MACS takes California by storm – literally!


f12017tetsMACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show in Anaheim, CA was a splashing success! 950 attendees enjoyed training, social events and commerce through what was mostly a beautiful week in Southern California. They also weathered a historic, record breaking storm on Friday, February 17th during the Trade Show.

 

“MACS had not been to California in many years for an annual training event and we were very pleased with attendance which included many new faces from the West Coast,” commented Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and chief operating officer.

 

MACS honored outstanding members, both veteran and up-and-coming, by naming four new Mobile A/C Industry Pioneers and three new Mobile A/C Young Ambassadors. Honored with the Pioneer award were Jim Hittman of Badger Refrigeration, Eau Claire, WI, Marc McDermott of MEI Corporation, Atlanta, GA, John Miller of The Air Shop, Santa Ana, CA and Dan Spurgeon of CAT, Mossville, IL. These Pioneers were honored for a lifetime of industry achievements.

 

Honored with the MACS Young Ambassador Award were Jesse Azqueta of TSI Supercool, Lake Worth, FL, Melanie Gann of Four Seasons, Lewisville, TX and Tim Iezzi of Iezzi’s Auto Service, Reading, PA. These three outstanding MACS members go above and beyond to promote MACS in the mobile A/C industry.img_7493

To learn more about MACS Worldwide visit our website at http://www.macsw.org. The MACS 2018 Training Event and Trade Show, will take place February 14-17 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

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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Alternative fuel vehicle service


 

By Andy Fiffick, MACS Chairman/CEO and Owner Rad Air Complete Car Care

I come from a Ford family. My Dad retired from Ford in 1989, I have two brothers still employed there, and I worked at the company  for ten years in many roles, including production supervisor.

This history helps explain my interest in the Ford Escape hybrid. I placed my order for one in 2003, even though they weren’t available until 2005. However, my captivation  went deeper than brand loyalty. I recognized that, as an owner-operator of an automotive service and repair business, alternative propulsion vehicles were part of my future.

As soon as I got my Escape, I sought training in safety procedures and other unique aspects of the vehicle. This training continues on an annual basis to keep me and my technicians at each of our 12 locations up to speed.

A ballpark estimate of the cost of training and additional tools and equipment, per facility, is about $5,000.

In Cleveland, and likely in most regions, other than the West Coast, hybrid service is a slow growing market segment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, the ROI for this service niche can be quite good.

With GM on track to release the 238-mile range all electric Chevy Bolt any day now, and Tesla taking thousands of orders for their Model 3 in concert with the construction of a $1 billion lithium ion battery factory in Nevada and the popularity of Nissan’s Leaf among others, it’s clear that a consumer level, daily driver all electric car that meets the needs of 90 percent of drivers is basically here now.

Although we are making inroads, we are still held back by the availability of good replacement drive batteries. Replacement batteries make up about 50 percent of the hybrid jobs that come in the door, even though batteries exhibit significant longevity. The vehicles we see needing replacements are 8 to 10 years old, and have racked up 100,000, 150,000 or more miles.

When it comes to HVAC service and repair, the hybrids we’ve seen so far are not radically different from other vehicles that come into our shops, with the exception of electric compressors versus belt driven, and different oils, but that may change. Check out Hybrid and Battery Electric A/C on page XX in this issue for a broader view.

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One of our 2017 Training Event speakers, Bruce Biven, high tech curriculum developer for Toyota, notes: “We recently started developing the new model presentations for the 2017 Prius Prime. The system is capable of producing heat without starting the engine at temperatures as low as 14° F.  This new heat pump system is very different from a conventional climate control system and I think the folks attending the conference will be interested in learning how it works.”

I’ll be in the front row for this one. I hope to see you there!

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View the complete MACS 2017 Training Event Program

Register now for MACS 2017 Training Event at 215-631-7020 x 0  or click here!

Posted in #1234yf, Hybrid, MACS Training Event, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gen 2 Ridgeline cools with R-1234yf


 

By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor

The 2017 Ridgeline is the second generation of Honda’s midsize pickup truck, redesigned and brought back in June 2016 following a short 2 year production hiatus. Like other manufacturers who are introducing new vehicles or platforms this year, Honda started using the new R-1234yf A/C refrigerant in the new Ridgeline ahead of mandatory EPA regulations set to take effect in a few years.

figure-1-dsc_1924-lainaHonda redesigned their Ridgeline midsize truck for the 2017 model year and began shipping them to dealers back in June.

Staying on top of these new developments with R-1234yf, MACS paid a visit on September 28th to our local Honda dealer, J.L. Freed in Montgomeryville, PA to check out what Honda’s been up to with the new refrigerant. We’ve talked to several members over the last few months that have been working on 2016 model year Hondas with R-1234yf, but we wanted to go check them out for ourselves. We were lucky too, because on the day we stopped by for our photo shoot, we ran into owner Donald Franks, who showed us around and introduced us to a few of their service department personnel.

figure-2-dsc_1897-lainaThe service department at J.L. Freed has had their Robinair yf machine for about 2 years now, but it’s only recently that they’ve had more use for it. Like other A/C service shops, they pretty much only need it when auto body repairs call for an evacuation or recharge, usually due to condenser replacement following an accident. A recent vehicle they worked on was on a 2017 Ridgeline that only had 100 miles on it and was in a front end collision. Sad, indeed.

