If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that without clear-cut policies in place, our world can quickly devolve into a chaotic spin. From extended personnel leave to sanitation and cleanliness, to business interruption policies, owners and managers have had their hands full jumping from one issue to the next. Unfortunately, I’m about to dump one more thing on your desk: your business’s Social Media Policy. Understand that a social media policy is more than a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a living document designed to outline the expectations and responsibilities of the people posting to your company’s social media accounts, as well as rules of conduct for the public on what is allowed on your business social media pages. This is important for several reasons: ● A business can maintain its brand identity across multiple channels. ● Legal and regulatory issues are handled with awareness and sensitivity. ● Security breaches can be prevented. ● A full-blown PR crisis can be potentially averted. ● In the event of a crisis or breach, staff can react and resolve a matter quickly. ● Employees and ownership are educated about their own social media responsibilities. ● Employees are encouraged to grow and amplify your business’s message. Creating the policy
Like any business document, it’s best to start a Social Media Policy by covering the basics, including:
What are employees’ roles and responsibilities in creating, posting and responding to social media on the company’s accounts?
Who has access to these accounts?
How often do passwords get changed?
How often will social media managers get trained?
What devices can be used to post on the company’s social media? From there, the next important issue to tackle is a code of conduct. Let’s assume your employees are trustworthy from this aspect, but the real concern is preventing your business from becoming the victim of trolling and smear campaigns. A social media page should be a place to share positive and informative content about your organization, and this policy should be communicated to visitors. State on your social media pages that your company reserves the right to delete any posts that contain material that is defamatory, harassing, illegal or off-topic. Provide the customer service contact information in your code of conduct policy, and remind followers that you are available to help and offer personal service offline. Staying within the law Your policy should also outline specific content requirements that will protect the organization from running afoul of the legal system, including: ● Copyright: Not everyone understands that using third-party content without approval is a breach of copyright law. Ensure staff have a clear understanding of what tools are available to them so they aren’t searching for artwork or other content that isn’t licensed. ● Privacy: Do all employees know how to handle customer information? Make sure your people don’t run into trouble without even realizing they’ve stepped over the line. ● Confidentiality: Do employees understand that certain internal information about your organization should not be discussed publicly? Even if staff sign nondisclosure agreements, they should be aware of the consequences of disclosing information on social media that the organization considers private. (Read more)
When COVID-19 first appeared in the news, the U.S. general population wasn’t very concerned. Many assumed that like the SARS pandemic, it would only affect relatively few people.
The 2002–2003 SARS outbreak lasted about eight months. The World Health Organization declared that SARS was contained on 5 July 2003. During that time period, over 8,000 people were infected, and at least 774 died in 29 different countries and territories worldwide.
The COVID-19 has proven to be much more severe and it’s not over yet. This virus raises serious questions about the best way to clean a vehicle prior to service (protecting the service technician) and the best way to clean it after service (to protect the customer).
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person. When someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, they send droplets containing the virus into the air. These droplets can also be expelled when laughing or talking loudly in a crowded area when being close to others. You may also catch the virus if you touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. With different kinds of hard surfaces (such as metal, doorknobs, jewelry, silverware, drinking glasses, mirrors, and windows), the virus may last for up to 5 days. With plastic surfaces (such as milk containers, detergent bottles, vehicle interior, backpacks, elevator buttons), the virus may last up to 2 to 3 days.
Transmission of the virus through the ventilation and filtration systems, while possible, is less likely.
To reduce your chance of catching or spreading the new coronavirus, wear a mask to reduce possible person-to-person transmission and clean and disinfect common surfaces and objects at least every day.
Due to the complexity of the COVID-19 subject, the best approach is that the service technician needs to take all the precautions that they are comfortable to protect themselves when working on the vehicle.
Coronavirus and Temperature
Coronaviruses generally don’t live as long in higher temperatures and humidity levels as compared to cooler, dryer conditions. Researchers are studying exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight and how long the new virus lives on surfaces.
