Retooling Auto Repair Education

The thirty-year old pendulum swing in education toward a four-year college degree has left the auto repair industry without enough qualified technicians in the workplace and fewer and fewer students seeking an automotive based education.

auto-mechanic-spark-plugAt a time when demand for qualified technicians exceeds supply, industry educators are sounding the alarm. They want owners of repair shops, dealerships and national chains to join together to overhaul the system that promotes careers and education in the automotive field.

Lack of funding for programs, industry image and parents discouraging their students from considering an automotive technician career all have nearly shut down what programs do remain. ASE Industrial Education Alliance wants to turn that around by promoting the positive side of  auto repair career opportunities.

Educate yourself further by reading Ratchet & Wrench, September 2014 issue’s article “Building for the Future,” by Bryce Evans. There you will meet Mike Romano o the Universal Technical Institute, who is leading the charge for change.

A CO2 Watch from the Sky

In July of this year NASA sent a rebuilt Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) into orbit to better understand where CO2 is coming from and being absorbed on Earth.

Three spectrometers aboard OCO-2, measuring intensities of small wave length bands, will determine absorption levels of CO2 from the same location and time over a span of at least two years. From the data scientists will be able to monitor surface changes over the time frame.

OCO-2 is one satellite in a train line of six Earth observing satellites, transmitting data within 14 minutes of each other, allowing scientists to study and correlate data. Since the satellites cross the equator in the early afternoon it follow that the line is called the (A)fternoon Train.

Read more about OCO-2 and the A-train, in “Keeping an eye in the Sky” by Stephen J. Mraz in Machine Design, June 12, 2014 issue.  Visit for the latest issue.

Update to On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) Rate-Based Data Report Templates

The OBD II gasoline and diesel rate-based data report templates have been updated.

The OBD II regulation, specifically section 1968.2(j)(3), requires manufacturers to submit rate-based data to ARB indicating the in-use monitoring performance of the major OBD II monitors on their in-use vehicles.

Manufacturers are required to use these updated templates for all rate-based data submissions to the ARB no later than July 21, 2014.  The updated templates can be found at the following


If you have any questions or comments pertaining to the templates, please contact Wendy Gallardo by phone at (626)450-6229 or by e-mail at .


OBD systems are self-diagnostic systems incorporated into the computers of new vehicles.  The OBD II system monitors virtually every component that can affect the emission performance of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle remains as clean as possible over its entire life, and assists repair technicians in diagnosing and fixing problems with the computerized engine controls.  All 1996 and newer model year light-duty and medium-duty vehicles less than 14,000 lbs. are equipped with OBD II systems, while heavy-duty vehicles over 14,000 lbs. have phased in OBD systems starting with the 2010 model year.  For further information about the OBD program, please visit the OBD website at

(Original information provided by CARB – 5/19/14)

Man vs. Machine: Vehicle Testing

When testing vehicles for durability and mileage requirements we always come back to the reason we test so thoroughly—the customer.The reason we test, test and test a vehicle is, after all, the end consumer’s safety and enjoyment of the vehicle. Over the past decade we have noticed the pros and cons of testing a vehicle through the use of an dynamometer and other mechanical testing devices versus real-world, real driver testing. Both methods are a great way to evaluate a given vehicle, however, many vehicle testing providers omit the human element.

While mechanized testing, such as a dynamometer, can produce excellent testing and calibration results; it falls short when factors like drivability come into play. While a machine can pump out facts and figures, a human being will tell you whether or not, for instance, the cab is cramped or if there’s a rattle in the dashboard. As with any product, manufacturers strive to keep their target market in mind. In this case, if a vehicle passes durability and mileage tests, but the cab is just uncomfortable or the controls are counter-intuitive, it may hurt the sales of the given vehicle. Real-world, driver testing can help avoid this problem.

At Boshart, we offer a variety of testing options. We realize that our customers’ reputation is on the line as they bring a new vehicle to market. Therefore, we are committed to thorough vehicle testing, both in the lab and on the road. Our on-road driver/technicians perform drive cycles based on the specific testing needs of each vehicle. From high altitude to inclement weather, our driver/technicians along with on-board data collection systems provide the statistics and human experience necessary to provide well-rounded testing reports.