If you read further into the caption above, you might wonder why a Honda dealer in PA would have had a yf R/R/R machine for the past two years, considering that they’ve only been selling yf cars in this state for a few months. While it’s true that most US dealers have only been selling yf cars since earlier this year, keep in mind that Honda has been leasing the recently discontinued Fit EV at certified dealers in California and Oregon since June 2012 as a 2013 model. In fact, following Cadillac who introduced the first yf car to American buyers, Honda Fit EV was the second ever yf car in the US, followed by the Chevy Spark EV in June 2013. Leases were later offered in a few northeastern states that year, including PA’s neighbor New Jersey. Even though Fit EV cars only have a range of about 100 miles per charge, it’s still possible (and very likely) that a driver would take theirs on a long trip out of state. So in an effort to “be prepared” to service their customer’s vehicles no matter where they may be driven to, certain Honda dealers across the US were designated as Certified Fit EV repair shops, specifically by training certain technicians to work on them. JL Freed Honda joined that program, and since the Fit EV has an R-1234yf A/C system, they needed a yf machine to comply.

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“Purchasing our yf machine has been a good move for us so far, particularly since we’re seeing so many models being changed over to use the new refrigerant,” said Service Manager Matthew Beatty as he showed us their Robinair machine. Being an early adopter just makes them that much more prepared to work on these new systems, which have so far primarily been limited to leak testing, evacuating and recharging after crash repairs.

figure-4-dsc_1898-laina Like other machines that Robinair makes for the OEM market, this model is custom branded for Honda. Its model # is 42-1234, and while it’s similar to other versions, this one is accented in neon green and has Honda’s stylized name and logo printed just above the display screen. Robinair R/R/R machines are manufactured by Bosch Automotive Service Solutions at their factory in Owatonna, Minnesota. We’ve seen them specially branded for certain car manufacturers before (such as Toyota), but they’re also available with the standard Robinair markings as well.

Why did Honda change from the standard R-134a that’s long been the staple refrigerant in so many cars and trucks since the mid ‘90s? There are really two reasons, one of them being environmental and the other, regulatory.

We’ve known about the high GWP (Global Warming Potential) of HFC-134a for many years. In fact, GWP is one of the scales on which scientists measure how harmful a refrigerant is to the atmosphere. We’re all familiar with the current environmental conversation around carbon dioxide which causes global warming, and it’s actually CO2 that’s used as a baseline with an assigned value of 1 GWP.

R-134a’s GWP is 1430, meaning it’s 1,430 times more harmful to the environment than CO2. This is the main reason behind the regulation mandating a change to something less harmful to the planet.

But now that so much technical development has taken place with the more environmentally friendly HFO-1234yf, manufacturers are changing over their vehicles as major redesigns or new platforms come online. Doing so will help the environment by reducing the amount of highly potent greenhouse gases being used in mobile air conditioners (which carry the risk of being vented to the atmosphere, either on purpose as a result of negligent service, by normal system leakage, or by accident through a front end collision that punctures the A/C system). R-134a is one of these gases as it has an atmospheric lifetime of 14.6 years. R-1234yf on the other hand has a GWP of just 4 and dissipates within 11 days.

Then there’s the regulatory side of things. In June 2015, EPA issued rule # 20, mandating that all new vehicles beginning with the 2021 model year can no longer be filled with R-134a. Most OEMs are getting ahead of this time schedule, and taking advantage of EPA CAFE credits while they’re still available.

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EPA’s SNAP website contains everything you need to know about Ozone history, refrigerant rules and regulations, as well as Section 609 Technician Certification, refrigerant recovery and record keeping requirements. The EPA website shown here can be reached at this link: https://www.epa.gov/mvac/epa-regulatory-requirements-motor-vehicle-ac-system-servicing

Getting back to our visit at JL Freed Honda, while we were there we also checked out several other models such as the Honda Civic, Accord Hybrid, Pilot and CR-V, and we’ll write more about their A/C systems on another MACS WordPress Blog. (Here’s a little preview: We not only found R-1234yf refrigerant being used in the 2017 Ridgeline, but also in 2016 Civic and Pilot models, too!)

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Service Technician Erik Hames had this 2016 Pilot in the shop for service (pre-delivery inspection), giving MACS the chance to take a closer look. At first glance, much of the A/C system looks similar to previous R-134a models, with the exception of the service ports, caps and A/C label.

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The redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline is the brand’s fourth to use the new R-1234yf refrigerant in a production vehicle. Loaded with symbols, this A/C label (otherwise known as the “639 Label”) packs a lot of information into a small space, including the required refrigerant charge for these pickups. The label gets its moniker from the SAE J639 Standard which requires its use. Ridgeline for 2017 uses a Delphi (MAHLE Behr) A10HF20 compressor with RL85HM (POE) oil. It calls for 0.600 kg of R-1234yf refrigerant, right in the middle of the 0.575-0.625 kg spec.

