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Archive for May 2016

How Do You Save Gas in Millington, NJ?

Posted May 29, 2016 11:29 AM



No one in Millington, NJ, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising NJ fuel prices, however, have spurred Millington drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his costs.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Millington, NJ. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at Long Hill Auto Service. That's a big item.

If your Check Engine light is on, have your service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service figure out why and fix it. Check Engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Millington drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 100 pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Millington folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on NJ roads and Millington streets: don't speed, and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in NJ. Don't shell out any to swindlers; you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington before spending your hard earned cash.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Long Hill Auto Service

Posted May 23, 2016 2:07 AM

When all of your vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Millington can cause your vehicle's wheels to be out of alignment.

Driving for an extended time around Millington when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded NJ highway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.

The ideal alignment for your vehicle was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Long Hill Auto Service starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything's bent or broken. Then your friendly and knowledgeable Long Hill Auto Service technician will look at tire condition.

From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to vehicle’s specifications.

Your vehicle owner's manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Long Hill Auto Service before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Custom Wheels and Tires for Your Millington Ride

Posted May 15, 2016 7:07 AM


 

It seems like everywhere you go in the Millington area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some NJ auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Long Hill Auto Service, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.

Your tire and wheel professional at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

So, what about Millington drivers who want to upsize? Well, if you want bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that's pretty easy for the team at Long Hill Auto Service. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don't want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington will help you avoid this.

Heading the other direction, some vehicle owners in the Millington area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don't think that vehicle suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your vehicle to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Millington showrooms  look good but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around the Millington area. There just isn't enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren't rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around NJ. Again, talk with your Long Hill Auto Service wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Millington, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you're going to be rollin' out of Long Hill Auto Service with one sweet ride.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Charge It in Millington for Extended Battery Life

Posted May 9, 2016 6:13 AM

Here's an interesting statistic for our in Millington, NJ, drivers: Only 30 percent of car batteries make it to 48 months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from 51 months in extremely cold areas to just 30 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 vehicle 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 Millington drivers 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 Millington. The alternator just can't keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we 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 24 hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather's cold in Millington, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving around NJ 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 dangerous 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 friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service .

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com





Millington Exhaust and Emissions Service

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Many Millington residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Long Hill Auto Service is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. NJ and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Long Hill Auto Service, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles/10,000 kilometers.

If your 'check engine light' comes on while you are driving around the Millington area, especially if it's flashing, then you need to bring your car into Long Hill Auto Service ASAP. Chances are it's an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

We hope this hasn't been too 'exhausting' of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is for NJ’s health and safety. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington if you think you might need your exhaust system checked. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Drive Defensively in NJ

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Car care is part of auto safety in Millington. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on NJ roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.

Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.

Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.

Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.

Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.

Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.

Keep your car in good shape so that it handles properly: Maintain tires, lights, brakes, suspension, wheel alignment and steering.

Always use your turn signals while driving around Millington, NJ. Avoid other vehicles' blind spots.

Don't drive faster than your headlights – if you can't stop within the distance you can see, you're going too fast.

Avoid driving over debris in the road. Even harmless looking items can cause damage or an accident.

Keep your wheels straight when waiting to turn at an intersection in Millington . That way if you're hit from behind, your car won't be pushed into on-coming traffic.

My daddy always said that when you drive, you're actually driving five cars: yours, the one in front, the one behind and the ones on either side. You can't trust that other drivers will do the right thing, so you've got to be aware of what they're doing at all times.

If you see another car driving erratically, weaving, crossing lanes, etc., stay back. Take the next right turn if you're downtown Millington, or take the next exit on the NJ highway. Notify the police if you see someone driving dangerously in our Millington community.

Never follow too closely. The minimum distance is the two second rule. Pick a landmark ahead, like a tree or road marker. When the car in front of you passes it, start counting: 'one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.' If you pass the landmark before reaching two-one-thousand, you're following too closely.

Remember that the two second rule is the minimum – it assumes you're alert and aware. Three seconds is safer. Move out to five seconds or more if it's foggy or rainy.

Someone will inevitably move into your forward safety zone – just drop back and keep a safe distance.

If someone follows you too closely, just move over.

Don't play chicken by contesting your right of way or race to beat someone to a merge. Whoever loses that contest has the potential to lose big and you don't want any part of that. So stay alert, constantly scan around your car and arrive safely.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Time Out: Suspension Problems in Millington

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Your vehicle's suspension system has two 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 technician at Long Hill Auto Service look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for it is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. You should get a check of your suspension system: 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. 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 care can prevent accidents for Millington drivers.

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 may need to get an alignment.

