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1905 Long Hill Rd Millington
NJ 07946

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Long Hill Auto Service

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Archive for September 2022

Differential Service

Posted September 25, 2022 9:07 AM

When you're driving and turn a corner, you probably aren't aware of all that's going on with your wheels.  The outside wheels have a longer distance to travel than the inside wheels, so there are gears that allow the wheels to go at different speeds when you turn. 

That set of gears is called a differential.  In front-wheel drive vehicles, it's by the transmission and called a transaxle.  Rear-wheel drive vehicles have the differential, naturally, on the rear axle. Many all-wheel and four-wheel drives add a center differential since power has to go to the front and rear wheels. (Some newer vehicles power wheels with electric motors, but that's a whole different story.)

Time and distance traveled eventually can take their toll on the differential, and you may notice some noises you hadn't heard when your vehicle was newer.  Sometimes you'll hear a whir that might change in pitch when you turn.  You may hear clicking sounds when you're moving.  Others describe rumbling sounds coming from underneath during a turn. Another symptom of possible differential problems may be vibrations or shakes the faster you go. 

All of these could be signs that you have problems with a differential. One common cause of differential problems is the gears aren't getting enough lubrication.

These can all have serious effects on your driving.  You may find it hard to turn, or your wheels may lock up. That could put you or drivers around you in a dangerous position. 

It's better to take care of differential problems before they get too serious.  Bring in your vehicle so we can have a technician check yours out.  They can see if there are any differential fluid leaks or failing gaskets.  In some cases, we may recommend your differential fluid be replaced.  And if there are any mechanical issues, some components may need to be replaced as well. 

When your differential is maintained, you'll be doing your vehicle a good turn.  

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



The Light Nobody Wants to See (Check Engine Light)

Posted September 18, 2022 8:20 AM

You've probably had your Check Engine Light go on.  Then it goes off and you figure, hey, whatever the problem was, it's gone now and I don't have to worry about it.  Well, the problem may have gone away and it may not have.

Your vehicle likely has one of these warning lights on the instrument panel: an amber light that looks like an engine or reads "Check Engine" or "Service Vehicle Soon."  If that light comes on and stays on, it usually means there's something amiss but not urgently in need of service.  (Now if it's blinking, that's another story that we'll deal with in a minute.)

Sometimes when it comes on and stays steadily lit, the problem will go away and the light will go out.  Sometimes it will stay on until you get the problem fixed.  Either way, the engine's computer will store a code that can provide clues to what's not working—or wasn't working—the way it's supposed to.

If you are just dying to know what that code is, you can buy a little code reader or take your vehicle to an auto parts store and they'll read it.  Problem is, the code offers so many options that unless you are a trained technician, you probably won't have a clue what those codes mean. 

So if you want to be sure, take it to your vehicle repair facility and have them check it.  Technicians are trained to decipher the codes and, using their experience and other diagnostic equipment, can get to the root of the problem and fix it. 

As we mentioned before, if that Check Engine light comes on and is blinking, it means a more serious engine malfunction that can damage expensive components such as the catalytic converter and even the engine itself.  It's important to have that checked by a professional as soon as possible. 

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



Breathe New Life into Your Engine (MAF sensor replacement)

Posted September 11, 2022 7:47 AM

If you’ve noticed your vehicle is hard to start, stalling, or has lost power, the culprit may be a part with an odd name: the MAF sensor.  You may have never even heard of a MAF sensor, but it’s important that it be working correctly, or you may be experiencing some fairly significant engine issues.

All vehicles bring in air and direct it through an air filter before it goes into your engine, where it mixes with fuel to provide power to get you going. There’s a tube-like device with a sensor inside it that measures how much of that mass of air is passing through. That’s why it’s called a mass air flow sensor, or MAF sensor.  If the MAF sensor isn’t working right, the engine’s computer can’t figure out the right amount of fuel to mix with it, and your engine may hesitate or stall.  Sometimes this will cause your Check Engine Light to come on, and any time it does that, make sure you have your vehicle checked by a professional, so you’ll know what’s going on.

When you take your vehicle into your service facility, a technician will thoroughly check the system to see just where the problems are.  If your air filter is dirty, your MAF sensor may get dirty too, which might be causing the problems.  You may find your fuel economy isn’t what it used to be either.

There are other things that can cause the same symptoms, too, such as a leak in a vacuum hose. It’s also possible that the electrical connector between the MAF sensor and the engine has broken. 

The technician can use electronic diagnostic equipment to help pinpoint the exact problem or problems, replace worn parts, and test drive your vehicle to make sure it’s working correctly.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your air filter is changed regularly. A dirty air filter can contribute to a MAF sensor failure. One of the big benefits of having your vehicle regularly maintained at one facility, is they know your vehicle. So, they keep track of which of your vehicle’s parts should be periodically replaced before problems develop. 

If you keep clean air heading into your engine, it can help your engine work efficiently, and with the power it was engineered to deliver. Isn’t that a breath of fresh air?

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



NJ: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

Posted September 4, 2022 12:33 PM

NJ residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.

Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.

So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do NJ residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?

Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for NJ residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.

Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.

Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for vehicles.

Some people may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, rush hour commuting or only driving your vehicle on short trips around the area.

When a vehicle only makes trips under four miles/six kilometers, or under 10 miles/16 kilometers in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule. 

The team at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.

Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection. The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live and what kind of oil we use.

When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping people save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Long Hill Auto Service
1905 Long Hill Rd
Millington, NJ 07946
(908) 647-7984



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Reviews

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Many thanks to Bob and his staff for rescuing us without an appointment and fixing our air conditioner on a hot Saturday afternoon. They are accommodating, kind, professional and prompt. The shop is notably clean and orderly. First rate business!

, 05/22/2022

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Got a flat on the way home from work, called Long Hill Auto Service just before they closed for the day and they squeezed me in, two tires mounted and balanced in under 20 minutes. I would have been stuck the next morning for work, so many thanks to these great, helpful guys!

, 06/01/2021

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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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