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Ridgeline is also another example of a vehicle that uses R-1234yf refrigerant but DOES NOT use an ILHX (inline heat exchanger). Although it was once thought to be required for use with yf systems, testing has proved that if the vehicle’s condenser is efficient enough and has a large enough surface area to maximize heat transfer, it’s not necessary to add the additional part (at additional expense, too).

Have you worked on an R-1234yf vehicle in your shop? Why not take a few pictures and share your shop’s story with other MACS members! Visit our website www.macsw.org or drop a line to steve@macsw.org for more information.

More information about J.L. Freed Honda can be found on their http://www.jlfreedhonda.com website. You can also find out more about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline and other Honda vehicles by visiting automobiles.honda.com and clicking on RIDGELINE.

 

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, ACtion Magazine, Automotive Aftermarket, Automotive training, Environmental Protection Agency, Hybrid, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MACS membership, what’s in it for me?


The top reasons to become a member of the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide

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Why I should I join the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide? What’s in it for me?

The answers are simple: information, networking and training.

Let’s address the information part first:

When you’re working all day on fixing automotive thermal problems and managing your business, you may miss a lot of the conversation in the industry on new trends, technology and training. Guess what else? Everything you find when you search on the internet is not accurate information. That’s where MACS fits in. For 36 years, MACS has been the clearing house for, and many times originator of accurate technical information regarding all facets of total vehicle climate and thermal management. MACS curates and publishes information through the monthly MACS Service Report , eight issues of award-winning ACTION™ magazine http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/macs/action_20170102/ and informative blogs referenced through our social media sites that you can rely on. When you invest in MACS membership and participate in training events and clinics you’ll get to know what you need to know to better serve your customers and manage your business.

Networking

Networking is the number one reason attendees give for participating in MACS activities.Learning what works for others can teach us a lot about what can work for us. Becoming a part of a community where you can hear directly from people who actually make the systems you work on can be an enlightening experience. So can peer-to-peer contact, where you’ll learn you’re not the only one who has tackled a challenging repair or management problem.

Training

The annual MACS Training Event and Trade Show being held in Anaheim California February 15-18, 2017, is where you’ll have the chance to hear directly from vehicle OEMs and parts manufacturers, along with some of the automotive industry’s top trainers in mobile A/C and electrical diagnostics. Presentations by General Motors, Toyota, Caterpillar and Kenworth are just a few of the classes where you can learn about the newest technology and repair techniques

Want to know more about engine drive belts, pulleys and idler systems, including the correct way to diagnose common belt noise issues? Attend the MACS Training Event to hear directly from Gates, who manufactures these parts. Don’t forget to bring your questions!

Did you know the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will be the most technologically advanced Toyota Prius ever built, including an industry-first 6 mode climate control system? You can learn about this and more at the MACS 2017 Training Event & Trade Show in Anaheim, and check out the class with Toyota trainer Bruce Biven.

Come join MACS; we’re waiting for you.

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, MACS Member, MACS Training Event, Mobile Air Conditioning, Training | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another A/C milestone


 

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By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor

We’ve reached another milestone in the mobile A/C refrigerant timeline, and this time it’s a big one: January 1, 2017 was the drop-dead date set by the EU (European Union) for when vehicle manufacturers can no longer fill any new vehicle’s A/C system with fluorinated refrigerants (or F-Gases) that have a GWP rating of more than 150. This totally knocks out R-134a as a player (with its relatively high 1,430 GWP), pretty much leaving OEMs with a choice between R-152a, R-744 (what we call carbon dioxide when it’s used as a refrigerant) or R-1234yf, which is becoming the new world standard.

 

If possible, car makers around the world would still like to employ just one, universally accepted working fluid (the refrigerant), which is one reason why R-1234yf has so much support (that, along with its GWP of 1 and its similarities to R-134a among others). All OEMs will build yf systems to meet the current EU and upcoming US and other world regulations, but it’s not the only fluid in development right now.

 

Tata Motors in India is working on a “Secondary Loop” system with Mahle and the ISGD that uses R-152a, and we expect to learn more about that as 2017 progresses.

 

But probably the most well known is Daimler’s work on R-744 systems, which they have said will be available on certain vehicles for the 2017 model year. In fact, there were several meetings and discussions about the technology at the recent EAAC (European Automotive A/C Convention) in September, including a demonstration of R-744 R/R/R machine technology on an actual vehicle. More on this topic can be found in Paul Weissler’s article “CO2 A/C Development Comes Alive in Germany” in the September/October 2016 edition of ACtion Magazine.

 

In the meantime here in the US, we continue to see more and more vehicles on the street using R-1234yf refrigerant. In fact, MACS has been Following yf and the vehicle manufacturers to bring our members the most current information regarding which vehicles use the gas now, which ones are expected to use it in the coming months, and what new A/C technologies are being put in the newest cars and trucks.

Here’s the most current list we’ve put together so far, showing which manufacturers are using R-1234yf refrigerant in production vehicles right now. Keep in mind that some of these may not be US-spec, available only in Europe or other parts of the world.

