Mitchell 1 And ASE Present 2019 Technician Of The Future Award

Zachery Ward of Massena, New York, was named the 2019 Mitchell 1/Snap-on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Future during the recent ASE Fall Board of Governors Meeting and Annual Technician Awards.

Zachery Ward of Massena, New York, was named the 2019 Mitchell 1/Snap-on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Future during the recent ASE Fall Board of Governors Meeting and Annual Technician Awards. Ward received a $1,000 cash prize, a one-year subscription to ProDemand auto repair software from Mitchell 1, along with airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the event to receive his award.

“We congratulate Zach on being named the 2019 Technician of the Future,” said Nick DiVerde, senior marketing director, Mitchell 1. “His accomplishments have demonstrated his commitment to excelling in his chosen field and we know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”

During high school, Ward attended BOCES Seaway Tech in Norwood, New York. He then earned a two-year degree in automotive technology from The State University of New York in Morrisville and is currently enrolled in classes to obtain a master’s degree in technology, with the goal of teaching automotive classes. Ward has worked as an automotive technician at a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership since May 2019.

Ward said he decided he wanted to become an automotive technician because he has always liked working with his hands and attending BOCES during high school helped him decide how to turn that into a career.

To qualify to win the Mitchell 1 / Snap-on ASE Technician of the Future award, the winner must be ASE Certified, must have registered as a student and have the highest cumulative test scores on the A4, A5, A6 and A8 tests.


Career Corner: Job Interview Questions To Answer And Ask

You probably understand the job interview process, but let’s talk about how to prepare for your first interview. Although questions asked during an interview may vary widely, depending on the interviewer, his or her style and the company, there are a number of questions that are commonly asked that you should be prepared to answer. Most importantly, you must be honest and open with your answers. 

General Assessment Questions

  • Tell me about yourself? 
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why are you applying for this position?
  • Why are you applying with this company?
  • Why are you applying with this brand?
    (if applying at a dealership)

Work/Experience and Training Questions

  • What have you learned in your training that is relevant to working here in this shop?           
  • Do you have any previous experience that qualifies you to work on these vehicles?
  • Tell me about a challenging situation that you faced in a shop, or elsewhere and how you handled it?
  • Tell me why I should hire you for this position?

How to Answer Questions

While you are speaking, keep an eye on the nonverbal signals the interviewer is sending you, to judge if you are giving too much detail or not enough. Some interviewing managers like a lot of detail, while others are looking only for an overview. By watching the nonverbal signals, you can ensure you are giving them the information they are looking for and keeping them engaged. Here are a few signals that are warning signs, telling you that the interviewer may be bored or losing interest, and you need to change your approach:

  • Avoiding eye contact with you
  • Crossing their arms
  • Frowning
  • Looking at their watch or cell phone
  • Overuse of their hands
  • Slouching, or poor posture
  • Staring at you

How to Ask Questions

After they have asked their questions, most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. Whatever you do, do not say that you don’t have any questions. This can indicate a lack of interest or apathy about the job. Your asking questions is an opportunity to show that you have taken an interest in the position being offered and the organization, and that you have done your homework. Before the interview, go online and look at their website. Find one or two things that are of interest to you and that you can build a question around. If the interviewer has not covered these things, here are also some examples of good questions to ask:

  • What are the exact working hours and schedule?
  • If offered the position, when would you start?
  • Are uniforms provided by the company?
  • What is the history of the company and how long has it been in business?

Article sponsored by TechForce Foundation.


BASF Supports Future Technicians Through Donation To Collision Repair Education Foundation

Pictured left to right: Jeff Wildman, OEM Manager for BASF; Tiffany Bulak, CREF Development and Marketing Coordinator; Jane Niemi, BASF Refinish NA Marketing Manager; and Brandon Eckenrode, CREF Director of Development

Students around the country enrolled in automotive refinish programs can look forward to new spray guns and other needed resources thanks to BASF.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) received donations from BASF, including spray guns, paint, materials and equipment with an estimated value of $200,000 that will support multiple automotive refinish programs and students around the country. Donations went to schools that demonstrate a strong curriculum for educating students in collision repair but need assistance due to strained school budgets. A portion of the donated spray guns will also be available through an upcoming CREF Student Scholarship & Tool Grant program set to begin in early 2020.

