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Borgman How-To

Tao of Towing: Keeping Your Brakes Cool on Your Next Adventure

April 4th, 2019

Spring has sprung in West Michigan and soon many intrepid adventurers will be hooking up their trailers and towing boats, campers, dirt bikes, and other gear all across our fair state. Bringing the right vehicle for the job and equipping it correctly is an important step, but as we discussed in our last Tao of Towing article, there’s a little more to it than making sure you, your gear, and other motorists stay safe during the journey.

Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper into braking, and some techniques you can master that will not only save you in maintenance costs but help you tow safer out there as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Pothole RX: Which Parts of Your Vehicle Could Be Damaged

March 6th, 2019

Every year when the snow starts to melt, West Michigan drivers welcome the more agreeable weather but know it comes with a cost: potholes will soon be everywhere. We might subconsciously memorize and avoid ones on our daily commutes, but there’s a chance that sooner or later you’re going to drive through one. There are steps you can take to minimize the damage they cause to your vehicle, but it’s important to understand what could be affected.

Knowing, identifying, and repairing pothole damage to your vehicle early keeps your repair bills down, so in this “Borgman How To,” we’re going to cover which parts are vulnerable and what function they serve – so you can sense when they need attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: Pre-Spring Vehicle Checkup

February 7th, 2019


With the West Michigan winter weather’s ups and downs this season, we’re going to be seeing more and more potholes spring up around Grand Rapids. While drivers can learn to spot them and move around them, sometimes it just isn’t safe to do, or they’re hidden beneath puddles. Striking one of these isn’t subtle, and hitting enough of them will do damage to your wheels and suspension. Between this and the salt spread on the roads, winter can take its toll on your vehicle.

Hopefully spring is right around the corner, and the Borgman Service Center can help you get your vehicle ready for the warmer weather. Our highly-trained staff will inspect your vehicle for suspension damage, check your fluid levels, replace your ice-damaged wiper blades, align your wheels, and inspect your vehicle top to bottom for other winter-related concerns. In this Borgman How To, we’ll cover some easy things you can do yourself to scrub the salt from your vehicle inside and out, and explain how to tell if you need to bring it in for more than a checkup.

Hit a Pot Hole? Here’s What To Watch For:

Potholes are formed when water seeps down between the cracks in the pavement and washes away the soil beneath. When the water re-freezes, it expands and breaks up the pavements making pits. Since there has been a lot of this going on this season, you’re bound to see a few of them while out driving in West Michigan. While making sure your tires are properly inflated and your suspension is aligned can help protect your vehicle if you hit one, it’s still best to avoid them if at all possible.

There are a few components they get the worst of it when you hit a big one or at high speeds, and those are your tires, wheels, and suspension. The sharp edges of a pothole can strike the tire at angles they’re not designed for, causing sidewall breaches or separating the treads. Rims can become dented and let air out if the tires aren’t fully inflated, and suspension components can become bent or misaligned.

Spotting the first two issues is pretty straight-forward: if the tire doesn’t go flat you’ll be able to see a dent in the rim by crouching down to look. Be sure to check both sides very carefully, and sometimes it helps to move the vehicle a little bit to rotate the wheel. When in doubt, Contact the Borgman Service Center as soon as possible for an expert inspection.

Catching suspension damage is a little more nuanced, as sometimes it manifests itself gradually. Symptoms of damaged or misaligned suspension include uneven tire wear, squeaking or clunking while turning, a rougher ride, or just “something feeling off” about the steering. These issues can lead to even bigger, costlier issues if left ignored, so if you suspect something isn’t right Schedule an Appointment right away.

How To Remove Salt and Winter Buildup From Your Vehicle Body

Salt, and compounds like it are torturous to vehicles, but they’re necessary to keep motorways free of ice in the winter time. Unfortunately the treated water works its way into the underside of your vehicle and promotes rust. Frequent car washes guard against this, but what they can’t do is remove contaminants from the paint job itself. Little bits of dirt and gunk work their way into tiny scratches in the clear coat and will eat away at it until they’re removed. Once the weather warms up, this is something you can do yourself.

After washing the car, use a detailing clay kit on every inch of the body work to pull this stuff out before buffing and shining. Spray an area with clay lubricant and rub the clay back and forth across this spot to pull the contaminants out. Once you stop feeling resistance, that spot is clean. Rework the clay and move on to the next spot. Follow the directions on the box carefully, as you’ll also need to seal the paint when you’re done with a good waxing.