  • BMW i3 Electric, i8 Electric
  • Cadillac CT6, XTS
  • Chevrolet Malibu, Spark EV, Trax
  • Chrysler 200, 300, Pacifica
  • Citroën C4, Elysëe
  • Dodge Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Journey
  • Fiat 500, 500L, 500X
  • Ford Escape, Transit
  • Great Wall Motor – Voleex C30
  • Honda Civic, Fit EV, Pilot, Ridgeline
  • Hyundai Santa Fe, i30
  • Infinity Q50
  • Jaguar F-Pace, F-Type, XE, XF, XJ, XJL
  • Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler
  • Kia Carenz, Cee’d2, Optima, Sorento
  • Land Rover Discovery, LR4, Range Rover
  • Lexus GS450h
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Open Mokka
  • Peugeot 301, 308
  • Ram 1500
  • Renault Zoe 3
  • SAIC Motor – MG350 / Rover 350
  • Subaru BRZ, Forrester, Impreza, XV
  • Tesla Model S
  • Toyota GT86, Prius Plus, Tacoma, Yaris HSD

MACS member Honeywell’s http://www.1234facts.com shows 10,830,113 cars worldwide use their Solstice yf brand refrigerant (as of 1/5/17). MACS verified these makes and models are using yf. (Courtesy of MACS Staff)

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

MACS 2017 Training Classes


Training Event & Trade Show
February 15-18,2017

Scheduling of training has been optimized to double the number of training courses and topics attendees can experience during the two-day event. 

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Compiled by Elvis Hoffpauir

THURSDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON
PASSENGER CAR / LIGHT TRUCK TRAINING
Participants may choose from six different classes available during the day. Each repeats in the afternoon. For passenger car / light truck, each class is 90 minutes in length, allowing participants to attend four of the six classes offered, both Thursday and Saturday.

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A/C Advanced diagnostic techniques
One bright star among a galaxy of premiere experts and trainers making up the MACS 2017 faculty is Peter Orlando of Automotive Training Technologies. He explains that “achieving the desired result of a successful repair, a satisfied customer, and a fair profit on your work is a process,” and he cautions “never stop diagnosing until you have nothing left to diagnose!” His class will cover customer/operator vehicle problem interrogation; trouble-shooting main and sub electrical system malfunctions; scan tool data interpretation versus actual A/C performance issues; A/C actuator testing using low amp current probe; and cause and effect of climate control pattern failures.

Optimizing system charge levels
Peter McArdle of Four Seasons notes that “Condenser technology has evolved dramatically over the past 20 years. We are accomplishing the same job today with only half the refrigerant charge of just two decades ago. Your replacement condenser may be more efficient than the one you are replacing. However, its internal physical volume may be significantly different than the OE unit. Even a replacement OE dealer condenser may not be an exact match for the original. Please join me for this class and learn how to optimize the system charge level to match the replacement condenser.”

Telematics and advanced body electronics
This course will take the intermediate to advanced automotive technician on a journey starting with F.R.E.D. (Frustrating Ridiculous Electronic Devices) used in today’s advanced body electronics systems such as Telematics, C.A.N. Expansion buses, M.O.S.T. Buses (optic and wired), Forward Cameras and Smart Key Systems. It then blasts him into future technologies, which are coming sooner than you think. Future technologies including autonomous cars, collision avoidance systems and off peak automatic software update will be covered. Case studies and electronic circuit diagnostics round out this fun and informative class by MACS contributing technical writer Dave Hobbs that will sharpen your diagnostics skills for the automotive electronics of today and tomorrow!

Climate control sensor and actuator diagnostics
“Climate control systems are evolving; are your diagnostic skills keeping up with the changes?” Bob Pattengale of Robert Bosch says, “the first step in solving any vehicle system issue is understanding the theory of operation and how the common components operate.” In his session, Bob will provide the information needed to develop a solid diagnostic approach.

Automotive HVAC systems: Essential diagnostics
This class provides a solid foundation of essential HVAC diagnostic procedures, based upon diagnostic best practices, in order to assure correct and complete diagnostic conclusions of common HVAC failures. Jim Cokonis, CARQUEST Technical Institute, will cover topics including temperature and pressure testing, the diagnosis of compressor clutch controls, PWM fan diagnostics, and variable displacement compressor controls. Special emphasis will include how to evaluate overall performance and efficient choice of diagnostic methods. The effects of internal heat exchangers and how they change expected test results compared to a “traditional” system will also be featured.

Diagnostic directions: Making the most of the first five minutes
Tim Iezzi of Iezzi’s Auto Service explains: “As we know, diagnostic tasks can be among the most challenging jobs we perform, but this work also represents some of the most important. Many shops find it difficult to charge for diagnostic work, and no one wants to spend five hours on something they may only be billing an hour for.  What I do in my class is break down the diagnostic process and work on developing methods that can be applied to most vehicles universally, including systems other than air conditioning.  I will also explain the methods that I personally use on every vehicle that comes in the shop for A/C to gather as much information as possible on the car as quickly as possible. I will then reinforce this through case studies including one highlighting what can happen and how much time can be wasted when you don’t have a process or a direction.”

