2016

Vehicle Health Index

Published by CarMD, April 2016

Highlights


The 2016 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ of common check engine problems and repairs found that 2015 saw virtually no change in car repair costs with a 1.5% increase in parts* costs offset by a 4% decrease in average labor costs. Car repair costs were also down across each U.S. region with the Northeast experiencing the biggest drop – down 6.5%.

*parts costs based on OE parts pricing plus markup


According to CarMD, the five most common problems that triggered the “check engine” light on in 2015 were a faulty oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, ignition coil and spark plug, loose fuel cap and thermostat. They range in cost from $15 on average to replace a gas cap to $1,100 for a catalytic converter. Click to see the 25 most common check engine repairs.

Other key findings

Vehicle age also affects frequency, cost and type of repairs. This Index looked at cars that were new, 5-, 10-, 15- and 20 years old. Model year 2006 vehicles accounted for 10% of check engine light incidents in calendar year 2015 while less than 1/100th of a percent of model year 2016 vehicles had check engine light issues.

  • The most common reason a check engine light comes on in a brand new vehicle is a loose gas cap (46% of recommended repairs for MY2016 vehicles).
  • The most common fix on a 2006 vehicle is the catalytic converter (10% of repairs).


The most expensive repair seen in 2015 by CarMD’s network was “replace engine,” costing $7,800. However, evidencing the notion that drivers should not panic when their car’s “check engine” light comes on, some of the least expensive repairs include tighten or replace gas cap, correct transmission fluid level and replace radiator cap. These fixes can cost as little as $15 or less.


New to 10 most common repairs in 2015 were “replace evaporative emissions (EVAP) purge control valve ” and “replace EVAP purge solenoid.” These are both important parts designed to help make sure your car is not emitting too many pollutants. When they are not working properly they will cause your car’s check engine light to turn on and keep you from passing an emissions test.

Wait, there’s more


If you’re interested in more info on the current state of vehicle health, download the PDF below. What you see on this page is only about 10% of all the info we have to offer – don’t miss the rest!


Stats


Calendar year 2015’s most common ‘check engine’ vehicle repairs for…

Rank Vehicle Repair Total average repair cost
(parts & labor)
% 2015 Repairs Change in Rank Since 2014
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $249.92 7.01% No change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,153.49 6.97% No change
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $390.67 6.19% from no. 4
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $15.31 3.84% from no. 3
5 Replace Thermostat $210.81 3.70% from no. 8
6 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $236.32 3.69% from no. 5
7 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $382.36 3.49% from no. 6
8 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $331.13 3.42% from no. 7
9 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $168.11 2.83% from no. 14
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $184.66 2.27% from no. 15
11 Replace Fuel Injector(s) $469.06 2.04% from no. 10
12 Replace Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve and Clean All EGR ports $341.09 1.84% from no. 9
13 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Canister Vent Solenoid $217.53 1.48% from no. 20
14 Replace Camshaft Position Sensor (CMP) $204.62 1.43% from no. 13
15 Replace Fuel Tank Pressure (FTP) Sensor $322.91 1.35% from no. 24
16 Replace Throttle Body Assembly $551.75 1.24% from no. 19
17 Replace Intake Manifold Gasket(s) $384.38 1.16% from no. 16
18 Replace Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECT) $159.68 1.13% No change
19 Replace Spark Plug(s) $222.38 1.07% New to list
20 Replace Knock Sensor(s) $372.74 1.07% New to list
21 Clean Fuel Injector(s) $115.86 1.06% New to list
22 Replace Emission System Integrity Monitor (ESIM) $158.55 0.91% New to list
23 Replace Differential Pressure Feedback (DPFE) Sensor $201.47 0.89% No change
24 Reprogram Powertrain Control Module (PCM) $120.89 0.86% New to list
25 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Canister Vent Valve $208.88 0.86% New to list

(Top 25 most common vehicle repairs are based on 1,019,904 repairs recommended in calendar year 2015 on 1996-2016 model year vehicles. This data applies to > 85% of cars, light trucks, minivans, SUVs and hybrids on the road in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Rank Vehicle Repair Total average repair cost
(parts & labor)
% 2015 Repairs Change in Western Rank Since 2014
1 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,178.82 6.79% from no. 2
2 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $269.00 6.17% from no. 1
3 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $13.77 5.02% from no. 4
4 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $411.03 4.95% from no. 7
5 Replace Thermostat $227.92 4.83% from no. 8
6 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $402.53 4.02% from no. 3
7 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $347.01 3.35% from no. 5
8 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $245.34 3.30% from no. 6
9 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $180.61 2.25% New to West top 10
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $201.04 1.90% New to West top 10

