The January 13th MACS Section 609 webinar was attended by 28 technicians who viewed the MACS test prep webinar, were able to ask questions of MACS instructor Steve Schaeber and then take their Section 609 test online.
After successfully completing the test, techs could then print out a temporary credential to allow them to purchase refrigerant in quantities of two pounds and more. Permanent credentials will be mailed out as well. A very, easy process!
MACS is scheduling these online classes every two weeks. The next one is January 28, 2021 at 2pm EST. The cost to attend the webinar and take the test is $45.
Visit the MACS website at www.macsw.org to register for the next webinar and find other information on Section 609 and the value of becoming a MACS member. To call the MACS office use 215-631-7020 x 305 or 313.
Editor’s note: Longtime mobile A/C industry professional Richard Hawkins joins the MACS editorial team as a regular blog contributor. Check in every Tuesday for Richard’s view and information on mobile A/C repair.
When I was contacted by MACS about doing some writing for this blog, I asked what they were interested in having me write about. And the response was along the lines of: you have a lot of years of experience with doing training and tech support, so you probably have some interesting experiences that could be shared.
The timing on this was somewhat ironic as I have something of an anniversary involving air conditioning training coming up this year. I conducted my first A/C clinic in 1991 which of course was 30 years ago. That was right along the time when things were getting geared up for the transition from R-12 to R-134a and was a very interesting period.
Our vocabularies are always expanding as new products and new technologies are introduced into our world and that has certainly been the case over the past 30-years with mobile air conditioning. If we were to find a mobile A/C glossary from 1991, there would be a lot of words and acronyms that we commonly use today that would likely not be in it.
Those words and acronyms might include recovery, recycling, R/R/R machine, retrofitting, Section 609 Certification, J-2788, SNAP, refrigerant blends, flammable refrigerants, refrigerant identifiers, PAG, Ester, POE, R-141b flush, parallel flow condensers, closed loop flushing, clutch less compressors, variable displacement electronically controlled compressors, internal heat exchangers, and finally HFO-1234yf.
It was rewarding supplying information about those things and other A/C issues in clinics and tech calls and over the coming weeks, I will dig into my archives to share some of those experiences with you. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Hopefully, it will be much better than the one we have just closed the book on.
The results of MACS board of directors election are in. The following members were elected for a two-year term, Andy Fiffick of Rad Air Complete Car Care of Cleveland, OH and Jim Atkinson of Car Repair Company, Scottsdale, AZ were elected from the service and repair section of MACS membership.
Mark Schmitz of GPD, Macon, GA and Troy Farr of 1-800-Radiator, West Jordan, UT were elected from the distributor section.
Elected from the manufacturer section were Ryan Baker of Kenway Engineering, Sherburn, MN and Al Leupold of Bergstrom, Rockford, IL.
The board will meet in February 2021 and choose officers and committees for 2021.
MACS thanks all the candidates who participated in the 2021 election and all members who took the time to vote. Visit the MACS website atwww.macsw.org
Due to the circumstances of the pandemic and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our attendees and staff, the MACS board of directors has decided to postpone the MACS 2021 Training Event and Trade Show which was scheduled February 3-6, 2021 in Orlando, FL.
“After the success of MACS 2020 Training Event in Nashville, TN, we were looking forward to continuing the momentum of providing cutting-edge mobile A/C training at our 41st annual Training Event and Trade Show, however COVID-19 had other plans and our priority is to keep our exhibitors, attendees and our staff safe” explained Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and chief operating officer. Mr. Hoffpauir continued, “The MACS staff will be reaching out to exhibitors, sponsors and attendees with more information soon. MACS will work with our host hotel, the Rosen Centre, to reschedule the annual Training Event to a mutually agreeable date once it is deemed safe.”
MACS will be offering online training programs during 2021 with details to come soon.
