When the ‘check engine’ light comes on, it always manages to ruin one’s day because you know what is forthcoming: an expensive repair bill. Yet some owners may not have it as bad as others, based simply upon the state they live in.
CarMD analyzed roughly 80,000 repairs made on vehicles between January 1 and December 31, 2010. The average cost of repairs does not include tires, brakes, or mechanical parts (including belts and hoses), but does include repairs associated with the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic computer.
According to the report, drivers in Arizona paid the most for car repairs, with an average bill of $421.49. Conversely, those in the District of Columbia paid the least, with an average of $265.29. What’s the deal? CarMD suggests it’s partly because Arizona’s dry and extremely warm weather — while somewhat immune to the rust bug — places a considerable strain on a vehicle’s subsystems. On average, car owners in the state pay 23 percent more than the national average of $365.04, but it’s not alone.
States in located in the western corner of our country round out the top five most expensive markets; averages for New Mexico, Colorado, California, and Nevada reportedly amount $406.81, $397.83, $394.49, and $393.96, respectively.
On the other end of the spectrum? Missouri follows D.C. with a state average of $297.27, while Ohio trails in third place by a dollar, with an average of $298.49. Interestingly, CarMD claims states with lower repair costs had more gas cap-related problems, and more repairs (12 percent in D.C. alone) were made at no cost, likely because the repairs were made under manufacturer’s warranty on newer cars.
So, where do you think your state ranks? We’ve included the top 10 most expensive and the top 10 least expensive.
1. Arizona $421.49
2. New Mexico $406.81
3. Colorado $397.83
4. California $394.49
5. Nevada $393.96
8. North Dakota$384.67
9. Rhode Island$384.24
10. South Dakota$374.61
1. D.C. $265.29
2. Missouri $297.27
3. Ohio $298.49
9. New Hampshire$318.14