MACS A/C training clinics are now in session

MACS mobile A/C training season is off and running, with trainers running everywhere! MACS has many public mobile A/C training clinics scheduled and you can check our calendar for what’s happening near you by clicking here.

MACS also does many custom/private training clinics for shops like Republic Services in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training  spent a day with the techs in that shop going over the best mobile A/C service practices for their MACK waste hauling truck. Here are some photos from the session:





If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be! Become a member and receive a technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit for more information.

You can E-mail us at . 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 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Mobile A/C The Next Generation, February 11-13 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.

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MACS heavy duty truck A/C training clinic at RANSHU

MACS would like to thank the staff of member distributor, RANSHU  who opened the doors of their brand new, jumbo warehouse in Sparks, NV on Saturday, March 21 to almost 60 attendees for a day long, MACS heavy duty truck mobile A/C clinic and compressor re-manufacturing demo.



Clinic instructor, Blake Gordon of Polar Mobility received high praise from the attendees for his presentation and knowledge of heavy duty truck HVAC.

Blake closeup with truck



There’s lots more training ahead in 2015! Click here to check out the MACS training calendar on MACS website.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be! Become a member and receive a technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit for more information.

You can E-mail us at . 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 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Mobile A/C The Next Generation, February 11-13 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.





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The dog days of A/C repair

MACS members Marks Air of Tampa, Florida had a dog gone hard time with a recent repair job. It could have ended in a hairy situation but, we’ll pause the puns and get to the root of the issue.

According to Caroline Marks Acebedo, “This evaporator (pictured) was out of a ceiling mounted unit in the rear of a 2006 Sprinter 2500.”


“The customer owns a mobile dog grooming service.  I think we cleaned about 5 dogs worth of hair out of the A/C unit!  The unit does have a filter and the customer tries to vacuum the filter out each week. But, there was still a huge amount of dog hair on the evap. core and the blowers were caked with dog hair.  I would say she needs to let us clean the evaporator more often.”


Thanks, Caroline that looked like a ruff job.

Have you seen an unusual repair, snap some photos and tell us about it. We can all learn something new. You can teach some old dogs new tricks-Email








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CAT vehicle service and T/CCI climatic wind tunnel technology MACS clinic -May 29

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide and members Caterpillar and T/CCI have joined forces to host a CAT vehicle service and T/CCI climatic wind tunnel technology mobile A/C clinic.

CATCraneand truck.jpg
This unique, high-value, diagnostics-centered training event for the heavy duty and
off-road vehicle A/C technician will take place on Friday, May 29, 2015 from 8:00am to 3:00pm CDT at T/CCI’ s climatic wind tunnel facility in Decatur, IL.

Daniel Spurgeon from Caterpillar will cover the following topics focusing on service for CAT vehicles:

  • Review importance of pulling a deep vacuum
  • Refrigerant recovery, system evacuation, and recharge procedure
  • Leak detection importance; comparison of different methods
  • Review conditioner groups from several machine products (plan to have several units on display)
  • Review of individual system components and their function (dryers, accumulators, expansion devices, etc…) and more.

T/CCI will also hold tours and demonstrations utilizing their state-of-the-art climatic wind tunnel facility and present valuable service information in a dynamic presentation called, Climatic Wind Tunnel: “Let’s Test It!” This unique service demonstration will cover:


  • T/CCI will demonstrate a real charge determination of a “normal” passenger vehicle and have direct interaction with the members including allowing them to plot pressure temperatures, superheat and sub-cooling.


  • T/CCI using the same vehicle and climatic wind tunnel will continue the charge determination into an “overcharged” condition to demonstrate the effect on not properly compensating for residual oil in the system.


  • T/CCI will then pull charge and oil from the same system which will dramatically show the effect of reduced refrigerant and oil charge.


  • T/CCI will facilitate the walk-through of the climatic wind tunnel to demonstrate severe cooling conditions.


