A great MACS training weekend in San Diego


MACS presented two days of training at Miramar College in San Diego. MACS Trainer Tom Potter presented a Section 609 certification class on Friday, May 20 and a heavy-duty and off-road truck mobile A/C class on Saturday, May 21.

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Mahle Service Solutions was kind enough to sponsor the training and give away a new refrigerant recovery machine. The lucky winner was MACS member Bob Stockero of Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA. That means a lot of automotive students will benefit from having this new piece of equipment in their shop when they learn about mobile A/C repair. 35 technicians of all ages attended the Saturday class which included a demonstration of the Mahle recovery machine by Mahle’s Chuck Kinkaid.

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MACS member Stirling Goulet of Lech Auto Air, Montara, CA won a set of MACS Modern HVAC text books.

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Robert Robertson of Daimler Trucks, Portland, OR won a free registration to MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show next February 15-18 in Anaheim, CA

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Many thanks to MACS Member Dan Willkie of Miramar College for allowing MACS to have our training clinic in their beautiful diesel shop!

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Posted in #1234yf, Automotive training, Hybrid, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants, Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices Three-Part Webinar


Course Title: MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices Webinar: A 3-Part Series- Tuesdays-June 7-14-21, 2016 at 4PM EDT.

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Course Description: Join MACS Worldwide, the leaders in Mobile A/C service information and training for an information-packed, three part webinar series: MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices. We’ve taken our industry-standard mobile A/C training seminar and broken it down into three core components: How A/C works, Testing & Troubleshooting and Best Practice Repair Methods, to bring you the training you need to fix it right the first time.

 

Part 1: A/C Components & Operation

Join us on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 4:00PM Eastern for MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices, Part 1: A/C Components & Operation, an information-packed webinar from MACS Worldwide, the leaders in Mobile A/C service information and training. Just what exactly is air conditioning, and how does it work? What key components are involved, and what role do each of them play? Hosted by Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training, along with special guest Tim Iezzi, shop owner and lead technician at Iezzi’s Auto Service, an A/C specialty shop and MACS Member located in Reading, PA, this class will cover:

– What is air conditioning?

– Components & Operation:

  1. Compressor
  2. Condenser

– 3/8″ Tube & Fin

– Serpentine

– Parallel Flow

– Micro-Tube

– How to determine restriction

– Temp Testing / Thermocouple / Infrared

  1. Receiver / Dryer
  2. TXV
  3. Evaporator

– Tube & Fin Evaporator

– Serpentine

– Parallel Flow

– Plate & Fin Parallel Flow

– Ejector Cycle System Evaporator

  1. Orifice Tube
  2. Accumulator

– Accumulator in Operation

– Important items

– Testing OT System Evaporator

 

Part 2: System Troubleshooting & Performance Testing

Join us on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 at 4:00PM Eastern for MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices, Part 2: System Troubleshooting & Performance Testing, an information-packed webinar from MACS Worldwide, the leaders in Mobile A/C service information and training. What’s the first thing you do when your customer says “My A/C is blowing warm”? What tools and equipment does your shop need to quickly determine the cause of poor A/C performance? Hosted by Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training, along with a special guest.          – Verify and duplicate the customer’s concern

– Using a thermometer to measure outlet temp

– Temperature / Pressure Drop relationship for diagnostics

– High head pressures: diagnostic tips

– Air flow issues

– Fan clutch diagnosis

– Humidity based performance testing

 

Part 3: Best Practices Repair Methods

Join us on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 4:00PM Eastern for MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices, Part 3: Best Practices Repair Methods, an information-packed webinar from MACS Worldwide, the leaders in Mobile A/C service information and training. Along with summer’s heat comes your customer’s desire to stay cool behind the wheel. How you go about performing repairs on their vehicle determines not only how successful the job will turn out, but also how happy your customer will be with your service and how likely they are to return to your shop. Hosted by Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training, along with a special guest. This class will cover:

– A/C Compressor replacement & diagnosis

– What is the complete repair?

– Reasons for compressor failure

– Leak Detection

– Electronic Leak Detectors

– UV Dye Leak Detection

– The importance of accurate charging

– Reasons for incorrect charge

– How incorrect charge affects system performance

– Proper equipment maintenance

– Refrigerant identification

– Why do we evacuate A/C systems?

– What happens when you leave refrigerant in a system?

– Oil type, viscosity and amount

– Oil balancing

– Filters & flushing

– Compressor clutches

– Clutch circuit voltage drop test

 

Registration is FREE for MACS members but you must register and $40 for non-members. Register now at www.macsw.org or contact the MACS office at 215-631-7020 to sign up today!

