2015

State Repair Cost Rankings

Published by CarMD, June 2015

Highlights


When the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard, drivers in the District of Columbia now pay the most ($467.11) on average, while vehicle owners in Wyoming pay the least ($308.76) to have it fixed, according to CarMD, which analyzed parts and labor needs data from nearly 100,000 model year 1996 to 2014 vehicles needing repairs in 2014. Rounding out the five most expensive states for auto repairs are Delaware (no. 2), New Jersey (no. 3), California (no. 4) and Connecticut (no. 5). After Wyoming, the most affordable states for car repairs are Montana (no. 50), Nebraska (no. 49), Michigan (no. 48) and Vermont (no. 47).

A leading provider of automotive diagnostic data and solutions for consumers, fleets and usage-based insurance companies, CarMD publishes this annual state-by-state ranking as part of its CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™. This Index is designed to bring awareness to the industry and consumers about the importance of check engine light health to minimize vehicle cost of ownership.

Other key findings


  • It Pays to Address Small Problems: The least expensive states have a higher percentage of repairs that can be addressed in a matter of minutes versus major parts replacements that require days in the shop. For example, the need for catalytic converter replacements occurred nearly half as frequently in Montana as they did in D.C. A catalytic converter is a pricey part that can fail prematurely if you put off smaller repairs such as spark plug or oxygen sensor replacements.
  • Repair Costs Vary by State: The same repair can vary in cost from state to state. To replace a car’s thermostat in Alaska is $137 on average for parts and labor, whereas the same type of repair in Colorado costs on average $302, including parts and labor. A catalytic converter replacement costs on average $1,345 in D.C., but only $849 in Wyoming. And the average cost for parts and labor to replace a car’s oxygen sensor(s) in 2014 varied from a low of $216 in Wyoming to a high of $290 in Delaware. If left unfixed, a faulty O2 sensor can negatively impact a car’s fuel economy by as much as 40 percent as well as trigger additional problems, premature failure and additional future repairs.
  • U.S. Average: The average cost for check engine light-related repairs in the U.S. in 2014 was $390.38. Hawaii and Missouri are the states closest to the U.S. average both at $390.13, which is just 25 cents from the national mean.
  • Changes in Rank: New Mexico moved from among the five least expensive states for car repair in 2013 to the eighth most expensive state for auto repairs in 2014 due to a substantial increase in parts costs. Conversely, Wyoming dropped from no. 14 to no. 51, as a result of decreases in both parts and labor costs.
  • Labor and Parts Costs: North Dakota car owners paid the most ($185.92), while for the second year in a row New Hampshire drivers paid the least ($135.69) in labor charges on average. District of Columbia vehicle owners paid the most for parts ($296.62), while Wyoming drivers paid the least ($157.27) on average for car parts.

Stats

CarMD’s ranking of the five states/districts with the highest car repair costs in 2014:

Ranking State Average Parts Cost Average Labor Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2014
(Parts & Labor)
1 District of Columbia $296.62 $170.49 $467.11
2 Delaware $281.66 $169.37 $451.03
3 New Jersey $283.63 $163.56 $447.19
4 California $272.12 $165.85 $437.97
5 Connecticut $278.14 $158.84 $436.98


CarMD ranking of the five states/districts with the lowest car repair costs in 2014:

Ranking State Average Parts Cost Average Labor Cost Average Total Car Repair Cost in 2014
(Parts & Labor)
47 Vermont $213.77 $142.45 $356.22
48 Michigan $203.07 $150.74 $353.81
49 Nebraska $185.51 $154.85 $340.36
50 Montana $180.67 $152.46 $333.13
51 Wyoming $157.27 $151.49 $308.76


State-by-State Ranking of Average Check Engine Light Car Repair Costs – 2014
(Source: CarMD.com Corp., CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™)

