Author & Automotive Expert James D. Halderman



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Halderman newsletterAugust 2012

Welcome to the August edition of the Halderman newsletter.

While it might be hot here, it isn't any hotter than it was in Tyler, Texas, the host of this year's NACAT convention. Regardless, I had a great time at this year's NACAT. I met many of you, had some great food and enjoyed hearing feedback on my new titles and hearing input from you about my website. I think you'll find it a wonderful resource for your educational purposes. Please check it out and let me know your impressions. Feedback is always appreciated.

As always, you can contact me through social media and my website, and I truly do like hearing from everyone. Let's connect and keep in touch. Big things are happening. Stay tuned!





Seeking guest columns
Straight Talk
NACAT convention

This year's NACAT ( conference was held in Tyler, Texas at the Tyler Junior College west campus from July 16-20. It was hot outside but all buildings were air conditioned so the events were very comfortable.

While some automotive instructors drove to Tyler, about 100 miles east of Dallas, most that I talked to flew and either arrived in Dallas and rented a car or flew directly to Tyler and had the hotel shuttle take them to the host hotel.

Attendance was very good and AYES instructors were involved in many sessions including most seminar sessions.

The buzz at the banquet this year was the venue for next year in Quebec (where the river narrows) so plan on attending next year. Get your passport updated to visit a European city in North American.

See you there next July.

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Seeking guest columns and submissions

I am always interested in hearing what else is going on in the automotive world. I will be happy to give guest column appearances, tips, fun facts, or trivia here on my newsletter. I can also link to you on my website. Please submit your suggestions to me at Or find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I pride myself on being approachable and open minded to suggestions and ideas. Let's use this as a way we learn and connect together.

Here's one such submission:


VW helps dealers recruit techs

Volkswagen seeks to more than double U.S. Sales over the next six years to more than 800,000 vehicles annually. The brand is growing and may be adding more than 2,500 service technicians throughout the U.S. over the next few years.

In support of its dealers the brand wants to make it easier for technicians to connect with dealers for potential career opportunities. VW has developed a website that is dealer career centric.

Here's how it works:

  • Go to
  • Complete a brief summary
  • Upload your resume
  • Dealers will search by zip code, and job category
  • Dealers can then download a resume for consideration

Volkswagen encourages college instructors to introduce the career site to its students and alumni. VW is working to make it easier for technicians to apply and be recognized by local and national dealers. It's up to the dealers to determine how many technicians to hire and when.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is a Grease Fitting Sometimes Called a Zerk Fitting?

In 1922 the zerk fitting was developed by Oscar U. Zerk, an employee of the Alemite Corporation, a manufacturer of pressure lubrication equipment. A zerk or grease fitting is also known as an Alemite fitting.

Straight Talk

From the August 4, Wheels section in the Dayton Daily News:



Reader asks about defective battery



Dr. P. from Centerville asks:

"I keep a 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible at my vacation place. At the beginning of the summer, the car would not start so I had it jump started by AAA. The tow truck driver suggested that I replace the battery because it was eight years old and likely at the end of its useful service. I did have the battery replaced and then the next time I visited my vacation home, the battery was dead even though it had been just a couple of weeks. Do you think the new battery is defective? Any suggestions would be appreciated".

Halderman: There are a couple of possible reasons for the dead battery including:

1.      The new battery is defective-while this is not very common, it is possible that the new battery had been on the shelf for an extended period and could be discharged or defective due to a manufacturing issue

2.      The car has a parasitic draw- This would explain why the first battery was dead and could be the reason why the replacement battery died after a short time.

I think the car should be looked at by a professional. The technician could then determine the condition of the battery as well as if there is a parasitic draw, which can cause the battery to be drained. The drain could be as simple as the trunk or glove box light being left on or an even a computer that fails "to go asleep".

If storing a vehicle, I recommend that the battery be connected to a "float-type" battery charger which will keep the battery charged without over charging it. If the vehicle is being stored where there is no electricity available, consider using a solar charger that can be placed on the dash and plugged into the lighter plug. This works on most domestic brands but does not work on Asian or European vehicles because the lighter plug is not connected directly to the battery on these vehicles.



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Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. I would love to include any of your automotive news or any tech tips you might have. Send me your suggestions! 
You can email me here or visit my website. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too (links above). And I encourage you to visit this website for great car reviews and more of my Straight Talk columns.
Jim Halderman
James D. Halderman writes automotive technology textbooks for Pearson Education. He is an ASE-certified Master Technician with more than 20 years instructional experience.