 

Posted in #1234yf, Automotive training, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Steve Rush, a MACS member for 29 years… and counting


Meet MACS member Steven Rush of Dealer Automotive Services located in Hopkins, MN. Steve was hired into the business by his father-in-law in 1989 and purchased the business in 2002.

Dealer Automotive Services performs many jobs for other repair facilities, dealerships and consumers. Steve explains, “We are an automotive and truck accessory center. We specialize in installation, repair and parts sales of air conditioning for all types of vehicles including but not limited to cars, heavy-duty trucks, off-road equipment (we have a mobile repair technician), street rods, limousines, RV’s and buses. Our main customer base for A/C repair or install is the general public and the street rod community. We also have a parts delivery service to sell O.E. replacement parts to other repair facilities performing A/C work.”

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“We have created our own line of what we call block-off fittings. These kits will isolate the front A/C for recharging if the rear lines and/or rear evaporator have extensive repairs to be done. This saves the end user money when the front A/C is adequate for them and also helps the shop keep the job if the rear A/C repair is too expensive for the customer. We have been selling these fittings for over 10 years now and have customers all over the country. It all started with Chevy Suburbans when we would remove the fittings to weld them shut. This evolved into having fittings manufactured specifically for blocking off the rear vents.”

 

“Another great service we are known for is rebuilding A/C lines. We can rebuild most lines quickly allowing shops to turn vehicles and not have to special order line sets. We also seem to run into many situations where the line set has been discontinued. Our service helps get these A/C systems back up and running.”

 

“Our second area of expertise relates to automotive electronics and accessories. We specialize in the installation of remote starters (including manual transmissions), navigation systems, mobile video, collision avoidance systems, cruise controls, power windows, power door locks, alarm systems, keyless entries, heated seats and technological devices including iPod interfaces and Bluetooth hands-free phone kits. We also stock other accessory parts.”

 

Reflecting back on any out of the ordinary repairs, Steve told us, “Our most unusual repairs come from our mobile work. We have repaired A/C systems on trolleys, railroad switching engines and even finished the design and install on an electric driven Corvette for a member of the MNEAA (Minnesota Electric Auto Association). We have installed A/C in lawnmowers for certain cities. We once designed and built a system for street sweepers.”

 

Steve has been a MACS member since 1987 and his reasons for continuing his membership are straightforward. “MACS does my research for me. They keep me abreast of the new trends and help by giving me areas to concentrate on. The MACS Service Reports help with real world repairs that my technicians appreciate. MACS gives me access to the annual trade show. This is where we get to shake hands with the people we just talk to on the phone other times of the year.”

Steve’s best piece of advice to other MACS members is, “Enjoy your work. Your attitude, good or bad, reflects back to your customers. Showing enthusiasm and a positive attitude will help make sure your customer has a pleasant experience.”

This article appeared in the May 2016 issue of MACS ACTION magazine. Click here to read more articles.

Learn more about Steve’s business at www.dealerautomotive.com and www.remotestartpros.com
 

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be!

Become a member and receive a monthly technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org .

To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area.

Click here to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

Mobile A/C professionals should plan to attend MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show, February 15-18 at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA.

Click here to see MACS current public training schedule.

The MACS website is located at www.macsw.org

 

Posted in ACtion Magazine, Automotive Aftermarket | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make sure to check for TSBs!


By Steve Schaeber, MACS Manager of Service Training
When we teach A/C classes there are a few basic phrases we use on a regular basis to cover ourselves that act like a get out of jail free card. Phrases like, “Verify the system contains the proper charge amount,” or “Make sure that the engine is running and the compressor is actually operating,” are necessary because sometimes even these basic checks can be overlooked, prolonging a proper diagnosis.

But we also need to stress the importance of checking for recalls and TSBs prior to when work is scheduled to begin on any vehicle. Now more than ever, OEMs are issuing TSBs for all sorts of concerns ranging from driveability and A/C to infotainment and sometimes even squeaks and rattles! Many times these issues are caught by the dealers either before the vehicles are sold or delivered or at some point during the factory warranty period when they may be in for service. But that’s not always the case, and since it doesn’t take that long to at least check your electronic service information system, we think it’s worth the time you’ll spend.

 

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Back in November GM issued TSB # 15-NA-065: Poor A/C Performance and/or Blows Warm on Decel, which applies to certain 2014-15 Impala and Malibu models with the 2.5 liter Ecotec 4 cylinder engine.  The problem is described as intermittent and most noticeable when A/C vent temperatures rise by as much as 30°F while decelerating to a stop. Once the driver gets going again, the vent temperatures cool back down as expected; but that sharp rise in temperature in a relatively short period of time is surely going to be noticed. Some technicians may first think there’s an internal problem with the compressor, or maybe an airflow issue during decel. But GM engineers have determined that updated software is needed to correct this problem, which is something that most aftermarket technicians won’t be able to diagnose in their shops.

