Helpful tactics to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in your service and repair shop


By Bill Snow, Radair Complete Car Care, Cleveland, OH

With today’s concern about being exposed to COVID-19 shop owners need to take additional steps to protect their team members and their clients.  In states that have issued a stay at home order, automotive repair businesses are deemed essential and many have decided to remain open to provide services to their customers, many of which are first responders and health care workers.

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Here are some helpful tactics to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.

  1. Offer pick-up and drop off service so that customers don’t have to come to your location.  Set some boundaries about time of day and how far you are willing to travel to get cars.  While you don’t have to advertise those boundaries, it’s good to know them so that you can best manage your workload and workflow.
  2. Promote and utilize your night drop box as an anytime drop box.  Many shops are seeing success using the night drop box as another way to offer a touchless experience.  After your customer pays, place the keys in their vehicle with the invoice.
  3. Close off or restrict your waiting room.  Drop off only.
  4. Have your team disinfect all customer reception area surfaces, bathrooms, and door handles multiple times per day.
  5. After your service advisor has checked in the car, have them disinfect all touch points, steering wheel, door handles, levers and gear shift knob.  Also, install disposable seat covers and floor mats.  Customers should only leave you with the vehicle key and clean it before your technician touches it.
  6. Require that your staff and technicians wear disposable gloves while at the shop and require that they change their gloves in between the inspection and repair of each vehicle. Gloves should be disposed of once they are used (do NOT reuse disposable gloves).
  7. Upon arrival each day, employee’s body temperatures should be taken and recorded.  Anyone with an elevated temperature or any signs of sickness should be sent home.
  8. If your shop provides loaner cars, make sure that they are disinfected before your customer takes them.  Your loaner cars reflect your business!
  9. Develop a note that can left behind in the car that states every precaution you took to ensure safety.  You can even ask for a referral!
  10. Prior to your customer picking up their vehicle, disinfect everything again.

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Taking these steps will not only help your team and your customers reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus, but it will also help you stand out as a shop that cares.  During these uncertain times it’s our time to shine and show our communities that we are here to help.

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How do I replace my MACS Section 609 credentials?


If you obtained your Section 609 certification credentials from IMACA or the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide they can be replaced for $10.

Visit this link on the MACS website and follow the procedure for replacing your credentials. We must know your full name, where you worked and what city you lived in when you were certified, all this information helps the staff locate your record.

For more information you can call the MACS office Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5pm at 215-631-7020 x 313, 309 or 305.

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Invest in yourself with a MACS membership


By Andy Fiffick MACSW Chairman and CEO

More than 700 attendees came together for MACS 40th Anniversary and Trade Show, February 19-22 in Nashville, TN, and it was a successful event for all who participated. What made it great? There were high-level service, repair and business training, a sold-out trade show, great networking events and the excitement of Nashville nightlife, all of which were terrific.

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The most important part of the event, and what really made the MACS 40th Anniversary Training Event a success were all the MACS members! Being able to talk to other members face-to-face and share stories and experiences was invaluable. I learn just as much networking and socializing with our fellow MACS members at these events as I do in the training sessions.

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Membership in the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide means you pay a fee annually to receive all of our publications and benefits, such as our Mobile Diagnostics App, access to a helpline, health insurance, business insurance, discounts on Lenovo computers, GE appliances, UPS, Yellow Freight and services from Cintas, including uniforms, parts washers, first aid cabinets, AED stations and more.

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Many people think when they pass the Section 609 certification class that they are members of MACS. MACS Section 609 Certification is the EPA clean air act requirement, which is the regulatory credential needed to purchase refrigerant and recover and recycle refrigerant. MACS membership, however, is the next step to connecting yourself to the mobile A/C and engine cooling system industry.

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A very wise, long-time MACS member once said, “MACS membership does not cost – it pays!” When you add up all the technical content, MACS Mobile A/C Diagnostics APP with Motor’s A/C and Spec library, clinic and convention discounts and business discounts, your membership in MACS pays for itself.
Since January 1 of this year, 32 new members have joined MACS. I hope by next month if you have not already joined us, you take the time to become a new member and help our organization be relevant and successful for the next 40 years.