SARS was proven to be killed at 56°C (132.8°F) in 15 minutes according to the WHO (World Health Organization).
The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces. How long it survives also depends on the material the surface is made from. At this time there is no factual information on the required temperature and conditions required to kill SARS-CoV-2 on the various cabin material surfaces.
The family of viruses that includes the one that causes COVID-19 can live on some of the surfaces you probably touch every day.
Step 2: Read the directions. Follow the product’s directions. Check “use sites” and “surface types” to see where you can use the product. Read the “precautionary statements.”
Step 3: Pre-clean the surface. Make sure to wash the surface with soap and water if the directions mention pre-cleaning or if the surface is visibly dirty.
Step 4: Follow the contact time. You can find the contact time in the directions. The surface should remain wet the whole time to ensure the product is effective.
Step 5: Wear gloves and wash your hands. For disposable gloves, discard them after each cleaning. For reusable gloves, dedicate a pair to disinfecting for COVID-19. Wash your hands after removing the gloves.
Step 6: Lock it up. Keep lids tightly closed and store out of reach of children.
List N from the EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
All products on the list meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The product container must have the EPA registration number and that human coronavirus is listed as a target pathogen.
These products are to be used only on hard nonporous surfaces.
Note: Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by EPA. Additional disinfectants may meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. EPA will update this list with additional products as needed.
Product Label: The companies list their product range and basic chemicals (active ingredients) used in the products.
The Current EPA List N: as of July 1, 2020 has over 430 products entries.
Other Disinfecting Processes
Other disinfecting processes have been discussed that may have limitations and personnel safety concerns.
Infrared: May not be able to reach all vehicle surfaces for disinfecting. Proper use instructions must be followed for all approved sources.
Ozone generated air cleaners: Some studies show that ozone concentrations produced by ozone generators can exceed health standards even when one follows the manufacturer’s instructions. Many factors affect ozone concentrations including the amount of ozone produced by the machine(s), the size of the indoor space, the amount of material in the room with which ozone reacts, the outdoor ozone concentration, and the amount of ventilation. It is difficult to control the ozone concentration in all circumstances. Reference: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/ozone-generators-are-sold-air-cleaners
Use of High Temperature for Disinfecting
In general it is difficult to raise, in a closed vehicle, all cabin material surface temperatures to at or above 133°F (which is the temperature that has been shown to kill SARS virus by the WHO) using sun soak or sun and supplemental heat from the vehicle heater.
Coronaviruses generally don’t live as long in higher temperatures and humidity levels than in cooler, dryer conditions. Researchers are studying exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight and how long the new virus lives on surfaces.
There have been various proposals of using solar and/or vehicle heaters to increase interior cabin surfaces in temperature.
Solar and vehicle heating: Solar heating is limited to only warming surfaces in direct sun to high temperatures. Solar heating (radiation intensity) is affected by location and weather conditions within the US area.
Use of vehicle soak procedures by raising the vehicle interior temperature cabin surfaces have many issues: Vehicle cabin temperature can be increased using the vehicle heater. It is difficult to raise all cabin surfaces to same or potential required temperature to kill the virus. Use of solar and/or vehicle heater to raise cabin surface temperatures is not practicable to kill the virus.
Vehicle Test Results
The test results of these procedures of heating a passenger car cabin compare heating and solar is found below in Figures 2 to 7 and Charts 1 and 2. Eight cabin temperatures were recorded during a 78°F to 82°F day. It is important to note that the vehicle had a rear seat A/C outlet, which affected rear seat surface and floor temperatures when the vehicle heater mode was used.
* Note the 133°F marker on each graph.
Heater operation set for maximum temperature heat mode, airflow set for instrument panel A/C outlet air distribution. Vehicle equipped with automatic temperature control having rear seat A/C air outlet.
