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    • By Counterman
      The Automotive Aftermarket Riders Club (AARC) will “Ride for the Future” this October to fund scholarships and educational opportunities for the next generation of industry professionals.
      AARC encourages those who support its mission to donate to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, sponsor a rider or join AARC on this year’s epic adventure.
      The scenic ride will begin at Eagle Rider Rentals and Tours in Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 27, with the riders heading to Zion National Park in Southern Utah and Lake Powell in Northern Arizona. The following day, the riders will spend the day at the Grand Canyon before heading back to Las Vegas on Oct. 29 via Kingman, Arizona on Route 66.
      Interested riders can rent motorcycles from Eagle Rider Rentals and Tours with an advance reservation. For more information or to learn how to become a rider or sponsor, contact Jim McGonagle at [email protected]  
      To support the AARC Ride for the Future by making a donation to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, visit
      link hidden, please login to view and click on the donate tab or download and submit the AARC donor link hidden, please login to view from the resources section of the UAF website. The post
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    • By Counterman
      The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has introduced a new corporate-support aspect to its popular UAF Coffee Club recurring-donor program.
      Called the BARISTA level, the new donor program provides organizations with a pathway to join individual donors in “pouring it forward” to benefit of the automotive aftermarket through education.
      “We are excited to offer this unique new program to give aftermarket organizations a chance to ‘expresso’ their support and help provide scholarships and educational opportunities for the next generation of industry professionals,” said Mike Buzzard, UAF trustee and chairman of the UAF Coffee Club sub-committee.
      Organizations that donate a minimum of $3,600 to the UAF that is earmarked for the Coffee Club campaign will be recognized as BARISTA at the UAF Coffee Club event during AAPEX on signage, the UAF Website, UAF newsletter and other UAF communications. BARISTA donations apply toward Lifetime Trustee status.
      “BARISTA donors will join UAF Coffee Club members at a special networking event at AAPEX which has proven to provide a valuable venue and professional connection springboard for those new to aftermarket careers to interact with industry veterans,” said Buzzard.
      To learn more and become a BARISTA, contact UAF Executive Director Jennifer Tio at [email protected] For more information about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and its available scholarships, or to make a donation, visit
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    • By Counterman
      Honeywell has announced that its new 
      link hidden, please login to view is now available at all participating NAPA Auto Parts stores across the United States. Solstice yf UV is a low-global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerant incorporating ultraviolet (UV) dye for leak-detection support in automotive air-conditioning systems.
      This is the first time Solstice yf (R-1234yf) refrigerant with UV dye will be available in the aftermarket.
      The automotive service industry has traditionally used UV dye as a valuable tool to identify and repair air conditioning system leaks. With UV dye incorporated in Solstice yf, the solution provides precise leak detection, shortened service times, accurate repair verification and eliminates call-backs, increasing customer satisfaction, according to Honeywell. Solstice yf UV uses the same UV dye that automakers use on assembly lines and will allow service technicians to save time and money when servicing vehicles that were built with R-1234yf. 
      “At NAPA Auto Parts, we are always looking for opportunities to carry new and innovative tools that help our customers repair vehicles faster and with ease. said Mike Pettyjohn, senior category manager for NAPA Auto Parts. “Honeywell’s Solstice yf UV is exactly that type of product, and it has the benefit of being better for the environment.”
      By the end of 2022, R-1234yf refrigerant will be used in almost 200 million cars on the road globally and in more than 95% of all new vehicles sold in the United States. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 100 million cars using R-1234yf will be on the roads in the United States, significantly expanding R-1234yf servicing opportunities for automotive shops.  
      “As the first manufacturer to offer low-GWP R-1234yf with UV dye to the automotive industry, Honeywell is dedicated to supporting our end-user customers in their environmental transformations while helping them reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction scores,” said Ken West, president of Honeywell Advanced Materials. “With NAPA Auto Parts as our retail launch partner, we are expanding our reach to support customers across the United States, strengthening our commitment to supplying the automotive aftermarket with ready-now solutions that have lower greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing product performance.”
      link hidden, please login to view Honeywell’s Solstice yf UV is manufactured in the United States and is commercially available today at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores in 8-ounce cans as well as in 10- and 25-pound cylinders.
