Best Auto Repair, Millington

1905 Long Hill Rd Millington
NJ 07946

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Long Hill Auto Service

 (19 Reviews)

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Archive for October 2022

A Not-So-Straight Story (Vehicle Pulls to One Side)

Posted October 30, 2022 10:07 AM

A vehicle should travel straight down a straight road with the steering wheel centered.  But time and travel can take their toll and soon you may find your vehicle pulling to the left or right.  Those are not good signs and should be taken care of fairly quickly.

One thing that you should note is when this is happening: if it is all the time, only when you brake, only when you accelerate. If you describe these symptoms to the service adviser or technician, it may help them pinpoint the cause more quickly. 

Many things can cause a vehicle to pull to one side, one of which is that it's out of alignment.  If so, you could be doing damage to other components of your vehicle if you keep driving with it this way. If your tires show signs of uneven wear on the treads or if your wheels squealing, that is another clue.

Improperly inflated tires can also cause your vehicle to pull in one direction.  Your service facility can check to see if your tires have the pressure recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. 

When steering linkage wears out or a wheel bearing goes bad, both of those can cause a vehicle not to track straight. When components age and loosen up, they can present a safety hazard and premature tire wearing. 

Maybe you notice the pulling only when you are braking.  That points to a failure of your braking system, perhaps a sticky brake caliper.

When your vehicle was brand new, it went straight unless you guided it on a different path. It's best to have it checked out if it is showing some of these symptoms.  It could save you money in the long run and you'll be driving a safer, better performing vehicle.  That's what they mean by steering you right!

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



Beginning to See the Light (Check Engine Light Diagnostics)

Posted October 23, 2022 7:59 AM

It's a light many drivers fear they'll see turn on at the most inopportune time.  It's the one on the dash that says "Check Engine," "Service Engine Soon," or it may be simply an engine-shaped light. Your first instinct may be to pull off to the side of the road and turn off the engine.

The truth is that Check Engine light can be pointing to problems as simple as a loose gas cap. But it could be as serious as a severely misfiring engine.  Don't ignore it because it's there to help you avoid an expensive repair it is designed to alert you to, to tell you something's not quite right.

Your vehicle has a connected system of computers and sensors constantly checking to see that all systems are working the way they should. If something isn't, the system will turn on the Check Engine light.

If it's flashing, that could be serious. Look at some of the other warning lights or gauges such as heat or oil pressure. They could be telling you your vehicle's problem should be checked right away. In that case, if you can, safely pull off the road and shut the vehicle down. If your vehicle loses power and the Check Engine light is on, try not to push the demands you are making on the engine, such as towing or accelerating hard.

Simply put, a flashing Check Engine light should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible.

If the Check Engine light is on steadily, manufacturers say it means there's a problem, but it probably doesn't require immediate service.  The system is designed to remember the problem it found and store it (as a code) so it can be retrieved later.

When you do bring your vehicle in to have us see what's behind the Check Engine light coming on, we’ll hook your vehicle up to a diagnostics tool that can reveal the clues the engine's computers have stored.  It takes a trained technician to understand those clues, like a doctor who can interpret a patient's symptoms and come up with the correct diagnosis. Some newer vehicles can even be checked remotely.

Once we figure out the problem and repair it, you'll be back on the road again. It's nice to know the Check Engine light is your sentry, standing by to alert you the next time you begin to "see the light."

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



Give it the Boot (Ball Joint Boot Replacement)

Posted October 16, 2022 7:50 AM

Your vehicle may be wearing boots right now and you might not even know it.  They're called ball joint boots.  They're actually protective, flexible things that protect parts of your suspension (called ball joints) from all the hazards the road can fling at them.  If one of those ball joint boots fails and you don't get it replaced, the ball joints themselves could wind up failing, a repair that can be even more expensive. 

Ball joint boots not only keep things like rocks, salt, water and dirt out of your ball joints, they also help the ball joints keep their lubrication inside and working properly.  To do that, the boots have to be made of a flexible material, sometimes rubber, sometimes a synthetic.  They do take a beating, exposed to temperature extremes and debris, and eventually they can tear or crack just because of their age.  Unless someone is keeping an eye on your ball joint boots, you may never know there's a problem.  That's why when you regularly take your vehicle in to a repair facility for other things like oil changes and routine maintenance, a technician will inspect the ball joint boots to make sure they're still in top shape.

If they're not, your service advisor will let you know. Take care of that soon and you may avoid having to replace the ball joints themselves or other suspension parts which may be much more expensive.  Often it's best to replace boots on both sides of the vehicle since they frequently wear at about the same rate. 

If you want to make a fashion statement, some ball joint boots come in various colors other than run-of-the-mill black.  And some aftermarket boots are made of a more durable material than the original equipment that came on your vehicle.  Some drivers get a real "kick" out of flashy ball joint boots!

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



Keep Your Cool in Millington

Posted October 9, 2022 8:56 AM

Millington drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it's freezing outside in Millington, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the NJ cold.

So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Millington.

Whenever your vehicle is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it's cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal vehicle engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole vehicle's engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Millington drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their vehicle's cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your vehicle has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner's manual or ask us at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington.

The reason Millington drivers need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system's a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other vehicle cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Millington auto owners ask our advisors at Long Hill Auto Service why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don't mix them up.

They use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Long Hill Auto Service in Millington or your owner's manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your vehicle cooling system.

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



Giving CV Joints the Boot! (CV Joint and Boot Replacement)

Posted October 2, 2022 10:34 AM

Ever wonder how your vehicle’s transmission is connected to your wheels? After all, when you hit a pothole or some other uneven part of a road’s surface, there has to be something that can maintain the connection between the transmission and the wheel yet keep everything moving at the same speed. 

That very cool device is called a CV joint, a kind of driveshaft running to each wheel.  The CV stands for constant velocity because it keeps the drive wheels moving at a constant speed (velocity).  They’re used mostly on front-wheel drive vehicles but also in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles.

The joints move up and down and adjust to bumpy surfaces.  Plus, they are covered in a rubber boot which protects them from road debris and also holds lubrication in.  There’s a CV joint and boot on the transmission side and one on the wheel side.  Unfortunately, the spot that usually fails first is that rubber protective cover (the boot).  After a lot of wear, tear, bumps, road hazards, heat, and you name it, the rubber rips and the lubrication leaks out.  At that point, it must be replaced. 

Here are signs to tell if your CV joint is bad.

  • Your vehicle is pulling to one side as a wheel loses power or you feel a vibration while driving.
  • You see grease on the inside or edge of your tires.  
  • Your front tires won’t point in the same direction.
  • You hear grinding or clicking when you turn.

Sometimes if a broken boot early is caught early, a technician can pack in new grease and replace just the boot.  But if the lubrication has leaked out and the joint is already wearing badly, the CV and boot both have to be replaced.  Give your vehicle the boot (as in a new boot) and CV joint, and you’ll be back on the road to your next destination.

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



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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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