MACS Section 609 Certification Records Top 1 Million


A milestone has been reached and passed at the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide. MACS now archives over 1 million automotive service technician Section 609 records.

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“MACS is proud to have been the pioneer provider of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Section 609 service technician refrigerant recovery and recycling education program,” proclaimed Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and chief operating officer. “We are very excited to have now passed well over the 1 million certified technicians mark and look forward to providing more certifications and education to service technicians when our new R-1234yf program is given final approval by EPA.”

 

This is a good time to remind all automotive service technicians that if they work on mobile A/C systems using R-12, R-134a and R-1234yf that under Section 609 of the U.S. Clean Air Act they must be certified to recover and recycle refrigerant.

MACS provides Section 609 certification education through leader led classes, independent study tests and online testing. Technicians who have lost their credentials may call the MACS office at 215/631-7020 x 0 to obtain reprints for $10 each. A reprint order form is available on the MACS website at www.macsw.org under the Section 609 certification tab.

 

Founded in 1981, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. MACS represents a growing membership in North America and 47 countries around the world, and is affiliated with the Vehicle Air Conditioning Specialists of Australia (VASA). MACS also provides information and services to more than 60,000 industry shops, suppliers and technicians. The Society serves the industry through informational tools, self-paced educational materials, leader-led training clinics, advocacy and other member services. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 1 million technicians to comply with 1990 Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. To learn more about MACS Worldwide visit our website at http://www.macsw.org. MACS 2015 Training Event and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS; Make Connections that Matter! will take place February 5-7, at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

 

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Saab is back, sort of


 

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(photo: Nevs, AB)

by Jacques Gordon

Yesterday the first new post-bankruptcy Saab 9-3 Aero sedans were delivered for distribution to Swedish customers who ordered the cars via online direct sales. Saab and all its main assets were acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, (Nevs) in 2012. Nevs is a Swedish company that plans to become a leader in manufacture and distribution of electric vehicles. They purchased Saab to gain entry to the world automotive market with a known brand, and things seem to be moving ahead according to plan.

The purchase agreement ensures the supply of spare parts globally for new Saab cars manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden. Service, repairs and warranty issues will be handled by existing Saab Service Centers. In less than a year, Nevs successfully established partnerships with all the suppliers and subcontractors needed to produce and support the Saab 9-3 Sedan, around 2,400 companies globally. Production of the 9-3 with a 220 hp engine and choice of manual or automatic transmission began in December at the modest rate of about ten cars a week, and the pace will gradually increase to meet demand.

The electric car based on the Saab 9-3 will be launched this year, with China as the first market. Nevs’ partner and part owner Qingdao has initially placed an order for a pilot fleet of 200 electric cars. Nevs says they will develop their customer base to expand into more markets where they “see potential for growth and profitability.”

No word on whether the company’s plans include the U.S. market. While the assets and intellectual property connected with the Saab 9-5 developed by GM were not included in the company’s purchase of Saab, just the fact that the suppliers are once again producing parts for the 9-3 Sedan increases the possibility of aftermarket support for Saab vehicles here. For more information: http://www.saabcars.com.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.

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Haptic steering wheel


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(photo: Hyundai)

by Jacques Gordon

“Haptic” is a word rooted in the Greek language that means ‘to touch.’ Haptic technology, typically called ‘haptics,’ enables a machine to communicate with a human though the sense of touch. If you’ve ever felt a cell phone vibrate in your hand to indicate an incoming call, that’s haptics.

While the concept dates to ancient times, modern haptics was developed in the 1950s to mimic the feeling of resistance in the controls of fly-by-wire aircraft. In more recent applications, haptic technology is used in Lexus (and other) vehicles that have Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB). A hydraulic piston connected to the pedal provides the progressive resistance we’re all accustomed to feeling, but in normal operation it doesn’t activate the brakes; it’s purely there for feel. In automotive (and other vehicle) applications, haptics are designed to let humans to feel what they expect to feel as the vehicle reacts to control inputs.

Now there’s a new application, and it’s being used in a very different way. The latest Hyundai Equus and Genesis models have a haptic steering wheel that is used for lane departure warning. Instead of creating a feedback signal in response to a driver’s actions, the haptic steering wheel will generate a tactile signal that tells the driver what to do.

The steering wheel has a series of vibrators in the rim, and the vibrations tell the driver to steer left or right depending on which vibrators are activated. Testing of haptic steering wheels began back in 2010, and while the technology itself is not difficult, extensive research and development went into determining how it should be used and how effective it can be. Originally it was expected to be used with a vehicle’s navigation system, providing an additional clue to the driver as to exactly when to execute a turn. However Hyundai has chosen a different path.

