News from all over

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

● Gas prices in California skyrocketed last week as several individual events combined to restrict supply. A crude oil pipeline was shut down for technical inspections, one refinery had maintenance matters that restricted output, and another was slow to recover after an area power outage.

The net result was some gas stations running out of fuel and average prices exceeding $4.60 per gallon of regular. (Remember that’s an average, with as many prices above as below.)  Some stations are already over $5/gallon.  Producers are rationing products on the “spot market” in favor of sending fuel to their brand name outlets. The state government is taking steps to increase supply and thus reduce prices.

● But even those high fuel prices are nowhere near European prices. In Italy, regular petrol recently topped €2 per litre or above $10 per gallon. That partially accounts for the 2011 vehicle sales leader in that country: the bicycle.

By a slim margin, two wheelers outsold passenger cars as families downsize their fleet or seek cheaper transportation. In the narrow and crowded streets of most Italian cities, a trip by bike trip can be shorter and cheaper than taking a taxi or bus.

● Hyundai has announced its withdrawal from North American motorsports for 2013. While  the company didn’t have much of a footprint in traditional racing, they were well known in drifting and specialty events such as the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. The company will continue its involvement in European and Asian motorsports.

● Fair to say that traffic cameras, particularly the ones that can issue speeding citations, are controversial. If reports are to be believed, a school zone speed cam in Elmwood Place, Ohio recently snagged over 20,000 violators in two weeks. The village’s population is under 2,500 people and several residents received multiple citations with total fines over $1000.

On the other hand, both Washington D.C. and Baltimore have recently had to cancel or refund over 10,000 tickets – representing more than a million dollars in fines – due to poorly programmed traffic cameras. In D.C, the camera was using the wrong speed limit internally and in Baltimore the camera contained the wrong location.

● In Scotland, police are using number plate recognition cameras to find uninsured vehicles. The plate picture is quickly compared to the national database and authorities are frequently notified while the car is still on the road. Under UK law, uninsured cars can be confiscated  if proof of insurance cannot be produced. Affected owners then have a certain time period to show proof of insurance and reclaim the car, but some never appear. So far this year, more than 630 cars have been sold at auction or crushed.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find 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.

The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.



About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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