      Honeywell has invested $1 billion in research, development and new capacity for its Solstice technology, having anticipated the need for lower-GWP solutions to combat climate change more than a decade ago. The product line, which helps customers lower their greenhouse-gas emissions and improve energy efficiency without sacrificing end-product performance, includes refrigerants for supermarkets, air conditioning for cars and trucks, blowing agents for insulation, propellants for personal and household care and solvents for cleaning solutions.
      Customers utilizing Solstice technology have avoided the potential release of the equivalent of more than 260 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to eliminating the potential emissions from more than 55 million cars for one year.
      For more information on Solstice yf (R-1234yf), its applications, and impact, visit: 
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    • By Counterman
      Continental has expanded its line of hybrid-battery cooling fans to provide coverage for some of the most popular hybrid models on the road today.
      The growing line now delivers direct-replacement fans for Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, KIA and Toyota hybrid models from 2003 to 2021.
      “As the average age of hybrid vehicles on the road continues to climb, it is very important that the ‘air-cooled’ technology used to keep the battery and battery cells properly cooled continues to operate to OE specifications,” said Christina Bergstrom, Continental senior product manager. “That is why we have continued to expand our hybrid-battery cooling fan coverage to popular model years of the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Volt, Ford C-Max and Fusion, Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry and Prius, and more. The battery packs on these vehicles can begin to weaken after only five years of service and the cooling fans may need to be replaced in the seventh and eighth year in order to maintain required cooling performance.”
      Designed as an exact replacement for the original fan, Continental hybrid-battery cooling fans restore the original battery cooling performance to the vehicle. Ensuring that the fan is properly functioning is critical to maintaining the health of the battery and the vehicle’s overall fuel economy. The fans feature an OE design, including identical mounting locations and plug-and-play electrical connections, that helps ensure an easy installation.
      For more information, visit
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By Counterman
      The process of cooling the inside of a vehicle is the same process that’s used to cool your home, and they both include the same basic elements: a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator and a system of hoses or tubes. In both situations, the A/C system isn’t producing fresh cold air. Instead, the system is taking existing hot air, removing the heat and moisture, and recirculating it as cold air. 
      While all of the components play an important role, the process wouldn’t be possible without refrigerant. The reason the system uses refrigerant instead of say, water, is because refrigerant has a very low boiling point. So, it’s easy to boil the refrigerant into a vapor – which enables it to quickly remove heat from the air – and to repeat this process over and over.
      Up until the mid-1990s, the most widely used refrigerant was CFC-12, which most people refer to as R-12. The EPA considers R-12 an ozone-depleting chemical and a potent greenhouse gas.
      In the United States, R-12 has been banned for use in newly manufactured vehicles since 1994, but you might come across some pre-1994 cars and trucks that still use it if they haven’t been retrofitted to a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant. And if they haven’t, you might want to recommend a retrofit parts kit if your store carries them.
      Vehicles produced after 1994 use HFC-134a, more commonly known as R-134a. While R-134a isn’t considered an ozone-depleting refrigerant, it is a hydrofluorocarbon, which is a group that generally poses a very high potential to contribute to climate change, according to the EPA. This is commonly referred to as GWP, or global-warming potential. Automakers began transitioning to R-134a with 1992 model-year vehicles, and by the 1995 model year, all new vehicles sold with air conditioners in the United States used R-134a.
      Starting in 2012, the automakers began shifting to HFO-1234yf, more commonly known as R-1234yf. This is a far more environmentally friendly alternative to the aforementioned refrigerants. While R-1234yf is mildly flammable, it isn’t considered an ozone-depleting refrigerant. According to the EPA website, R-1234yf has a GWP of 4, compared to 1,430 for R-134a.
