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How Does Maintenance Differ in Hybrid Vehicles vs. Gas Vehicles?

How Does Maintenance Differ in Hybrid Vehicles vs. Gas Vehicles?

It is not rare for drivers who operate gas-powered cars to perform their own minor maintenance, such as an oil change. However, performing do-it-yourself (DIY) maintenance for hybrid vehicles is much more complex and challenging because of their special components. At West Coast Tire & Service, we have the skills and experience to work on both hybrid and gas vehicles.   The amount of maintenance of your hybrid vehicle varies depnding on the make and age of the vehicle as well as your driving habits! A hybrid vehicle has most of the same parts as a gas-powered car, but with the addition of an electric system. Below are a few distinctions of maintenance services for hybrids that separates them from standard vehicles. Less Frequent Oil Changes The electric motor of a hybrid does not endure as much wear and tear as the engine of a gas-powered car. Due to this advantage, hybrid cars have a lower risk of motor failure and can endure longer intervals between oil changes. Longer ... read more

Dim Car Lights? This May Be the Problem...

Dim Car Lights? This May Be the Problem...

As bright of a city as LA is, we still have to rely on our car lights at night. Whenever our headlights start to look dim or even flicker in the slightest, it could dangerously weaken our visibility of the road ahead of us. Various problems can cause your vehicle's lights to shift. The three most common areas where the problem can usually be traced are your battery, alternator, and ground wires.   Battery  The first electrical component you should consider inspecting is the battery. Your battery could be old and need a replacement. An old or defective battery could be the cause of your dimming lights. The best way to test your battery is to have a professional do it. At West Coast Tire & Service, we have all the proper equipment and tools to test your battery for you.   Alternator The second most common explanation of faint lights in your vehicle is a weak alternator. A damaged alternator will only cause the lights to dim or flicker when the car is on. This ... read more

All the Possible Warning Lights on Your Dashboard & What They Mean

All the Possible Warning Lights on Your Dashboard & What They Mean

Your dashboard can give you the 411 on the conditions of your vehicle's complex systems. It can remind you to get maintenance, and it can also signal trouble. There are five important warning symbols on your dashboard that you should never ignore: Electrical system fault warning light Tire pressure warning light Oil pressure warning light Engine temperature warning light Check engine warning light Electrical System Fault Light The electrical fault light resembles a car battery and is one of the most critical warning lights on your dashboard. When it lights up, it means that there is a problem somewhere in the electrical system of your vehicle. While neglecting it might not cause significant damage to your vehicle, you might not be able to start your car next time around. It is vital to take your vehicle in for maintenance while it is still running.   Tire Pressure Light The tire pressure light on your dashboard is another one you should be aware of. It usually resemb ... read more

Why Windshield Damage Should Be Taken More Seriously

Why Windshield Damage Should Be Taken More Seriously

Windshield damage should be taken seriously, whether it is a small chip or a large crack. Unfortunately, most drivers are tempted to overlook it, especially if it's not limiting their ability to see when they drive. However, you must know that even the most insignificant cracks or chips can grow easily and quickly. Consequently, it will bring about more safety hazards and put you at risk every time you get into your vehicle. So let's go over the dangers of cracked auto glass.    The Dangers of a Cracked Windshield Inclement Weather & Extreme Temperature Can Worsen the Damage Whenever it rains or snow, water will trickle into the chip or crack. If the area remains damp and enclosed in cold temperatures, then the crack will worsen. Extreme heat from the summertime can also cause the damage to worsen if left ignored. Higher Potential of Car Accidents  If your cracked windshield is blocking you from clearly seeing while driving, then you need to get it repa ... read more

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Summer Season

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Summer Season

The "summer beach body" is probably something you have heard people talk about, or if you are like most of us, have at least thought about yourself. Your vehicle is no different. Summer brings an entirely different slate of challenges and that means every vehicle owner should bring their vehicle to their mechanic for a summer tune-up. That should include: New Oil and Filter You will likely be taking road trips and running up the miles throughout the warmer, nicer weather. Additionally, if your last oil change was a while ago, winter weather runs your oil through the wringer. Address both and start fresh with an oil and filter change. Check the Fluids In addition to oil, the other fluids that help your vehicle run need to be checked as well. These include: Transmission Power Steering Coolant Brake You should also check your windshield wiper fluid and make sure that is up to handling the onslaught of bugs during summer night driving. Tire Pressure Winter is really ro ... read more

What is the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?