BASF also raised money for CREF at a private customer event during the recent 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

“We are delighted to do our part and help build the future of these young technicians,” said Jane Niemi, marketing manager for BASF Refinish NA. “As an industry leader, it is our duty to partner with organizations like CREF and provide these students with the tools they need to begin a rewarding career working in automotive refinish.”

Since 1994, BASF has supported the efforts of CREF to attract talent to the refinish industry and support various educational programs around the country.


PPG Unveils 2019 Automotive Color Stories, Reporting An Increase In Blue Hues

PPG recently unveiled its 2019 automotive color trends, showing a rise in blue automobiles. Holding a steady 8% of the total global color popularity data – second only to neutrals like white, black, silver and gray – blue reflects consumers’ desire for adventure, relaxation and reliability.

Europe saw the largest number of consumers choosing blue for their automobile in 2019, at a high of 11%, up one percent from last year. Close behind, in North America blue represents 10% of automotive builds – the highest next to neutral hues. Asia Pacific saw 7% of consumers choosing blue, with South America having only 2% blue automobiles.

While it’s anticipated that blue automobiles will increase for the next four years, the hue offers many nuanced shades that can be transformed with different pigment effects, fine or coarse metallic flakes, luminous micas and sparkling glass flakes. Chromatic blues with slight red or green undertones are already appearing across the automotive market and will continue to evolve over the coming years.

“Now more than ever, consumers have a desire to make a statement – whether it be through their color choices or the brands they buy,” said Jane Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. “We see bolder colors making a comeback in many consumer segments. The versatility of automotive blues – from light sky blue to rich indigo – allows consumers to make a statement, while also ensuring the color maintains a certain level of practicality.”

Consumers aren’t just choosing blue hues in their automobiles, but also gravitate toward the color in their homes, electronics and automotive accents. The PPG paint brand earlier this year announced its 2020 Color of the Year, Chinese Porcelain (PPG1160-6), a blend of cobalt and moody ink blue that imparts calmness, hopefulness and restful sleep – precious commodities in a restless world.

“The need for simplicity and escapism from technology is, in part, the reason that consumers are craving blues that bring us closer to natural elements such as the sea and sky – elements that represent peace and serenity,” said Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager, PPG paint brand. “The increasing need for connection in an unmoored world was a reoccurring theme at PPG’s Global Color Workshop.”

“Beyond color preferences on the exterior of automobiles, consumers are looking to incorporate more colorful choices for their wheel accents,” said Jennifer Solcz, PPG global segment manager for wheel, industrial coatings. “We’re seeing wheel designers now opting for complementary blue and blue-gray tones, and bolder choices for logos, racing stripes and other embellishments for a cohesive, custom look.”

The themes represented in PPG’s 2020 trends palette, titled “Flow,” help interpret the rapid changes taking place in three core areas of human experience: technology, climate and globalization. To process these changes and meet current needs, consumers must adapt and flow with knowledge, balance and creativity. The automotive color trends embody this ongoing evolution, and will continue to appear in the marketplace throughout 2023 in the following three themes:

On the Move: A trend theme representing joyful creativity and unexpected color combinations. This includes a saturated spectrum with layered tint effects that express high-energy mobility.

At the Core: A design theme that is balanced and grounded in simplicity and well-being. The palette contains subtle ceramic tones with a nostalgic influence. Fundamental shades include serene blues and organic greens representing responsibility and conscious consumption.

In the Know: A theme connecting nature with technology, this palette includes neutral shades combined with authentic metal-inspired gold and copper tones that are muted and earthy. Raw gemstone hues are an accent to the palette.

Because PPG paint colors are sold in more than 70 countries, developing color trends is a global, cross-cultural effort. Collaboration between PPG’s more than 20 color experts generates a fact-based approach to color trends and consumer preferences, resulting in a unified voice on color direction. The company’s color stylists around the world specialize in industries that include consumer electronics, architectural, automotive and aerospace. PPG experts study consumer mindsets, building material trends, wellness preferences and more to select a curated color forecast that resonates and is reflective of current consumer attitudes and spans cultures, regions and markets.

Career School of the Year News

WIX Filters Honors Laurens District 55 High School With School Of The Year Ceremony

WIX Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products, in conjunction with Tomorrow’s Technician, honored Laurens District 55 High School as the 2019 School of the Year in a ceremony on Nov. 22.

