Auto Service World
Feature   November 1, 2004   by Auto Service World

Over The Counter: November 2004

Saskatchewan Ushering in New A/C Regulations

Saskatchewan Environment is in the final stages of amending its regulations affecting air conditioning service in the province.

In a letter distributed in mid-October, Saskatchewan Environment invited comments from industry stakeholders on the proposed changes to the current Ozone-Depleting Substances Control Regulations. The deadline for comments was November 12, 2004.

The new regulations will incorporate the requirements of the National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) and their Halocarbon Alternatives. These changes will ensure that Saskatchewan stays current with industry practices and continues to maintain its commitment to protect the ozone layer.

Some of the major changes for the regulation will include a name change to reflect an expanded scope for control of substances with a global warming potential. For the mobile air conditioning sector, this would effectively mean the inclusion of R-134a and other refrigerants which may not be classified as an ODS, but do have global warming potential.

Another major change will be the banning of CFCs in mobile systems which are being repaired or serviced. In addition, changes will reduce regulatory gaps and make the rules more enforceable.

Previous consultation has revealed the following recommendations for changes to the regulations:

Implement recovery/recycling and emission control measures for HFCs, such as R-134a. HFCs were not previously covered in the regulations, as they do not contribute to ozone depletion. They do contribute to global warming however, and for that reason they are now being controlled.

Regarding mandating of leak testing and repairing prior to recharge, the regulations need to be tightened. New wording will replace the older ambiguous clause.

Mandate use of refillable containers for all halocarbon containers. Industry has already done this and the ministry will be closing a loophole to prevent fugitive emissions from single-use containers.

Prohibit the recharging of mobile air conditioning/ refrigeration systems with CFCs. In order to have effective enforcement of this existing clause, the ministry will tighten the wording in the regulations to level the playing field for all mobile repair and recharging facilities. In order to prevent the release of material to the atmosphere, all systems should be treated the same.

Implement a requirement for designated fittings to air conditioning and refrigeration systems. In order to prevent cross-contamination of systems containing halocarbons, a requirement for designated fittings will help industry identify the carrier gases used in the systems.

Most of the tasks identified in the paper have already been initiated by industry to some extent, and in an effort to level the playing field regulatory changes need to be made. Comments regarding these proposed regulatory amendments should be directed to: Roger Hodges, standards advisor, at

ASC Industries Inc. Continues to Pass ISO Audits

ASC Industries of North Canton, Ohio announced that it has received a third party audit recommendation to continue its certification to ISO/TS 16949:2002.

ASC, which produces automotive water pumps and other products, received its certification to ISO/TS 16949 in 2003, certification to QS 9000 in 2000 and certification to ISO 9002 in 1999. The surveillance audit was completed as a requirement of certification to maintain quality standards.

Agri-Cover Gains ISO Certification

Agri-Cover, Inc. has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001: 2000 certification from BSI, Inc., a quality management systems registrar.

The ISO 9001:2000 standard, released in December 2000 as the successor to ISO 9000:1994, is an internationally recognized quality management system standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Edmonton Aftermarket Golfers Brave Weather

The annual Automotive Industries Association of Canada Northern Alberta Rick Gibson Memorial Golf Tournament was snowed out this past September.

Golfers woke up to snow on the ground, in a freak early-September storm. Still, about 40 golfers showed up in the morning, willing but unable to forge ahead. Instead, participants were given the option to donate their entry fee to the Rick Gibson Memorial Fund, receive a refund, carry over to next fall, or purchase tickets to the Christmas Gala scheduled for November 20. Money for the Rick Gibson Memorial scholarship will be raised at the gala through a silent auction.

Showing they are a hardy, optimistic bunch, Edmonton golfers showed up a week later for the Warehouse Services Inc. inaugural golf tournament, which had originally been scheduled for the day following the snowed-out AIA tourney. More than 105 golfers turned out at the Goose Hummock Golf Resort, only to have a lightning storm force them from the links before finishing the round.

The 2004 winner on the tournament trophy now reads “Mother Nature” as she clearly won this year, reports Warehouse Services’ Zara Wishloff. Mulligan sales and a raffle for an autographed Ryan Smyth print still raised more than $1,000, which was donated to the AIA for the Rick Gibson Memorial Fund, which is a scholarship set up to assist second-year parts technician apprentices at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Scheduled AERA Keynote Speaker Among Hendrick Plane Crash Dead

The scheduled keynote speaker at the AERA Expo 2005 engine rebuilder event was among those killed when a light aircraft carrying 10 Hendrick Motorsports team members and family went down in October, killing all aboard.

Randy Dorton, chief engine builder for the NASCAR team, was among those killed. He was scheduled to be the opening speaker at the April show in Las Vegas.

“We are finding a new keynote speaker,” says Jim Rickoff, vice-president, marketing for AERA-Engine Rebuilders Association, saying his thoughts are with Rick Hendrick and other surviving family members and team personnel. “I am confident that we will find a high profile NASCAR personality who can embody the excitement of NASCAR and its engine builders, but I can almost guarantee that it won’t be an engine builder. We felt that it was not appropriate to be seen to be replacing Randy with another engine builder. He is a guy we couldn’t really replace, not with all his accolades.”

The AERA expects to be ready to make an announcement very soon.

ArvinMeritor to Divest Aftermarket Business

ArvinMeritor Inc. has announced it intends to divest the company’s Light Vehicle Aftermarket (LVA) business group in 2005.

The company says it expects to take a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $190 million U.S., or $2.77 U.S. per diluted share, in its LVA business in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2004.

In addition, the company announced its plan to divest its Roll Coater coil coating business, a wholly owned subsidiary.

The company says it intends to sharpen its focus on the OEM customer base and its commercial OEM and aftermarket businesses.

“LVA has earned a strong reputation for providing some of the world’s best-known brands to a diverse and global customer base,” said ArvinMeritor chairman, CEO and president Charles G. “Chip” McClure. “In order for LVA to reach its full potential and succeed in the future, however, it needs to move forward under new owners whose strategic priorities include building critical mass in the business and providing it with product development and brand support.”

Lehman Brothers has been retained as an advisor for the sale process.

Tenneco Profit Up 50% on Stronger Aftermarket Position

Tenneco Automotive Inc. has reported a 50% jump in third quarter profit, largely on the basis of a stronger position in the North American aftermarket and favourable exchange rates.

In the face of this the auto parts maker still maintained a cautious outlook for the fourth quarter and into 2005.

Lake Forest, Ill. based Tenneco had net incom
e of $6 million, or 14 cents a share, for the latest quarter, up from $4 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier. (All figures in U.S. dollars.)

Excluding restructuring charges and a tax benefit, third-quarter earnings came to $7 million, or 16 cents a share, beating the Thomson First Call analysts’ average estimate of 10 cents a share. Revenue rose 9.2% in the quarter to $998 million from $914 million a year ago, including a $33 million boost from favourable currency exchange rates.

Atofina Undergoes Name Change

As part of the reorganization of Total’s Chemicals Branch, Atofina Canada Inc. of Oakville, Ont., is now known as Arkema Canada Inc.

Best known in the automotive aftermarket as a supplier of air-conditioning refrigerants, Arkema is comprised of three business segments: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products.

The new entity has sales of $6 billion, a workforce of 19,300 employees, and enjoys a global presence through its 90 industrial facilities and six research centres across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. It also boasts a solid industrial foundation with a large number of processes developed in-house, including extensive R&D facilities. Thierry Le Henaff is CEO of the global organization, comprised of 14 business units.

Elf Lubricants Available In Canada

Elf Lubricants has announced that Auto Camping Ltd. has been appointed as exclusive distributor of the products in Canada.

Auto Camping has branches in eight major cities across Canada and will serve customers from coast to coast. Elf Lubricants works with many of the world’s vehicle manufacturers to engineer lubricants specifically for their vehicles. The company also targets the synthetic oil market through independent dealers.

Elf Lubricants became part of the Total group in 2000. The Total group is the world’s 4th largest producer of oil and gas.

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