What is the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?

You've most likely seen shocks and struts talked about interchangeably. While they do perform the same function, the difference comes in their design. Similar to how a car and truck serve the purpose of transport, they have different shapes and constructions immediately telling you they aren't the same thing. Every Vehicle Has Struts or Shocks The four corners of your vehicle all need suspension support attached to the tires to give you a smooth ride and take some strain off the chassis. Often you'll find struts on the front with shocks on the back instead. It's also common for struts to be used with vehicles that have no upper control arm. Independent or solid axle-based suspension systems will use shock absorbers. The Difference Is Small But Important Shock Absorbers There are three types of shock absorbers used today. You have mono-tube, dual, and coil-over shocks. Each one is set up to handle the impact of the road differently depending on the type of vehicle i ... read more

Symptoms of a Failing Water Pump in Your Car

Symptoms of a Failing Water Pump in Your Car

Your car needs an uninterrupted flow of coolant that is supplied from the radiator to the rest of the engine. The system uses a water pump to maintain the flow. When it is working optimally, your car maintains low-temperature levels even on a hot day, and the engine runs smoothly. The pump is run by the engine's drive belt and pushes the coolant as the belt turns. While most water pumps last long, they are prone to normal wear and damage. Here are some symptoms to know that the water pump is failing. 1. The coolant leaks at the front of the car Several gaskets are in place to seal the inlets to the pump. However, if the gasket seals wear out or break, the coolant leaks and forms pools just below the car's front. You may see some red or green substance where you had parked your vehicle. Also, you may notice low levels of the coolant in the reservoir a few days after refilling it. 2. Whining sounds from the pump pulley You may also hear a high-pitched sound coming from the fr ... read more

Are Engine Oil Additives Beneficial?

Are Engine Oil Additives Beneficial?

Motor oil has a purpose for your vehicle. It reduces friction, lubricates your engine parts, and greatly reduces the likelihood of engine grime and residue. Additives, on the other hand, are the chemical compounds in the oil that are added for the sole purpose of optimized performance and can come as part of the oil or be added in at the consumer's discretion. Without additives, oil can burn much faster than expected, which decreases its own life and adds wear and tear to your engine. Plus, as your oil burns, these essential additives can get lost, which is one of the main reasons to consider putting in an additive anytime between oil changes. There are some considerations when it comes to making your choice, and doing some research is beneficial. One is the warranty that comes with your car. This is something you should read before considering what should or should not be included in your engine's motor oil. A good balance of the right type of oil with the correct additives ... read more

What are Gasoline Direct Injection Engines?

What are Gasoline Direct Injection Engines?

Gasoline fuel injection engines are a special type of technology used in a vehicle to go through the fuel they have more efficiently. This works well because they are able to get more power, give off cleaner emissions, and provide the best fuel economy around. How Do These Engines Work? Gasoline engines are able to work because they suck a mixture of air and gasoline into a cylinder. This is then compressed by one of the pistons and ignited through a spark. The explosion that happens with this one will drive the piston down, producing power. With a traditional method, the air and gasoline will be mixed ahead of time, but this is not true with a gasoline engine. In this type of engine, the air will come into the area with the intake manifold that is found inside of the engine. This will help the cylinder to receive the gasoline without any additional steps. . Why Is This Beneficial? There are a lot of benefits to using this system compared to others. Basically, it will help give yo ... read more

What To Do If You Have a Tire Blowout

What To Do If You Have a Tire Blowout

A blowout can often be confused with a flat tire; however, the two are different. A flat tire usually has a slow release of pressure. A blowout, on the other hand, involves a rapid loss of pressure. When a blowout occurs, you will hear a loud bang sound due to the rapid pressure release. You will also hear a flapping sound as the blown-out tire continues to make contact with the road. What do you do if you experience a tire blowout? Steer straight When your tire blows, the car tends to wobble and pull in one direction. You need to firmly grip the steering wheel and try to steer the car in a straight path. You may be tempted to overcorrect or steer the car in a different direction. Avoid this and try to keep your car moving forward. Do not step on the brakes Applying the brakes is a terrible idea when your tire blows out. Instead, you need to gently accelerate so that you can regain control and keep moving forward. Ideally, accelerating does not put you in any danger as a blown tir ... read more