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Repair Costs

By Larry Jewett - June 23, 2011 03:05 PM

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The recent findings by CarMD.com show there is a wide disparity in car repair costs across the nation. The group has been compiling data for the past 14 years on the 10 most common repairs, all connected to the dreaded “Check Engine” light.

Western states comprise the top five most expensive areas, led by Alaska which is 16 percent above the national average. That is due in part to high labor costs that are found to be 30 percent higher than the national average.

The study found the average repair to be $305.56. That total comes about with an average of $202.28 for the parts and $103.27 for the labor.

Oregon ($350.81), Colorado ($348.17), and California ($344.57) ranked behind Alaska. Fifth on the list was Idaho, which is an interesting case. Idaho is paying $340.99, 12 percent above the national average, despite the fact that parts is right on the national average. The difference comes in labor, where residents are paying 34 percent above the national average, even more than residents of Alaska.

At the bottom of the list, the “fortunate five”, you’ll find the states paying less than anyone else. Mississippi has it best with the cost of $256.47, nearly $10 less than the place above them on the list (which isn’t a state, it’s the District of Columbia. Iowa, Montana, Indiana and Vermont join Mississippi as the five states with the lowest average cost.

Florida is the state right at the average. “Replace catalytic converter” ranked second among Alaska’s most common vehicle repair, likely due to the extreme cold. The states with the lower repair costs had the highest gas cap-related issues. The most common repair is the oxygen sensor replacement and drivers in Nevada paid more than anyone else for this repair.

The average cost was calculated from roughly 250,000 repairs performed by a network of Automotive Service Excellence-certified mechanics.

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