By the time you read this, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will have released its “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited” list for fiscal year 2020. And once again there is a high probability that “Hazard Communication” will come in at (or near) the number one most cited violation.
earlier this year, the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) hosted a webinar featuring OSHA program analyst Bruce Love. The focus of the webinar was on OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program, but Bruce also spent time recapping the (FY 2019) top general automotive repair industry hazards cited by OSHA. The number one citation? Hazard Coommunication.
So, what is HazCom and why is it cited so often?
The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classiciation and Labeling of Chemicals is an internationally recognized system for communicating the hazards associated with chemical substances that pose a risk to our health or safety. GHS has three (3) main hazard classes:
Physical Hazards, Health Hazards and Environmental Hazards.
OSHA has adopted the GHS criteria for Physical and Health (the U.S. EPA enforces the Environmental standards.)If you receive, store, handle or use chemicals within your facility, there is a possibility that you or your fellow employees can be exposed.
Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act-often referred to as the General Duty Clause-requires employers to, “…furnish to each of his employees a job and a place of employment that are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to workers.”
In 2012, OSHA announced HazCom 2012, its new Hazard Communication Standard. The final rule adopted (in part) the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. OSHA required compliance with the training provisions listed in the Standard HazCom 2012 (1910.1200[b]) requires all employers to provide information to their employees about hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed, by means of a hazard communication program, labels, and other forms of warning, safety data sheets and information and training.
The requirements under HazCom 2012 state that the training must address the labeling and Safety Data Sheetsv(formerly known as Materials Safety Data Sheets or MSDS) elements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Furthermore, OSHA requires that employers provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment, and whenever a new chemical hazard the employees have not previously received training on is introduced in their work area.
Bottom line? Train all employees on HazCombefore they begin working on the shop floor, and re-train any time a new chemical hazard is introduced (or an existing chemical is modified) at your workplace.
Another summer season has gone by while being unavailable for many activities usually enjoyed by almost all of us. The cover is back on my pool. While leaves are falling, two trees have decided to also fall in my yard: thankfully missing my house. So, there will be abundant firewood available for the fall and winter. Despite the changing season toward colder weather (at least in the northern hemisphere of our world), some parts of the United States were still experiencing heat waves. No, this will not be an article on climate change, pro or con, at least not directly.
While the top five vehicles sold in the United States in the first half of this COVID-19 year were not exactly very fuel efficient vehicles, electric and hybrid vehicles have not disappeared from this country. Per my last column, as of July 1st, Tesla was the most valuable car company in the world.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) are more fuel efficient and do not directly consume as much of our fossil fuels as gas and diesel fueled vehicles. However, I suspect that drivers of HEVs and EVs do not use 360 air conditioning (lowering 3 of their windows and going 60 miles per hour) in the face of ninety degree (Fahrenheit) weather. Nor do I believe that drivers of such vehicles are somehow miraculously able to avoid traffic jams and traffic signals requiring them to otherwise stop – if they did, I am pretty sure that many more people would be buying those vehicles.
So, the engines in HEVs and EVs will still be idling during almost every use of the vehicles. And drivers of those vehicle will need their vehicles to idle to meet their heating as well as cooling needs. Of course, idling decreases fuel economy and increases engine wear and emissions. At least as far back as 2004, research was being done to come up with alternative strategies for air conditioning the HEV during such stop times. The conclusion at that time was that “that operating an open compressor by running engine at optimal speed is the most efficient strategy for cooling and heating a stopped vehicle, just as it is while driving. But limited battery size and high noise levels may prevent the use of this strategy.” Air Conditioning Hybrid Electric Vehicles while Stopped in Traffic – T. Malik and C.W. Bullard.
Further research in 2007 disclosed that carmakers were working with different ways to make the air conditioning system in a car work, while allowing the engines in HEVs to shut off while idling. However, the gas engine was not turning on until the driver accelerated, and given that conventional gas engines were then running the air conditioning compressor using a belt system, it was a pretty big thing to figure out how to make the air conditioning work while the vehicle was idling. Not surprisingly, different carmakers came up with different solutions. For example, GM and Ford implemented dual A/C compressors that were powered by the gas or the electric engine.
