2017

Vehicle Health Index

Published by CarMD, April 2017

Highlights


THE FIVE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS that trigger the “check engine” light are a faulty oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, ignition coil & spark plug(s), loose fuel cap and mass air flow sensor.


  • Model year 2005 vehicles are most likely to have a check engine light on
  • Model year 2016 or newer vehicles are least likely to have a check engine light on.
  • The median age for a vehicle with a check engine light problem is 11.9 years old.

U.S. car repair costs were up 2.7% in 2016.

  • Average check engine light-related repair costs in 2016 were $397.87 versus $387.31 in 2015

The West was the only region to enjoy a drop in repair costs – down 1.1% in 2016 – with all other regions up slightly.

  • Drivers in the Northeast paid most for check engine repairs ($401)
  • Drivers in the Midwest paid least on average for parts and labor ($385)

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 2016’s most common ‘check engine’ vehicle repairs for…

Rank Vehicle Repair Total Average Repair
Cost
(parts & labor)
% 2016
Repairs
Change in Rank
Since 2015
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $258.63 8.00% No Change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,190.18 6.75% No Change
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $401.22 6.23% No Change
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $16.88 4.16% No Change
5 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $378.15 3.84% From No. 7
6 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $243.42 3.44% No Change
7 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $341.71 3.13% From No. 8
8 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $176.45 2.92% From No. 9
9 Replace Thermostat $225.40 2.91% From No. 5
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $195.95 2.52% No Change
11 Replace Fuel Injector(s) $467.01 1.96% No Change
12 Replace Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve and Clean All EGR ports $352.68 1.80% No Change
13 Replace Camshaft Position Sensor (CMP) $207.12 1.49% From No. 14
14 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Canister Vent Solenoid $221.47 1.33% From No. 13
15 Replace Fuel Tank Pressure (FTP) Sensor $334.32 1.29% No Change
16 Replace Throttle Body Assembly $578.35 1.17% No Change
17 Replace Knock Sensor(s) $389.06 1.10% From No. 20
18 Replace Spark Plug(s) $242.16 1.09% From No. 19
19 Clean Fuel Injector(s) $122.66 1.08% From No. 21
20 Replace Emission System Integrity Monitor (ESIM) $152.21 1.04% From No. 22
21 Replace Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECT) $166.79 1.04% From No. 18
22 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Vent Control Valve $249.36 0.99% New To List
23 Replace Intake Manifold Gasket(s) $404.19 0.97% From No. 17
24 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Canister Vent Valve $208.30 0.89% From No. 25
25 Replace Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP) $215.49 0.88% New To List

(Top 25 most common vehicle repairs are based on 5,345,588 repairs recommended in calendar year 2016 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 in the West (parts & labor) % 2016 Western U.S. Repairs Change in Western Rank
Since 2015
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $260.98 7.93% from no. 2
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,188.53 6.91% from no. 1
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $401.63 5.94% from no. 4
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $16.34 4.51% from no. 3
5 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $381.69 3.95% from no. 6
6 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $244.26 3.41% from no. 8
7 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $344.46 3.13% No change
8 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $176.21 2.94% from no. 9
9 Replace Thermostat $228.69 2.87% from no. 5
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $196.37 2.47% No change

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Western U.S. are based on 2,547,809 repairs in 2016  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) % 2016 Repairs Change in Midwest Rank Since 2015
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $253.81 8.44% No change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,159.94 6.95% No change
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $405.83 5.54% No change
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $15.42 4.62% No change
5 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $340.50 3.53% from no. 6
6 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $374.43 3.51% from no. 9
7 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $176.87 3.28% from no. 8
8 Replace Thermostat $228.50 3.20% New to list
9 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $244.28 3.19% from no. 7
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $190.72 2.81% No change

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Midwestern U.S. are based on 955,233  repairs in 2016 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) % 2016 Repairs Change in NE Rank Since 2015
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $266.33 8.62% No change
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,176.50 7.52% No change
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $401.29 5.63% from no. 4
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $15.40 4.97% from no. 3
5 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $383.09 3.88% from no. 7
6 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $241.69 3.49% from no. 5
7 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $342.82 3.33% from no. 6
8 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $178.72 2.92% from no. 9
9 Replace Thermostat $230.76 2.92% from no. 8
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $196.24 2.48% No change

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Northeastern U.S. are based on  695,004 repairs in 2016 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) % 2016 Repairs Change in Southern U.S. Since 2015
1 Replace Oxygen Sensor(s) (O2S) $259.46 7.40% from no. 3
2 Replace Catalytic Converter(s) with new OE Catalytic Converter(s) $1,185.80 6.98% from no. 1
3 Replace Ignition Coil(s) and Spark Plug(s) $404.94 6.57% from no. 2
4 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $16.70 4.20% No change
5 Replace Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor $379.32 3.86% from no. 6
6 Replace Ignition Coil(s) $242.87 3.56% from no. 5
7 Replace Spark Plug Wires and Spark Plugs $339.69 3.18% from no. 8
8 Replace Thermostat $223.57 3.11% No change
9 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Control Valve $176.64 2.91% No change
10 Replace Evaporative Emissions (EVAP) Purge Solenoid $194.98 2.42% No change

(Top 10 most common vehicle repairs in the Southern U.S. are based on 2,094,649 repairs in 2016 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.)

2016’s repair costs…

Year Labor Parts Total Avg. Repair Cost
2016 $162.46 $235.41 $397.87
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 2015 average repair cost 2016 average repair cost
U.S. +2.7% $387.31 $397.87
West -1.1% $403.42 $398.95
South +2.9% $388.64 $399.95
Northeast +2.6% $391.17 $401.22
Midwest +5.7% $364.61 $385.40
Rank Vehicle Repair Most Expensive Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)
1 Replace Engine $7,124.48
2 Replace Transmission and Torque Converter $5,321.62
3 Replace Hybrid Battery and Reprogram Engine Control Module (ECM) $4,280.92
4 Replace Transmission Assembly $3,927.33
5 Replace Hybrid Battery $3,709.96
6 Replace Balance Shaft Gear $3,583.35
7 Replace Transmission Speed Sensor and Reprogram Transmission Control Module (TCM) $3,571.38
8 Perform Cylinder Compression Test $2,879.04
9 Replace Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) $2,688.19
10 Replace Cylinder Head Assembly and Replace Spark Plug(s) $2,493.12
Rank Vehicle Repair Total Cost
(Parts & Labor)
1 Inspect for Loose Fuel Cap and Tighten or Replace as Necessary $16.88
2 Replace Fuel Tank Gas Cap $27.50
3 Replace Oil Cap $34.00
4 Replace Electronic Engine Control (EEC) Fuse $34.05
5 Replace Secondary Air Injection Control Solenoid Valve Vacuum Hose $34.92
6 Replace Air Conditioning (A/C) Compressor Clutch Relay $43.34
7 Inspect for correct air filter and air box is securely latch properly $46.89
8 Perform DTC Confirmation Procedure $53.33
9 Repair Ground Wire From The Front of The Engine To The Body $54.18
10 Replace Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Boost Sensor Vacuum Hose $56.44

(Ten most/least expensive repairs are based on 5,345,588 verified repairs made and input into the CarMD database by the company’s team of factory trained repair professionals in 2016. This data is for model year 1996 to 2016 OBD2 cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs in the U.S. – foreign and domestic.  Source: CarMD.com Corp.)

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hoa2017 CarMD Vehicle Health Index