Vehicle maintenance is a fact of life that is not particularly pleasant to manage. As cars become more and more high-tech, the cost of services, spare parts and labor becomes more expensive. Either way, a few hundred bucks here and there can help keep a car on the road longer and save you from having to swallow your breath when you hit the line alongside a tempting MSRP. Although some car repairs are always expensive, there is a way to lessen the financial effects.
Considering all 50 US states and one district, prices for parts and labor can be as varied as regional gas station food. CarMDa site that compiles and maintains the automotive industry’s largest and most comprehensive database of check engine light problems and their corresponding repairs, has released its figures on the average cost of car repairs for 2021. They’ve calculated the numbers on where in the United States you’ll experience the most and least expensive repairs for your vehicle.
Five states with the most expensive car repair costs
1. Connecticut: $418.37
2. Colorado: $417.14
3. California: $415.66
4. District of Columbia: $411.00
5. Georgia: $407.71
According to CarMD, the most common repair in the top five states was catalytic converter replacement. Parts are expensive, with rare earth metals in the exhaust system component. Also, newer cars have more sensors to monitor vital vehicle parameters and emission standards, all of which are fiddly in their sensitivity.
Five States With The Cheapest Car Repair Costs
47. Wisconsin: $361.11
48. Iowa: $359.96
49. Michigan: $356.29
50. Ohio: $353.76
Interestingly enough, the last five states are all located in the Midwest. Although they were the cheapest to seek auto repairs, the most common was the same as the five most expensive states. Catalytic converters don’t often fail unless something else has gone wrong. For example, faulty ignition coils, spark plug timing, and oxygen sensors can cause the failure.
“Several factors contribute to a state’s average auto repair costs, including the year, make and model of vehicle, difficulty of repair, and cost of associated parts,” said CarMD Technical Director David Rich. , in a press release. Nevertheless, some states have seen their rank on the CarMD list remain constant for several years.
Highest and lowest labor costs in the United States
Although Vermont did not make the difference among the five states with the least expensive repairs, the Granite State had its sixth straight year with the lowest average labor cost at $127.15. CarMD says the most common reason for the check engine light on Vermont vehicles is to tighten or replace a loose or missing gas cap.
Mississippi may have a low cost of living, but that doesn’t translate to cheap trips to your local mechanic. With drivers paying an average of $151.67 for labor, it was the highest labor cost in the country in 2021, their fourth consecutive year. Apparently, the most common repair involved replacing ignition coils and spark plugs, two culprits behind pesky catalytic converter replacements.
Highest and lowest parts costs in the United States
This may be an obvious fact with automakers based in Detriot and surrounding areas, but Michigan drivers paid the least on average for auto parts at just $211.26. Still, CarMD expresses a 5% increase over the previous year.
In 2021, Connecticut drivers paid the most nationwide on average for parts at $281.53. Therefore, the labor force is about 25% higher in the Constitutional State than in the Great Lakes State.
How to reduce your car repair bill?
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the global supply chain into chaos, driving up the cost of auto parts. USA today reports that the average vehicle age in the United States is at an all-time high of 12.2 years, so these parts need replacing soon on many. Although it depends on the type of vehicle and the repairs needed, there are a few options to reduce the final cost by a few dollars.
For more minor repairs like alternators, brake pads, spark plugs, belts, hoses and other issues that can be fixed without the need for specialist tools, feel free to give it a whirlwind. The pandemic may have imposed stay-at-home protocols, but many have started working on their own cars and have given the internet tons of great DIY repair videos.
For larger repairs such as axles, cylinder heads, exhaust manifolds and transmissions, these companies take much longer. Typically, original equipment (OE) parts are expensive. Therefore, spending time locating a parts car, going to a junkyard, or finding refurbished parts online could be beneficial to lower your upfront costs and spend money on a professional who has tools needed to make major repairs and understands how to do them.
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