Moving forward again to 2011, electronic A/C systems were being introduced into HEVs. Again, carmakers were devising ways to power the compressor so that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a HEV would operate when the car was stopped. In the Toyota Prius, the heating part of the system was backed up by an electric heater. Of course, the power used for heating and air conditioning was coming from the car’s high-voltage battery system which had a negative effect on its fuel economy.
Articles in 2015 included ways to make your HEV or EV more (read, fuel) efficient. Among the suggestions were to use the economy mode in the vehicle and to keep the battery charged to the manufacturer’s recommended level. When it came to suggestions relative to the HVAC system, the author suggested “rolling” down the windows to cool the car (back to 360 air conditioning) while acknowledging that using air conditioning while highway driving may actually reduce drag (i.e., be more fuel efficient). The author therefore suggested cooling the car down before unplugging it.
The foregoing illustrates the fact that necessity may truly be the mother of invention. Safe driving everyone as we hopefully get rid of this pandemic very soon and get a chance to visit family and friends again.
Part I of understanding data lines was in the last issue, coverering data line structure and communications. Part II will cover troubleshooting and diagnoses of the J1587/1708 and J1939 data lines.
As with any repair, following a logical set of steps will help to find the problem quickly and avoid missing the cause of the failure. There are seven common steps to follow in this process: 1. Verify the complaint, replicate the condition if possible. 2. Obtain pertinent information: driver input, repair history, check fault codes, clear history, check TSB’s. 3. Determine potential cause: component, wiring, programming/ECU, possible “normal” operation. 4. Narrow the list of potential causes, understand how the system operates, test components, test accessible connections. 5. Test to determine the root cause, make use of available tools: multimeter, computer/software, service information including wiring diagrams. Divide the system and close in on the fault, for example, tractor and trailer have no clearance light, unplug the trailer and the tractor lights are OK. 6. Repair the root cause and any progressive damage it caused: corrosion in connector or wicked into the harness. 7. Verify the complaint has been eliminated, road test, cycle the device or circuit off and on.
Cues that there may be a data line problem: unit may crank and not start, A/C compressor will come on for 10 seconds when the A/C is first turned on then shuts off and will not turn back on, even though the system has a full refrigerant charge. The compressor control head, ACP switch and evaporator temperature sensor has been replaced! The ABS light is on, the four-way flashers are on and the right headlamp is on, or a message states that the J1939 is missing.
Databus Diagnostics and Troubleshooting tips for J1587/J1708. 1. If a single ECU is not reporting on the bus, check: Source voltage supply, wake up (usually ignition supply), ECU grounds, databus wiring from problem ECU to where it connects into the databus, ECU module. 2. If no ECU’s are reporting on the bus then disconnect one ECU at a time until a list of ECU’s start reporting. When that happens, go to the ECU that was disconnected last, and look for a problem in the databus wiring from that ECU to where it connects into the bus. 3. If only a partial list of ECUs’ shows up on the laptop, look for a problem in the databus between the data junction blocks. ATTENTION! Cycle the key off and on before each reading to ensure the data link activity.
Databus Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Tips for J1939. If an onboard ECU is reporting a databus-related fault code or the complaint is some electronic component is not responding correctly, apply the following guidelines: 1. Disconnect the batteries and check for 60 Ohms of resistance across pins C and D in the Diagnostic connector. 2. If the Ohmmeter reads 120 Ohms, check for an open in one of the terminating resistors. 3. If the Ohmmeter reads 40 Ohms, there is likely an extra terminating resistor on the backbone. 4. If the Ohmmeter reads open (OL) across pins C and D, check for an open in the branch being tested. 5. If the meter reading is 0 or very close to 0, the J1939 wires are shorted together. 6. If the reading is 60 Ohms, then the J1939 backbone is not at fault. The problem lies between where the bus connects to the backbone and the ECU. Next issue will get into CAN, Sub bus and LIN data lines.
This article appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of MACS ACTION magazine. You can view the entire magazine issue here.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently identified online sales of a product marketed as “Cool Penguin F-12” for use in motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs). While the product appears to be marketed as CFC-12, some of the cans contain a mixture of ozone-depleting substances (ODS), such as CFC-12, CFC-114, HCFC-142b, and HCFC-22, along with non-ozone depleting components, including HFC-134a and R-40. Different cans tested by the EPA contained varying amounts of some or all these substances. Under current Clean Air Act regulations, the import of cans containing any percent of the ODS listed above into the United States is illegal. In addition, no person may sell, distribute or offer for sale or distribution any regulated ODS that they know, or have reason to know, was imported illegally. No version of Cool Penguin F-12 has been submitted for evaluation as an alternative under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program; thus, Cool Penguin F-12 has not been listed as acceptable for use in MVACs.
If you use Cool Penguin F-12 in your MVAC system, it may pose a safety risk to you and your vehicle. In particular, R-40 (chloromethane) is toxic and has the potential to explode under certain conditions. Combinations of other constituents of Cool Penguin F-12 may pose additional safety risks, and due to the varying makeup of individual cans, each could affect your system differently and could even harm your system. The unpredictable makeup could also pose a problem during the refrigerant recovery process.
Whenever you purchase a refrigerant, make sure you know what it contains, whether it is approved by the EPA for use in MVACs, and whether using it will void your car’s warranty. If you see any refrigerants for sale that violate the Clean Air Act or other regulations, please report the products to the EPA at http://www.EPA.gov/tips.
By Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training
It was 2:30 in the afternoon on Friday, November 15, 1991. politicians and media met in the East Room at the White House to greet President George H. W. Bush just moments before he signed the most comprehensive update to our nation’s environmental laws in 30 years.
Of course, I’m talking about the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which received overwhelming bipartisan support. Specifically, these amendments were designed to curb four major threats to the environment and public health: acid rain, urban air pollution, toxic air emissions, and stratospheric ozone depletion. The amendments also established a national operating permits program and strengthened enforcement.
They featured several progressive and creative new approaches for effectively achieving the air quality goals and regulatory reform expected from these far-reaching amendments. A summary of EPA documents explains.
• Air quality has improved significantly in our nation, reducing health threats, such as lung damage, asthma, heart attacks and premature death. All 41 areas that had unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide pollution in 1991 now have levels that meet the health-based national air quality standard. More than 90% of areas originally identified as not meeting the 1997 ozone air quality standards now meet those standards. Since 1990, particle pollution levels have improved by 36%.
• Performance standards for new vehicles are met by a combination of cleaner fuels and vehicle technologies. Under the 1990 amendments, new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks, heavy-duty trucks and buses have become dramatically cleaner. The same is true of non-road engines such as those used in industrial, farm and recreational equipment, locomotives and marine vessels.
• State and EPA programs to cut interstate air pollution have reduced pollution regionally and have helped most downwind areas to meet the 1997 and 2006 air quality standards for ozone and fine particles.
Acid rain and regional haze
• An innovative market-based system of pollution allowances has dramatically cut sulfur dioxide emissions, reducing acid rain as well as fine particle pollution that contributes to premature death. This federal program also has significantly reduced damage to water quality in lakes and streams and has improved the health of ecosystems and forests.
• In addition, the scenic vistas in our national parks are clearer due to reductions in pollution caused haze.
Toxic air pollution
• Industrial and other stationary sources emit about 1.5 million tons less toxic air pollution per year than in 1990. These standards set a level playing field by requiring higher emitting sources to achieve the cleaner level of performance achieved by the best performing similar sources.
Ozone layer protection
• To protect the ozone layer, the U.S. has phased out the ozone depleting substances that Congress identified as “most damaging,” including CFCs (in our case, R-12 refrigerant) and halons, while promoting cost-effective alternatives. Actions to protect the ozone layer are saving millions of people from contracting fatal skin cancers and eye cataracts over periods of several decades.
A peer-reviewed EPA study found that the 1990 Amendments are achieving large health benefits that will grow further over time. For example, the study estimates that in 2020, the Clean Air Act Amendments will avoid more than 230,000 early deaths, as well as large numbers of other adverse health effects, through improvements in fine particle and ozone levels.
The economic value of the air quality improvements is estimated to reach almost $2 trillion for 2020, a value which vastly exceeds the costs of efforts to comply with the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Although important air pollution challenges remain, and we have much work left to do, the 1990 Amendments have had impressive results.
By Ward Atkinson, MACS Technical Advisor, & Bill Hill, GM Retired
Recent comments from government agencies on the COVID-19 virus issue indicate that even when a vaccine is available, our normal daily existence may not get back to normal before the third or fourth quarter of 2021.
What does the automotive service industry need to be aware of when conducting our daily business? You should be knowledgeable of what products and equipment you ought to be using when cleaning vehicles before and after service.
It has now been widely accepted that COVID-19 spreads from person to person when people cough, sneeze, talk and laugh. These actions send airborne virus droplets into the air. COVID-19 aerosol droplets have two phases: large droplets and small particle aerosols. Aerosols can travel a great distance and remain for extended periods of time. (Like dust in air). Aerosols can also remain in airflow in confined areas (i.e., vehicle passenger compartments) and in A/C ducts.
The COVID-19 virus is 120 nanometers in size. MVAC filters will not filter it. Installation of a HEPA filter to filter particles of this size will reduce airflow and performance. Wear face masks with two or more material layers. Cotton masks will not filter.
COVID-19 disinfecting cleaning procedures vary, and none are fully validated for a vehicle. Vehicle OEMs report damage to door handles by use of disinfectant’s (liquids/hand wipes).
EPA has 497 products listed to be only used on hard, non-porous surfaces, NOT humans. The list does not clarify if the product may damage vehicle trim. “Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by EPA.”
FDA covers products, including chemicals and equipment, for use by humans. FDA lists 194 hand sanitizer products not to use.
Solutions containing 70 percent ethanol or isopropyl alcohol and water are effective against coronavirus. One MSDS lists isopropyl alcohol with distilled water 70-30% as having a flammability rating. Water content slows evaporation, increasing effectiveness of surface contact time. Concentrations higher than 80-85% decreases disinfectant effectiveness. If an ignition (flame) source is present, alcohol hand sanitizer should not be applied.
What not to do when cleaning vehicle interiors
Don’t use bleach (chlorine) or hydrogen peroxide on inside vehicle surfaces. Both kill coronaviruses on surfaces but can damage car’s interior trim.
Do not use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens. They can damage anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
Use of solar and/or vehicle heater to raise cabin surface temperatures is not practical to kill the virus. It is difficult to raise all cabin surfaces to the same required temperature to kill the virus. Research studies indicate COVID-19 in aerosol form becomes inactive (shortest time of survival) at 60 0 C (140 0 F) air temperature after four hours or five minutes at 70 0 C (158 0 F). SARS required 56 C 0 (132.8 F) for 15 minutes. (WHO)
Soap and water may not entirely remove the virus. When cleaning upholstery, using too much water or soap may result in wet fabric and cushions causing musty smells or mold growth.
Disinfecting Vehicle Cabins
The best approach is: When working on the vehicle, service technicians need to take all the precautions they are comfortable with to protect themselves and the customer.
As essential businesses, most of us have been up and running through the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing through today, eight months later. We have adapted to the new environment and continue to serve our customers with care, doing our part to keep the wheels turning and helping other essential workers perform their important roles.
Just as we feel an obligation to our customers and the motoring public, MACS feels an obligation to perform its essential role in service to our members and the industry.