“MACS is grateful to both CAT and T/CCI for making this unique training opportunity available so MACS can offer it to the greater mobile A/C industry,” commented Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and chief operating officer. “Any technician who participates in this training clinic will enjoy a unique learning opportunity that will be invaluable to their diagnostic knowledge.”


Registration for MACS members is $75 and $125 for non-members. Register now at or call 215/631-7020 x 306.

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Training is still the key

MACS’ rollout of its new Section 609 program on Jan. 1 has prompted a strong industry response. The program, approved by the U.S. EPA in December, incorporates information about alternative refrigerants including R-1234yf, R-152a and R-744 (CO2). The first printing of 10,000 manuals was rapidly distributed, and the second printing is rolling off the presses even as I write this.


The introduction of R-1234yf has been slower than first anticipated, but momentum has been building. The new refrigerant has been adopted for most Fiat Chrysler vehicles sold here in the U.S., and General Motors is expected to expand its use of R-1234yf through 2015 and 2016.


Al McAvoy of Fiat Chrysler, addressing the MACS convention audience in February in Orlando, reported that introduction of the new refrigerant in his company’s vehicle product line has gone very smoothly, with service necessitated only by collision work. R-1234yf systems, he noted, are “very similar” to current R-134a systems. The new systems do incorporate an internal heat exchanger and a few other component and calibration tweaks.


Of course, it’s not only the new refrigerant that is driving the need for technician training, but the growing sophistication and complexity of system controls, which we have been witnessing and talking about for some time. True, components and systems have been greatly improved over time, and they fail less often.


But good as they are, even the new A/C systems sometimes require service or repair, and diagnosis of system failures can be a daunting task, particularly for the technician armed only with yesterday’s tools and knowledge. As a headline on the webpage proclaims, “your car has more computing power than the system that guided Apollo astronauts to the moon.” An air conditioning problem could lurk anywhere among the 50 or more computers that allow or command functions of vehicle systems.

The technicians populating two days of intensive A/C training classes at the recent MACS annual conference, and strong bookings for update clinics that will keep MACS trainers on the road through the spring, are clear evidence that many in our industry have received the message: invest in training or find a new livelihood. The romanticized image of the grizzled veteran laying hands on the A/C plumbing and thereby divining the cause of the A/C problem has pretty much been abandoned.

So what’s our only option? Keep learning! See you in class.

Check out MACS Training Calendar-click here

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Robinair and Mobile Air Conditioning Society to provide free Section 609 test prep webinar on May 6

Robinair is partnering with the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide to provide a free Section 609 test prep webinar for training and certification for up to 100 technicians on Wednesday, May 6, at 4 p.m. EST. The webinar will take approximately 90 minutes. Technicians can become Section 609 certified to work on vehicles using R-12, R-134a and R-1234yf refrigerant when they take the written test provided, mail it back to MACS and pass the test.

Interested technicians can register at

When technicians register, a test and study guide will be sent to them free of charge, courtesy of Robinair. Technicians should take the test immediately after viewing the webinar and return it to MACS for grading. When they pass the test, Section 609 credentials will be sent to them. Should a technician fail the test, one re-test will be issued.

The R-1234yf refrigerant is gaining popularity among vehicle manufacturers because it reduces the environmental impact of A/C systems in vehicles, helping manufacturers meet stringent vehicle emissions standards. Automakers can receive emissions credits for using environmentally friendly refrigerants, meaning aftermarket technicians will begin to see an increase in vehicles using R-1234yf. The number of vehicles using R-1234yf is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years as the refrigerant replaces the current industry-standard R134a.

The MACS refrigerant recovery and recycling program was developed to meet the requirements under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act and was formally approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), effective Aug. 13, 1992. Since then, more than 1 million technicians have achieved Section 609 certification through its program. Throughout the years, MACS has continually expanded its certification program to reflect industry changes in technology, service equipment, procedures, tools, alternative refrigerants and changing government regulatory requirements.

