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

Budget For Maintenance in LAKE FOREST

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Sometimes busy LAKE FOREST residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Irvine in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time LAKE FOREST car owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s LAKE FOREST auto owners would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s LAKE FOREST drivers didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at LAKE FOREST area auto service centers.

LAKE FOREST drivers should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in LAKE FOREST is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, CA drivers can avoid many expensive minivan repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Irvine car owners can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Laguna Niguel drivers know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your minivan will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more expensive than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from West Coast Rovers: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and CA auto insurance with an older LAKE FOREST vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for important preventive maintenance in CA, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less expensive!

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In LAKE FOREST

About 90% of our driving decisions in Irvine are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely essential.

Most LAKE FOREST drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our minivan windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we LAKE FOREST car owners need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Irvine area. 78% of auto owners only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

LAKE FOREST drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as a critical minivan safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

LAKE FOREST drivers really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of CA, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Irvine conditions, if your minivan has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering LAKE FOREST sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the minivan windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard for LAKE FOREST motorists; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire minivan windshield – that’s a significant consequence for neglecting such a small part.

AutoNetTV and West Coast Rovers recommend LAKE FOREST auto owners replace worn blades right away. Your LAKE FOREST service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At West Coast Rovers, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their vital work. Even though West Coast Rovers will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

Find us at:

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

The Easy Way To Save Cash In LAKE FOREST

The hottest CA news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in LAKE FOREST. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  LAKE FOREST auto owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Irvine environment. You can really improve your fuel efficiency by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for LAKE FOREST car owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most LAKE FOREST service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your West Coast Roverstech. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many LAKE FOREST gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the minivan owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with vital information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost LAKE FOREST auto owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dangerous dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item LAKE FOREST residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced MPG! And with current gas prices in the LAKE FOREST area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save LAKE FOREST drivers money at the pump. 

Now most LAKE FOREST motorists aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other critical services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

West Coast Rovers knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at West Coast Rovers – which may also be updated with recall notices and essential maintenance schedule items from your auto maker.

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto Running

At West Coast Rovers we’ve had a lot of LAKE FOREST, Laguna Niguel, and Foothill Ranch clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years in CA. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Irvine folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this vital question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average drivers in the Irvine area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care in LAKE FOREST. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if smart LAKE FOREST auto owners stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some automobile manufacturer’s owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do LAKE FOREST drivers know what to do when they’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at West Coast Rovers in LAKE FOREST, for example, leaves an opportunity for harmful sludge to build up. Talk to your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service advisor.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around LAKE FOREST are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps MPG from decreasing;
  2. it prevents costly repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most critical thing drivers can do. A full-service oil change at West Coast Rovers means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your thoughtful West Coast Rovers service professional a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get pricey. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the LAKE FOREST area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your tech at West Coast Rovers. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at West Coast Rovers strongly encourages LAKE FOREST motorists to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some LAKE FOREST auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Irvine. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

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

LAKE FOREST Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among LAKE FOREST drivers, minivan auto manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should LAKE FOREST car owners follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles around LAKE FOREST?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero CA temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in CA?
Do you drive often in dusty Irvine areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around LAKE FOREST?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold CA weather?

Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest LAKE FOREST freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Irvine or Laguna Niguel? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on LAKE FOREST surface streets?

Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and LAKE FOREST weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should LAKE FOREST auto owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around LAKE FOREST or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to detrimental oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why CA car owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in pleasant CA summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent harmful corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel economy. If you want some expert advice, talk with your thoughtful West Coast Rovers advisor. We can help you restore your minivan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.

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

Busting Automotive Myths In LAKE FOREST CA

Myths passed around our LAKE FOREST CA community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the minivans of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the LAKE FOREST area, come over to West Coast Rovers.
You’ll find us at 22552 Muirlands Blvd., LAKE FOREST, CA 92630.
Give us a call at (800) 614-3878 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around LAKE FOREST. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in LAKE FOREST still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

Another common rant you’ll hear around LAKE FOREST is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. West Coast Rovers would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like West Coast Rovers generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local LAKE FOREST community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

You get the picture. Your minivan is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at West Coast Rovers have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers, or do some research of your own.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In LAKE FOREST CA

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the LAKE FOREST CA area (zip code: 92630) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At West Coast Rovers we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Irvine area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
West Coast Rovers
22552 Muirlands Blvd.
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630
(800) 614-3878

Many people in LAKE FOREST are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern minivans are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in LAKE FOREST with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your LAKE FOREST service advisor at West Coast Rovers about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your minivan is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your LAKE FOREST auto service advisor at West Coast Rovers help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Irvine auto owners have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners’ manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She’s been in the automotive business for 24 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer.

Cricket says there’s so much confusion on this topic because, “Most owners’ manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called ‘regular service’ and ‘severe service’. Sometimes they’re simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time.”

Foreign and domestic auto makers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn’t one generic schedule that applies to all cars. In addition to your owners’ manual, LAKE FOREST automotive repair centers (including West Coast Rovers) subscribe to information services that provide the auto maintenance schedules schedules for every vehicle – so they can help LAKE FOREST drivers know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition for severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles
  • Most trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing
  • You drive regularly in very hot CA weather
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time (not on the freeway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier around Irvine

It’s common sense for Irvine auto owners: Just a few minutes at freeway speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than ten miles when it’s very cold in LAKE FOREST, don’t allow the engine to heat up enough to get rid of the water. And water in the oil leads to damaging sludge. Also, towing and heavy loads raise operating temperatures and cause fluids to break down faster. Dusty and muddy driving around LAKE FOREST means that more dirt will get past the air filter to contaminate the fuel system and engine oil.

The bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself if the regular or severe service schedule is right for you, based on your driving habits. Look at your owners’ manual, or talk with your West Coast Rovers service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow. West Coast Rovers is located at 22552 Muirlands Blvd., LAKE FOREST CA.

Here is what a fleet manager said recently: “Since LAKE FOREST miles are generally tougher on vehicles than highway miles, we use the auto manufacturer’s severe service schedule as the basis for our preventative maintenance program. We massage those schedules over time, increasing or decreasing the service intervals so that they make the most sense. There is a little bit of art to go along with the science.”

Make an honest evaluation of your driving habits. Unless you do mostly CA highway driving in moderate weather, you’ll likely have a fairly good amount of severe service mixed in. Some LAKE FOREST car owners just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.