CarMD Publishes 2022 Vehicle Health Index of Check Engine Light Repair Trends – PR Newswire
“The Check Engine Light is designed to come on when a vehicle’s computer sees a problem that impacts emissions issues, which means if you are driving with a check engine light on – even if it seems like your vehicle is running great – you are not getting as good of fuel economy as you could be getting, you are hurting the environment and potentially doing more harm to your car or truck,” said David Rich, CarMD technical director. ” We encourage car owners and the automotive aftermarket to reference the CarMD Vehicle Health Index to monitor check engine light repair trends, which can help inform repair diagnostics, parts purchasing and lead to extended vehicle life.”
The following is a breakdown of the five most common check engine light-related repairs in 2021 and the average cost to make that repair, including parts and labor. Each of these issues will keep a vehicle from passing its state emissions test and will negatively impact fuel economy if ignored:
- Replace catalytic converter(s) with new OE catalytic converter(s), $1,355
- Replace oxygen sensor(s), $243
- Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s), $387
- Replace mass air flow sensor, $319
- Tighten or replace fuel cap, (free to tighten and $25 on average to replace)
Other findings detailed in the 2021 CarMD Vehicle Health Index:
- Car Repair Costs Up Amid Aging Vehicle Population. In 2021 car repair costs were up 3.6% overall, totaling just under $393 on average as the average vehicle age jumps to 12.1 years old and cars start to outlive their parts.
- Repair costs were up in all four regions of the U.S. in calendar year 2021, with drivers in the South and Northeast seeing the biggest spike – both up 3.7%.
- Labor costs ($143.35) were down half a percent, which CarMD partially attributes to more DIYers doing their own repairs and competition among auto repair shops.
- As projected by CarMD last year, parts costs ($249.22) were up 6%. Factors that played a role in this parts cost increase include supply chain issues coupled with an uptick in more expensive car parts failing as consumers hold onto their cars and trucks longer than ever before due to lack of new car inventory.
- Vehicle Age Impacts Check Engine Light Problems. CarMD found that model year 2007 vehicles were most likely to need a check engine light-related repair in the past year, with brand new (still under warranty) 2021 cars and trucks least likely to have an issue. Model year 2005-2008 cars and trucks were most likely to need a costly catalytic converter.
- Why is the Catalytic Converter Repair So Expensive? Catalytic converters contain precious metals – palladium, rhodium, and platinum – which make them a valuable commodity for thieves. The good news is that catalytic converters do not typically fail unless a more affordable repair like replacing an oxygen sensor is ignored for too long, or the vehicle is up there in age, essentially outlasting its parts.
- Don’t Panic! The Check Engine Light Might Be Caused by a Loose Gas Cap. CarMD reminds drivers not to panic or ignore a check engine warning light because it might be a simple and affordable fix. …….