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Borgman How-To

Borgman How To: When Is It Time For New Shocks or Struts?

March 7th, 2018


Shock & Struts Smooth Your Ride and Keep West Michigan Drivers Safe

After the West Michigan winter finally clears, you might be noticing your daily commute is a little bumpier than you remember, or that it’s a little harder to turn the steering wheel. If that’s the case, it could be a sign that you need new shocks or struts, and the Borgman Service Center is here to help!

 What Are Shocks & Struts? What Do They Do?

Depending on which vehicle you drive, it will be equipped with either shock absorbers, struts, or both. It’s worth noting that a single wheel will have one or the other – never both. Shocks and struts are parts of your vehicle’s suspension, and they control how your body interacts with the wheels. This affects your steering, stopping distance, and weight dynamics. They also filter out bumps from the road and smooth out your ride.

While these two parts have similar duties, they are not interchangeable. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Know If Your Vehicle Needs An Alignment

January 23rd, 2018

How to check your wheel alignment to drive safely in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

Now that we’ve made it about halfway through the winter season in West Michigan, it’s probably a good time to know where you stand in terms of your vehicle’s alignment. I don’t think anyone was surprised to find the roads an absolute horror show after the latest thaw, as we were reunited with our old friend the pothole. These gaps, pits, or large craters in the asphalt are formed when water seeps into cracks and expands when it re-freezes. While your vehicle will eventually need an alignment from normal driving, if you hit a pothole or a curb it may need one sooner. Read the rest of this entry »

Advanced Winter Driving Tips For West Michigan Roads

December 12th, 2017


Learn How To Recover From Different Skids, Retrain Your Pedal Foot, and More!

The winter weather has arrived in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, and it looks like it’s staying for the season. While it’s undeniably beautiful to look at, snow and ice can make driving hazardous, especially with the influx of cars on the road during the holiday shopping and travel season. In the interest of making sure everyone arrives at their destinations safely, Borgman has put together a few advanced tips for winter driving, which include a quick hit on some vehicle physics plus 4 types of skids and how to recover from them. We’ve written an article that covers the basics of safe winter driving, which you can find here. To further sharpen your winter driving skills, keep on reading! Read the rest of this entry »

Borgman How To: Pre-Winter Windshield Wiper Check & Maintenance

October 30th, 2017

Photo of a 2018 Ford Escape driving safely in the West Michigan winter weather, with the help of well-maintained windshield wiper blades.

How To Inspect Your Wiper Blades Before The West Michigan Winter Hits

During the warmer months, we only really use our wipers during a rainstorm or cleaning gunk off of the windshield. However, once the snow flies, making sure wipers can do their job becomes more of a safety issue. At the very least, worn wiper blades will make a lot of horrible noise and leave streaks on the windshield. When they get really bad, and especially during a snowstorm, they leave you with no visibility in an already precarious driving condition.

When wipers are in good shape, they will smoothly and quietly remove all water from their path. Checking your wipers for wear is pretty easy. Just pick it up and take a look for any ripples or cracks in the rubber. If you don’t see any glaring issues, sit behind the wheel and spray the windshield with washer fluid. When the wipers engage, keep an eye open for the following issues:

  1. Wipers do not clear all of the washer fluid in one stroke or leave streaks.
  2. Wipers make a lot of noise, even when wet.
  3. Wipers bounce up and down or stutter as they travel – indicating that some part of the assembly is bent.

Windshield wipers should ideally be replaced every six months. However, if you’re looking for an easier way to tell if your wipers need replacing, visit the Borgman Ford Service Center and ask about Motorcraft Wiper Blades with wear indicator. These wiper blades have a spot that will change from black to yellow when they need to be replaced.

Good Windshield Wiper Habits For West Michigan Weather

Wiper blades are a relatively low-maintenance feature of your vehicle, but there are a couple of things that will wear them down faster:

  • Operating while the wipers are dry
  • Operating while under excessive load

Both of these things usually happen completely by accident, and once or twice is probably ok. If they happen repeatedly though, it can damage the wiper, bend the arm, or even fry the motor. In most cases, “excessive load” means that the wiper motor is pulling against wipers that are frozen stuck or pushing big piles of snow off the windshield. Both can be prevented by making sure your wipers are off and at rest before getting out of your vehicle.

What’s the verdict on standing wipers up before a snow storm?

Whether you’ve seen this trend out in the wild or not, we want to address the idea of sticking wiper blades up before a snow storm. On one side, the claim is that by leaving them up, you prevent them from freezing directly to the windshield, and prevents damage from getting them unstuck. On the other end of it, people say that snow and ice can completely encase the blade, which can cause damage or bend wiper parts – especially in high winds.

Here’s our advice: Before you turn your vehicle off, always make sure that the wipers are switched off and have returned to their resting position. That way when the vehicle is turned back on, the wipers won’t automatically turn on either. Turn on the de-icer and start brushing off the snow and scraping away the ice as normal. It’s a good idea to check your tailpipe to make sure it’s clear too. By the time you get to the windshield, it should be warm enough to not even be an issue, and you’ll be able to simply pick them up and scrape under them. Some vehicles, such as the 2018 Ford Escape, come with windshield wiper warmers as an available feature.

Don’t pour hot water on your windshield!

There’s one more thing we want to discourage, however tempting it may be on a sub-zero morning. Never pour hot or even warm water on your windshield to clear away ice. Hot water will shock the glass on your windshield which can cause chips or even huge cracks. Warm water lessens this danger, but more often than not will just refreeze and make a bad situation worse. Washer fluid, which contains methanol and other de-icing agents, will work to break up frost on the windshield by lowering the water’s freezing point. Before you spray with washer fluid, make sure you’ve scraped the windshield as smooth as possible to avoid damaging the wiper blades!

Visit the Borgman Service Center For Quality Windshield Wiper Replacement in West Michigan

If you’re looking for quality windshield wipers that are a perfect fit for your vehicle, stop by the Borgman Service Center in Grand Rapids and talk to one of our parts specialists. We proudly stock genuine Motorcraft wiper blades, which come in four different varieties. Depending on your vehicle, preferences, and season we’ll be able to make a recommendation as to which one is the best fit for your needs. Many of these wiper blades also boast the yellow wear indicator feature.

Replacing wiper blades yourself is fairly easy, but if you’re short on time we’d be happy to do it for you. Contact our Service Center for hours and info!

Borgman How To: Caring For & Inspecting Your Tires

October 17th, 2017


Learn More About How To Care For Your Tires by Understanding How They Work

Tires are an integral part of your vehicle, and Borgman is here to help you make sure they stay in good shape for as long as possible. Tires have quite the job description: they carry the vehicle everywhere throughout Grand Rapids and West Michigan, they keep road noise down, the ride smooth, and keep your grip in slick conditions. To achieve all of this, there is a fair bit of physics and chemistry at play, but you don’t really have to worry about any of that. Getting peak performance out of your tires from Borgman is as simple as giving them a look-over every month. Below, we’ve provided a punch list of what to look for and tips to keep your tires in tip-top shape. Read the rest of this entry »


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