THURSDAY ALL DAY
HD TRUCK / OFF-ROAD VEHICLE TRAINING
Is a refrigerant change coming for HD vehicles?
Gary Hansen of Red Dot notes, “With millions of automobiles and light trucks using R-1234yf, what’s the outlook for the heavy duty truck and off highway marketplace? Is R-1234yf just around the corner? What are the challenges in changing refrigerants? What are the potential design and economic impacts that need to be considered? Could there be other alternatives? Come find out the latest answers and solutions.”

Caterpillar HVAC system design and service
This session will include the latest updates and repair procedures for servicing Caterpillar HVAC systems, followed by a summary of some of the most up to date designs just now entering production. The focus of this part of the discussion will be the unique features of these new designs with an emphasis on the impact on field diagnosis and repair. Additionally, the session will include a discussion of the evolution of electrical control systems used on CAT machines.

HD HVAC electrical/electronic diagnosis
Fred Johnson of Dyson International prefaces his course content with the following thoughts: “Diagnosing today’s heavy-duty vehicle HVAC electrical and electronic systems is complicated by different factors. Many technicians are still frustrated diagnosing vehicle electrical problems, while the development of complex HVAC electronic systems progresses at uncontrollable speed, outpacing the skill level of many technicians. So what creates a great electrical technician? Good training, up-to-date service information, schematics, understanding how to properly use a multi-meter, and practice, practice, practice. What creates a great electronic technician? Good training, up-to-date service information, proper scan tools/diagnostic software and finally, most important, reading and comprehension skills. Reading and comprehension abilities are fundamental skills necessary for technicians to understand the interaction of complex heavy-duty vehicle HVAC electronic systems. Today’s shop owners / managers / technicians fight a daily battle to keep heavy-duty vehicle diagnostic and service procedures up-to-date.”

Bus A/C: Covering all he bases
This session with Jeff Holbert of Trans / Air will focus on the differences between automotive and bus air conditioning, and why bus A/C diagnosis can take longer. Included: A look at some case studies showing how a simple repair took longer because of overthinking the problem.

 Solving the HD ‘no cooling’ crime
Dick Ennis of T / CCI Manufacturing explains his approach to this training as follows: “In a nutshell, the intent of the presentation is to change the ‘old school’ paradigm of service methods that tend to forego asking questions and collecting clues. To accept the customer stating ‘My AC doesn’t work,’ and responding, ‘I’ll check it out and give you a call’ often leads to excessive diagnostic time, which impacts the bottom line. The addendum of the ‘case studies’ should prove interesting, as well, given the unique circumstances when failures occurred but did not have easily determined root cause.”

 HD HVAC and Kenworth today
“Mobile AC has never been more demanding of service technicians than it is today,” says trainer Keith Johnson. “Demands on technicians ranging from legislative mandates, access to service information, and cutting-edge technology advances are an everyday challenge for technicians and business owners. The MACS presentations featured at its annual convention are geared to address those needs and help all stakeholders achieve customer satisfaction. I hope that the addition of Kenworth system and service information adds clarity and assistance to the service industry.”

 

SATURDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON
PASSENGER CAR / LIGHT TRUCK TRAINING
New model presentation for 2017 Prius Prime
Bruce Biven of Lexus will offer a presentation on a new type of system. He notes that “the 2017 Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with a heat pump climate control system. The climate control system is totally new and very different from a conventional climate control system. The system is capable of producing heat without starting the engine at temperatures as low as 14° F.  The system can operate in six different modes. System components include: internal and external condensers, two electronic expansion valves, a cyclone separator valve, a gas injection electric compressor, two magnetic flow control valves, and five temperature sensors.”

Four horsemen of electrical circuits
Tony Martin of Automotive Curriculum Consulting explains that “even experienced technicians can benefit from a review of basic electrical theory. All electrical concerns boil down to simple failures, no matter how complex the system.  The “Four Horsemen of Electrical Circuits” will add solving electrical problems, including visual inspection and practical diagnostic strategies to your personal toolkit .”

Changing role of refrigerant systems within today’s powertrains
Presenter Lindsey Leitzel of MAHLE / Behr Troy, Inc. describes this session as follows: “The story of vapor compression refrigerant systems usage in vehicles is being rewritten. These systems can’t just be called air conditioning systems any more. In this session, we’ll review how the refrigerant system is being adapted to address the thermal needs of today’s vehicles.”

Diagnosing today’s refrigerant system concerns
Jerry Mungle of ACDelco will discuss today’s service arena, noting that “modern automotive HVAC systems have undergone some dramatic changes in recent years. We are on the threshold of an advanced era of refrigerants that bring new tools and service procedures. Often, failure of a refrigeration system can be traced to problems other than component malfunctions. This session will cover common service concerns on today’s vehicle refrigeration systems, and will include vehicles with both R-134a and R-1234yf. Topics will include common failures, strategies for proper diagnosis and common repair techniques.”