Lane keeping utilizes cameras and/or other optical sensors to detect the lines on the side of the road. If the vehicle drifts towards a line, the electric power steering system is activated to momentarily ‘nudge’ the steering wheel in the opposite direction. It won’t actually steer the vehicle, and it can be ignored or overcome with very little effort. In the strictest sense, this is also haptics, but it’s not a bit of hardware dedicated to communicating with the driver; it’s manipulation of the vehicle itself. With the vibrating elements in the steering wheel, more information can be communicated, such as how far to turn the wheel, how long to keep it there, and when to turn back. As researchers learn more about how humans instinctively respond to tactile messages, with just a few additional lines of software Hyundai’s haptic steering wheel may well be used to communicate additional messages in the future.

 

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.

 

 

 

 

 

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Your new computer operating system


by Jacques Gordon

By now you’ve heard that, as of April 8, Microsoft will no longer support their Windows XP operating system. There will be no more technical assistance from the company for that product and, most importantly, no more security updates. According to Microsoft, computers and other devices using this operating system will become increasingly more vulnerable to security risks and viruses, and a growing number of new applications and devices will not work properly with Windows XP.

The company recommends upgrading to a newer operating system, either Windows 7 or Windows 8, and they offer assistance in migrating files, settings and user profiles into the new operating system. They also offer an Upgrade Assistant to determine if your existing computer is compatible with the newer operating systems (if not, you’ll need a new computer).

For Microsoft, this is a viable business decision: XP has been in the field for 12 years, and it represents a shrinking portion of the company’s earnings. Even if it were to remain profitable, each year they continue to prop up old products increases their risk of losing business to competitors offering more advanced products.

For people who use computers, the operating system is not a product; it’s a tool. Some analysts estimate about 30% of all the PCs out there run XP. Millions of private individuals, banks, small and large retailers, public utilities and even entire governments run their business on software designed to run on Windows XP. What’s going to happen now that Microsoft is abandoning that operating system?

For the automotive service industry, the short answer is ‘nothing yet.’ A statement from ALLDATA, an on-line supplier of service information and management tools for aftermarket service shops, says you “do not need to take any action in order to continue using your ALLDATA products with Windows XP.” Indeed, all of their products are designed to run on Windows operating systems (running on a PC, not a Mac), from XP up through 8.1, and whatever their customers are using now will continue to work as it always has. But as noted earlier, new applications are a different story.

In a way, it’s a little bit like owning a 12-year-old car. It isn’t supported by the manufacturer anymore but parts and service information are still available from the aftermarket: but it won’t run forever. If you run a repair shop on Windows XP, a knowledgeable IT person can keep you running, but not forever, especially if you expect to install new software. Eventually you’ll need a newer operating system, and moving into it will require expertise and maybe even new hardware. Productivity may also suffer a bit as you learn how to use your new tool, but not for long.

However, be aware that some of the newer Windows operating systems are disliked by many users and IT specialists, partly because they include features that tell Microsoft (and possibly other parties) about applications downloaded to your computer. One feature allows Microsoft to remotely disable applications. A knowledgeable computer tech can disable these and other controversial features, so as the old XP workhorse is retired, get the help you need to make sure your new tool is configured exactly the way you want it.

 

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.

 

 

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Backup Camera Regulations


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The actual lens in this back up camera is 1.7 mm diameter (MACS photo)

 

by Jacques Gordon

Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued final standards that will require all new cars, buses and trucks weighing less than 10,000 lbs to be fitted with a backup camera, beginning in May 2018.

The standards require technology that allows drivers to see objects behind the vehicle that are 32 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter, situated 10 feet on either side of the vehicle centerline and from “immediately behind the vehicle” to 20 feet from the rear bumper. In a departure from normal practice of relying on the auto industry to choose the best technology to meet performance-based standards, NHTSA has taken the unusual step of specifying the use of rear view camera systems to meet these standards.

The final ruling states the agency’s reasoning: “We believe that existing (camera) systems generally meet our proposed specifications…(and) vehicle and equipment manufacturers cited low warranty claim rates for rearview video systems in their comments. This indicates to us that today’s systems are proving durable in typical driving conditions.”

The ruling specified performance criteria for the visual display, such as luminance and image response time, saying that these criteria could be accomplished with software at minimal cost. They expect it will cost about $45 for vehicles already equipped with a suitable display screen and $142 for those that must add one specifically for the camera system.

Twelve of the industry’s carmakers, through the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), have supported the ruling through a Statement on Reward Visibility saying that the ruling “helps pave the way for using cameras in other ways on vehicles.” AAM noted that rearview cameras are already standard or optional on two-thirds of the nation’s 50 top-selling models, and they are now petitioning NHTSA to allow automakers to use cameras in place of conventional side-view and rearview mirrors. The cameras are tiny compared to mirrors, and studies have shown that eliminating the side mirrors would reduce wind noise and help improve fuel mileage.

Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and others currently offer a 360° camera system on some models, with one camera located in the front grille, another in each outside mirror housing and one in the rear. With these four cameras, the system can calculate and display a number of different views, including an aerial view looking down on the car and its surroundings. In addition to improving the driver’s situational awareness, cameras are a technology that is required for automated driving functions.

 

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you ready to kick-off mobile A/C season?


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Time to download the digital issue of MACS ACTION magazine -April 201

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Hay is for horses not evaporators


It’s probably a good bet you’ve never seen an A/C system in this condition.

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When the fine folks of Mark’s Air in Tampa, Florida set out to work on this 2005 International 4200 truck they discovered there was considerable restriction to the airflow. It turns out the truck is used at Tampa Bay Downs race track in the stable area where considerable hay and horse bedding is constantly flying around.

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What to do?

MACS Member Caroline Acebedo of Marks Air tells us,”The customer had no idea that there was a cabin air filter in the truck. The way this International is designed, when the A/C is turned off, the outside air door opens.
Due to this customer’s environment, we chose to replace the filter, clean the evaporator and case, and then unplug the outside air motor to prevent the horse bedding material from dropping down into the evaporator case again.”

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Have an interesting repair to share with us? Email us at macsworldwide@macsw.org

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.
The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS Make Connections that Matter, February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.

 

 

 

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J2911 Product Certification


By Ward Atkinson, MACS Technical Consultant

Over the years suppliers in the MAC industry have advertised that their product meets or exceeds the industry SAE International Standard requirements. Recent industry standard changes now impact the mobile air conditioning industry by the introduction of SAE J2911 “Procedure for Certification that Requirements for Mobile Air Conditioning System Components, Service Equipment, and Service Technician Training Meet SAE J Standards.”

The purpose of SAE J2911 is to provide a procedure to certify to a customer or a Regulatory Agency that the requirements of the specified J Standard are in fact met. This procedure identifies the data required for each SAE J Standard that is to be submitted to SAE International to be recorded and available in the public domain.
According to SAE J2911, products shall not be advertised nor have a label on the product that they comply with any designated SAE Standard requirements until these requirements are met and the results posted on the SAE Website.

A manufacturer or provider (M/P) can only advertise their product as being “Certified to an SAE Standard,” when they have complied with SAE J2911 requirements by:
(1) formally submitting a claim of conformance to SAE International and
(2) being registered by SAE International on the SAE MACdb website: http://macdb.sae.org

If the product is not in compliance, the following procedures will be enacted:
• SAE Legal Department will send an advisory letter notifying the M/P of SAE J2911 requirements and offering SAE assistance to place the M/P in compliance with SAE J2911.
• If no response is received by SAE after two (2) weeks, a more formal “cease and desist” letter will be issued to the offending M/P.
• If no response to the letters, further actions will be considered including, but not limited to, press releases, web notices and/or legal action.

Some examples of products to which these SAE Standard compliance requirements apply include:
• Service and test equipment
• Coupled refrigerant hose assemblies
• Replacement evaporators for R-1234yf and R-744 MAC systems
• Refrigerant system additives/flushing chemicals
• Refrigerant purity of R-134a, R-1234yf and R-744
• Technician EPA certification programs

 

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How to properly install an orifice tube


A video technical tip from Steve Schaeber, MACS technical specialist.

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MACS mobile A/C training clinics are on!


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Sixty automotive professionals took time out of their busy lives to attend MACS 2014 Mobile A/C Update Clinic at MACS Training facility in Lansdale, PA on Thursday, March 27th. Everyone shared a dinner of pizza, salad and other assorted goodies before
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getting down to the business of learning about the main topics of the clinic:

• A/C Diagnostic Tools and Perspectives
• Batteries and Modern Charging Systems
• Flat Rate Times and Variables
• Finding the Right Fix
• Odors, Contaminants and Remedies
• Another Passenger Car Compartment Odor Problem
• “Virtual” Sensors
• OBD II Monitors
• New refrigerants
• Coolant and Electrical Systems

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Steve Schaeber, MACS training specialist kept the crowd engaged while covering a lot of material to make the most of everyone’s time.

He even threw in a few raffle prizes to keep the energy level going.

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MACS clinics are happening all over the country, check our schedule here. If you don’t see a clinic near you, how about scheduling one at your shop or business? Its time to get in on some of the best automotive training available. Email us at macsworldwide@macsw.org
or call us at 215/631-7020 x 304. The majority of the MACS clinic attendees are already MACS members! Are you a member yet? Join our community!

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