Some of our expert on-road testing services include:

  • Emission system durability—exposure to real-world driving patterns and conditions
  • Full useful life testing of the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system
  • Brake and tire testing
  • Passenger comfort systems
  • Vehicle exposure to extreme conditions such as heat, cold, altitude, vibration, dust, sand, etc.
  • Powertrain and Transmission
  • Component evaluation

Are you getting the thorough testing results you need? Do you want your vehicle to exceed customer expectations? We can help you get there. Please contact us for information on our complete vehicle testing services.

CARB Offers New Flexibility Options on California’s Truck and Bus Regulation

The California Air Resources Board recently announced new changes to California’s Truck and Bus Regulation.

Their press release appears below.


March 6, 2014  |  NEWS RELEASE 14-16

ARB unveils proposed changes to California’s Truck and Bus Regulation

Board will offer new flexibility options while still protecting air quality

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board today unveiled proposed amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation. The amendments are designed to provide new flexibility to truckers working to clean up their aging diesel fleets while still protecting the important emission benefits the regulation provides. Board members will consider the changes at the April 24 hearing.

The proposed changes were developed after some stakeholders voiced concerns regarding their ability to comply with the regulation at the October 2013 Board hearing. Truckers were able to expand on these concerns at five ARB-sponsored public workshops held across the state in December.

“The trucking community spoke and we listened,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “The good news is that we will not have to sacrifice the state’s air quality goals to assist fleet owners.

These amendments, which include more flexible deadlines and increased opportunities to access incentive funding, will further our emissions reduction goals by better ensuring that fleets can meet the requirements of the regulation.”

Nichols added that if the Board approves the changes, fleet owners who have already made investments to upgrade their vehicles will be provided with some benefits including additional time beyond what is currently allowed to keep trucks they have retrofitted.

“We recognize the huge investments that many business owners have already made in order to meet the requirements of the Truck and Bus Regulation,” Nichols said. “Their efforts have gone a long way toward helping us to meet our mandatory deadlines and we laud them for what they have accomplished.”

The proposed amendments provide additional regulatory flexibility to small fleets, lower mileage fleets and fleets in certain areas that have made substantial progress towards cleaner air. If approved, the amendments would better protect the emissions benefits of the regulation that are necessary to meet California’s air quality obligations under the federal Clean Air Act, as well as the goals of the ARB’s Diesel Risk Reduction Plan.

The proposed changes include:

* A longer phase-in period for diesel particulate matter (PM) requirements for trucks that operate exclusively in certain rural areas with cleaner air;

* Additional time and a lower cost route for all small fleet owners to meet their PM compliance requirements, while reopening opportunities for these fleet owners to apply for and receive public incentive funding;

* A compliance route for owners currently unable to qualify for a loan to finance required upgrades;

* Adjusted schedules for low-use vehicles and  certain work trucks;

* Recognition of fleet owners who took action to comply by providing additional “useable life”

for retrofit trucks and reducing near-term compliance requirements.

Overall these amendments would also ensure that, by 2020, the annual emission reductions would be at the same level as with the existing regulation.

For more information, please see: Proposed Amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation

Fast Facts on Diesel Emissions:

* Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

* The Truck and Bus Regulation (Regulation) was adopted in 2008 to clean up harmful emissions from nearly all heavy-duty diesel trucks operating in California. The Regulation was amended in

2010 to provide economic relief to truckers affected by the recession, particularly small fleets, by delaying the first compliance requirements by one year and extending the time the truck could be operated before needing to be replaced.

* Approximately 1 million trucks operate annually on California highways. Roughly 625,000 are based out of state. Of the remaining 400,000 registered in California, about half are in small fleets of three or less.

* The Regulation currently requires most heavy trucks in California to install soot filters or upgrade to newer models with filters by Jan. 1, 2014, and that nearly all trucks have them installed by Jan. 1, 2016.

* For small fleets (three or fewer vehicles), Jan. 1, 2014, was a critical compliance milestone because for the first time at least one vehicle in each fleet needed to comply.

* At its October 2013 meeting, the Board heard an update on the Regulation and agreed with staff’s proposal to move forward with a number of near-term strategies to provide flexibility while not compromising the overall reduction and health benefits to be achieved by the Regulation.

* In 2000, the ARB adopted its Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, a blueprint for developing regulations to address diesel emissions from all sources including garbage trucks, urban buses, construction equipment, port trucks and fuels. For more information, see Diesel Risk Reduction Plan

* Anyone with questions on current regulatory requirements can visit ARB’s TruckStop website, call 866-6DIESEL or


Karen Caesar

(626) 575-6728