Based in Laurens, South Carolina, the school is the 12th recipient of the annual program, naming it the best technical training school in the country. WIX and O’Reilly Auto Parts are sponsors of the national award in conjunction with Tomorrow’s Tech.

“WIX looks forward to this competition every year, and knowing there are so many talented students in this country makes us excited for the future innovators of our industry,” said Mike Lerch, brand manager of WIX Filters. “Laurens is more than deserving of this award and meeting so many of the students Friday was inspiring as they shared their passion for automotive excellence.”

As part of their award, Laurens was presented a $5,000 check from WIX Filters to go toward their program and was also gifted WIX gear and a visit from the WIX Filters rally car.

Thomas Chandler was incredibly gracious accepting the award and said he looks forward to continuing his teaching. He closed his acceptance speech with a few poignant words saying, “My wonderful students, I love you all.”

While the students were aware of their school’s 2019 recognition as the School of the Year, the day they would be honored was a surprise, entering the assembly room Friday unaware that they would be celebrated that morning. The program included remarks from representatives on behalf of WIX, Babcox, O’Reilly Auto Parts and local officials.  

“The ceremony reiterated for all of us the reason we support the School of the Year award,” said Frank Bird, group publisher at Babcox. “We came together to honor an instructor who is incredibly passionate about his work and a group of students who strive for greatness.”

As part of the program’s winnings, instructor Thomas Chandler traveled with a guest to Las Vegas to attend the Babcox Media recognition dinner at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in early November.

For more information, please visit and


What Winter Can Do To Battery Life

Most shops in colder climates start to see an influx of customers with battery service needs as the holidays approach. Perhaps more than any other maintenance category, being proactive about taking care of your customers with dying or dead batteries is essential this time of year.

Lead-acid batteries have an average service life of roughly three to five years depending on the climate. While Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) gel cell batteries typically last a few years longer, both are prone to failure as the temperature dips. The only way to spot a weak battery is by testing it. If your test shows it’s time to replace the battery, be sure to follow recognized replacement best practices.

Green May Not Mean Go In The Winter

Hybrid vehicles can have special challenges in winter months. According to research released by the American Automobile Association, on average, an ambient temperature of 20 degrees F resulted in a 12 percent decrease of combined driving range and an 8 percent decrease of combined equivalent fuel economy, compared to testing at 75 degrees F. 

Somewhat surprisingly, heat had less of an impact. AAA found that an ambient temperature of 95 degrees F resulted in a 4 percent decrease in driving range and 5 percent decrease in fuel economy than compared to 75 degrees F.

The owner’s manuals of hybrid or electric vehicles must be consulted to determine specific charging procedures for winter months. According to official documentation for the Nissan Leaf, the vehicle’s lithium ion battery is particularly susceptible to temperature swings. “To prevent damage to the Li-ion battery: Do not expose the vehicle to extreme ambient temperatures for extended periods. Do not store the vehicle in temperatures below -13 degrees F for more than seven days. Note: if the the outside temperature is -13 degrees F or less, the Li-ion battery may freeze and it cannot be charged or provide power to run the vehicle. Move the vehicle to a warm location.”

In addition, the Leaf’s owner’s manual warns that the vehicle’s driving range may be substantially reduced in extremely cold conditions.

Similarly, the owner’s manual for the Volkswagen e-Golf warns that the car’s battery must be protected in cold weather. “NOTICE – Always make sure that the high-voltage battery is not exposed to extremely low and high  temperatures as well as to water especially for a longer time. Failure to protect and care for the high voltage battery can lead to serious damage and/or a decrease of the capacity void coverage under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

Winter Battery Service Tips

Be Careful Handling the Battery: Lead-acid batteries containing liquid electrolytes can spill if not handled properly. The acid in this liquid can be caustic to the skin and burn through clothing. If handling such a battery, consider using a carrying strap that attaches to the battery posts or the strap on the battery case (if it has one). At the very least, lift the battery carefully from underneath and be sure not to squeeze the sides of the case since acid can seep out the top when under pressure.

