EDUCATION

Proper Maintenance Helps Extend Vehicle Life!

  • Change your engine oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles
  • Check your tire inflation pressure monthly
  • Rotate your tires every 6 months or 5,000 to 8,000 miles
  • Change the engine air filter annually or when visibly restricted.
  • Inspect Brake System every 12 months or 15,000 miles

ARTICLES ON VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

Picking a Repair Shop

Finding a good, reputable automotive maintenance or repair shop used to be a shot-in-the-dark proposition. That was before the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) was formed. Now, consumers can tap into a list of more than 10,000 MAP participating shops around the U.S.

MAP was formed in June 1992 by a group of service providers, manufacturers, associations and others who were concerned about the reputation of the automotive repair industry. The organization works to strengthen communication and trust between the industry and its customers. MAP is improving the relationship between the motorist and the automotive service and repair industry through education of both the motorist and service provider, and through the creation of industry standards.

MAP has also established relationships with many consumer groups and regulatory agencies, including the American Association of Retired Persons, American Automobile Association, Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council, Car Care Council, Consumer Information Center, Council of Better Business Bureaus, National Association of Attorneys General, members of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, National Association of Consumer Protection Investigators and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

MAP realizes that most people like to take their car in for service and repairs about as much as they like getting a root canal! Often consumers feel uncertain, overwhelmed, and distrustful when they arrive at a shop.

The reasons consumers dislike service facilities vary. Expected poor service, confusing explanations, inconsistent diagnoses of a problem from one shop to another, differing prices, general fear and distrust arising from ignorance of what the vehicle needs — all of these problems and more can contribute to consumers’ car-care wariness.

MAP is dedicated to helping the automotive service and repair industry communicate more effectively and consistently with consumers. Both the shop and the consumer will get off to a better start if they share a common “road map” to the customer’s car, something each could follow to help prevent misunderstandings.

MAP-accredited shops use such a road map: the Uniform Inspection & Communication Standards developed over the past several years through MAP by the industry. The standards give the shop a customer communication/education tool to use before proceeding with any work. Service staff can review the industry standards with the consumer and give him or her a copy of the MAP-required written estimate, which explains in clear language what will be done to the vehicle — and why.

All MAP-participating shops use the same guidelines and materials. This assures consumers they’ll get consistent service and repair recommendations, based on the uniform industry standards, from any MAP-participating shop.

Locating Participating Shops

How can consumers locate MAP participating shops? The easiest route is via the Internet. MAP’s web site is at http://www.motorist.org. By clicking on “Motorists” consumers will enter a gateway to helpful information, including a list of participating shops, MAP’s Pledge to Customers, Standards of Service, and an “Under the Hood” guide to preventive maintenance. Consumers without Internet access can either call MAP at 301-634-4955, or request a list of shops via the mail by sending a selfaddressed, stamped envelope to: Motorist Assurance Program, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 760, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Other Information MAP keeps its participants and other interested audiences informed through its newsletter, Directions; publishes a consumer brochure entitled How to Find Your Way Under the Hood and Around Your Car; and distributes copies of its Uniform Inspection & Communication Standards for automotive systems.

AMRA/MAP believes that this information is accurate and reliable and does not endorse, approve or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, or timeliness; reliance on it should only be undertaken after a detailed review of the applicable OE publication(s). AMRA/MAP is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind or consequences thereof, arising out of use, reference to, reliance on, or performance of such information.