At Long Hill Auto Service, we advise Millington drivers never to procrastinate on getting their suspension system repaired. 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 Millington, but they're also a major cause of suspension damage for Millington vehicles. To avoid this, Millington drivers should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you're driving around the Millington 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 you with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as you maintain it properly. You don't have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com

 



Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in Millington

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine has to do with the combustion cycle.

Your vehicle engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves that open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.

Call Long Hill Auto Service at (908) 647-7984 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Millington, NJ, service center on 1905 Long Hill Rd.

It's critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.

The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It's vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough, flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.

In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bent or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.

It's a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it's at 60,000 miles/97,000 km. For others it's at 90,000 miles/145,000 km or more. If you're approaching 60,000 miles/97,000 km or have passed it, make sure you check your owner's manual or with your Millington auto service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don't let this one slip by.

Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Long Hill Auto Service for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

Most people in the Millington area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you're having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Long Hill Auto Service auto service advisor to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn't currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.

As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don't need to be replaced like belts.

We've already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Long Hill Auto Service in Millington, NJ, so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

We at Long Hill Auto Service, your Millington service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of our knowledge and experience.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Long Hill Auto Service

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Today in the Long Hill Auto Service auto care blog, we're going to talk to Millington drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Long Hill Auto Service customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).

In real world Millington driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington.

The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.

So here's the bottom line for Millington vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in NJ, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Millington conditions, hot or cold weather  or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor about where and how you drive in Millington. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.

Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Long Hill Auto Service to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where NJ drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Millington owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.

But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Hey Millington Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Higher Millington fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of Millington drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.

North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course NJ vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.

Preventive maintenance at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.

A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Long Hill Auto Service for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.

This was several hundred dollars in maintenance and repair. You may be thinking how the family could possibly recoup the cost in gas and save money. First of all, the repairs all needed to be done anyway. Even if the costs aren't recouped, many of them will pay for themselves by preventing even more costly repairs later. Also, the family had planned and budgeted for the routine maintenance, so it didn't cut into their trip allowance.

The SUV pulled a one-ton trailer and hauled everything the family needed on their camping trip. At the end of the trip, the owner was surprised to learn the SUV had actually gotten better gas mileage than it ever had before—even with that heavy load. The repairs and maintenance at Long Hill Auto Service had improved the gas mileage by 25%! The family saved $48.00 in gas on their four-day trip. And they are continuing to reap rewards from the improved mileage.

So what can you do to save fuel? First, stay caught up on routine maintenance at Long Hill Auto Service. Almost every maintenance item listed in your owner's manual will maintain or improve your fuel economy. Second, take your vehicle into Long Hill Auto Service for scheduled tune-ups. And third, take care of needed repairs. You may be surprised at how much you save at the pump and probably with the improved vehicle performance as well.

If your Check Engine light is on, find out why and take care of it. Some of the problems that set off that warning light can seriously reduce fuel efficiency.

As you schedule preventive maintenance, don't forget your tires. Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment are both essential to good fuel economy.

Here's some more auto advice about some simple things you can do to improve fuel economy, beyond maintenance and repairs:

Dump the junk. More weight in your car equals more fuel. You'd be surprised how much stuff people carry around in their cars. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel. One hundred pounds of extra stuff in your vehicle can add up to the loss of one mile per gallon of fuel.

Get the lead out. No, don't speed up, slow down. Get the lead out of your right foot. The single biggest drain for most Millington vehicles is speeding or sudden accelerations. Slow down and go easy on turns and lane changes, and don't treat every stoplight and stop sign like a green flag. These small changes can add up to quite a bit of change in your pockets.

We haven't mentioned the pills you can drop in your gas tank or special devices you can hook on your fuel line in order to increase fuel efficiency. There's a simple reason for that: they don't exist. There may be some truth behind some of these claims, but most of them are full-out scams. And if any of these things do actually help, it's not nearly as much as the things we've listed here.

Be smart. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Engine Air Filter from Long Hill Auto Service

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Many Millington drivers have found themselves in the following situation: They go to get their oil changed and their friendly service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don't know what an air filter is or what it does.

If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor for more information. It's your vehicle and you have a right to understand what you're paying for.

Let's review: "What does an air filter do?"

Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in Millington right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in NJ with hay fever can tell you that there's plenty in the air that you can't see. Well, the engine air filter's job is to clean that air before it goes into your vehicle engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your vehicle engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, your engine needs 12,000 times as much air as fuel for it to run. That little filter does a very big job. It's no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn't clean as well. It can't move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way - the vehicle engine can't get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced fuel economy.

