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How To: Clean and Detail Your Vehicle's Interior


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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
      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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    • By Counterman
      Advance Auto Parts is celebrating 90 years of helping motorists advance on the road by inviting consumers to share their most memorable moments behind the wheel.
      In celebration of its “Advanceiversary,” the brand is curating consumers’ most memorable moments on the road for the chance to win a year’s worth of free gasoline and possibly have their road trip recreated. Additionally, Advance is offering quadruple gas rewards now through July 20.
      Through July 31, Advance’s “Drive of Your Life” campaign invites motorists to share their most memorable drives – from cross-country vacations with family or friends … to riding in the homecoming court … to traveling to your team’s bitter rival (and winning!) … to pulling in the driveway of your first home for the first time … to just putting the top down and feeling the breeze when you needed it most.
      To submit the Drive of Your Life, motorists should visit
      link hidden, please login to view or post on Twitter or Instagram, using #DriveOfYourLifeContest and tagging @advanceauto or @advanceautoparts respectively, now through July 31. From those who post, Advance will select and announce each day beginning July 14 one consumer who will receive free Shell gasoline for a year. After the contest ends, Advance will hit the road to recreate select motorists’ drives of their lives.
      “When we reflect on 90 years of commitment to customer care and confidence, we think about our journey behind the many miles we’ve helped motorists advance – both on the road and in their lives,” said Jason McDonell, Advance’s executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and e-commerce. “But even more so, we think about the inspiring, personal stories of those drives. We all have that one drive we’ll never forget – the ‘Drive of Your Life.’ To celebrate our last 90 years and inspire our next 90, we want to hear yours.”
      Advance founder Arthur Taubman was a pioneer in curbside service, beginning the practice by installing tires upon purchase outside the store he worked. This is the root of inspiration for many of the services Advance offers today, including free battery and wiper-blade checks and installation, along with a leading parts selection that caters to motorists’ many needs, the company noted.
      With the price of gasoline hovering around a record national average and the average vehicle age rising, Advance’s celebration comes at a time when motorists face challenges to create new memories on the road after two summers of uncertainty.
      To further help motorists save this summer, all existing and new Advance Speed Perks Gas Rewards members will earn 20 cents off each gallon of gas for a single fill-up at participating Shell stations for every $50 spent at Advance stores across the country between July 13 and 20.

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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 OReilly Auto Parts
      How To: Choose the Right Motor Oil For Your Vehicle
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