CarMD Releases 2023 ‘Check Engine’ Repair Trends

May 1, 2023

Model year 2007 and 2008 vehicles were the most likely to need a “Check Engine Light” (CEL) related car repair last year, according to the 2023 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, an annual study of CEL-related car repair trends.

The following is a breakdown of the 10 most common CEL-related repairs in 2022 along with the average cost to make that repair, including parts and labor …
1. Replace catalytic converter(s): $1,313 (unchanged compared to 2021).
2. Replace oxygen sensor(s): $242 (unchanged).
3. Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s): $392 (unchanged).
4. Replace mass air flow sensor: $303 (unchanged).
5. Tighten or replace fuel cap: free to tighten and $25 on average to replace (unchanged).
6. Replace EVAP canister purge control valve: $137 (up from No. 8 last year).
7. Replace ignition coil(s): $214 (down from No. 6 last year)
8. Replace fuel injector(s): $424 (down from No. 7 last year)
9. Replace thermostat: $239 (unchanged).
10. Reprogram powertrain control module: $109 (new to the Top 10 list).

Among other findings …
• Car repair costs were up 2.8% overall in 2022, totaling $403 on average.
• Labor costs were down 0.5%, which CarMD partially attributed to more DIYers doing their own repairs and competition among auto repair shops.
• Continuing an upward trajectory, parts costs were up 4.7%. Factors that likely played a role in this increase include continued supply chain issues, inflation and an increase in pricier car parts failing as consumers hold on to vehicles longer.
• CarMD also noted an increase in hybrid and EV battery-related fixes in 2021. “Replace hybrid or EV high voltage battery” ranked No. 170 (up from No. 348 a yar ago)

The full 2023 index analyzed more than 17 million failures and recommended repairs for vehicles in the United States over the past calendar year. The data comes directly from each vehicle’s OBD-II system.

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