Automotive Service Concerns
The folloing excerpts are from an April 2020 letter the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) sent to U.S. regulatory agencies:
It is estimated in 2020 there are 287.3 million vehicles operating on roads throughout the United States. These vehicles are operated by more than 227.8 million motorists, serviced by 763,700 auto service technicians and mechanics at 166,000 different automotive service facilities in the USA, all needing protection from the coronavirus.
Each vehicle cabin is a small, self-contained, climate-controlled environment, which restricts movement, requires close contact of occupants, and repeated touching of interior surfaces.
Air conditioning panel outlets are close to occupants’ faces, directing air at the occupants face, mouth and nose.
The instrument panel surface can become contaminated by breathing/coughing of front seat occupants. Panel A/C outlets airflow will pull air from the panel surface, mixing it and delivering it toward the cabin interior.
The climate control system in vehicles present different challenges, as compared to a residential environment. Operation of the system allows the selection of 100% exterior (outside air) and cabin recirculated air. In the recirculated mode, system A/C designs for the amount of outside airflow can vary. The number of air exchanges per hour may be less than many household applications. Typical industry requirements, for a home, are in the range of 4 to 6 air exchanges per hour. Some mobile A/C systems operating in the MAX cooling mode (recirculated air) have provided at least 6 exchanges per hour.
The velocity of airflow directed onto the occupants is usually much higher than in residential systems.
There are a large variety of filters in some mobile A/C systems that require servicing and some vehicles have no air filter.
There is also concern for cleaning vehicles after the vehicle has been entered by others, for oil changes, for maintenance activities or valet parking.
Cleaning Procedures and Chemicals
The following is a collection of COVID-19 information on cleaning vehicles that is available to the public from different sources.
It is notable that references are made.
“Consult the cleaning information provided by the vehicle manufacturer”
Caution on using full strength bleach or hydrogen peroxide. They can kill coronaviruses on surfaces, but may damage upholstery and interior trim.
Some general information listed have been suggested since March 2020.
New information and products may provide information and procedures for sanitizing vehicles and should be considered for vehicle cleaning.
Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol are effective against coronavirus, according to the CDC.
Never combine cleaning chemicals as doing so may lead to toxicity.
Testing an out of sight surface with the selected cleaning agent is advisable in case of possible damage.
Cleaning with a microfiber cloth materials may help remove dirt from surfaces.
One major supplier of automotive interior parts, indicate that their company’s products, “from plastic trim to painted chrome to imitation leather, have been tested to ensure they don’t degrade when exposed to pure isopropyl alcohol.”
Do not use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens, as they can damage their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
“Friction from cleaning also participates in the destruction,” says Stephen Thomas, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. “You want to do the best with what you have, so even soap and water can chip away at the risk.”
Soap and water are safe for most car interiors including fabrics and older leather that may have begun to crack. Excess amounts of cleaning solutions, such as water and soap can result in soaking through the cloth surface into the seating material and the potential of future odor problems.
Vehicle High Touch Areas:
Car keys and fobs
Door handles and lock buttons
Wiper and turn signal levers
Controls for touch screen accessory controls
Center console contents
Wash your hands before and after driving
When outside the vehicle wear gloves. Contact of high traffic surfaces that are not disinfected, when opening and closing doors, keypads, signing charge card pads and fuel nozzle handle when pumping gas.
About MACS Worldwide
Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for total vehicle climate and thermal management. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 1 million service technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for Section 609 certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused–as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
It is a mission we have been fulfilling for our growing global membership and the industry in the following ways:
Providing accurate, unbiased technical training, and compliance programs for the mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry. Providing a forum for exchange of trade information on a regional, national and international basis. Facilitating business between all segments of the industry. Providing tangible value for members, such as product marketing, promotion and money-saving affinity programs. Disseminating legislative, regulatory and trade information (including data, current developments and training materials). Providing information on legislative and regulatory initiatives that affect the industry and advocate for the industry to legislative bodies.
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 A/C 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.
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.
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, 67 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.
