Vehicle Health Index2019-04-23T04:27:16+00:00

Vehicle Health Index

Vehicle Health Index

The CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ reports on the most common check engine light-related problems, repairs and associated costs. Published annually since 2011, this Index provides year-over-year car repair data.

The check engine light comes on when a vehicle’s computer detects a problem that affects emissions or drivetrain issues. If ignored, it will hurt the environment, the car’s fuel economy and lead to more problems down the road.

Learn More
Vehicle Health Index

The CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ reports on the most common check engine light-related problems, repairs and associated costs. Published annually since 2011, this Index provides year-over-year car repair data.

The check engine light comes on when a vehicle’s computer detects a problem that affects emissions or drivetrain issues. If ignored, it will hurt the environment, the car’s fuel economy and lead to more problems down the road.

Learn More

2019 Vehicle Health Index

Highlights – Check Engine Light Insight at a Glance

According to CarMD, during 2018 the following were the five most common check engine light-related car repairs and associated average repair costs, including parts and labor. If left unrepaired, each can negatively impact fuel economy and harm the environment.


  1. Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s) – $391.42
  2. Replace oxygen sensor(s) – $244.04
  3. Replace catalytic converter(s) – $1,371.17
  4. Tighten or replace loose or damaged gas cap – $25.86
  5. Replace ignition coil(s) – $217.91

Don’t panic when the check engine light comes on, but get it diagnosed ASAP. It can be as simple as a loose gas cap. But a flashing check engine light can indicate a more serious problem such as an engine misfire that needs immediate attention from roadside assistance.

U.S. car repair costs were up 6.5% year-over-year from 2017 to 2018. The average check engine light repair cost is now $380.

  • This increase was comprised of an 11% increase in labor and 3.5% increase in average parts costs.
  • While auto repair costs are on the rise, they are still more than 4 % below the 10-year high of $397 in 2016.

Car repair costs were up across all four U.S. regions.

  • The West saw the largest increase (8%) and vehicle owners in the Midwest only paid about 1% more for repairs.
  • Vehicle owners in the West paid the most for check engine-related car repairs ($387) – nearly 6 % more than drivers in the Midwest, who paid the least ($366).

In 2018 – for the first time since CarMD has reported on these rankings – we saw a tie in the no. 1 most common check engine light repair, with “replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s) and “replace oxygen sensor” each accounting for 5.81% of repairs. Rounding out the top five are no. 3 “replace catalytic converter(s),” no. 4 “tighten or replace loose or damaged gas cap” and no. 5 “replace ignition coil(s)”

Learn more about CarMD VHI Report

Please submit your information to have out Vehicle Health Index Data Services Team connect with you shortly.

2019 Vehicle Health Index

Highlights – Check Engine Light Insight at a Glance

According to CarMD, during 2018 the following were the five most common check engine light-related car repairs and associated average repair costs, including parts and labor. If left unrepaired, each can negatively impact fuel economy and harm the environment.


  1. Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s) – $391.42
  2. Replace oxygen sensor(s) – $244.04
  3. Replace catalytic converter(s) – $1,371.17
  4. Tighten or replace loose or damaged gas cap – $25.86
  5. Replace ignition coil(s) – $217.91

Don’t panic when the check engine light comes on, but get it diagnosed ASAP. It can be as simple as a loose gas cap. But a flashing check engine light can indicate a more serious problem such as an engine misfire that needs immediate attention from roadside assistance.

U.S. car repair costs were up 6.5% year-over-year from 2017 to 2018. The average check engine light repair cost is now $380.

  • This increase was comprised of an 11% increase in labor and 3.5% increase in average parts costs.
  • While auto repair costs are on the rise, they are still more than 4 % below the 10-year high of $397 in 2016.

Car repair costs were up across all four U.S. regions.

  • The West saw the largest increase (8%) and vehicle owners in the Midwest only paid about 1% more for repairs.
  • Vehicle owners in the West paid the most for check engine-related car repairs ($387) – nearly 6 % more than drivers in the Midwest, who paid the least ($366).

In 2018 – for the first time since CarMD has reported on these rankings – we saw a tie in the no. 1 most common check engine light repair, with “replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s) and “replace oxygen sensor” each accounting for 5.81% of repairs. Rounding out the top five are no. 3 “replace catalytic converter(s),” no. 4 “tighten or replace loose or damaged gas cap” and no. 5 “replace ignition coil(s)”

Vehicle Health Index


Learn more about CarMD VHI Report

Please submit your information to have out Vehicle Health Index Data Services Team connect with you shortly.