Michigan Most Affordable State For ‘Check Engine’ Repairs Once Again

For the third consecutive year, Michigan had the lowest average “Check Engine Light” (CEL) repair cost at $333.26 ($138.83 for labor and $194.43 for parts), according to CarMD.com’s analysis of data from over 10.70 million vehicles needing repairs in 2017. Rounding out the five most affordable states for car repairs were …
• Ohio at $335.26 — $134.16 for labor and $201.10 for parts;
• Maine at $337.74 — $129.97 for labor and $207.77 for parts;
• Wisconsin at $337.89 — $133.77 for labor and $204.12 for parts; and
• North Dakota at $339.78 — $134.10 for labor and $205.68 for parts.

According to CarMD’s findings, drivers in the District of Columbia incurred the highest average cost at $402.92 ($141.32 for labor and $261.60 for parts) to address CEL issues. After the District of Columbia, the most expensive places for repairs last year were …
• Georgia at $395.05 — $158.58 for labor and $236.47 for parts;
• Connecticut at $393.16 — $137.15 for labor and $256.01 for parts;
• Hawaii at $389.19 — $133.27 for labor and $255.92 for parts; and
• California at $385.42 — $141.58 for labor and $243.84 for parts.

The average cost to repair a CEL issue in Michigan in 2017 was 3 percent lower than the previous year, while CEL repairs in the District of Columbia were 2 percent lower than in 2016.

For the second consecutive year, Vermont had the lowest average labor cost at $121.98, which CarMD attributed to a loose or missing gas cap being the most common cause of a CEL issue on Vermont cars and trucks in 2017, accounting for 7.5 percent of repairs. Drivers in the District of Columbia paid the most for labor at $141.32.

Drivers in the District of Columbia also paid the most on average for parts at $261.60, where the most frequent repair was to replace a catalytic converter, accounting for 6.3 percent of recommended repairs in the district. Drivers in Michigan paid the least for parts at $194.43.

Hawaii saw the most significant increase in the rankings, moving from the state with the fourth-lowest to the state with the fourth-highest repair cost — a 12-percent increase in average repair cost. One factor, according to CarMD, was a rise in the number of mass air flow and catalytic converter repairs.

Click here to view a state-by-state ranking of average CEL-related repairs in 2017.

CarMD’s state ranking of repair costs was derived from an analysis of needed repairs identified for model-year 1996 to 2017 vehicles between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 that were reported to and analyzed by CarMD’s team of technicians. The repairs were related to a vehicle’s OBD2 system. CarMD did not report on problems that were outside the scope of a vehicle’s OBD2 system.