Visit the Mobile Air Conditioning Society website at www.macsw.org
MACS member Carquest Technical Institute (CTI) is inviting you to a two-part HVAC Training Class. Tuesday, July 14 and Thursday, July 16 from 7- 9 PM
In this class taught by MACS Board Member, Tim Iezzi of Iezzi’s Auto Service in Reading, PA you will learn the following:
HVAC-4000-4 HVAC Update: This HVAC Update class is designed to familiarize the shop and technicians with the current state of A/C service. While it is not designed as a complete A/C refresher course it touches on many foundations from previous courses and adds current information regarding new technologies, diagnostic techniques and the critical nature of HVAC systems today. Who should attend? Both technicians and customer service personnel.
Topics include: • Current equipment standards and how to verify capabilities. • The future with R-1234yf and how it will impact the service bays and customer satisfaction. • Real information on safety with new refrigerants. • Changes in leak detection and how to verify equipment operation. • A thorough review of the new service process and machines including video demonstrations. • A review of testing practices with added tools and techniques to save time and increase accuracy.
This live chat features Richard Hawkins, A/C Tech line specialist and MACS technical contributor. Like many of you are during this Coronavirus Pandemic, all of us here on the MACS Staff are working from home and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve. And part of that means that we’ve had to cancel and postpone many of our spring A/C training clinics. But we still want to do what we can to keep in touch with our members, and provide training for the industry, and as part of that, we’re producing these MACS Live Chats with some of our industry’s experts. we’ve developed a new webinar series where we’re going to cover A/C topics with some of our industry’s experts.
While virtually every HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) has an ICE (internal combustion engine) along with one or more high voltage electric motors, not every one of them circulates the coolant in their engines the same way. Take Toyota for example. Up until its Prius line started using a 12-volt electric water pump (Figure 1) in 2010 and newer (Generation III) models, their little belt-driven water pumps (Figure 2) were prone to wear out around 120,000 miles. You’d hear a little rattle, then it would get a little louder, and before you knew it your customer’s water pump drive belt was almost shredded into smithereens. Call the parts store, and get a replacement water pump on the way to your shop, right?
Not so fast! When you call or go online seeking a new water pump, make sure you know what to order.
Hybrids and Cooling Systems I’m driving a 2013 Malibu E-Assist (130-volt hybrid) with a mechanical water pump for the ICE and a 12-volt electric pump for the high voltage electronic components. The car uses the same GM coolant part number for both systems. My previous hybrid (2004 Generation II Toyota Prius) had identical attributes: a belt- driven mechanical water pump for the ICE with a 12-volt electric coolant pump for the power electronics. Again, the same Toyota long life coolant is used in both systems. Electric pumps are becoming a trend for both hybrids and conventional vehicles in an effort to remove the MPG / horsepower-robbing accessory drive belt. The use of electricity to run a cooling system pump is also helpful when the engine does a lot of stopping at idle (both HEVs and conventional powertrains with 12-volt stop/start systems). That way you can continue to move coolant into the heater core when the ICE is stopped at a traffic light. This can eliminate the need for yet another component – the not so uncommon 12-volt auxiliary coolant pump (Figure 3).
Joey Rosato is second-generation and Director of Marketing for family-run Texas Truck A/C in Dallas, TX. Joey tells us, “It all started in 1996, when Nick Rosato (Joey’s Dad) set out on his own to work on trash truck A/C systems out of his pick-up truck. Since then, we have grown in and out of an entire facility, facility expansion, and currently run 10 service trucks. We are family owned and operated and have grown steadily in 2020. Family members include CEO Nick Rosato and President Marci Rosato. All of our business is centered around the proper function of interior climate control systems.”
Joey explains, “We perform repairs on all heavy-duty, off-road, truck, van, and bus applications. If the vehicle has a closed cab, we can keep it cool through our repair, maintenance and installation services. Our most recent unusual repair was on a 2015 Kenworth. The complaint was that the bunk had no air flow, and we diagnosed the issue to be one of the driver’s garments caught up in the blower wheel!”