We can’t do it like we used to!
This session with Gates Corp.’s Robert Bassett will explore root-cause failures along with the effects they have on the coolant system. You will learn: about the latest inspection recommendation process called I60R90 / Be System Smart; how contaminated coolant drives coolant system failures; why industry research says, failure rates can be as high as 40% for the radiator and 95% for the water pump after replacement if a flush was not part of the repair process; why “if” certain conditions prevail in the coolant system, failure can be imminent; two distinct failure modes for the water pump and how to eliminate them during the repair process; how aging thermostats create erratic temperature cycling for the radiator; and why your customer may return with additional failures in less than seven months / 7,700 miles if the coolant system was not flushed during the repair.

2017 FCA R-1234yf update
FCA’s Al McAvoy notes that “FCA is now in our fourth Model Year of producing R-1234yf vehicles, with over a million FCA vehicles currently on the road using R-1234yf. If they haven’t already, many of these vehicles will soon be making their way into your shops. Be sure you’re prepared with the latest service techniques, tools and equipment required to properly service your customer’s vehicles. This seminar will cover the latest factory information on the operation, diagnosis and service of FCA’s R-1234yf equipped vehicles.”

SATURDAY ALL DAY
HD TRUCK / OFF-ROAD VEHICLE TRAINING
How to make custom A/C hose assemblies
Presenter Gene Dianetti of Parker Hannifin Corporation explains, “Many service shops make their own or attempt to repair A/C hose assemblies. It can be a challenge to do this correctly given the numerous options available in the industry. In the end, a part that could leak or fail shortly after installation is never a good outcome. There are many factors to consider when selecting hoses, fittings and seals that meet SAE or OEM quality and performance levels. My presentation will share some of these challenges and  show why it is important, mandatory, in fact, to select components to do such repairs that meet these requirements. I hope to see you there!”

AGCO Updates and refrigerant capacities
“Due to the many different designs of climate control systems, the heavy duty, off road equipment service technician faces numerous challenges,” says Sherwood Wheeler of AGCO. “One challenge is making the correct diagnosis the first time and avoiding unnecessary repairs. Using temperature can help the technician make a correct diagnosis, regardless of the design or manufacture. In my training session, we will cover the technique of using temperature to diagnose an A/C system and then look at ‘what do the numbers mean’ In addition, I will review the latest A/C design changes and provide updated refrigerant capacities for both current and legacy products manufactured and supported by AGCO Corporation.”

When is cold air not cool?
“Ward Atkinson has shared so many meaningful papers that it is easy not to get our arms around the applications of the documented test results as they apply to fleet vehicle management,” explains MACS trainer John Brunner. “A great example of this is live recorded testing that Ward delivers in a publication entitled ‘Show Me the Data.’  In my experience training and certifying fleet technicians, I have developed techniques and procedures using J2788 R/R/R equipment that have led to improved vehicle availability and a significant reduction in costly system failures. Ward helps us understand the pathology and cause of these severely elevated temperature failures that literally burn up the compressor. Unfortunately, the timing of this breakdown can come when the system is putting out colder duct air than normal. How cool is that?’

A/C valve application and installation
The A/C system has several access ports that are used to monitor and service the A/C system. These ports consist of a valve element inside a port, which is usually brazed to the A/C line. In this presentation, Jeff Schultz will discuss the A/C Valve Application & Installation Manual, including information about R-1234yf refrigeration valves, cores and service ports. Many different types of valves and seals will be compared, as well as core selection and system application.

Navistar Durastar and Prostar HVAC systems overview
Larry Turay of LETCO Enterprises notes that “the ongoing challenge for repair shops is the huge amount of information that is required to work on modern HVAC systems. My goal is to go through these vast resources and provide attendants with a quick reference of the most needed information to make the repair in a timely manner with the minimum risk of rework!”

FEATURED PRESENTATIONS
THURSDAY KEYNOTE LUNCHEON
The new role of an air conditioning system
How your future is changing to support hybrid, electric, fuel cell and other advanced technology vehicles.
Keynote speaker Dr. Mark Quarto, chief technical officer of Future Tech Auto, LLC explains, “No one could have predicted 20 years ago that the air conditioning system would play a major role in the core performance of a vehicle today. This is truly a revolutionary time for the air conditioning service business.”

FRIDAY MORNING KICK-OFF
GENERAL SESSION
The general session leading in to the opening of the MACS Trade Show will feature the annual Industry Update from MACS Technical Advisor Ward Atkinson. Special guests will include Chenise Farquharson, coordinator of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Tao Zhan, air resources engineer at California Air Resources Board. Farquharson and Zhan will update attendees on their agencies’ current and proposed regulations impacting the mobile air conditioning industry.
Atkinson says, “The mobile air conditioning industry is currently undergoing another major refrigerant transition. This includes new refrigerant component design changes and procedures to service the systems. Currently R-1234yf is the major refrigerant in the U.S. and European markets. Activity in the European market will include the introduction of R-744 carbon dioxide refrigerant systems.”
Tao Zhan notes, ““The California Air Resources Board is in the process of amending its regulation on small containers (small cans) of automotive refrigerant, in order to maximize the benefit to the consumers and the environment. Small cans are used by consumers and some professional technicians to recharge automotive air conditioners. The original regulation took effect in 2010.”
Chenise Farquharson comments, “Through the SNAP program, EPA continuously reviews and lists as acceptable substitutes that reduce overall risk to human health and the environment. I’m looking forward to sharing information on our latest actions, which include the listing of HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for certain vehicle types.”