That's why your owner's manual has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the Millington conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in NJ where it's very dusty or where there's lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your friendly and knowledgeable Long Hill Auto Service service advisor can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you'll need to replace it soon - like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty vehicle air filter hurts your vehicle, many Millington residents find that a new air filter pays for itself in better fuel economy before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

The better your car breathes, the better it runs - kind of like people. And don't worry - if you have a question or don't understand a recommendation just ask your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com

 



Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Millington Car Owners

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

A generation ago, Millington drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Millington shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Millington used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Long Hill Auto Service, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our vehicles don't experience a huge performance drop when they're ready for some care. But it doesn't mean that they don't need it.

Modern Millington drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner's manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, Long Hill Auto Service in Millington can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Long Hill Auto Service in Millington, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you'll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern vehicle engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they're more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the vehicle isn't driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your vehicle engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and damage the vehicle's engine parts it was designed to protect. It can eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this damage, and it's a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Millington drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Millington who purchases used vehicles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Millington folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don't want to be bothered with maintenance or vehicle care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

We can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Give us a call or send us an email for more helpful tips.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com

 

 



Tire Replacement: What Millington Drivers Need to Know

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Looking at getting some new tires? Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there's nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you've got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let's suppose you zip around Millington in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good. When NJ weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Millington drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it's time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Long Hill Auto Service tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Millington drivers. With so many choices, you'll be able to get what's best for you. Take your time. And don't worry about what's in stock. If you want something that isn't here at Long Hill Auto Service, we can order it. Chances are you'll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

Let us know if you have any other questions!

 Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com

 



Relax When the Wind Blows in NJ: Winter Car Prep for Millington Drivers

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

When autumn comes around in Millington, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for Millington drivers to winterize their vehicles.

Here is some expert auto advice for Millington drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the NJ winter months.

1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of NJ winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington, get that done as well.

2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Your first concern, of course, is to make sure you adapt your driving habits to winter weather: slow down, and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Get your brakes checked at Long Hill Auto Service and replace any worn pads or other parts. Check your brake fluid. It can accumulate moisture and decrease your stopping power.

3. Test your battery. A battery's cranking power drops in the cold, so if your battery is already weak, the onset of winter will do it in. The last thing you want is to be on a snowy NJ road in the dark and cold with a dead battery.

4. Pack emergency supplies. Toss a blanket into the trunk. If you do find yourself stranded, your first concern will be to stay warm. If you're traveling away from NJ population centers, then pack some emergency food and water as well. Also, it's a good idea to top off your tank in winter. That way, if you get stuck, you'll have some fuel to burn to stay warm, and it'll keep your gas lines from freezing up.

5. Check your wiper blades. They may be able to handle a light Millington summer rain shower, but they might not be up to the ice and snow that collect on a windshield in winter. If you experience particularly harsh winters or really wet ones, you can purchase special blades that resist freezing. And don't forget to top off your wiper fluid.

6. Check your tires. Tires lose pressure over time, but they lose pressure fast when it's cold outside in Millington. Tires lose about one pound of pressure every six to eight weeks; they also lose one pound of pressure for every 10°F/5.6°C drop in temperature. If the last time you checked your tires it was 80°F/26.7°C outside and it's 40°F/4.4°C now, your tires could be down five pounds in pressure — and that's serious. It's a safety issue and cuts down on your fuel economy.

7. Driving conditions in the Millington area may warrant special winter tires. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Long Hill Auto Service tire professional to get the right tires for your area and for your driving habits. If you are getting winter tires, it's always best to get them for all four wheels. But if you're only going to get two, put them on the rear wheels, even if you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. Traction is more important on the rear of a vehicle if you want to prevent sliding or fish-tailing on slick surfaces.

So there you have it: a quick checklist to winterize your car in NJ. When it comes to car care, preventive maintenance is always the best practice for Millington drivers, especially when it comes to winter weather. None of us want to be caught out in the winter cold.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Road Trip: Be Ready for Anything with a Trip Inspection at Long Hill Auto Service

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation faster than ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting a trip inspection at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington. After all, you wouldn't travel without clean socks, why ask your vehicle to travel with a load of dirty oil?

The first step in a trip inspection at Long Hill Auto Service is to look at your travel plans. What kinds of roads will you be driving on? Will you be in the NJ back country or on the freeway? Will you be crossing mountains? Off-roading? What will the weather be like? How far away from Millington will you be traveling? How much are you hauling? Will you be towing a trailer or lugging a rooftop carrier? Will you encounter dust, mud, snow or sea salt? All of these questions can help determine which services are most needed. And don't hesitate to ask your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on what trip conditions are hardest on what systems of your vehicle and what kinds of services it realistically needs. Start with the tires and check them for tread wear and proper inflation. Replace or rotate them as needed. If you need to change them out for winter tires, then do so.