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Western U.S. are based on 120,224 repairs in 2015 in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY. This data applies to roughly 85% of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs on the road in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Rank Vehicle Repair Total average repair cost
(parts & labor)
% 2015 Repairs Change in Midwest Rank Since 2014
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $240.11 8.01% No change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,134.96 6.92% No change
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $387.41 5.29% from no. 8
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $13.11 4.65% from no. 3
5 Replace Thermostat $209.94 4.39% from no. 10
6 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $326.88 3.84% from no. 4
7 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $236.69 3.38% No change
8 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $164.03 3.28% New to Midwest top 10
9 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $372.59 3.03% from no. 6
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $180.38 2.71% New to Midwest top 10

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Midwestern U.S. are based on 209,296 repairs in 2015 in IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD and WI. This data applies to roughly 85% of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs on the road in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Rank Vehicle Repair Total average repair cost
(parts & labor)
% 2015 Repairs Change in NE Rank Since 2014
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $260.57 8.69% No change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,153.52 7.96% No change
3 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $12.30 5.89% No change
4 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $379.65 5.39% from no. 5
5 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $231.05 3.67% from no. 4
6 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $327.26 3.57% from no. 7
7 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $382.02 3.51% from no. 6
8 Replace Thermostat $214.95 3.42% New to NE top 10
9 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $169.73 2.64% New to NE top 10
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $190.22 2.15% New to NE top 10

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Northeastern U.S. are based on 57,702 repairs in 2015 in CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI and VT. This data applies to roughly 85% of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs on the road in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

Rank Vehicle Repair Total average repair cost
(parts & labor)
% 2015 Repairs Change in Southern U.S. Rank Since 2014
1 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,153.14 7.02% from no. 2
2 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $389.81 6.68% from no. 3
3 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $249.27 6.62% from no. 1
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $15.41 3.97% No change
5 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $235.10 3.87% No change
6 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $380.87 3.52% No change
7 Replace Thermostat $206.48 3.41% from no. 8
8 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $329.50 3.35% from no. 7
9 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $167.39 2.75% New to South top 10
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $182.57 2.15% New to South top 10

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Southern U.S. are based on 657,465 repairs in 2015 in AL, AR, DC, DE, FL,GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, TN, VA, SC, TX and WV. This data applies to roughly 85% of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs on the road in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

2015’s repair costs…

Year Labor Parts Total Avg. Repair Cost
2015 $155.15 $232.16 $387.31
2014 $161.61 $228.77 $390.38
2013 $157.23 $235.26 $392.49
2012 $138.96 $228.88 $367.84
2011 $118.61 $215.32 $333.93
2010 $143.61 $212.44 $356.05
2009 $138.37 $221.13 $359.50
2008 $135.21 $220.98 $356.19
2007 $152.92 $256.98 $409.90
2006 $131.06 $291.30 $422.36

Region % Difference 2014 average repair cost 2015 average repair cost
U.S. -0.78% $390.38 $387.31
West -4.71% $423.38 $403.42
South -3.05% $400.88 $388.64
Northeast -6.54% $418.55 $391.17
Midwest -2.87% $375.41 $364.61

Rank Vehicle Repair Type of Vehicle(s) Most Expensive Repair Cost

(Parts & Labor)
1 Replace Engine Various Vehicles $7,821
2 Replace Engine Block Assembly Various Vehicles $6,883
3 Replace Steering Column Various Vehicles $6,139
4 Replace Transmission Assembly and Reprogram Electronic Control Module (ECM) Various Vehicles $5,191
5 Replace Transmission and Torque Converter Various Vehicles $5,145
6 Replace Hybrid Battery and Reprogram Engine Control Module (ECM) Various Hybrid Vehicles $4,282
7 Replace Audio and Visual (AV) Control Unit 2006-2007 Infiniti M35 Vehicles $4,095
8 Replace Transmission Case and Torque Converter Various Vehicles $4,077
9 Replace Transmission Assembly Various Vehicles $3,723
10 Replace Transmission Speed Sensor and Reprogram Transmission Control Module (TCM) Various Vehicles $3,504

Rank Vehicle Repair Total Cost (Parts & Labor)
1 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $15.31
2 Reset Inertia Fuel Shutoff (IFS) Switch $19.12
3 Correct Transmission Fluid Level $25.94
4 Replace Fuel Tank Gas Cap $26.43
5 Clean Fuel Filler Neck Flap $43.34
6 Re-torque Throttle Body Assembly and Perform Idle Air Relearn Procedure $47.79
7 Replace Radiator Cap $59.07
8 Adjust Exhaust Wastegate Actuator (EWGA) $63.36
9 Inspect for correct air filter and air box is securely latch properly $63.43
10 Inspect Intake System and Engine Air Filter $64.49

(Ten most/least expensive repairs are based on 1,019,904 verified repairs made and input into the CarMD database by the company’s team of factory trained repair professionals in 2015. This data is for model year 1996 to 2015 OBD2 cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs in the U.S. – foreign and domestic. Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

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