Automotive Service Councils of California


November 22, 2013


New California Laws for 2014

Every year, hundreds of new laws are enacted that may impact automotive repair shops. Below is a short summary of some measures that have taken effect or will take effect in 2014.


Read More


Can You Use Copper Brake Test Strips?
by Craig Johnson

Recently, an ASCCA member asked if it was okay to use copper content test strips. The answer is YES, you can use these strips as long as you follow the recommendations set by BAR:

  1. Openly and honestly communicate with your customer.
  2. Obtain authorization, then test and inspect the vehicle before making a service recommendation.
  3. Inform the customer that a copper-based recommendation is different from their vehicle manufacturer's scheduled brake fluid maintenance recommendation, which is based on time/mileage (or provides no recommendation).
  4. Provide your customer with the reason/justification for service: Brake fluid with 200 ppm or higher copper levels will not pass Department of Transportation (DOT) FVMSS-116 corrosion test standards. 
  5. Communicate the test results to your customer.
  6. Provide your customer with an expectation for the service: the brake flush service will not remove all of the copper, but will reduce copper below the 200 ppm level to help protect the brake system from corrosion.

As a reminder, BAR is still monitoring fluid flush activities and their requirements. BAR's recent announcement states they are not printing the consumer brochure and/or analyzing fluids and products for their effectiveness. Please use the manufacturer's recommendations, and your expertise as an automotive expert, when recommending fluid flush services.


California Issues Proposed Emissions Levels for MY2014 and Beyond Commercial Vehicles 

On Oct. 30, California released new proposed emissions standards for commercial vehicles in light, medium and heavy-duty weight classes for engine and engine families that cover model years (MY) 2014-2016, with even lower emissions standards being proposed for MY 2017 engines and beyond. The standards also include proposals for alternative phase-in engines from MY 2013-2015 and 2016 and beyond.

The proposal addresses maximum CO2, methane and nitrous oxide for standard diesel engines and alternative fuel models including natural gas for both diesel cycle engines and otto cycle engines. All motor vehicles in the applicable model years will be required to meet the standard outright or be fitted with additional emissions reduction equipment in order to prevent vehicles from exceeding maximum regulated levels.

The definition of engine "useful life" has been modified for all motor vehicles, as well. Light-duty will now be 10 years or 110,000 miles, medium-duty will be 10 years or 185,000 miles, and heavy-duty will be 10 years or 435,000 miles. Additional edits to the testing requirements are listed in the proposal well.

To view the full California proposal, contact Sheila Andrews at 240-333-1042 or


OSHA Offering Two New Online Resources on Hazardous Chemicals 

On Oct. 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled two new online resources to help businesses keep their employees safe from hazardous chemicals in the workplace. While not going so far as to issue new mandatory standards or limits on chemicals, OSHA admits that its current exposure standards are inadequate and out-of-date and hopes that companies will utilize these free resources in an effort to better protect their workers.

The first resource is an online toolkit, which offers instructions and tips on how best to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the workplace by, for instance, recommending various safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones. The second resource, entitled the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits, or annotated PEL tables, provides the framework for companies to voluntarily adopt newer, safer standards when it comes to chemical exposure. This detailed report offers side-by-side comparisons of the current OSHA PELs with other state-based or recommended general PELs, including those from the California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The toolkit can be found here.

The annotated PEL tables can be found here.


Reminder: Dec. 1 OSHA Training
Federal OSHA and Cal/OSHA are requiring that companies that handle chemical and toxic substances train their employees in the new Hazard Communication Standard. Employers must train their employees on how to read safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels in the new format by December 1. OSHA Training Materials  can be found on the ASCCA website.

Face Book Image  
In This Issue
New California Laws for 2014
Can You Use Copper Brake Test Strips?
Proposed Emissions Levels for MY2014 and Beyond
Online Resources on Hazardous Chemicals
Reminder: Dec. 1 OSHA Training
November Member of the Month: Phil Fournier
California Budget Projections Upbeat
Save the Date: Team Weekend



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!

California Fiscal Analyst Projects Large Surpluses

Sacramento Bee 

California's budget is on track for multibillion dollar surpluses in the coming years, the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal analyst said Wednesday in an upbeat assessment of the state's fiscal picture.


An improving economy and continuing revenue from voter-approved tax increases in 2012 have left state finances in strong shape, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor wrote in his office's five-year fiscal outlook released this morning.


The state is projected to have a $5.6 billion reserve by June 2015. Taylor, though, offered a note of caution in the report, the second-straight rosy review of state finances after years of red-ink warnings.


Read more


Save the Date
Team Weekend

December 7-8, 2013
Embassy Suites Sacramento Promenade
100 Capitol Mall * Sacramento, CA * 95814
P: 1-916-326-5000 * F: 1-916-236-5001



Thank You ASCCA Diamond Sponsors!
  Demandforce logo



Mudlick Mail  

About Us
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.