“It’s a very natural fit for Robinair to partner with the MACS certification program to educate, train and certify today’s technicians on the latest breakthroughs and advancements in the mobile air conditioning industry,” said Tim Wagaman, senior product manager, air conditioning fluid products, Robinair. “As R-1234yf becomes more prevalent in vehicles on the road, technicians and shop owners need training to recognize which refrigerant is being used, how to handle it safely and how to make sure they are properly equipped with the right machines and tools to service them.”


The Robinair AC1234-6 is the only commercially available A/C recovery machine in North America to fully meet the SAE’s current requirements for recovering, recycling and recharging vehicles’ A/C systems that use the latestR-1234yf refrigerant. The AC1234-6 is a fully automatic recovery machine that features a standard, integrated refrigerant identifier that samples the refrigerant in the vehicle’s system prior to recovery.

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MACS and NARSA members learn all about social media

Twenty-eight members from MACS and NARSA met in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5 and 6 for a seminar on making social media pay off for your business. Instructor Ted Janusz was informative and challenged the attendees to think out of the box.


The two-day seminar was full of great information and group interaction attendees can put to work for their businesses right away.


If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be! Become a member and receive a technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit for more information.

You can E-mail us at . 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 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Mobile A/C The Next Generation, February 11-13 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.


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Best cars? Check the weather

By Keith Leonard, ESQ

If you happen to live in or near San Diego (its last snowfall was on December 13, 1967), Miami (January 19, 1977), or Phoenix (December 9, 1985), your choice of a particular vehicle will not likely depend upon its performance in cold weather conditions. However, most of America is blessed with the phenomenon of weather fluctuations with the changing of seasons. Buffalo and the surrounding northern New York area have already been hit with significant amounts of snow; so much in fact that the Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets football game scheduled for Buffalo on November 23rd had to be moved to Detroit. So, how a vehicle will handle in snowy and icy conditions may be a consideration for many of us.


Quite a few years ago, I bought my first (used of course) car for use during college. The car was a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro with a V8 engine, which had a displacement of 307 cubic inches (take that metric system). And as further signs of a time gone bye, the car had a vinyl roof and ran on leaded gasoline (the phase out of which began in 1973). I bought the car from a matronly schoolteacher; my mother. As luck would have it, I went to a “state college” in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh (not Penn State). Suffice to say, the weather near my home at the time and at the town where the college was located (as well as all points in between) does not resemble in the least the weather in San Diego, Miami, or Phoenix. As I quickly learned through trial and error (often error), my Camaro was a wonderful and fun car when driven between late April and mid-October, but not so much between mid-October and  April. A rear wheel drive sports car with a large engine (for that time) and a small and light back end is clearly not a car engineered for driving on snow and ice; unless Chevrolet’s designers and engineers had a very perverse sense of humor. Unless you own a ski resort or really love winter sports, you may not remember this past winter in fond terms. However, I got to enjoy (and drive in) the coldest month of record in Pennsylvania while I was in college. So of course, when did a radiator hose on the Camaro decide to spring a leak, causing my engine to freeze up after a substantial amount of the antifreeze in it dissipated; resulting in an expensive repair for a college student on a budget? You are correct if you guessed that very same month; January 1977.


So, what vehicles are thought to be the best in snowy driving conditions? Not surprisingly based upon my survey of the opinions or comments of a number of authors on this subject, the list of vehicles varies (even more so when the opinions or comments of European commentators are considered). Also not surprisingly, the various lists that I reviewed are dominated by four wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. Included on lists compiled by commentators writing for European publications are vehicles like the Skoda Octavia Scout (Skoda is an automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic) and the Fiat Panda 4×4. The Panda 4×4 is only available for purchase in certain European countries and I do not recall ever seeing a Skoda Octavia Scout while I have been driving on American roads. One vehicle manufacturer whose cars regularly appear on lists of cars that are best in snow is Subaru, with its Outback, XV Crosstrek, Legacy, and Impreza models. Among the sedans (besides the Legacy and Impreza) that are rated favorably are the Ford Fusion and the BMW 3 and 5 Series Gran Turismos (with xDrive). Among minivans, the Toyota Sienna is favorably reviewed and the Audi Allroad is the wagon that consistently appears on such lists.


