BETHESDA, Md. (July 31, 2006) — The Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) has added standards for battery life and ride control to its Uniform Inspection & Communication Standards (UICS) for electrical, engine performance and steering and suspension.
The Bethesda-based organization said that “because lead acid automotive batteries degrade at an increasingly accelerated rate as they approach the end of their useful life operation,” the revised UICS suggests replacement when a battery tests near the “end of its useful life.” It recommends using a tester or on-board monitor able to determine this condition accurately.
MAP said battery degradation “has been acknowledged within the industry for many years and is well documented.” A variety of testers—evaluated and authorized for use by many original equipment vehicle manufacturers (OEMs)—exist that can accurately predict when a battery is near the end of its lifespan, it added.
The group's latest ride control directive notes “laboratory and field testing show that most ride control units degrade measurably by 50,000 miles.” Therefore, the revised UICS for steering and suspension suggest replacement of ride control components for improved vehicle performance in vehicles using OEM hydraulic fluid and/or gas-charged shocks and struts (not electronically controlled) with 50,000 miles or more on the unit.
All of MAP's repair guidelines are available in PDF format and can be downloaded from the “Members Only” section of MAP's Web site: www.motorist.org. A member ID and passcode are required to access the UICS online. Non-members can order the current standards at www. motorist.org/h.htm.
“These additions to MAP's UICS should help to facilitate communication between service providers and motorists,” said MAP President Lawrence Hecker. “MAP hopes they will be used when counseling consumers about suggested replacements, so motorists will recognize the importance of 'preventive maintenance'—and act before a component fails.”