2019

State Repair Cost Rankings

Published by CarMD, July 2019

Highlights


In its latest state ranking of check engine light-related car repair costs, CarMD finds Ohio has the lowest average repair cost ($354.24), improving one spot from its no. 50 ranking last year, while the District of Columbia has the highest average repair cost ($414.02) for the second consecutive year. Rounding out the five most affordable states for car repair over the past year were Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin and Vermont. After D.C., Connecticut, California, Georgia and New Jersey were the most expensive states for repairs. CarMD analyzed data from more than 11.4 million cars, trucks, vans and SUVs needing repairs in 2018 to compile this ranking.

Several factors contribute to a state’s average repair costs, including vehicle age and type, how difficult the repair is, parts required, how much time is needed to make the repair, and what the repair shop charges per hour. To help reduce the cost of repairs and avoid unexpected car repair costs, drivers should stay up to date on scheduled maintenance, address warning lights as soon as possible and find an independent repair shop or dealership they trust.

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 and reduce emissions output for cleaner air.

CarMD’s ranking of the five states/districts with the highest car repair costs in 2018:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2018
(Parts & Labor)
1 District of Columbia $152.67 $261.35 $414.02
2 Connecticut $149.31 $264.60 $413.91
3 California $154.39 $248.74 $403.13
4 Georgia $157.94 $244.72 $402.66
5 New Jersey $151.15 $250.44 $401.59


CarMD ranking of the five states/districts with the lowest car repair costs in 2018:

Ranking State Average Labor Cost Average Parts Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2018
(Parts & Labor)
47 Vermont $134.53 $225.11 $359.64
48 Wisconsin $148.00 $208.84 $356.84
49 Michigan $154.42 $201.74 $356.16
50 Maine $142.79 $211.59 $354.38
51 Ohio $147.78 $206.46 $354.24

Other key findings


  • Car Repair Costs are Up: The average cost to repair a check engine light in Ohio was $354.24, which was nearly 6 percent higher than the previous year when drivers in Ohio paid $335.26 on average for parts and labor. The average cost to repair a check engine light issue on a vehicle in D.C. in 2018 was $414.02 – up nearly 3 percent year-over-year from $402.92 in 2017, and a few dollars higher than the previously reported high of $410.98 in 2016.
  • Labor Costs: For the third consecutive year, Vermont vehicle owners had the lowest average labor cost ($134.53) when you average all of the labor done on varying check engine light-related car repairs reported to CarMD. 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 7.8 percent of repairs. Drivers in Mississippi paid the most for labor ($163.97), where the most common repair was to replace ignition coils and spark plugs. Type of repair, how long the repair will take and the shop’s hourly rate can all factor into the average labor cost. In Vermont, the most commonly repaired vehicle was a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado. In Mississippi it was a 2004 F150.
  • Parts Costs: Drivers in Connecticut paid the most on average for parts ($264.60), while drivers in Michigan paid the least for parts ($201.74). The most frequently recommended repair in both states was to replace one or more oxygen sensors. In D.C., the parts portion of the bill for oxygen sensor replacement(s) was $174.35 on average while it was only $129.65 for an oxygen sensor part(s) in Michigan. Type of vehicle, type of repair and whether original equipment (OE) parts are used factor into the average parts cost. In Connecticut the vehicle needing the most check engine-related repairs was a 2005 Nissan Altima. In Michigan, it was a 2004 Ford F150.

Stats

State-by-State Ranking of Average Check Engine Light-Related Car Repairs – 2018
(Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Ranking State Avg. Labor
Cost
Avg. Parts
Cost
Avg. Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)
Change in Rank from
2017
1 District of Columbia $152.67 $261.35 $414.02 No change
2 Connecticut $149.31 $264.60 $413.91 from no. 3
3 California $154.39 $248.74 $403.13 from no. 5
4 Georgia $157.94 $244.72 $402.66 from no. 2
5 New Jersey $151.15 $250.44 $401.59 from no. 6
6 Utah $152.40 $246.75 $399.15 from no. 13
7 North Carolina $155.76 $241.80 $397.56 from no. 12
8 Virginia $154.01 $243.23 $397.24 from no. 7
9 Colorado $156.46 $239.95 $396.41 from no. 11
10 Alabama $161.31 $233.34 $394.65 from no. 14
11 South Carolina $159.11 $235.16 $394.27 from no. 19
12 Tennessee $158.43 $235.75 $394.18 from no. 17
13 Nevada $149.48 $242.97 $392.45 from no. 18
14 Maryland $151.51 $240.89 $392.40 from no. 9
15 Mississippi $163.97 $228.36 $392.33 from no. 20
16 Rhode Island $144.81 $245.31 $390.12 from no. 8
17 Kentucky $156.93 $233.09 $390.02 from no. 22
18 Oregon $148.77 $241.16 $389.93 from no. 26
19 Washington $151.21 $238.28 $389.49 from no. 21
20 Louisiana $162.21 $226.36 $388.57 from no. 25
21 Wyoming $162.83 $225.00 $387.83 from no. 24
22 Florida $153.96 $233.60 $387.56 from no. 23
23 Delaware $151.35 $234.77 $386.12 from no. 15
24 Texas $156.95 $228.67 $385.62 from no. 32
25 Idaho $152.53 $232.74 $385.27 from no. 30
26 Arkansas $160.03 $223.75 $383.78 from no. 29
27 Montana $155.24 $227.73 $382.97 from no. 16
28 New Mexico $155.00 $227.42 $382.42 from no. 33
29 Massachusetts $143.25 $238.62 $381.87 from no. 28
30 Arizona $149.33 $231.30 $380.63 from no. 35
31 Alaska $154.47 $224.35 $378.82 No change
32 Missouri $156.24 $222.55 $378.79 from no. 39
33 Oklahoma $158.54 $220.12 $378.66 from no. 38
34 South Dakota $159.11 $219.52 $378.63 from no. 27
35 Pennsylvania $150.11 $226.97 $377.08 from no. 36
36 Minnesota $155.23 $220.50 $375.73 from no. 41
37 New York $146.28 $229.38 $375.66 from no. 10
38 Kansas $158.47 $216.75 $375.22 from no. 42
39 Illinois $152.44 $222.31 $374.75 from no. 43
40 North Dakota $153.65 $219.44 $373.09 from no. 47
41 West Virginia $152.75 $220.18 $372.93 from no. 37
42 Hawaii $141.57 $228.74 $370.31 from no. 4
43 Nebraska $156.60 $213.00 $369.60 from no. 44
44 New Hampshire $139.84 $224.93 $364.77 from no. 45
45 Iowa $154.90 $208.23 $363.13 from no. 46
46 Indiana $152.58 $208.80 $361.38 from no. 34
47 Vermont $134.53 $225.11 $359.64 from no. 40
48 Wisconsin $148.00 $208.84 $356.84 No change
49 Michigan $154.42 $201.74 $356.16 from no. 51
50 Maine $142.79 $211.59 $354.38 from no. 49
51 Ohio $147.78 $206.46 $354.24 from no. 50

derek chenn2019 CarMD State Index