How To Lift Salt Stains From The Interior Carpeting

Unfortunately those of us with black carpeting in our vehicles notice it first, but the salt water we track in with our shoes will dry, leaving unsightly salt stains behind. These aren’t easy to remove, but it’s not impossible to do yourself. All you need is some white vinegar, a scrub brush, a spray bottle, and some water. Remove the carpet floor mats from the vehicle first, as there may very well be stains below them too. Spray the affected areas with the vinegar/water mixture and gently brush the stain. Blot the area with a dry towel to pull the salty water out, repeating as necessary. Remember not to scrub too hard as you’ll damage your carpet.

Vinegar works really well here but if you’re put-off by the smell, there are a number of different carpet cleaners in the automotive section of the supermarket. Follow the directions on the can, but they usually involve spraying foam onto the area, loosening the stain with a brush, and vacuuming up the residue when it dries. It often takes about 2-3 times to get it out, but your mileage may vary. If you’d like to permanently skip the floor mat step of this yearly ritual, visit Borgman and ask about all-weather floor mats for your vehicle.

Wipers, Fluids, and Other Components That Need To Be Inspected

Windshield wipers are usually the first thing you’ll notice need replacing in early spring. They’ll streak, squeak, and if the winter ice has really done them in, they’ll split and crack. Don’t wait for more rain or sleet to let you know it’s time for new ones, and visit the Borgman Service Center for a fresh set. Having us replace them ensures you’re getting the exact size your vehicle needs, and they’ll be replaced with high-quality Motorcraft wipers.

While you’re here, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have our technicians check all of your fluid levels, change your oil if it’s getting to be about that time, and inspect all of your belts and hoses for cracks or signs of wear. After our inspection is complete, we’ll give you a full run-down of the condition of your vehicle, including the tires, brakes, battery health, possible leaks, and more. Check out our latest Service Coupons, Schedule Your Appointment Online, and come see why We’re the Best in the West!

Borgman How To: Simple Auto Battery Care Tips

January 10th, 2019


A Guide To Caring For Your Auto Battery in West Michigan

While this year’s winter (so far) has been milder than most, that doesn’t mean some of us won’t have issues with our car batteries in the West Michigan cold. This cold weather can slow down the chemical reaction that makes batteries work, but unless we’re in sub-zero temperatures, having trouble probably mean it’s time to visit Borgman for a new one. However, there are things you can do to prolong the life of your battery, and knowing the different parts might be the difference between getting some extra time out of one or needing a replacement.

In this Borgman How-To, we’ll get you comfortable with the parts and terminology of batteries, as well as a couple of owner tips to get you (or someone else) out of a battery-related jam. Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: Understanding How Winter Tires Work

November 30th, 2018

We’ve already had our first major snowfall in West Michigan this season, and we hope everyone made it to their destinations safely. It’s probably not a stretch to say some of us had some trouble getting traction from a stop, going around corners, or braking downhill. There are some driving tips here that might help as a refresher, but the biggest factor in being able to maneuver in the snow and ice isn’t all-wheel drive, it’s your tires. In this Borgman How To, we’ll teach you everything a smart West Michigan shopper needs to know about winter tires including how they’re formulated, designed, and perform. Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: Two Great Winter Holiday Gift Ideas For West Michigan Vehicles

November 15th, 2018

The snow has finally arrived in Grand Rapids, and the Borgman Service Center is here to help keep you on the road all winter long. There are a few things a lot of West Michiganders do when winter arrives, such as change over to snow tires, check their emergency kits, and more.

This month, the Borgman Service Center is showcasing two other options available for the upcoming winter: professionally-installed rust protection, and smartphone-enabled remote start. These both make driving in our winter wonderland easier and are great gift ideas too! Read more about each below.

Rust & Corrosion Protection

Borgman Ford maintains a relationship with Great Lakes Chemical in Grand Rapids, MI. They are our trusted partner for professionally-applied treatments and coatings such as Diamon-Crystal for windshields, paint protectors, rust proofing, and more. Many of our customers choose one or more of their services when they buy a vehicle from us, but it’s not unheard of to have our service department handle it for you too.

During the winter your vehicle’s body panels, subframe, suspension components and more are exposed to rock salt and other ice-melting solutions. Road commissions use these to chemically melt ice on roadways, and completely necessary for ensuring they’re as safe as possible. Salt mixes with the water in the ice to lower the freezing point, but it also makes the water more conductive. This faster transfer ions is what accelerates rusting, and it’s even more pronounced in salt substitutes.  The underside of your vehicle gets the worst of it, and runaway rust can cause problems in your suspension, exhaust, and even brake lines! Frequently visiting the car wash can help, but adding an extra layer of protection to your vehicle will lock out salt water, stave off costly repairs, and dramatically extend the life of your vehicle.

