WASHINGTON-Continuing its efforts to provide the automotive repair industry with a course of action to follow in vehicle diagnosis, the Maintenance Awareness Program (MAP) began the new year by releasing its Uniform Inspection Guidelines for Engine Maintenance & Performance. The report outlines standards for all major engine systems, including cooling, air induction, positive crankcase ventilation (PCV), ignition, fuel control, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), air injection, evaporative, and miscellaneous-such as engine oil, brake fluid, timing belt, system gauges and other engine-related components.
MAP President Lawrence S. Hecker said the new guidelines ``are meant to help service personnel explain to customers the reasons behind `required' or `suggested' services.''
The guidelines offer service providers a step-by-step process for determining what to recommend for a customer.
Under ``ignition systems,'' for example, the procedures address spark plugs, outlining a number of problem conditions and required or recommended solutions. Each vehicle system is covered in the same, easy-to-use format, according to MAP.
A committee of qualified maintenance and repair professionals drawn from service outlets, manufacturers and other sources developed the guidelines, according to Mr. Hecker.
The Maintenance Awareness Program was formed in 1992 by a group of service providers, manufacturers, associations and others who were concerned about the reputation of the automotive repair industry in the wake of service fraud allegations against repair shops operated by Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Last September MAP broke away from the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association (APAA) and became part of a new group, the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association.
In the past two years, MAP has developed guidelines for exhaust and brake systems, anti-lock braking systems and steering and suspension systems. It has also developed a booklet to help consumers find their way ``under the hood and around the car,'' and has established relationships with consumer groups and regulatory agencies.
Future MAP projects include establishment of a shop certification program, and, in cooperation with the Better Business Bureau, an alternate dispute resolution system.
Copies of the new engine guidelines are available through MAP, 808 17th St., N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20006; (202) 466-7050. Fax: (202) 223-9569. There is no charge for MAP members. Non-members pay $9.95 plus shipping and handling.