Similarly, there are differences of opinion as to the cars considered among the worst when driving on a snow covered road. Even so, you can expect that many rear wheel drive cars are on these lists, particularly performance cars with uneven weight distribution (like my nose heavy Camaro). A rear-wheel drive performance car generally offers a superior ride and handling abilities to a front-wheel drive car, but with the caveat of weather permitting. Wishing all of you safe driving this winter.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be! Become a member and receive a technical newsletter with information like what you’ve just read in this blog post visit for more information.

You can E-mail us at . 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 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Mobile A/C The Next Generation, February 11-13 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.

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Do you know about electric cooling fan operating strategies?


Download the March 2015 issue of MACS ACTION magazine to learn about electric cooling fan strategies and more!

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Meet the pioneers

The Mobile Air Conditioning Industry Pioneer Award was originally established by the International Mobile Air Conditioning Association (IMACA) in 1988. In 2003, MACS Worldwide assumed the role of continuing the tradition of recognizing individuals from all parts of the mobile A/C industry who have made significant career contributions to the mobile A/C and heat transfer industry.

On Thursday, February 5, 2015 the Mobile Air Conditioning Industry Pioneer Award was presented to the following three individuals at the MACS Worldwide/ Mahle Keynote Luncheon during the MACS 35th Annual Training Event and Trade Show at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.

Jim Graham began his engineering career in 1966 at the age of 17 working as a student technician at the University of Dayton Research Institute in the composite and materials laboratory. In 1969, he became a full time technician with responsibilities that included the fabrication and testing of advanced glass and graphite composite materials for a U.S. Air Force design guide.

In 1976, Jim transferred to the Vibration Damping Group located at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Fairborn, Ohio. His duties included the testing and application of viscoelastic damping materials to reduce engine and inlet guide vane fatigue related failures on jet engines.

In 1978, Jim joined the Delco Moraine Division of General Motors at their brake plant in Dayton, Ohio. His responsibilities included vibration testing of front disc brakes and other brake system components. He worked there for almost two years before being laid off during the oil crisis.

In 1980, Jim was assigned to the Delco Air Conditioning Division Noise and Vibration Group. Here he worked on compressor and vehicle noise related issues, and started updating the division’s vibration test procedures. When the Delco Air Division was merged with the Harrison Radiator Division in 1984, Jim relocated to Lockport, New York. Here he continued his work on vehicle noise issues and started the development of road related vibration and synergetic testing for component validations.

Jim received his Bachelor of Science in Technology from the State University of New York in 1988. He was promoted to product engineer and transferred to the International Systems Engineering Group. He was assigned to be the liaison engineer for GM Mexico and GM Venezuela with additional responsibilities for the development and testing of air conditioning and engine cooling systems for various GM vehicle divisions including Opel, GM Mexico, GM Venezuela, GM Brazil and GM Holden. It was during this assignment that Jim began his annual test trips to the GM Proving Grounds in Mesa, AZ, his cold weather test trip to Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada and his A/C and engine cooling tests in the Australian outback.

Jim was transferred to the Delphi Thermal Rio Bravo 20 plant in Juarez, Mexico in 1999 where he served as business development and engineering liaison. In 2000, he transferred to the Delphi Mexico Technical Center in Juarez where he established the Thermal Aftermarket Group with OE service and independent aftermarket responsibilities. Jim transferred in 2001, to the newly formed Delphi Product and Service Solutions Division (DPSS) and continued with the responsibilities of the service and aftermarket group while serving on the center’s leadership council.