Here’s another example that takes me back 15 years or so, to a 1991 Dodge Caravan that I purchased used from the brother of a guy I worked with at the time. This minivan had sat alongside his parents’ house for a few years because the brakes went out (pedal to the floor) and his shop said it would cost over $1,500 to fix the leaking ABS pump. He didn’t want to sink that much money into a 10 year old van with 120,000 miles on it. So the first thing I did was call Chrysler’s customer service line and ask them to check the VIN for recalls. Sure enough, there were three open recalls on that van: one for the lift gate latch, one for a seat belt anchor, and one for the ABS high pressure pump. That 5 minute phone call not only saved me the cost of the parts, but also more than 4 hours of labor involved in doing the job.

Sure, we know that most of the time when checking for TSBs you’re not likely to find any that specifically address the concern you’re working on at the moment; that’s just the way things go. But for those times when you get lucky and find that perfect TSB, it can really save the day.

Note: Have you ever checked for TSBs and found that perfect one? How about a recall that exactly matched your customer’s concern? Why not share your story with MACS! Send an e-mail to steve@macsw.org or visit our website http://www.macsw.org for more information.

Posted in #1234yf, ACtion Magazine, Automotive, MACS Member, MACS Training Event | Tagged , | Leave a comment

They don’t build ’em like they used to


By Andrew Ross, publisher Jobber News Magazine, Canada

Note: Andrew Ross was kind enough to share his April 2016 editorial for Jobber News with us. We have reprinted it on the MACS blog with the permission of Jobber News and www.autoserviceworld.com

They just don’t build cars like they used to.

More importantly though, those who build them, don’t see them the way they used to.

And neither do those who drive them.

Car companies have turned their focus significantly from making metal machines that move people to machines that get people to where they want to go, entertained and informed.

While it is an undeniable truth that every automaker is looking to sell what it is showing—concept cars aside—the conversation has become so focused on things beyond styling and mechanical features that it is easy to forget that these are car companies doing the talking.

It used to be that car companies would seek to excite you about what they built by showing you how much fun it was to drive and where you could go; now it’s all about giving drivers the capability to do a whole bunch of other things on their way to where they are going.

It’s all about the “user experience” in the parlance of the web world.

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A presentation by Ford Motor Company of Canada president and CEO Dianne Craig at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, stated unequivocally Ford is being recast as a “mobility company” going beyond building cars to providing information and systems to help people get around more effectively and efficiently. From dining, to travelling to parking, all at your fingertips, dutifully curated by Ford.

Listening to the presentation was surreal and though it struck me as equal parts utopian view of the car consumer of tomorrow and coldly calculated strategy to convince stock analysts that the company was a new economy business.

Regardless, it is more clear evidence that the car companies recognize that cars as a stylish mode of transport is receding into the background, while their capabilities as a smart phone on wheels has moved to the forefront.

Horsepower be damned, you’re not going to sell too many cars if the driver can’t get directions to their favourite mall or restaurant and seamless provide a playlist for the trip.

This reflects a fundamental shift in how people see their vehicles. And how they maintain them, or rather don’t maintain them.

When these systems break—because they always do–most people don’t go to the dealer to get them fixed (87% according to a recent J.D. Power and Associates U.S. market report) and of those who did, less than a quarter actually ended up with a fully successful repair.

In the aftermarket we are used to the increasing challenges that technology places on aftermarket, but we barely consider the impact that that whole new class of technology will have on our industry.

Consider for a moment, millions of car owners, gritting their teeth in frustration daily, just hanging on till they can afford something shiny and new, but who would gladly keep their car longer  if “the darn GPS” or whatever “still worked.”

Consider too that it might be easily repaired, or not really in need of a repair at all, just a skilled reboot.

Plainly put, if the aftermarket can effectively keep all those infotainment systems operating properly, they will keep those cars in the hands of their owners longer, and keep that customer longer too.

It’s something to think about.

Learn more at www.autoserviceworld.com

Posted in ACtion Magazine, Automotive training, Electrical/Electronic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Are you equipped with the right tools for mobile A/C repair?


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View the May 2016 issue of award-winning MACS ACTION magazine

Posted in #1234yf, ACtion Magazine, Automotive training, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help MACS conduct our 2016 mobile A/C service survey


In 1990, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide established the first industry mobile air conditioning survey to profile vehicles serviced by independent service facilities. Since then the survey has been repeated periodically over a span of years, and the data collected has reflected significant trends representing major changes in the industry. The last complete survey was done in 2003 with a minimized survey done in 2013.