The annual MACS Training Event and Trade Show is the only training event and trade show exclusively for the mobile air conditioning and cooling industry.
It is the sole venue where MACS members can gather for unique training, maintain and grow industry contacts, share information, meet face-to-face with vendors, and celebrate the accomplishments of their peers.
As I write this, we are still more than three months out from our 2021 annual event to be held in Orlando, and we are proceeding with planning and execution of that meeting with all due caution.
While none of us has a crystal ball and can predict what the next three months will bring, it is heartening to see the positive response of trainers, supporting companies, and all of those who have traditionally supported this important forum. I encourage the reader to review the program at the center spread of the magazine, detailing the premium training offerings, and opportunities for networking and the crucial exchange of ideas.
MACS is planning our 2021 Training Event with careful consideration to the current pandemic and is including safety and security measures as we move forward to create a valuable training and networking experience.
I hope to see you there!
Click here to view the entire MACS Training Program for the 2021 Training Event and Trade Show, February 3-6, in Orlando, FL at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
Click here to register to attend MACS 2021 Training Event at MACS website or call the MACS office at 215-631-7020 x 309, 313 or 311.
Click here to reserve a hotel room at the Rosen Centre, MACS host hotel in Orlando, FL. MACS room rate is $195 (single or double plus tax) or call (800) 204-7234 or (407) 996-9840.
By Frank Tonon, Qualification and training director, CPA Montreal
Cabin heating through the years The evolution of climate control in the past century has gone through several changes. From heated stones, coal burning boxes or exhaust gas heaters which had their own hazards and health concerns for the passengers. In the mid-1920s, the water heater was introduced as more and more liquid cooled engines were produced. But one thing has not changed, periodic maintenance is the only way to ensure the longevity of any machinery. In the past few decades, the heater core has not as gone through multiple changes. We have seen incredible changes, cooling liquids and scientific terms for multiple causes of failures in this system. So, let’s look at some of the main requirements to ensure that the passenger compartment temperature can be controlled has adequately and safely as possible.
Manual controls The cabin heating has evolved very rapidly, and many electronic devices were added to ensure comfort. The basic system was to get coolant from the engine to the heater core. The controls were quite simple which included three main functions. Set air outlet from the ventilation knob or lever, set the temperature and air speed. If too hot or too cold, simply play with the controls until you approximately get what you desired. Some models included a sophisticated vacuum circuit that would cut off the circulation to the heater core called the water valve. The water valve was often used with the air conditioning system to reduce heat to the nearby evaporator that would increase system pressure or cause the compartment cooling to be affected.
Section 609 certification credentials are good for life. This means they do not expire. If you were Section 609 certified and obtained your credentials from MACS or IMACA and have lost them, you may obtain replacement credentials by re-ordering them.
Use this form to apply for new credentials. Fill it out completely as the more information we have the easier it is to find your data record.
If you have applied to us for a reprint not in the MACS or IMACA databases, your deposit will be retained by MACS to pay for the search and other processing involved.
We suggest that you do not apply to us for a reprint unless you are sure that you have been certified by either MACS or IMACA. If you were certified by ASE, or another vendor you must call that vendor not MACS. Do not send in your form request more than once or you will be charged for every time we receive it.
You can fax your form with payment to to 215-631-7017 or mail it to:
Can’t attend a Section 609 class in person? Attend online with MACS on Wednesday, November 12 at 2pm. Can’t make it at 2pm the class will be recorded to view when you have time. Cost for the online Section 609 test and webinar is $45. Visit www.macsw.org toregisteror call the MACS office at 215-631-7020 x 309, 313 or 311 to register.
Have you lost your MACS Section 609 credential and need a replacement? Click here and follow the directions to obtain a new card. The replacement fee is $10. Questions? Email email@example.com
Trivia question: what do R-134a, Lithium Ion batteries, air bag modules, and used fuel system components all have in common? Aside from the fact that these are all in-use in today’s vehicles, they are all also classified as Hazardous Materials (i.e. hazmats) by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The same holds true for these products in Canada, where the governing body (Transport Canada) has similar designations for what they call ‘Dangerous Goods’ (i.e. hazmats).
