Average Repairs up by 2.7 percent in 2016
According to data in the just-released 2017 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, the average cost of a vehicle repair in the U.S. rose by 2.7 percent in 2016, to $398. That figure, which included a 1.4-percent bump in parts cost and a 4.7-percent increase in labor, followed a 2-year span in which it had remained unchanged. The 2017 CarMD study also found that the average repair cost varied by region, with owners in the Northeast seeing their average outlay per fix rise by 6.5 percent to $401 compared to a 5.7-percent uptick for those in the Midwest, where the figure was $385. Owners in the South saw a 2.9-percent average increase to $400; while the average repair cost in the West fell by 1.1 percent, but still rang in at $399.
The 2017 CarMD study found the chief culprit when it came to triggering a “check engine light” incident was a faulty O2 sensor. It once again claimed the top spot on the list, accounting for 8.0 percent of the problems and costing an average of $258.63 to repair. Rounding out the top five were replacing catalytic converters (6.75 percent/$1,190.88), replacing ignition coils/spark plugs (6.23 percent/$401.22), fixing loose or broken gas caps (4.16 percent/$16.88) and replacing a failed Mass Air Sensor (3.84 percent/$378.15).
The world’s largest supplier of automotive OBD2 (On Board Diagnostic) devices and associated software, CarMD also has spent over two decades creating “the most comprehensive database of failures, fixes and repairs related to OBD2 devices.” Published annually since 2011, figures in the 2017 CarMD Vehicle Health Index reflect statistically analyzed data generated from over 5.3 million individual repairs.