The unprecedented times we are living in with COVID-19 has thrown us all a curve ball, and we asked Joey how Texas Truck A/C is dealing with it, “The largest challenge in this time of pandemic is overcoming the barrier that various guidelines have placed between us and our customers. At Texas Truck A/C, we view our customers as an extension of our team and family, so conducting business interactions in a way that keeps all parties comfortable has been a moderately difficult task, as we place our customers health and comfort above all other concerns.”
We asked Joey what is the one thing he could not run his shop without? “It would be impossible to run our business without proper air conditioning gauges, as different refrigerant types require specific gauges, and gauges are instrumental in diagnosing any repair. We have invested in diagnostic software programs that aid us in diagnosing advanced repairs, as they provide us deeper insights into the fault codes of different equipment types. More advanced diagnostic software programs, that provide insight directly specific to application, would be our primary wish list item. This would allow for premium efficiency when diagnosing certain advanced repairs.”
What should all shops consider in their business outlook? Joey told us, “We’d advise our peers to remain open to new ideas and perspectives, as times are changing, and the A/C industry is changing right along with them. We continue to find ways to better our operations through the employment of cutting-edge service technologies.”
Joey wants all of his customers to know, “One thing every customer should know about our repair shop is that we provide honest services that we stand behind. We’re transparent with our customers, and that has come to benefit us over time.”
Because Texas Truck A/C has been a MACS member for 22-years, we asked Joey what are the reasons his family has remained loyal? “We are a MACS member because we value the opportunity to grow and share information alongside our industrial counterparts. We believe in the sharing of news and knowledge between industry members for the sake of progress, and we feel that the MACS organization shares that belief.”
“Our favorite perk of being a MACS member is the opportunity to stay in touch with vendors and industrial partners alike. We enjoy the networking opportunities that the trade show offers, and always appreciate the opportunity to educate ourselves on the latest turns in the air conditioning industry.
We attend the MACS convention annually, as it provides our technicians with unique training and section 609 certification opportunities, while simultaneously offering networking opportunities for our managerial staff. MACS conventions have always been strong opportunities for our team members to learn and bond together; we always seem to return home a stronger team than we left. These conventions have become a staple in the annual Texas Truck AC event calendar. We’ll see you in Orlando, February 3-6, 2021!”
Hi everyone, and welcome to another MACS Live Chat, hosted by Steve Schaeber, manager of service training and technical editor for MACS publications like ACtion Magazine and the MSR (MACS Service Reports).
This live chat features John Duerr, Director of Product Development at Spectronics Corporation in Westbury, New York. Better known to MACS members as “TRACER PRODUCTS”, Spectronics is the world’s leading manufacturer of ultraviolet equipment and fluorescent dyes, producing cutting-edge, high-quality UV lamps, dyes, and diagnostic tools for the mobile air conditioning industry. John is also an active member of MACS and SAE, the Society of Automotive Engineers, volunteering on the Interior Climate Control Standards Committee.
MACS Live Chat (Julian Hentze and Steve Schaeber discuss COVID-19, GPD and the Mobile A/C industry)
Hello, and Welcome to MACS Worldwide’s YouTube Channel. We’re glad you’re here! Hi everyone, and welcome to another MACS Live Chat, hosted by Steve Schaeber, manager of service training and technical editor for MACS publications like ACtion Magazine and the MSR (MACS Service Reports). This live chat features Julian Hentze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at GPD (Global Parts Distributors) in Macon, Georgia. GPD is a leading national brand of aftermarket air conditioning system products with six locations across the US, servicng not just automotive and light trucks, but also heavy-duty vehicles as well. And they also have a wide variety of tech tips, product announcements, tools, videos, and more on their website which I refer to often.
That was the principal message from Peter Meier, Director of Training at Motor Age. Peter, along with MACS Technical Advisor Ward Atkinson, joined moderator Steve Schaeber, Technical Editor and Manager of Service Training for MACS for a panel discussion on the subject during the recent MACS Training Event and Trade Show in Nashville.
