Automotive Service Councils of California


November 15, 2013

BAR Educational Advisory Group Meeting Report
by Craig Johnson

On November 2 the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Educational Advisory Group, chaired by Rocky Carlisle (IMRC), met in Sacramento. ASCCA Committee members present were Phil Fournier, Jim Custeau, and Craig Johnson, with additional ASCCA members, including Ann Melton and her daughter, in the audience of 35-40 people. Items discussed included: 

● Greg Garrett announced they are simplifying the category of teachers and schools to one type only.
● The group discussed non-technical training taught at approved BAR training schools. This new idea, developed by ASCCA's Jack Molodanof, would be an option for shops that had/have a minor violation such as a paperwork issue (e.g., smog and non-smog). Instead of being fined or cited, there would be an alternative enforcement action, such as an ethics write-up. Jack has pushed for this and the new BAR chief is receptive to this idea.
● Instructor and school certification has been changed to every two years (previously one year).

● Ed VanMil demonstrated the new CalARC website that caters to smog technicians and smog Shops.
● Status of Citations: 1st offense gets a citation, 2nd offense gets a citation and fine.

● Rocky gave the STAR update (same presentation as at the BAG Meeting). There are 23 smog training classes available; they had expected to have more by now. Two manufacturers have passed Alfa Testing: Drew Technologies and Applus Technologies. Four manufacturers have units submitted: Drew, Applus, Bosch (SPX), and Worldwide. BAR still wants shops to have the option to purchase the DAD and peripherals separately. The projected expense for this is $1,200, including DAD and laptop. The DAD final rollout is estimated to be in the middle to end of 2014.

New Business
● BAR may go after 1996-2000 vehicles if CALvis-tested vehicle numbers become too low (we recommended--and ARB acknowledged--that the year 2000 is a better starting point in AB 2289 negotiations). There would be no smoke tests on CALvis-tested vehicles and diesels.

● BAR is testing an ESP device they want to market to shops: a BAR97 machine and dyno that costs $480 per month (flat fee including maintenance).
● Current vehicle tested numbers: 35% 1976-1999; 65% 2000 and newer.

● Total smog stations: 6,943. Test Only (STAR): 1,768; Test and Repair (STAR): 1,671. 3,504 smog stations are not STAR certified.

● $140 million annual revenue from the Smog Check program
● The committee discussed Career Technical starting at the high school level.


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In This Issue
BAR Educational Advisory Group Meeting
Touchpads Are on the Rise in Cars
November Member of the Month: Phil Fournier



Member of the Month

Phil Fournier, Phil's Auto Clinic, Hemet, CA
In his own words:
I was working on my dad's lawnmower before I was a teenager. I built my own go-cart when I was 11 years old. I barely considered any other career even though my dad was a geophysicist with a degree from the Colorado School of Mines and my brother was studying mechanical engineering. I got my first job in a salvage yard at age 13, busting tires.


My brother, the mechanical engineer, lost his job when nuclear power went south after Three Mile Island. My dad decided that purchasing the auto repair business where I worked would be a good idea and give my brother a job. That was 1984 and as they say, the rest is history. 


We learned of ASCCA early on, even before we took ownership of the shop, through the Tim Runner/ASCCA trade shows that were held in Anaheim near the Disneyland park. I went to that trade show starting in 1983 and began to get to know some of the ASCCA members. In 1987, ASCCA honored me (at the time not even a member) for earning the top score in the state of California on the ASE tests. I still display that plaque on my wall, one of my proudest achievements. We joined ASCCA in 1989 to take advantage of the workers comp program, which at that time had a great rebate program through State Fund. But I soon came to see the value was in the interaction and the information sharing. Training opportunities, plusses and minuses of this and that, pending laws, all of this is still a very valuable part of the membership that non-member shops mostly miss out on.


New ASCCA members should get on TeamTalk. Get to the Team Weekends if you can and get to know other ASCCA members. I lament that we can no longer afford to run those trade shows like we once did (I understand the changes that have taken place that prevent it) but I advise new members to get to know the old-timers and learn from them.


ASCCA members like Phil are shining examples of how One Member CAN Make a Difference!

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Founded in 1940, the Automotive Service Councils of California is the largest independent automotive repair organization in California. Its members represent all areas of the automotive repair industry, including mechanical, auto body, suppliers and educators.