When the dreaded check engine light illuminates on the dashboard, drivers in New Jersey now pay the most in the nation to have it diagnosed and repaired, at an average cost of $392.99, according to CarMD.com Corporation’s analysis of more than 160,000 repairs made on vehicles with check engine light problems in 2012.
Georgia comes in sixth with an average cost of $385.29, up from ninth in 2011.
Indicating a coastal shift from West to East, and rounding out the top five most expensive U.S. states/districts for auto repair were no. 2 District of Columbia, no. 3 California, no. 4 North Carolina and no. 5 Maryland.
Increased frequency of expensive repairs, such as catalytic converter replacement, in those states with higher average repair costs indicates drivers in some areas continue to put off small repairs that spiral into more expensive problems and drive up check engine-related repair costs. The complete ranking is available at www.carmd.com.
Two of the five states with the lowest car repair costs are from the Midwest (Iowa and South Dakota) and two are from the South/Southeast (Delaware and West Virginia). Rounding out the most affordable states for auto repair is Vermont, the only Northeastern state to enjoy a drop in average car repair costs in 2012.
“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, CarMD.com Corp.