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter C (49 CFR) strictly regulates the transportation of hazardous materials. DOT requires individuals to receive initial (i.e. within 90 days of starting on the job) and recurring (i.e. at least once every three  years) training if they:
• Load, unload, or handle hazardous materials (such as those located in shipping and receiving) • Prepare hazardous materials for transportation • Are responsible for hazardous materials transportation safety, or • Operate a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials (such as a parts driver)
Most, if not all, of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have published various Service Bulletins and communications* addressing this very subject. Why? Because today’s modern vehicles have many more hazmat components than they used to have (and the trend is to expect even more in the years to come). That, in addition to the ongoing Takata airbag recall efforts, have those of us in the vehicle service industry more aware of hazmat-handling best-practices than ever before. (Read more)
On 19 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date, in 1987, on which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed.
States are invited to devote the Day each year to promote, at the national level, activities in accordance with the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments.
One way to help protect the ozone layer is to for professional automotive technicians working on mobile A/C systems to be educated in the proper procedures for refrigerant recovery and recycling through Section 609 certification with the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS). Visit MACS website to complete this valuable training. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Call us at 215-631-7020
As the world battles a pandemic, businesses, like yours, are battling to keep customers coming in the doors. Just when it seems that every penny must be spent wisely, it also is a prime time to look outside the industry for marketing ideas that can bring both current and future customers into your shop. Here are a couple that Stacy Tuschl, a local business marketing consultant and owner of two performing arts studios, provided recently during an interview with Social Media Examiner, a social media marketing blog.
Growing organic social media exposure
Tuschl dropped a number of social media tips during her interview, and this is one that works across any industry. Band together with a few other businesses that offer completely different services or products, such as florists, massage therapists, gas stations or dry cleaners, and create a giveaway or contest that each business promotes on its social media platform. The beauty of this type of partnership is that you will be cross-promoting each other’s businesses to a whole new set of audiences, ones who may have never heard of you before.
By limiting participation to only one type of business in the promotion, no one is competing with each other. Each participating business provides a prize or giveaway of predetermined equal value, and they are combined into one – or several – packages. Turn it into a scavenger hunt, or an online puzzle that people have to watch in order to find a daily question for the week. Whatever you and your band of fellow small business owners can come up with should be easy and fun for people to follow. But most of all, make sure it brings people in your door to learn more about your services. (Read More)
There is no doubt that when it starts getting hot outside, your shop gets slammed with customers asking for help with their A/C systems. Same thing happens here at MACS, except we get slammed with A/C tech support calls.
Most calls are really nothing special to talk about. Refrigerant charge amount, oil type and sensor locations are pretty common complaints, particularly for odd ball vehicles and trucks with limited information resources (and technicians unfamiliar with a particular make / model / system). We also get lots of requests for wiring diagrams and pressure gauge troubleshooting help. Plus, there’s many not-well-known TSBs that seem to keep coming up (Ford Escapes come to mind here).
Every once in a while, I get a tech call from one of our local member shops near MACS HQ. When it’s a really tough problem, I like to stop by and check it out for myself and (of course, I wear a mask and practice social distancing, in light of how things are today). (Read More)
Data lines and multiplexing have been with us in the heavy-duty world since 1990. The increased use of ABS, electronic ICUs, and automated transmissions to name a few, led the way that made the use of electronic control necessary for proper operation. Increased government regulations and tighter emission controls have led to updates and ongoing changes. Mainly with the introduction of emission controls; EGR, Aftertreatment, DEF and generic engine DTCs. A quick refresher on what multiplexing and data management is in order.