Jim’s latest assignment was Global Compressor Lead Engineer for the Aftermarket. He was responsible for aligning the division’s regional compressor engineering activities and creating standardized methods and procedures for developing and validating the organization’s compressor product line and suppliers.

During Jim’s 36 year career with General Motors and Delphi, he traveled to thirteen countries on five continents. Jim retired from Delphi in September 2014. Jim and his wife Ann have been married 40 years; they have one daughter, Jenny, and they reside in El Paso, TX.

Danny was originally from Indiana, but has lived in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for the last 30 years after he found out that it doesn’t snow in Florida. Danny opened Fort Walton Radiator Service in 1977 and has grown it into Fort Walton Radiator Auto Air and Repair with five employees.

Fort Walton Radiator Auto Air & Repair provides a full range of HVAC and radiator services for most cars, trucks, RV’s, and busses and even marine heat exchangers. A part of the business also retails and wholesales air conditioning and cooling parts. Over the years, Fort Walton Radiator and Auto Air and Repair gained a regional reputation for providing expert care for those more difficult thermal jobs.

A member of MACS since 1981, Danny has always felt that trade associations are very important to the mobile air conditioning and engine cooling systems industry, and has always been an active participant whenever possible. Danny has served on the NARSA Southeast regional board of directors for 10 years, and has served multiple terms on the MACS board of directors since first being elected in 2000.

Through his voluntary participation with both MACS and NARSA, Danny has gained a real appreciation for how much trade associations have improved the quality of life for members.
He has also learned that when you serve on a board, “You leave your ego and company loyalty at the door and work for the common good and learn all about showing and gaining respect and the art of compromise.”

Klaus Zenk emigrated with his parents as a World War II refugee from Germany in 1956.

He grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from high school at 17 and attended New England Aeronautical Institute in New Hampshire the same year. He enlisted in the
U. S.  Air Force in 1972 and also attend Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

In 1976 after serving in the Air Force, he obtained two degrees from Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. During this same period, he was pursuing a career as a military aircraft parts broker. In 1986, one of his best mil-spec customers, Santech, hired him to head up their military aerospace program. Having a strong technical background from the manufacture, procurement, and sales of military and aerospace type products, Klaus was a perfect fit for heading up the automotive A/C division of Santech, which he did with Valerie Rowe. His experience selling to the likes of Boeing Military, and Parker Rocket Fuel Systems confirmed his place at Santech in dealing with all aspects of sales, marketing, engineering and procurement.

During his career at Santech, he was credited with initiating and growing most of the new programs for parts, including the first lip seals, clutch bearings, control valves and clutch components. The humble beginnings of the Master Technicians program goes to his credit for the first four drawer parts cabinets coordinated with pictorial wall charts, and a new neutral numbering system.

As Santech grew and the company matured, the beginnings of the orifice tube, retrofit, and Idemitsu double end capped PAG oil sales programs are to his credit.

Over the years of developing parts, suppliers, and customer base, Klaus had an opportunity to travel to all ends of the world working with parts manufacturers, selling new ideas, new products, establishing new customers and suppliers globally. For the last 10 years, Klaus has served Santech as international distribution and remarketing sales manager.

Michael Deese, former president of Santech who worked many years with Klaus remarked, “Klaus always put the customer first; of course he did this in a balanced way, but customer satisfaction was his primary goal. He is also an extremely creative individual.  He was always discussing a new invention, new tool, or new method.  He is also a premier problem solver; he had to understand why a problem happened so that it could be prevented.”


The New Year brings a new role for Klaus. He has retired from Santech, and he and his wife Norma will work in their real estate investment company. Klaus will be doing some selective consulting for the remanufacturing industry, and aftermarket business community.

Klaus thanks Michael Deese, former president and owner of Santech, Beccy Deese and Valerie Rowe and all the great associates he worked with, and especially, the great friends he found in his customers, that contributed to his successful 27 year career at Santech.

Klaus says, “Auf Wiedersehen”, which is German for goodbye. However, the literal meaning is “until we see each other again.”



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