NEW TO MACS IN 2017
Free marketing and advertising consultations offered on the trade show floor
MACS CEO Andy Fiffick comments, “Digital / social media advertising is now a necessity to compete for new clients in today’s business environment. Digital advertising results can be hard to track, the programs are varied and confusing, and costs can be excessive if you don’t know how to properly use and calculate your ROI for your digital program.  There are ways to take the guesswork out of tracking your results and effectively growing your client and car count. These one-on-one sessions are offered to introduce participants to effective approaches in the use of these new tools in a digital world.”

SATURDAY LUNCH & PANEL DISCUSSION
This working lunch will focus on sales, marketing, shop management and related topics of interest and importance for today’s automotive service and repair shop. The panel, assembled to represent a broad spectrum of perspectives and expertise, will be moderated by MACS Chairman Andy Fiffick of Rad Air Complete Car Care and Tire Centers. Rad Air got its start in 1975 as a three-bay radiator and A/C specialty shop. Rad Air now has 12 locations, 84 service bays and 56 technicians.
Panelists will include Jim Atkinson of Car Repair Company, Caroline Acebedo of Marks Air, Melanie Gann of Four Seasons, Brittany Gumucio of Rad Air Complete Car Care and Christian Klein of RPM Auto Marketing.

ENTRENAMIENTO DE A/C PRESENTADO EN ESPAÑOL
Trainer Leo Salinas:
El aire acondicionado automovilístico que conocemos hoy en día es muy diferente a lo que fue años atrás. Por ejemplo en los años 70’s y 80’s el aire acondicionado era tan simple que muchos dueños de autos intentaban reparar por ellos mismo el aire y en muchos casos funcionaba.
Hoy en día, el sistema de aire acondicionado de autos ha cambiado drásticamente y requiere mecánicos calificados para diagnosticar el sistema, independientemente de su fallo. Utilizar unos manómetros y una máquina de hacer vacío no necesariamente será todo lo que necesites para reparar el sistema. Para reparar correctamente un aire acondicionado moderno necesitaras horas de entrenamiento y experiencia reparando.
Los componentes en el sistema han cambiado, el compresor ahora está controlado por computadoras y sensores. Las capacidades de refrigerante y aceite se han reducido y a la misma vez tenemos un cambio de refrigerante.
En esta presentación se discutirán componentes del auto, porque estos fallan y  porque debemos remplazarlos. Tendremos estudios de casos que demostraran el proceso de reparar problemas comunes que puedas encontrar diario. Esta información es buena para los principiantes o los técnicos ya experimentados.

Trainer Agnes Perez:
En Estados Unidos (USA) existe el “Clean Air Act Amendments” la misma vela por que los técnicos de refrigeración para que realicen las medidas necesarias en el manejo de los refrigerantes. Esto es importante para poder estar en acuerdo con las reglamentaciones federales, por eso es necesario certificarse bajo la Sección 609 que maneja el refrigerante R12, R134, y R1234YF.
Durante la convención se estará ofreciendo esta certificación en español para todos los interesados en tomar el examen. El examen consiste en una presentación y donde luego tomaran el examen de 25 preguntas a libro cerrado. Sera un proceso sencillo que podrán aprovechar dentro de la Convención.

Preguntas Comunes
1.    ¿Quiénes deben tomar el examen?
a.  Toda persona que no tenga la certificación
2.    ¿Tengo la certificación debo tomar este otra vez?
a.  Si ya tienes la certificación no es necesario que tomes el examen. Ahora si te interesa que diga R1234YF entonces si deberás tomarlo

 

Marriott Ananheim_LAXAH

Marriott Ananheim_LAXAH

Make your MACS 2017 Training Event
Anaheim Marriott Hotel Reservation Now!
$165 plus tax per night.

Call: 877-622-3056 or visit the MACS website at http://www.macsw.org

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Hybrid and battery electric vehicle A/C


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By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor

Internal combustion engines have powered our transportation for decades, including the cars and trucks we drive each day. Over the years we’ve seen attempts to build vehicles that run on something out of the norm like ethanol, natural gas, propane, bio diesel or electricity. Of these, E85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) has been the most popular along with hybrid electric drive trains. Click here to read more of this article….

Download the January/February 2017 Issue of  MACS ACTION Magazine!

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, ACtion Magazine, Electrical/Electronic, Hybrid, Mobile Air Conditioning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016: A busy year!


By Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training

It’s been quite a busy year in mobile A/C, and not just because of the long, hot summer season that started here on 5/26 (our first heat wave) and ended on 9/23. We also saw the most introductions of new vehicles that use R-1234yf refrigerant than any year prior (and we expect to see even more next year). There’s also EPA’s new Rule # 21 (which you can read about here at https://macsworldwide.wordpress.com/) as well as a new SAE Standard that’s in the works for HD & Off-Road A/C.