Ranking State Avg Parts
Cost
Avg Labor
Charge
Avg Car Repair
Cost
(Parts & Labor)
Avg Repair Cost % up/dn
from 2013
Change in rank from
2013
1 District of Columbia $296.62 $170.49 $467.11 + 13.47% from 9
2 Delaware $281.66 $169.37 $451.03 + 6.39% from 3
3 New Jersey $283.63 $163.56 $447.19 + 5.99% from 4
4 California $272.12 $165.85 $437.97 + 4.66% from 6
5 Connecticut $278.14 $158.84 $436.98 + 7.30% from 11
6 North Carolina $269.14 $162.14 $431.28 + 1.13% from 1
7 Georgia $264.57 $166.54 $431.11 + 3.07% No change
8 New Mexico $264.59 $166.01 $430.60 + 22.37% from 47
9 Arkansas $252.07 $175.16 $427.23 + 11.46% from 27
10 Louisiana $262.13 $164.12 $426.25 + 10.19% from 26
11 North Dakota $238.26 $185.92 $424.18 + 8.01% from 21
12 Pennsylvania $256.36 $161.82 $418.18 + 9.39% from 29
13 Kentucky $248.71 $167.30 $416.01 + 2.64% from 12
14 Colorado $246.73 $168.75 $415.48 + 5.22% from 19
15 Washington $251.44 $161.82 $413.26 + 8.07% from 28
16 Texas $253.69 $158.47 $412.16 + 5.50% from 22
17 Florida $254.66 $157.23 $411.89 + 4.29% from 18
18 Kansas $237.79 $173.79 $411.58 + 15.90% from 45
19 Maryland $253.42 $157.88 $411.30 + 3.31% from 17
20 New York $255.68 $154.78 $410.46 + 0.45% from 13
21 South Carolina $240.92 $169.22 $410.14 + 5.67% from 25
22 Utah $252.52 $157.19 $409.71 + 0.07% from 8
23 Virginia $248.19 $154.11 $402.30 + 4.55% from 5
24 South Dakota $242.69 $157.98 $400.67 + 5.34% from 33
25 Massachusetts $246.06 $152.14 $398.20 + 6.61% from 2
26 Arizona $237.76 $158.56 $396.32 + 6.10% from 36
27 Indiana $230.14 $162.78 $392.92 + 2.97% from 31
28 Tennessee $226.47 $165.44 $391.91 + 4.99% from 37
29 Rhode Island $249.67 $141.21 $390.88 + 5.02% from 10
  U.S. Average $228.77 $161.61 $390.38 + 0.54%
30 Hawaii $238.75 $151.38 $390.13 + 0.28% from 23
31 Missouri $227.49 $162.64 $390.13 + 5.27% from 40
32 Oregon $229.80 $159.68 $389.48 + 3.73% from 35
33 Alabama $224.03 $164.96 $388.99 + 6.00% from 41
34 Iowa $226.00 $159.25 $385.25 + 8.50% from 46
35 Idaho $218.84 $159.82 $378.66 + 0.68% from 32
36 Mississippi $214.40 $163.61 $378.01 + 1.34% from 38
37 Minnesota $215.43 $161.97 $377.40 No change from 34
38 Ohio $222.46 $153.01 $375.47 + 3.41% from 43
39 Oklahoma $214.43 $159.45 $373.88 + 2.17% from 42
40 New Hampshire $237.58 $135.69 $373.27 + 10.81% from 50
41 Nevada $222.72 $149.53 $372.25 + 6.80% from 15
42 Maine $211.43 $160.63 $372.06 + 2.60% from 30
43 Illinois $215.27 $153.38 $368.65 + 6.27% from 20
44 West Virginia $219.80 $146.81 $366.61 + 7.98% from 49
45 Alaska $207.93 $154.04 $361.97 + 5.55% from 39
46 Wisconsin $199.55 $159.86 $359.41 + 0.49% from 44
47 Vermont $213.77 $142.45 $356.22 + 11.98% from 16
48 Michigan $203.07 $150.74 $353.81 + 4.17% No change
49 Nebraska $185.51 $154.85 $340.36 + 5.18% from 51
50 Montana $180.67 $152.46 $333.13 + 14.17% from 24
51 Wyoming $157.27 $151.49 $308.76 + 22.74% from 14

Qbx2015 CarMD State Index