The Borgman Service Center will be happy to handle the application of the latest in rust protection technology. We’ve teamed up with Great Lakes Chemical for this and other services. With their advanced process, there’s no need to drill holes into parts of your vehicle to apply the treatment, and it will not interfere with your manufacturer’s warranty. Using a specialized applicator, the technician will coat structural parts on the underside of your vehicle, as well as other areas that are prone to rust such as door sills. They will also “fog” the inside of your doors, quarter panels, trunk lid and seam, hood, and more. To for more information and a quote, visit the Borgman Service Center.

Remote Start Systems

Since the advent of fuel injection on the 90s and advances in motor oil, allowing your vehicle to warm up before driving it on cold mornings isn’t as necessary as it used to be. That being said, the jury is out on whether the extra emissions from idling outweigh the efficiency gains of a warm engine while you’re driving. At the very least, giving your vehicle about 5 minutes or so to warm up allows the climate control and defrosters to do their job, which makes you safer and more comfortable while driving.

There’s still the added inconvenience of waiting for the vehicle to warm up in the morning, after work, or while out and about during the winter. To make your experience with your Ford as convenient and enjoyable as possible, the Borgman Service Center offers Ford’s Remote Access kit and will be happy to install it on a compatible vehicle. This kit allows you to start your vehicle via your smartphone and includes other convenience features too, such as mobile alerts from the anti-theft system. To learn more and to see what solutions are available for your vehicle, visit the Borgman Service Center.

Quality Service & Upgrades For Your Vehicle in West Michigan

Whether you’re thinking of adding upgrades to someone’s vehicle as a holiday gift, or need a vehicle health checkup before winter hits, visit the Borgman Service Center in Grand Rapids, MI for affordable offers and unparalleled customer service. We’ll review which solutions are compatible with the intended vehicle and lay your options out for you, but will never pressure you to buy. If you need a pre-winter checkup, our trained technicians will carefully inspect your vehicle’s systems for cracked hoses, leaks, and other worn components – replacing them with the highest quality parts available at an affordable price. Visit our Service Center page and make your appointment online today. Come see why we’re the Best in the West!

Borgman How To: Windshield Wipers & Treatments Compared for West Michigan

October 3rd, 2018

The Borgman Service Center is committed to serving all of your automotive needs. This includes ensuring your vehicle’s safety features are performing their absolute best.

Being able to see clearly through your windshield is pretty important, especially since rain, snow, and foggy mornings make driving conditions a little more dangerous. The problem is, it often isn’t something we think about until it becomes an issue.

There are two fairly simple and inexpensive approaches you can take to ensure maximum visibility during a West Michigan rain or snow storm. In this Borgman How To, we’ll be taking a look at high-quality wiper blades and windshield treatments, comparing them, and helping you determine which is right for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Back To School: Basic Car Maintenance Survival Guide for Teen Drivers

September 5th, 2018

Photo of a teenage driver in West Michigan driving a Ford vehicle from Borgman Ford

The Borgman Service Center in Grand Rapids is always here for your automotive needs, and a part of that means working with you as a team to ensure your vehicle is operating smoothly and safely. Parents with new teen drivers can do the same, and while teaching the basics of auto maintenance with your teen driver will make them a more aware, responsible owner, it can also be a fun bonding experience.

Whether or not you have a new driver in the house, learning to care for a vehicle’s various systems will help everyone stay safe on the road and stave off expensive repairs. Join us in our latest Borgman How To as we go back to school for basic vehicle maintenance! Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: Understanding Transmission Fluid

August 6th, 2018


Borgman Recommends Checking Your Transmission Fluid Often to Extend The Life Of Your Vehicle

The Borgman Service Center in Grand Rapids is dedicated to keeping you out on the road to adventure in West Michigan. For this reason, we recommend having your transmission fluid checked or changed every 30,000 miles, despite what you may see in your owner’s manual.

We hope everyone who drives a vehicle in West Michigan understands why having your engine oil changed regularly is important. It’s the lifeblood of your engine, but we don’t often see the transmission getting the same love. The engine and transmission work as a team to keep you moving, and keeping an eye on your transmission fluid level is just as critical.

In this Borgman How To, we’re going to briefly touch on how automatic transmissions work and why having the fluid changed regularly is paramount for maintaining a healthy vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: The Tao of Towing

July 3rd, 2018


Simple Guide to Towing Trailers, Boats, and Campers Across West Michigan

One of the best parts of driving a larger Ford Truck or SUV in West Michigan is being able to tow heavier toys along on your next adventure. Whether you’re towing a boat, a trailer loaded with dirt bikes or ATVs, campers, or even snowmobiles, there’s a rugged Ford vehicle that’s more than up to the task. Although, if you’re new to towing, you might have some questions about all the ins and outs. In this latest Borgman How To, we’ll cover some important mechanical, safety, and operating tips to get you towing like a pro in no time! Read the rest of this entry »


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