To chronicle the roll out of the new refrigerant, we’ve been watching the OEMs as they deliver their newest platforms to dealers by visiting some of those near MACS headquarters. We knew ahead of time about some of the cars we saw, but the new models are coming out so fast that it’s hard to keep up! We’ve seen new models at Dodge and Chrysler, Chevrolet and Honda, Ford and GMC, and we’re still not done!

We’ve also been working with IGSD (the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development) to develop and update a list of those vehicles that use HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) refrigerant. We publish the updated list periodically on the MACS WordPress BLOG. Just type R-1234yf in the search box.

After looking at so many different yf A/C systems, we began to notice something that we didn’t expect to see, and that’s vehicles that use R-1234yf but don’t use an IHX (inline heat exchanger). With all the news and talk about how R-1234yf is not quite as efficient as R-134a (which also is not as efficient as R-12), we expected that every vehicle using yf would also use an IHX, but that’s certainly not the case. Sure, we saw them in many of the smaller cars like the Honda Civic and Chevy Malibu, but when it comes to the bigger ones like Toyota’s Tacoma and Honda’s Ridgeline, they don’t have an IHX. We’ll have to dig a bit deeper, but for now we suspect the reason is because of what we saw in front of those larger trucks, and that’s a HUGE condenser. Not only is the condenser huge dimensionally, but the one we saw on GMC’s Acadia packs the tubes and fins tighter than we’ve seen on others.

 

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This year also brought us the creation of a new WIP (Work in Progress) Standard by SAE’s HFTC6 Committee (Human Factors Technical Committee), chaired by MACS Member Robert Brocx of RedDot. It’s been assigned as J3126, “Air Conditioning Service Procedures for Heavy duty and Off-Highway work Machines using R-134a refrigerant.” This new standard will provide technicians for the first time with recommended service practices, safe and efficient techniques and general equipment recommendations for servicing MAC systems in HD & Off-Road equipment. The concept for this standard was first discussed during a meeting at MACS 2016 in Orlando, and approved in subsequent meetings of the Committee. We’re glad they’re working on this standard and can’t wait to see the first drafts. It’s been needed for a long time to help technicians who work on these specialty systems, particularly in the areas of field service, cabin filtration and leak testing among others.

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, ACtion Magazine, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While my water pump gently weeps…apologies to George Harrison


 

By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor

Most modern engines use some type of water pump to circulate antifreeze through the engine and heat exchangers to regulate operating temperature. Many of the engine-driven pumps contain shaft seals that are lubricated by the coolant itself. As part of the pump’s normal operation, these seals are in direct contact with the coolant, which leaks (extremely) slowly past the seal as it provides lubrication. Once past the seal this small amount of fluid collects in an area known as the weep chamber. It’s a place where this leaked coolant has a chance to evaporate, its vapor escaping through a vent or weep hole.

Older style water pumps had a similar setup, although they were designed to simply allow the lubricating coolant to drip past the water pump seal and into the weep hole and drip out of the pump housing, along the front of the engine and eventually down onto the ground, that is if it could make it that far. In most cases, especially when the vehicle is in motion or the engine cooling fan is operating, that dripping coolant would be blown across the front of the engine and evaporate relatively quickly not causing alarm, although over time a rusty stain may develop. As the water pump shaft seal wears out further, the coolant leak rate can increase to the point where it becomes a visible drip or puddle requiring replacement of the pump.

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To help technicians diagnose their newest style of water pumps, Ford has issued GSB (General Service Bulletin) # GSB-0000083, “Cooling System – Coolant Pump Warranty Information.” This bulletin, which is intended to explain coolant pump design characteristics and features, what normal staining looks like and show an example of a leak, along with a diagnostic tip. It’s all in an effort to explain what water pump weeping is and how to figure out when to replace the pump.

 

Newer model Ford engines, such as the 2.0-Litre 4 cylinder in the 2012 Focus, use a type of water pump with a coolant-lubricating seal and integral weep chamber. Any coolant that collects in the chamber later evaporates with normal usage. Sometimes this can result in an exterior stain due to the vapor escaping past the vent hole and collecting on the pump housing rather than on the inside of the weep chamber. Ford wants technicians to know that this is a normal characteristic of the pump style and is not an indication of failure. But if there is wet coolant or puddles on the weep chamber, a quick test can determine whether or not the pump needs to be replaced.

Dry the coolant pump housing using a clean paper towel. You might have to wipe the area a few times, especially if there’s dirt, oil or grime. Allow some time then wipe it again. If the towel only has a dry or waxy residue, the seal is working properly. But if the towel is wet, the pump is leaking and needs to be replaced.

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, Automotive Aftermarket, MACS Member, MACS Training Event, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Servicing R-1234yf Mobile A/C Systems-A MACS Whitepaper


servicingr-1234yfmhvac-1
 Download the MACS whitepaper  on Servicing R-1234yf Mobile Air Conditioning Systems, all the service and repair information you need to know. Revised 11/17/16

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, MACS Member, Mobile Air Conditioning, Refrigerants | Leave a comment