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MACS 2020 HD & Off-Road Equipment Digest


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MACS ACTION Magazine
April 2020

The MACS HD Truck/Off-Road Technical Session began with an informative presentation by John Wagner of Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). He announced that the 125-year-old AEM includes all major HD HVAC systems off-road manufacturers and 1000-plus members representing more than 200 product lines.
AEM and its members are working with the U.S. EPA for approval to use low GWP refrigerants in five different categories of off-road vehicles. To date, the use of R-1234yf and R-152a are not approved by EPA SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Program) in any off-road vehicles. This is a significant concern for off-road equipment manufacturers who sell their equipment in Europe where regulations require the use of low GWP refrigerants.

View the April 2020 MACS ACTION Digital Magazine

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Cooling systems service


By Peter Orlando, MACS Technical Correspondent

The Lubrication System Service –
It seems routine, but it’s not!

Have you ever heard someone say, “When it begins ticking, that’s when I know to add oil?” When we’re asked to change oil and filter, it seems so routine. Car on lift, determine type of oil filter (spin-on or cartridge), locate crankcase drain plug and remove it, R&R the oil filter, simple drain and refill to capacity with proper type and grade of oil. Although we see the average vehicle less in a calendar year for this service now than we did just five years ago, it still seems to be routine and remains one of the “MUST DO” services a customer is inclined to bring the vehicle into the shop for. We do hundreds of oil and filter changes a year, right?
By the way, I say five years ago because that’s when the use of factory-fill synthetic oil really began to increase. The educational needs of our shop’s services (one of which is changing oil) had to change (pardon the pun) when this uptick occurred. Why? We couldn’t have a customer dictating they wanted conventional oil put into their engine when the factory-fill requirements were 5W-20 Full Synthetic oil. See Figure 1. Secondly, we certainly couldn’t have technicians or shop owners telling customers, “…they don’t need that expensive stuff; it’s just a waste of money.”
Just as the engines have evolved over the years, so have the protective oil formulations that go into them. Putting the correct oil in the engine is necessary to provide proper engine protection, maintain vehicle warranty and, more important, make the extended drain interval that the manufacturer has provided for the oil and filter. Besides, the Oil Life Monitor and engine protection only work if the correct oil is in the engine!

Figure 1: Some OE oil caps indicate which oil is required, but may not categorize conventional / synthetic type. Check service information to be sure.

The Cooling Systems Service – (Who’s doing it?)
Unfortunately, there is no Coolant Life Monitor on board telling us to change the coolant, at least not yet. Hard truth lesson: If the customer, who waits for the engine to begin “ticking” before adding oil treats the cooling system with the same respect, we can all agree that the educational needs of that customer are at least a 10. Those decisions have extreme consequences in most cases, and if they have children who drive, they’re not making any positive strides in the gene pool for setting a good example for the young ones. The parental lesson should be WHY we perform proper vehicle maintenance; the rewards of vehicle reliability are of top priority as the youngsters advance from being driven to driving! Teach them early, teach them right, teach them now, keeps them bright! The vehicle is potentially their means of transportation to and from school or work or maybe both.

Figure 2: The coolant label on this 2012 Ford Fusion 3.0L says to use specialty orange coolant.

Do we service cooling systems?
How many cooling systems services do we average a year? I’ll bet it doesn’t come close to the amount of oil changes we perform. This service isn’t so routine. As a matter of fact, I did some research. I asked 12 shops when the last time anyone in the shop tested a customer’s car for coolant strength? Judging by the perplexing look on most technicians’ faces when asked this question, I became perplexed, as well! What was even more alarming was their responses to the second question: How would you test the coolant/antifreeze mixture ratio on my car right now? Guess what they reached for? A hydrometer! “Have you ever used a refractometer?,” I asked. No, what’s that? (I wish I was making this up). I had one technician say, “Unless the customer is complaining of a leak, or the car overheated, we just don’t check it all that much”. It didn’t even occur to me that many technicians don’t even bother to check the coolant unless there is a leak. This is astonishing. Another shop owner told me, “I used to try and sell cooling system services to customers, but they just don’t care, so I stopped trying.”
Ultimately, my takeaway on these reactions was: We’d prefer to wait for the machine to break, rather than maintain it and avoid a headache! This is what health care, too, has become. Think about it! Why cure anything? Why prevent illness? There’s no money in that! But, we sure can treat you once you become ill. No money in prevention. However, taking the responsibility to properly inspect and maintain a vehicle is our job. We can’t wait for things to break, especially those things that are preventable. It must change and, we as a service industry, must do our part to prevent breakdown and customer inconvenience. Cooling system service and maintenance are among many areas where we can educate our customers to prevent such problems. (Read More)

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The Lubrication System Service – It seems routine, but it’s not!


