Believe it or not, car repair costs vary by up to $100 depending on what state you live in.
North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel state. And now, according to the annual Car MD vehicle health index, it’s also known as the most expensive state for check engine light repairs, averaging $426.45 for parts and labor.
The four other states that make up the top five most expensive included: 2. Massachusetts ($424.55), 3. Delaware ($423.91), 4. New Jersey ($421.90) and 5. Virginia ($421.49). If you want to pay the least amount of money for potential repairs when your check engine light goes on, move to Nebraska. Those drivers averaged $323.57.
If you want to know why this light goes on, check out the top five reasons:
- Defective oxygen sensor
- Loose or bad gas cap
- Catalytic converter
- Bad ignition coil
- Worn out spark plugs and wires
According to the Car MD index, all of these problems reduce fuel economy and the most expensive fix (catalytic converter at over $1,000), can be avoided if you change out your spark plugs, oxygen sensor or fix a worn out ignition coil when your warning light goes on.
Doug Sobieski, chief marketing officer, CarMD.com Corp. says…
“While we are not able to control weather, gas prices and hard goods costs like car parts, as consumers we can minimize overall car ownership costs with preventative maintenance and swift attention to dashboard warnings like the check engine light.”
- Check your fluids regularly, especially your engine oil
- Examine your belts and hoses, particularly before long road trips
- Keep an eye on your tire pressure
- Create a maintenance program – your owner’s manual may have one for you.
- Don’t ignore your dashboard lights. If one goes off, respond immediately.
If you want to learn how to budget for emergency situations like major car repairs, don’t hesitate to contact a certified credit counselor at Consolidated Credit.