Then look at your shocks or struts for wear. Replace them if needed. You'll want that extra comfort on your trip. Be sure to check your alignment as well. Steering a vehicle that is out of alignment is tiring, and dangerous. Don't overlook your brakes. With extra passengers and baggage, your brakes are going to get a workout. You want them in top condition.

In addition, inspect belts and hoses. If any of them are close to wearing out, have them replaced before your long trip does them in.

Change your engine air filter if it needs it, or if it's close to needing it. Your car's air filter processes 12,000 times as much air as the amount of fuel it burns. A clean air filter will protect electronic sensors that affect how your engine runs.

Get an oil change at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington if it's coming due. Make it a full-service oil change while you're at it. That way, all of your fluids will get checked and topped off. Change any dirty or old fluids. Millington drivers don't want to overstress their cooling systems or transmissions with dirty fluid during a long trip.

Does your vehicle smell? Check the cabin air filter. The bad smell could also indicate an exhaust leak, which can be fatal on a long trip. So don't ignore bad odors; check them out.

If your air conditioning hasn't been up to snuff, then give it an overhaul. You want your vacation to be relaxed and pleasant, and that means keeping the passenger compartment comfortable.

And be sure to check your wiper blades and your headlamps. You may find yourself driving in unfamiliar territory at night after a long day. You'll want to be able to see as much as possible.

Of course, almost everything listed here is just part of preventive maintenance for smart driving. If you keep up with your vehicle care on a regular basis, a trip inspection will be a breeze at Long Hill Auto Service.

Taking care of your vehicle before you leave for a road trip will pay you back in safety, peace of mind, improved comfort and better fuel economy. It will also help your vacation go as planned by keeping you on the road and headed for that next great adventure. Just don't forget to pack your socks.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



On Board Diagnostics for Your vehicle

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM



Today we're going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Millington, NJ, who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what's involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Millington.

These are valid concerns. If you don't understand something it's really hard to know its value. Let's start with some history.

Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Millington, NJ, have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what's wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle's Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can't adjust for, the computer will turn on the Check Engine light.

It is also called the 'service engine soon' light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your local service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you've searched for Check Engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what's wrong.

That's a common myth. The code itself doesn't tell you what's broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won't tell you what's wrong or how to fix it.

Let's say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads 102 degrees F/38.9 degrees C. You've confirmed a fever, but you don't know what's causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician's examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads 'Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response.' This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that's all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that's stored in the engine control computer. That history's very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Long Hill Auto Service invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don't need replacing.

So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your Check Engine light comes on, get it checked at Long Hill Auto Service. If the light burns steadily – don't panic. Get in to Long Hill Auto Service soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing Check Engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing Check Engine light.

Make an appointment with Long Hill Auto Service to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Talk to Long Hill Auto Service About New Shoes for Your Vehicle

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

Custom wheels are one way that Millington folks express themselves and personalize their vehicle. But they aren't as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several factors that need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the vehicle, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Millington drivers start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require adjustments to your vehicle suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your vehicle. Second, you can choose larger wheels and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, that doesn't mean it will fit your vehicle. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your vehicle tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Millington at Long Hill Auto Service on 1905 Long Hill Rd can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your vehicle. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your technician may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your service advisor at Long Hill Auto Service by calling (908) 647-7984.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is important that the package fits in the wheel well; you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your vehicle engine's computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more it becomes important to have your friendly and knowledgeable Long Hill Auto Service tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your vehicle may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your vehicle that you've been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Long Hill Auto Service, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle's ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let's suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is important that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some money. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Millington drivers to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Millington? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on NJ roads? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won't be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won't be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Millington drivers should always put safety ahead of appearance. That's why you shouldn't add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Long Hill Auto Service tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as repairs down the road.

The friendly and knowledgeable auto professionals at Long Hill Auto Service want to remind Millington drivers of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Automotive Tips from Long Hill Auto Service: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Millington drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.

Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive maintenance services, but the cost at Long Hill Auto Service to correct an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.

The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your Long Hill Auto Service service advisor can help you with the timing belt.

Give us a call.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



Automotive Tips from Long Hill Auto Service: Serpentine Belt System Wear

Posted May 3, 2016 10:09 AM

The primary job of the serpentine belt for Millington drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around Millington with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Long Hill Auto Service service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

Give us a call.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984
http://www.longhillautonj.com



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Long Hill Auto is BY FAR the best car repair experience I've ever had- and I've had MANY...This shop is the classiest act going! You will not find an Owner like Bob who takes more pride in his business and his work. As if the incredible service wasn't enough, the prices for all work done were fair and reasonable. Save your money at the dealership and take your car or truck somewhere much better, Long Hill. I will not be taking my car anywhere else ever again. From regular maintenance, to pesky issues, Bob and the team at Long Hill will always have my business for as long as I'm driving!
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