Have you ever heard someone say, “When it begins ticking, that’s when I know to add oil?” When we’re asked to change oil and filter, it seems so routine. Car on lift, determine type of oil filter (spin-on or cartridge), locate crankcase drain plug and remove it, R&R the oil filter, simple drain and refill to capacity with proper type and grade of oil. Although we see the average vehicle less in a calendar year for this service now than we did just five years ago, it still seems to be routine and remains one of the “MUST DO” services a customer is inclined to bring the vehicle into the shop for. We do hundreds of oil and filter changes a year, right?
View the March 2020 MACS ACTION Digital Magazine

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Don’t miss the Friday morning general session at MACS 2020 Training Event and Trade Show-like a global town hall meeting for the industry!


Join all the MACS 2020 Training Event attendees on Friday morning at 8am as they gather for what amounts to a global town hall meeting at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, TN

Featured speakers include Chenise Farquharson of the U.S. EPA who will update everyone on the Agency’s current SNAP regulations and activities impacting the mobile air conditioning industry.

Michael R. Ingvardsen of Nissens Automotive A/S will discuss the state of the mobile A/C industry in Europe. With increased focus on fuel economy and exhaust levels of cars in Europe, A/C systems have been developed and improved at a pace not seen before. EU demand for manufacturers to improve range have also had serious impacts.

Also presenting is Jose Miguel Diaz Sastre of Sanden International, Europe who will address electrification of the motor vehicle and the impacts that will have on the A/C technician, including how powertrain cooling systems work, their differences to what we currently see in today’s vehicles, service tips and pitfalls.

To register for the MACS 2020 Training Event and Trade Show call the MACS office at 215-631-7020 X 0 or visit our website at this link.

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MACS 2020 Trade Show will be on Friday, February 21 from 10am-4pm in Nashville, TN


In 1980, a group of diverse automotive business owners decided they needed to network, share information, further commerce and most importantly train technicians to make competent repairs. To do this they formed a trade association called the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide. 40 years later MACS is still here, changing, growing and adapting to new technologies and show casing the best of mobile A/C parts, tools, equipment, chemicals and technology at our annual Trade Show.

Don’t miss MACS Training Event and Trade Show, February 19-22, 2020 and Trade Show day is on Friday, February 21 from 10am-4pm in the Ryman Exhibition Hall B-1 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Click here for the Trade Show Buyer’s Guide.

Register now and save time! Click here to see all the information about MACS 2020 Training Event and Trade Show! Call the MACS office at 215-631-7020 X 0.

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2020 mobile A/C buyer’s guide and exhibitor list in MACS February 2020 issue of ACTION magazine


A large part of the mission of the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide is to educate and communicate relevant, accurate and competent service and repair information related to thermal vehicle climate and thermal management. Please click on the links below to view award-winning, MACS ACTION magazine’s digital edition, February 2020 issue.

View the buyer’s guide. View the entire magazine. Visit MACS website at www.macsw.org

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Do you know what a TXV does? Do you know what superheat means? Now is the time to find out.


Eugene Dianetti of Parker Hannifin and Mike Milliman of SMP Four Seasons will explain everything you ever wanted to know about expansion valves and how they work, what superheat is, what it does and what MOP stands for.

MACS 2020 Training Event features many high level classes on mobile A/C and engine cooling system service and repair. One of the highlights is a class on TXV’s, Superheat, MOP and more.

Don’t miss this highly informative class during MACS 2020 Training Event and Trade Show on Saturday, February 22 at 8am. To register please click here or call the MACS office at 215-631-7020 x 0. View the entire program on here.

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