Although information gleaned from these surveys was valuable, the attempt to profile each vehicle serviced in the busy summer season was challenging for the participating facilities.

To reduce the effort required by shops surveyed, and to collect information from as many facilities as possible, MACS is changing the survey format in 2016.

Rather than have the survey address the detailed repair activity for each vehicle, this survey is being conducted as a general facility servicing profile, assessing the general trends based on responses provided by participating shops.

Careful analysis of such survey results could reveal special insight on the mobile A/C industry and help plan for the future.

Help MACS gather the needed data!

2016 MACS Field Service Survey(PI) (click on link) for a writable pdf version of the survey. Automotive, truck repair and collision service shop owners are encouraged to fill it out completely and email it to elvis@macsw.org for a chance to win a $100 Visa™ gift card.

Since 1981, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide has been the advocate for service and repair owners, distributors, manufacturers and educators making their living in the total vehicle climate and thermal management industry.

MACS Worldwide empowers members to grow their businesses and delivers tangible member benefits through industry advocacy with government regulators and by providing accurate, unbiased training information, training products, training curriculum and money-saving affinity member services. MACS has assisted more than 1-million technicians to comply with the 1990 Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment.

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To learn more about MACS Worldwide visit our website at www.macsw.org. The MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show, Mobile A/C: Global Service Horizons will take place February 15-18 at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA.

 

Posted in MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six steps to a sound diagnostic strategy


By Bob Chabot, Manic Media LLC

James E. Wilson of Bosch USA was a presenter at MACS 2016 Training Event and Trade Show in Orlando, FL this past February he left us with some great information including these six steps to sound diagnostic strategy.

Jim Wilson of Bosch USA

Jim Wilson of Bosch USA

“Having the correct tools and using them properly is essential, but it’s also critical to follow a sound diagnostic plan and process,” Wilson noted. “Beware of flow charts; they can be confusing and often will not fix the vehicle. He suggested these key steps as part of the diagnostic process:

  • Step 1: Verify the complaint — Too many technicians try to find out what’s wrong, when they should begin with knowing what’s right.
    Step 2: Narrow the search — Use a scan tool to perform an all system sweep for codes and communication to determine known goods and bads.
  • Step 3: Research the known issues — Document the codes that need to be addressed. Use quality information sources to understand the repair path.
  • Step 4: Create a prioritized plan to test the system — For each DTC, read service bulletins and wiring diagrams, plan necessary reflashes, use tools that test what you are looking for, and determine which components may need replacing.
  • Step 5: Remember the basics when performing system tests — Examples include checking the battery condition and missing or blown fuses.
  • Step 6: Verify your work — Check that your work has completely resolved the original problem(s) you verified in Step 1. Then ensure your customer is satisfied.

 

Wilson ended the seminar with several real world A/C repair case studies that demonstrated the diagnostic strategy process and tools used. “Remember: If you approach a vehicle in a haphazard manner, as too many do, you’re likely to perform an incomplete repair. Following the diagnostic process is crucial to being the expert your customers pay you to be.”

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be!

Become a member and receive a monthly technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org .

To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area.

Click here to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

Mobile A/C professionals should plan to attend MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show, February 15-18 at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA.

Click here to see MACS current public training schedule.

The MACS website is located at www.macsw.org

Posted in Automotive Aftermarket, Automotive training, MACS Training Event, Mobile Air Conditioning, Training | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No, you cannot put R-134a into a HFO-1234yf system; here’s why…


We have received some questions about putting R-134a into HFO-1234yf system and here’s why you should not do that from EPA.

From the 2015 EPA SNAP Final Rule:

For vehicles for which the manufacturer counts air conditioning credits toward its LD GHG compliance, the MVAC systems (or elements of those systems) are considered emission related components as defined in 40 CFR 86.1803. This designation includes

provisions for emission-related warranty, requirements that they operate properly for the specified useful life, as well as tampering restrictions. For example, if a manufacturer claims air conditioning credits for an MVAC system that uses a lower-GWP refrigerant on a particular vehicle as part of the LD GHG program, removing and replacing that refrigerant with any other refrigerant that has a higher GWP, including HFC–134a, would be considered tampering with an emission related component under Title II of the CAA.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be!

Become a member and receive a monthly technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org .

To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area.

Click here to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

Mobile A/C professionals should plan to attend MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show, February 15-18 at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA.

Click here to see MACS current public training schedule.

The MACS website is located at www.macsw.org

Posted in #1234yf, Automotive, Automotive Aftermarket | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day is everyday at MACS Worldwide


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Are you Section 609 certified?
Click here to find out all the information you need to know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment