LAKE FOREST auto owners. Some vehicle manufacturers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the minivan fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in an expensive repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money for LAKE FOREST car owners down the road by improving fuel economy and preventing pricey repairs. At West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out minivan fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

Tire Rotation and Balancing at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST

Tires do a lot of important work for LAKE FOREST motorists. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around LAKE FOREST. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such essential work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly costly, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are three keys to long, even tire wear for LAKE FOREST car owners:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That’s especially true of front wheel drive vehicles whose front tires steer, and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four wheel drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner’s manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It’s usually every 5,000 miles or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. West Coast Rovers will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service specialist puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.

Tires are a big investment for LAKE FOREST car owners. They’re important for keeping you safely on the road in LAKE FOREST. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

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.

Recommended Service Intervals At West Coast Rovers

Most people in the Irvine area are aware that automotive manufacturers have recommended service intervals. Following recommended service intervals is very important. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated for the areas around Laguna Niguel, El Toro and Foothill Ranch in CA.

The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety.

Protection. Let’s start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil for your minivan. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Over time, the additives are depleted. The oil also becomes contaminated by water, dirt and combustion gases.

Extending your interval beyond the recommendation means that your minivan engine will be operating without the full protection of fresh motor oil. It also means that sludge can form in contaminated oil and clog up passages in the engine, starving parts from needed lubrication.

Efficiency. Some services are designed to keep automotive systems operating efficiently. For example, the fuel system gets clogged up with gum and varnish from the fuel. Fuel doesn’t flow efficiently which reduces fuel economy. A fuel system cleaning restores the fuel system’s efficiency and increases your gas mileage.

Safety. Your brakes are obviously one of the most important safety systems on your minivan. The manufacturer has scheduled brake pad replacement as well as power brake fluid drain and replacement intervals. Because brakes are so important, a brake inspection is also on the schedule to head off problems before they result in an accident.

Check your owner’s manual for recommended service schedules or talk with your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers by calling (800) 614-3878. You’ll find our shop located at 22552 Muirlands Blvd. in LAKE FOREST, CA 92630.

You may be surprised to learn that various inspections may be on your list of factory recommendations for your minivan. These inspections are usually at major intervals like fifteen or thirty thousand miles. They’re designed to uncover important parts that may be close to failing.

Your minivan owner’s manual can tell you when to change your oil, but it can’t tell you that you have a radiator hose that’s bulging and about to burst. For that you need a trained auto technician. These scheduled inspections are in addition to the multi-point inspections done with a full-service oil change.