Multiplexing is the combining of multiple signal outputs and switch or sensor inputs on a common circuit in order to reduce wiring complexity. Other advantages include automatic configuration of the vehicle for driving conditions, improved troubleshooting, customized parameters and configuration. heavy duty applications will use various data lines including J1708/J1587, J1939, and CAN that depend on multiplexing to operate. Beginning with electronic engine controls introduced in 1990, the J1708/J1587 data line was used to communicate with the engine controls. Its purpose was primarily to convey fault codes and instrumentation. J1708 was the hardware standard for wire size, diagnostic connector, bus configuration, and so forth. J1587 was the communication standard, 8 bits per byte, 9.6 kbps, and a standardized language format. It is a bus style datalink using junction blocks. The J1708 datalink is identified by its green and orange twisted pair wiring. It runs at a slow rate of 9.6 bps, which was sufficient for its original purpose; transmit fault codes to a common connector to diagnostic tools. However, it soon became overburdened by its communication load. It was replaced for a short time by the J1922 datalink until the J1939 datalink was developed to support the increased datalink speeds. It continued to be on vehicles until 2016. (Read More)
If you consider yourself a diagnostic detective see if you can solve this cooling system mystery before the end of the article!
Cooling Corner: The mystery of the 2008 Dodge Charger
Customers drive into our shops for maintenance, tires and corrective repairs. But every now-and-then even the most seasoned techs get a surprise. This is one of those times.
While waiting for the car to cool-down, it was time to talk to the customer. The “20-Question” game is always an interesting exchange between the vehicle owner and the tech. Sometimes you get the background, other times just a bunch of “I don’t knows.” This time, the driver was a seasoned vehicle owner. He understood the “why” of the questioning and answered quickly. The take-away from the talk: He thought he saw antifreeze on his garage floor. He said that he topped-off the reservoir with water since he didn’t have any chemistry on-hand. But, he added, just about a cup-full. No more.(Read More)
School is back in session, to some extent anyway, in most parts of the country. Now our thoughts turn to servicing the air conditioning on the buses, which are generally filled with up to 72 students. Full-sized school buses feature a mix of configurations from various manufacturers who try to keep the interior of a school bus comfortable in a wide range of operating conditions. Many rural school boards tend to run older buses, resulting in a number of challenges regarding servicing their systems, not the least of which is cost. These buses were likely originally equipped with the least expensive system available, not necessarily a system that even performed to the required standard. This story features an excursion through a complete refit/upfit for one of the older buses from a school district east of Dallas, Texas.
First, some background on the bus. This International bus came with a locally installed A/C system from a known supplier of school bus A/C systems. The district had purchased a number of these arrangements over the years and didn’t realize they performed poorly until they compared them to newly purchased Thomas bus systems, installed with the OEM supplied MCC air conditioning units. MCC purchased the Carrier line a number of years ago, and the basic design has not changed. They are the selected assembly line installed system for Thomas Bus. So, when the district purchased the Thomas buses, they compared the A/C performance to their existing buses … they found the existing buses were lacking. Although the district had tended to do all their own maintenance over the years to keep the A/C systems operating, they quickly realized this fix was beyond their capabilities. (Read More)
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, email@example.com.
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.
Two dates: Wednesday, Dec. 9th or Tuesday, Dec. 29th at 2pm (EST)
The webinar will take approximately 90 minutes that includes live Q & A with the instructor. The webinar will be recorded to view at a later time. You will have access to the online test at the completion of the webinar. Once a technician passes the test, they will be Section 609 certified to work on vehicles using R-12, R-134a and R-1234yf refrigerant. All technicians who wish to purchase refrigerant in quantities of 2 pounds or more must be Section 609 certified and show their credential at purchase.
Dates:Wednesday, 12/9 at 2pm (EST) OR Tuesday, 12/29 at 2pm (EST)Cost: $45 per person (Includes webinar, practice test and certification test)Register: Click HERE to register or go to http://www.macsw.org – choose “Training” and “event list”