2017

State Repair Cost Rankings

Published by CarMD, July 2017

Highlights


For the second consecutive year, Michigan is the U.S. state with the lowest average check engine light repair cost ($343.40), according to CarMD, which analyzed data from more than 11.5 million vehicles needing repairs in 2016. Connecticut had the highest average repair cost at $411.45 for parts and labor to address the glowing dashboard light. After Connecticut, the most expensive states/districts for car repairs are District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Georgia and Maryland. Rounding out the five most affordable states for car repairs are Maine, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Ohio.

When vehicles have check engine light problems, the leading culprit is a faulty oxygen sensor (O2 sensor), which is the most frequently diagnosed repair in 35 states. The cost, including parts and labor, to have an oxygen sensor professionally installed can vary from $233 in Michigan to $296 in Vermont. Parts costs alone can also vary from state-to-state. The average O2 sensor part costs $169 in Connecticut, which is nearly 34 percent more than the part cost in Michigan ($126). Properly operating oxygen sensors are important to a car’s performance and to the environment. If left unrepaired most check engine light-related problems, including a faulty O2 sensor, can negatively impact a car’s fuel economy and cause damage to other car parts like the more costly catalytic converter, which averages $1,190 to replace.

A leading provider of automotive diagnostic information, CarMD publishes this annual state-by-state ranking as part of its CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ to bring awareness about the importance of check engine light health in order to reduce cost of ownership. CarMD also offers CarMD Garage Vehicle Health Reports where vehicle owners can research upcoming maintenance items, identify predicted check engine light failures, and find related parts online.

CarMD’s ranking of the five states/districts with the highest car repair costs in 2016:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2016
(Parts & Labor)
1 Connecticut $160.93 $250.52 $411.45
2 District of Columbia $164.62 $246.36 $410.98
3 Rhode Island $159.39 $246.44 $405.83
4 Georgia $168.56 $227.81 $396.37
5 Maryland $162.03 $230.96 $392.99


CarMD ranking of the five states/districts with the lowest car repair costs in 2016:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2016
(Parts & Labor)
47 Ohio $156.93 $192.25 $349.18
48 Hawaii $148.11 $198.83 $346.94
49 Wisconsin $155.56 $191.25 $346.81
50 Maine $152.24 $191.36 $343.60
51 Michigan $160.63 $182.77 $343.40

Other key findings


  • Labor and Parts Costs: Vermont vehicle owners paid the least for labor ($141.13). Drivers in Mississippi paid the most for labor ($174.61) on average. Michigan drivers paid the least for parts ($182.77) while parts costs were highest in Connecticut ($250.52). Factors that contribute to average parts and labor costs include vehicle type, make and age; type of repair needed; parts availability; difficulty of repair and hourly labor rates.
  • Repair Costs Vary by State: The same repair can vary in cost from state to state. To replace a car’s mass air flow sensor – a common check engine light-related repair – the average cost is $327 in Hawaii, while the same repair costs $393 on average in Montana. To replace a throttle body assembly, it costs on average $521 in Michigan, but it will run you as much as $735 in North Dakota.

Stats

State-by-State Ranking of Average Check Engine Light-Related Car Repairs – 2016
(Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Ranking State Avg. Labor
Cost
Avg. Parts
Cost
Avg. Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)
Change in Rank from
2015
1 Connecticut $160.93 $250.52 $411.45 from no. 7
2 District of Columbia $164.62 $246.36 $410.98 from no. 10
3 Rhode Island $159.39 $246.44 $405.83 from no. 6
4 Georgia $168.56 $227.81 $396.37 from no. 11
5 Maryland $162.03 $230.96 $392.99 from no. 3
6 Montana $167.90 $220.41 $388.31 from no. 9
7 Utah $164.16 $223.79 $387.95 from no. 14
8 Delaware $164.38 $223.36 $387.74 from no. 22
9 Colorado $169.20 $218.04 $387.24 from no. 8
10 Tennessee $168.67 $217.23 $385.90 from no. 34
11 Alabama $171.23 $212.39 $383.62 from no. 36
12 New Jersey $160.36 $223.14 $383.50 from no. 5
13 Mississippi $174.61 $207.40 $382.01 from no. 24
14 North Carolina $163.03 $218.29 $381.32 from no. 23
15 Nevada $162.63 $218.30 $380.93 from no. 21
16 Idaho $168.30 $212.01 $380.31 from no. 13
17 Kentucky $165.70 $213.01 $378.71 from no. 27
18 Alaska $169.45 $209.04 $378.49 from no. 16
19 Arizona $163.89 $213.87 $377.76 from no. 33
20 Washington $161.43 $215.06 $376.49 from no. 15
21 Virginia $160.90 $215.55 $376.45 from no. 12
22 Florida $162.44 $213.95 $376.39 from no. 31
23 Massachusetts $156.91 $218.64 $375.55 from no. 20
24 Oregon $159.69 $214.79 $374.48 from no. 18
25 Louisiana $166.15 $207.97 $374.12 from no. 38
26 South Carolina $164.31 $209.77 $374.08 from no. 29
27 Arkansas $167.04 $206.66 $373.70 from no. 26
28 New Mexico $162.98 $210.15 $373.14 from no. 17
29 West Virginia $160.88 $212.06 $372.94 from no. 39
30 Pennsylvania $160.78 $212.16 $372.94 from no. 37
31 Missouri $164.99 $204.32 $369.31 from no. 44
32 Oklahoma $168.76 $200.05 $368.81 from no. 43
33 New York $157.51 $211.18 $368.69 from no. 30
34 Texas $162.45 $205.39 $367.84 from no. 32
35 Illinois $159.65 $206.57 $366.22 from no. 41
36 New Hampshire $156.09 $210.05 $366.14 from no. 28
37 California $158.74 $206.71 $365.45 from no. 1
38 Iowa $159.63 $205.56 $365.19 from no. 47
39 Kansas $160.98 $203.34 $364.32 from no. 45
40 Nebraska $165.61 $198.67 $364.28 from no. 40
41 Minnesota $160.41 $202.71 $363.12 from no. 35
42 Wyoming $170.69 $190.74 $361.43 from no. 2
43 Indiana $161.39 $198.72 $360.11 from no. 50
44 South Dakota $166.99 $192.82 $359.81 from no. 42
45 Vermont $141.13 $218.58 $359.71 from no. 25
46 North Dakota $159.41 $195.09 $354.50 from no. 4
47 Ohio $156.93 $192.25 $349.18 from no. 49
48 Hawaii $148.11 $198.83 $346.94 from no. 19
49 Wisconsin $155.56 $191.25 $346.81 from no. 48
50 Maine $152.24 $191.36 $343.60 from no. 46
51 Michigan $160.63 $182.77 $343.40 No change

derek chenn2017 CarMD State Index