2018

State Repair Cost Rankings

Published by CarMD, June 2018

Highlights


For the third consecutive year, Michigan is the U.S. state with the lowest average check engine light repair cost ($333.26), according to automotive diagnostic industry leader CarMD.com Corporation, which analyzed data from more than 10.7 million vehicles needing repairs in 2017 to verify this statistic. Rounding out the five most affordable states for car repairs were Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Findings also determined that vehicle drivers in the District of Columbia (D.C.) incurred the highest average cost ($402.92) including parts and labor to address the pesky check engine light. After D.C., the most expensive states/districts for car repair last year were Georgia, Connecticut, Hawaii and California.

Many factors contribute to a state’s average repair costs, including type and age of vehicles, type of repairs needed, repair difficulty, length of time needed to complete the repair and repair shop hourly rates. No matter their location, some of the most beneficial things drivers can do to reduce the cost of repairs are educate themselves about their vehicle, keep up with regular maintenance, address the check engine light (or any dash light) as soon as possible, and establish a relationship with a trusted dealership or independent repair shop.

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 to help reduce cost of ownership.

CarMD’s ranking of the five states/districts with the highest car repair costs in 2017:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2017
(Parts & Labor)
1 District of Columbia $141.32 $261.60 $402.92
2 Georgia $158.58 $236.47 $395.05
3 Connecticut $137.15 $256.01 $393.16
4 Hawaii $133.27 $255.92 $389.19
5 California $141.58 $243.84 $385.42


CarMD ranking of the five states/districts with the lowest car repair costs in 2017:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2017
(Parts & Labor)
47 North Dakota $134.10 $205.68 $339.78
48 Wisconsin $133.77 $204.12 $337.89
49 Maine $129.97 $207.77 $337.74
50 Ohio $134.16 $201.10 $335.26
51 Michigan $138.83 $194.43 $333.26

Other key findings


  • Car Repair Costs are Down Slightly: The average cost to repair a check engine light in Michigan in 2017 was $333.26, which was 3 percent lower than the previous year when drivers in Michigan paid $343.40 on average. In D.C., where check engine repairs were highest in 2017 at $402.92, this is still 2 percent lower than in 2016 where the average cost for parts and labor was $410.98.
  • Labor Costs: For the second consecutive year, Vermont vehicle owners had the lowest average labor cost ($121.98). This is not surprising since the most common cause of a check engine light on Vermont cars and trucks was a loose or missing gas cap, accounting for 7.5 percent of repairs. Drivers in D.C. paid the most for labor ($141.32). Type of repair, how long the repair will take and the shop’s hourly rate can all factor into the average labor cost.
  • Parts Costs: Drivers in D.C. also paid the most on average for parts ($261.60), while drivers in Michigan paid the least for parts ($194.43). The most frequent repair in D.C. was to replace a catalytic converter, accounting for 6.3 percent of recommended repairs in D.C. The catalytic converter is a part that costs $1,037 on average and usually only fails due to age or when another needed repair such as spark plug replacement is ignored for too long. Type of vehicle, type of repair and whether original equipment (OE) parts are used factor into the average parts cost.
  • Biggest Jump: Hawaii saw the most significant increase in ranking moving from the state with the fourth lowest to the state with the fourth highest repair cost with a 12 percent increase in average repair cost. One factor in this increase was a rise in the number of mass air flow and catalytic converter repairs, which can be pricey fixes that drive up the average repair cost.

Stats

State-by-State Ranking of Average Check Engine Light-Related Car Repairs – 2017
(Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Ranking State Avg. Labor
Cost
Avg. Parts
Cost
Avg. Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)
Change in Rank from
2016
1 D.C. $141.32 $261.60 $402.92 from no. 2
2 Georgia $158.58 $236.47 $395.05 from no. 4
3 Connecticut $137.15 $256.01 $393.16 from no. 1
4 Hawaii $133.27 $255.92 $389.19 from no. 48
5 California $141.58 $243.84 $385.42 from no. 37
6 New Jersey $138.08 $246.84 $384.92 from no. 12
7 Virginia $141.00 $240.68 $381.68 from no. 21
8 Rhode Island $133.89 $245.72 $379.61 from no. 3
9 Maryland $139.62 $239.87 $379.49 from no. 5
10 New York $153.98 $223.30 $377.28 from no. 33
11 Colorado $142.35 $233.22 $375.57 from no. 9
12 North Carolina $141.72 $233.70 $375.42 from no. 14
13 Utah $137.46 $236.71 $374.17 from no. 7
14 Alabama $147.59 $226.50 $374.09 from no. 11
15 Delaware $140.21 $233.73 $373.94 from no. 8
16 Montana $142.98 $230.78 $373.76 from no. 6
17 Tennessee $144.79 $228.05 $372.84 from no. 10
18 Nevada $136.66 $235.70 $372.36 from no. 15
19 South Carolina $144.76 $225.31 $370.07 from no. 26
20 Mississippi $150.44 $219.62 $370.06 from no. 13
21 Washington $138.67 $229.76 $368.43 from no. 20
22 Kentucky $142.29 $226.07 $368.36 from no. 17
23 Florida $141.25 $225.43 $366.68 from no. 22
24 Wyoming $144.78 $221.85 $366.63 from no. 42
25 Louisiana $147.55 $219.01 $366.56 No change
26 Oregon $134.80 $231.57 $366.37 from no. 24
27 South Dakota $144.24 $220.55 $364.79 from no. 44
28 Massachusetts $130.65 $233.06 $363.71 from no. 23
29 Arkansas $145.84 $217.26 $363.10 from no. 27
30 Idaho $137.66 $224.58 $362.24 from no. 16
31 Alaska $144.53 $217.59 $362.12 from no. 18
32 Texas $141.98 $219.91 $361.89 from no. 34
33 New Mexico $140.66 $220.33 $360.99 from no. 28
34 Indiana $157.96 $202.99 $360.95 from no. 43
35 Arizona $136.49 $224.36 $360.85 from no. 19
36 Pennsylvania $137.15 $222.48 $359.63 from no. 30
37 West Virginia $139.83 $218.67 $358.50 from no. 29
38 Oklahoma $144.50 $213.54 $358.04 from no. 32
39 Missouri $141.55 $216.25 $357.80 from no. 31
40 Vermont $121.98 $235.50 $357.48 from no. 45
41 Minnesota $139.30 $213.98 $353.28 No change
42 Kansas $142.76 $209.91 $352.67 from no. 39
43 Illinois $137.95 $214.59 $352.54 from no. 35
44 Nebraska $141.91 $207.84 $349.75 from no. 40
45 New Hampshire $125.26 $220.44 $345.70 from no. 36
46 Iowa $138.73 $201.20 $339.93 from no. 38
47 North Dakota $134.10 $205.68 $339.78 from no. 46
48 Wisconsin $133.77 $204.12 $337.89 from no. 49
49 Maine $129.97 $207.77 $337.74 from no. 50
50 Ohio $134.16 $201.10 $335.26 from no. 47
51 Michigan $138.83 $194.43 $333.26 No change

derek chenn2018 CarMD State Index