Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
If you’ve ever had your vehicle’s check engine light come on, you can relate to the unsettled feeling of not knowing what’s wrong with your car — or how much it’ll cost to repair it.
A new study from CarMD has found that the cost of these repairs can vary significantly depending on where you live.
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How expensive are these auto repairs in your state?
Michigan is the U.S. state with the lowest average check engine light repair cost of $343.40, according to CarMD’s analysis of more than 11.5 million vehicles that needed repairs in 2016.
Meanwhile, Connecticut had the highest average repair cost at $411.45, parts and labor included.
CarMD found that when the check engine light starts to glow, the leading culprit is a faulty oxygen sensor, which is the most frequently diagnosed repair in 35 states.
If left unrepaired, experts say check engine light-related problems can lead to more expensive issues.
“As we track check engine light repair data, we have noticed a trend in which the states with the highest repair costs tend to have a higher frequency of expensive repairs that could have been avoided if vehicle owners were more diligent with scheduled maintenance and had repairs made shortly after the check engine light came on versus driving it in hopes it would go off,” said David Rich, CarMD’s technical director. “Many drivers ignore check engine light problems because it seems like their car is driving just fine or they don’t like the initial quote, yet don’t realize that ignoring it will almost always end up causing additional costs and repairs down the road.”
After Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Georgia and Maryland had the highest average repair costs in 2016, according to CarMD.
In addition to Michigan, Maine, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Ohio were the least expensive.
Taking a closer look at the numbers, here are the average total check engine light-related repair costs in 2016, which includes parts and labor.
Highest auto repair costs
- Connecticut: $411.45
- District of Columbia: $410.98
- Rhode Island: $405.83
- Georgia: $396.37
- Maryland: $392.99
Lowest auto repair costs
- Michigan: $343.40
- Maine: $343.60
- Wisconsin: $346.81
- Hawaii: $346.94
- Ohio: $349.18