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Report: Wyoming Car Owners Pay Most in Car Repairs; Indiana the Least

By Joel Arellano | June 21, 2012
The CarMD Vehicle Health Index ranks how much on average car owners paid in auto repairs per state. In CarMD's first annual report, owners in the "Grand Canyon" state of Arizona paid the most in total parts and labor costs, at 18-percent above the national average of $333.93, while those in Washington D.C., paid the lowest at a surprising 25-percent below the national average. CarMD bases its index from "check light" data gathered from more than 160,000 auto repairs performed by ASE-certified auto technicians from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. For 2011, some of the more eye-opening bits of information include:
  • Repair costs have dropped around six-percent nationwide. Only in the states of Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and the District of Columbia have auto repair costs remained stable. CarMD points to the decrease in labor expenses as a major cause of the repair cost drop. However, CarMD doesn't feel this is necessarily a good trend for consumer since a shrinking labor pool (i.e., layoffs, etc.) are requiring more expensive repairs to be necessary.
  • Airborne dust contributes heavily to the high auto repair costs in the Western states such as Arizona and California.
  • Wyoming's high repair costs can be attributed to its sparse population spread out thinly across the state. CarMD feels car owners are thus less inclined to bring in their vehicles for more routine repairs. This means breakdowns are more severe than in other states where owners perform such maintenance.
  • The most common auto repair? "Replace Oxygen (O2) Sensor".
Full listing and breakdown of the average cost of automotive labor and parts by CarMD can be found below. Art Jacobsen, vice president, CarMD.com Corporation, said in statement: "We are encouraged to see overall repair costs trending down this year but recognize that drivers are still putting off small repairs such as spark plugs and oxygen sensors that can quickly turn into more serious problems. With the higher cost for repairs in popular western vacation destinations, our data illustrates the need for summer travelers to make preventative maintenance and vehicle safety checks paramount in their road-trip preparation."

“Check Engine” Light Car Repair Costs (Labor & Parts) – 2011 Source: CarMD

Rank State Labor Parts
1 Wyoming $141.48 $247.70
2 Utah $138.21 $240.33
3 California $130.54 $237.32
4 Montana $136.00 $228.29
5 Arizona $129.18 $233.47
6 Colorado $143.17 $215.88
7 New Mexico $129.32 $229.30
8 North Carolina $112.73 $243.16
9 Georgia $116.08 $234.58
10 New Jersey $113.25 $236.78
11 Washington $128.22 $221.00
12 Maryland $106.52 $241.12
13 Virginia $112.20 $235.22
14 Connecticut $113.35 $233.57
15 Oregon $127.14 $219.03
16 Hawaii $121.97 $221.60
17 Tennessee $112.61 $227.55
18 New York $112.58 $225.82
19 Illinois $108.88 $226.54
20 Kentucky $113.86 $221.22
21 Idaho $138.00 $197.08
22 Oklahoma $117.10 $217.14
23 Texas $113.54 $220.21
24 Nevada $128.87 $203.65
25 Rhode Island $109.83 $220.99
26 Alaska $128.91 $200.12
27 Mississippi $113.46 $214.27
28 Florida $108.19 $218.77
29 South Carolina $113.88 $212.99
30 Alabama $112.57 $214.16
31 Nebraska $117.55 $208.77
32 District of Columbia $113.48 $211.35
33 Minnesota $111.83 $211.68
34 Massachusetts $104.78 $217.70
35 Arkansas $125.62 $195.71
36 Pennsylvania $109.97 $206.27
37 Delaware $109.97 $206.22
38 West Virginia $112.16 $201.59
39 Kansas $116.71 $194.57
40 Missouri $112.58 $197.62
41 North Dakota $129.31 $179.90
42 Ohio $108.92 $199.19
43 Louisiana $109.93 $196.81
44 Vermont $98.90 $203.32
45 South Dakota $108.47 $187.31
46 Michigan $111.62 $181.95
47 New Hampshire $101.19 $191.47
48 Iowa $112.59 $177.32
49 Wisconsin $108.95 $180.95
50 Maine $113.65 $175.91
51 Indiana $107.85 $176.10
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