      The Chemours Company, which manufacturers Opteon YF refrigerant for automotive A/C systems, estimates that more than 80 million light-duty vehicles on the road today in the United States were factory-filled with R-1234yf refrigerant. That number will continue to grow, as Chemours estimates that 95% of vehicles manufactured for sale in 2022 will use R-1234yf as part of their original-equipment design.
      “The advantage with R-1234yf is that it has a zero ozone-depletion potential, and it has an exceptionally low global-warming potential,” says Christina Spalding, business development manager, thermal & specialized solutions, at Chemours. “This is why we’ve seen a significant number of U.S. car manufacturers converge on R-1234yf, even though fundamentally there’s no mandate requiring them to do so.”
      Chrysler was an early adopter of R-1234yf, going all the way back to the 2014 model year. The list of automakers using R-1234yf in vehicle models in the United States today includes Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and others.
      It’s just a matter of time before R-1234yf is found in the majority of vehicles in the overall U.S. fleet, explains Constantine Giannaris, North American mobile marketing consultant for thermal & specialized solutions at Chemours.
      “We encourage retail stores and shop owners to make the investment [in R-1234yf supplies] sooner rather than later to begin reaping the benefits now and into the future,” he adds.
      Aftermarket Opportunities
      While working on R-1234yf systems isn’t much different from R-134a systems in terms of operation or theory, identifying the refrigerant and recharging the system have some new twists.
      To determine if a vehicle was factory-filled with R-1234yf, there’s a label under the hood that indicates the type of refrigerant that the vehicle uses. (This information also is available in the owner’s manual.) This is an important point, because it’s illegal to use R-134a in vehicle that was factory-filled with R-1234yf.
      If your store isn’t seeing a lot of demand for R-1234yf yet, an easy to way to dip your toe in the water is to stock R-1234yf cans. Chemours offers its Opteon YF automotive refrigerant in self-sealing 12-ounce and 28-ounce cans. Purchasing R-1234yf in a can doesn’t require EPA 609 Technician Training and Certification, which means anyone can purchase them. However, DIY demand for R-1234yf is small compared to the more mature R-134a DIY market.
      Even so, you might have some DIY customers who want to “top off” their R-1234yf systems. In these situations, make sure your customers know that they won’t be able to use an R-134a charging hose to connect to the service port on an R-1234yf vehicle. While R-134a and R-1234yf air-conditioning systems are very similar in terms of their overall design, the respective service ports are different, to prevent the refrigerants from being mixed. To recharge an R-1234yf system, your DIY customers will need a gauge-and-hose set with hose couplers that fit an R-1234yf service port – another potential sales opportunity for your store. 
      That said, you also might want to tell your customers that simply topping off the refrigerant might not solve the problem if the air conditioning isn’t working. It could be a mechanical or electrical issue, or a refrigerant leak (the most common cause of cooling problems). If a refrigerant leak is suspected, you can recommend an ultraviolet leak-detection dye or an electronic leak-detector tool. There are some kits out there that include the dye, the injection gun, UV glasses and even a fluorescent light to help them find the leak.
      On the DIFM side, your professional customers will need a new recover/recycle/recharge (RRR) machine to service R-1234yf vehicles, although there are some machines on the market that can service R-134a and R-1234yf vehicles.
      Chemours Opteon YF offers 10-pound and 25-pound cylinders for use with RRR machines. The cylinders are for professional technicians, as they need EPA Section 609 certification to purchase them. The 10-pound cylinders by far are the most popular, according to Giannaris.
      With approximately 15 million R-1234yf passenger vehicles coming out of their factory warranty each year, aftermarket demand for R-1234yf refills and service is growing steadily. For parts stores that haven’t started stocking R-1234yf cylinders yet, Spalding recommends “planting the seeds” with their DIFM customers.
      “If you’re selling cylinders of R-134a, those are potential customers for cylinders of R-1234yf,” Spalding says. “Ask your customers if they are seeing the increase in vehicles containing yf at their shops. I think there is a lot that a retailer can bring to their customers in terms of educating them about how the market is changing and how the fleet is changing. If you recognize a customer has been purchasing R-134a from you for quite some time, asking them how you can help them transition to R-1234yf can go a long way.”
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