Open almost any automotive trade publication over the span of the last 20 years, and you’re likely to find an article bemoaning the shortage of technicians. Such articles are usually long on “bemoaning” and short on solutions.
Peter made the point that it was time to quit waiting for someone or something to provide the solution, and for each shop owner to take the initiative in his or her own little corner of the world. “How many of you participate in your communities’ technical education programs? How many of you serve on advisory counsels for local training efforts?” Meier challenged. “It’s up to all of us in this room to address the need.”
Panelist Ward Atkinson introduced the MACS audience to the SAE Foundation and its mission to encourage and increase student achievement and participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build a STEM-fluent workforce. Funds raised by the SAE Foundation support SAE International’s award-winning A World In Motion® (AWIM) program, Collegiate Design SeriesTM (CDS), awards and scholarships. Atkinson is one of the many industry leaders who have served as formal mentors and industry volunteers for AWIM and CDS students.
SAE’s STEM education programs enable students to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed in real-world work environments and connect classroom learning with real-life application. SAE’s STEM programs have reached more than 6 million students worldwide and engaged more than 30,000 STEM industry professionals as volunteers. SAE International is a global association comprised nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers to advance mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity.
“Building a STEM-fluent workforce can only be accomplished when all of us work together toward a single goal—filling the pipeline with students who have the experience and competency the industry requires,” said Lori Gatmaitan, SAE Foundation Director. “With our local partners, we place industry volunteers in classrooms to empower teachers with the critical resources they need to impact tangible and systemic change. AWIM and CDS provide students in all communities a pathway to STEM careers.”
SAE is the only organization with a comprehensive continuum of “Pre-K through College” Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education programs.
By supporting these programs, along with SAE’s graduate and undergraduate scholarships and prestigious awards, the SAE Foundation continues to inspire the next generation of innovators.
Readers can learn more, by subscribing to the SAE Foundation quarterly newsletter at: https://www.saefoundation.org/ (subscription form is located near the bottom of the page when you scroll down). Here is the general email and phone: (724) 772-8508, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Here are some helpful tactics to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
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.
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.
Close off or restrict your waiting room. Drop off only.
Have your team disinfect all customer reception area surfaces, bathrooms, and door handles multiple times per day.
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.
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).
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.
If your shop provides loaner cars, make sure that they are disinfected before your customer takes them. Your loaner cars reflect your business!
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!
Prior to your customer picking up their vehicle, disinfect everything again.
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.
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.
In the previous issue, wiring harness issues were discussed. The subject of harness issues continues with a look at connectors and connections either in the harness or at a control module or component. Often a component or module is replaced without resulting in any change in the condition or elimination of the DTCs. In addition to the wiring harness, the connectors must be inspected carefully and tested. It is recommended that technicians use the listed resources found in the service manuals whenever appropriate to assist them in the diagnostic process. Circuit testing procedures are found in the troubleshooting section of the service information references. It is a good practice to have a procedure to follow when troubleshooting electrical problems to help find the problem as quickly as possible with the least amount of time and disassembly.
A proven diagnostic process is the 7-step diagnostic test. The 7 troubleshooting steps are: • Verify the complaint. • Obtain pertinent information. • Determine potential causes. • Narrow the list of potential causes. • Test to determine the root cause. • Repair the root cause and any progressive damage it caused. • Verify the complaint has been eliminated. ATTENTION! Keep in mind, when applying pertinent information, use both the OEM and VENDOR data. Using the service manual information, determine and investigate the following circuit characteristics. Though the symptoms may vary, basic electrical failures are generally caused by: • Loose connections: open/high resistance in terminals, splices, connectors and grounds. • Improper connector/harness routing: assembly, opens/shorts and high resistance in terminals, splices, connectors and grounds. • Corrosion and wire damage: opens/shorts and high resistance in terminals, splices, connectors and grounds. • Component failure: opens/shorts and high resistance in relays, modules, switches, loads. • Aftermarket (vendor) equipment: installation of non-OEM equipment may affect the normal operation of other electrical systems. (Read more)
By: Joey Rosato, Director of Marketing at Texas Truck A/C, Inc.