Steer Clear Of Frozen Batteries: Batteries can freeze when the vehicle has been sitting in extreme cold. Never try to jump-start or recharge a battery that is frozen since it is more prone to exploding. You can try to remove the battery from the vehicle and let it thaw before charging or testing, but most batteries that have been frozen will require replacement.

Protect Yourself From Shock Hazards: Most batteries only produce 12 volts, so there is no danger of being shocked by the battery, charger or jumper cables. The one exception is high-voltage hybrid batteries, which pack as much as 300 volts and are capable of delivering a lethal shock. On hybrid vehicles, don’t touch any of the hybrid electrical components without first isolating (disconnecting) the hybrid battery. Most have a safety switch that disconnects the battery from the rest of the electrical system. Refer to the owner’s manual or the OEM service procedures for how to do this as procedure.

Important: Wear gloves rated to withstand 1,000 volts and don’t touch any orange color-coded cables until the high voltage battery has been disconnected when servicing these vehicles.

Article courtesy ImportCar.


SEMA Accepting Scholarship Applications

SEMA is accepting applications for the 2020 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which helps support the future leaders of the automotive aftermarket industry.

SEMA is now accepting applications for the 2020 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund for students preparing for careers in the automotive aftermarket industry.

The SEMA Memorial Scholarship program offers financial assistance of up to $5,000 to help foster the next generation of automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators. Scholarships are available in a variety of categories, including accounting, sales, marketing and engineering.

“Our goal is to encourage, inspire and support the future leaders of the automotive aftermarket industry,” said SEMA Manager of Student Programs Juliet Marshall. “By providing financial support to promising students, we can successfully open doors of opportunity to those working towards a career in our field.”

The program also grants loan forgiveness awards for employees of SEMA-member companies who have completed a program of study at an accredited university, college or vocational/technical program within the United States.

Applications for the program will be open until March 1, 2020.

Those chosen as scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where they will be recognized during an awards luncheon.

To view eligibility requirements, visit

For more information, contact SEMA Manager of Student Programs Juliet Marshall at 909-978-6655 or [email protected].


VIDEO: Engineering Explained Tries To Find The Best Brake Pad

Popular YouTube channel Engineering Explained recently partnered with NRS Brakes to find out what are the differences between expensive and cheaper brake pads.

The video compares brake pads ranging from $20 to $90 for the same vehicle. Performance testing included exposure to high temperatures, corrosion testing and shear testing. Other tests were performed on a brake dynamometer to determine which brake pads were the quietest.

Jason Fenske’s goal was to determine if drivers get what they are paying for when they buy a premium or cheap brake pad.


University Of The Aftermarket Foundation Launches New Website

The University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) has launched a new website for both students and donors, with the goal of paving paths to success for future automotive aftermarket industry professionals.

“If you know someone who is interested in a career in the automotive aftermarket, it is well worth their time, and yours, to visit the attractive new UAF website and apply for one of the many scholarships the foundation has to offer,” said Bob Egan, chairman, University of the Aftermarket Foundation. “For those who have made their careers in our industry, donating to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation is a great way to give back and the new website makes it easy to do.”

The new mobile-ready UAF website features a portal for students to apply for hundreds of automotive scholarships, a simple-to-use donation system, updated lists of trustees, donors and scholarship recipients, plus a wealth of information about the foundation, including news, grant applications and other resources. The foundation’s former web address,, will redirect visitors to the new site.

“On behalf of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Brian Pavey for donating his time and talent to develop this fantastic new website for the University of the Aftermarket Foundation,” said Egan. “It is through the generosity of those like Brian that the University of the Aftermarket Foundation is able to grow and prosper, awarding hundreds of scholarships each and every year.”

The University of the Aftermarket Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. To learn more, make a donation or apply for a scholarship or grant, visit   


Nominate A Tech For The TechForce Foundation Techs Rock Awards

There are only a few days left to nominate a tech for the TechForce Foundation Techs Rock Awards.

With the awards, TechForce Foundation is seeking the best techs across the nation to honor across five categories:

1. Outstanding Mentor
2. Rookie of the Year
3. Die Hard
4. Barrier Buster
5. Pay it Forward

Each Category Winner, as selected by an esteemed panel of judges, will receive a Snap-on tool voucher. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, for an Auto Week experience.

To nominate a colleague or peer, visit Nominations close on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 5 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. PST.