IRVINE, Calif. (June 13, 2013) — When it comes to remediating the "check engine" alert, car owners in New Jersey tend to pay the most for diagnosis and repairs — at an average cost of about $393 — according to CarMD.com Corp.
The company analyzed more than 160,000 repairs made on vehicles with check engine light problems in 2012 and found a coastal shift from West to East for expensive repairs.
The most expensive U.S. states/districts for auto repair after New Jersey were: District of Columbia, California, North Carolina and Maryland.
The increased frequency of expensive repairs, such as catalytic converter replacement, in those states with higher average repair costs indicates drivers in those areas continue to put off small repairs that spiral into more expensive problems and drive up check engine-related repair costs, according to CarMD.
"CarMD taps our extensive Vehicle Health Index check engine light database to rank repair costs by state, providing the industry and consumers with insight on trends that impact cost of ownership and vehicle life," said Ieon C. Chen, CEO of CarMD.com Corp. "In 2012, we saw a dramatic shift in the top five most expensive states for average car repairs, as many drivers along the East Coast incurred rising auto repair costs, while they simultaneously contended with Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. Car owners in many states also continued to put off small repairs, contributing to cumulative failures with increased repair costs.
"With costs and vehicle age up from coast to coast, we encourage the industry and car owners to utilize this data to help maximize vehicle life and minimize repair costs."