As time goes on, Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) continue to play a larger role in the over the road trucking industry. Idle laws that vary state by state are placing restrictions on drivers across the nation. Because overnight idling to run the OEM AC system is now illegal in many places, the installation of an APU is required. Diesel APUs are the most popular solution to these restrictions, as they can provide heat, air conditioning, battery charging, coolant warming, and electrical power capabilities to drivers. These units are powered by small diesel engines, which can be run for extended periods of time while drivers are resting. Extended run times create a unique challenge in keeping these diesel engines cool. APU engine cooling systems are not as complex as their automotive counterparts, but they operate in nearly identical fashions through the use of water pumps, cooling fans, thermostats, and various sensors/switches that collect data for the control module. The control module then uses the collected data to shut the engine down in low coolant, or high coolant-temperature conditions. Most APUs have fault code storage capabilities, and will display a fault code when these issues arise. Without the proper function of these cooling systems, APUs are known to fail while displaying overheat codes, which render entire systems useless. A problematic component that often contributes to cooling system failure is the electric radiator/exhaust fan, which is known to succumb to wear and tear over time. Extreme vibrations and extended run times assemble to create a reduced life for components of this sort. One of the most common, but often overlooked signs that an electric fan is going bad is a reduction in RPMs. This can be caused by overheated/corroded wiring, faulty relay contacts, or simply a fan that is on its way out. The best course of action once an issue of this sort arises is to ensure that the fan has solid power and ground, all blades are intact, and a direction of rotation aligns with OEM unit specifications. If an electric fan checks all of these boxes, but doesn’t function properly, it’s likely time for replacement. When changing this component, it is important to carefully select the proper OEM replacement, or equivalent to ensure component specifications are satisfactory. If the rotation of the replacement fan is not correct, the unit will overheat. Attempting to turn a “pusher” fan into a “puller” fan, or vice versa, by reversing the component polarity is a faulty practice, as the fan blades are designed to turn a specific direction for maximum output. This error commonly results in reduced airflow and component life. Best practices while installing the appropriate replacement part include the replacement of the fan relay, and any corroded electrical connections. After necessary repairs and part installations are complete on the new electronic fan, it is important to check for possible secondary problems caused by the previous, faulty component. Issues to check for include coolant leaks, the necessity of a flush or refill, water pump belt/radiator cap condition, radiator/condenser cleanliness, and well-maintained electrical circuitry across the system. Making these checks after completing necessary repairs will help safeguard the proper function of the APU engine cooling system, and ultimately the entire unit, ensuring that over the road drivers can rest comfortably.
June is hybrid month at MACS, and since we looked at the overall industry last month when it comes to its use of R-1234yf refrigerant, let’s take a closer look this month at what’s happening with hybrid and battery electric vehicles. As reported, we surveyed almost 180 vehicles at the 2020 Philadelphia Auto Show in February, and observed that more than 75% of them use yf. Twelve of those were either hybrids or full battery electric vehicles, all of which use an electric compressor. See Figure 1. Of those twelve, eight systems use R-1234yf, which comes out to about 67%. Looking at vehicles still using R-134a, we find Volvo’s XC60 and XC90 T8 hybrids, Hyundai’s Ioniq hybrid and the iconic Toyota Prius. All of these models have been around for a while (Prius since 1997; XC60 and Ioniq since 2016; and XC90 since 2017). In short, they were developed at a time when R-134a was still mainstream. Now we’re in the fourth generation of Toyota’s Prius family. If we follow Prius history, we should see a new generation in either 2021 or 2022 (their gens usually last 6 or 7 years on average). Thus, indications point to a launch of the next iteration of the most popular green vehicle finally changing to yf. The same assumption goes for Ioniq and the Volvos. As their platforms advance, we expect them to use yf going forward.