California was the most expensive state in the nation for a common car repair in 2015, according to data released Wednesday by Irvine-based automotive information/technology company CarMD Corp.
The study said California drivers paid an average of $435.47 per transaction, or nearly 12.5 percent higher than the U.S. average of $387.31. The overall cost measurement includes parts and labor.
CarMD said it analyzed more than 1 million vehicles needing repairs as a result of “check engine” light problems in 2015 and that a team of Automotive Service Excellence-certified technicians monitored repairs.
The latest figures are from CarMD’s sixth annual Vehicle Health Index report.
California has consistently ranked in the five costliest repair states in the annual survey. It dropped to No. 6 in the 2013 rankings but edged up to No. 4 in the rankings for repairs performed in 2014.
Oddly, in the 2015 survey, the most populous state in the nation ranked just ahead of Wyoming, the country’s least populated state, where CarMD said a common car repair cost $427.75, on average, in 2015. Last year, Wyoming was the least-expensive state for “check engine”-related repairs.
Vehicle owners in Michigan paid the least last year, with an average of $354.14 for parts and labor.
CarMD said the most common problem associated with a “check engine” light was a faulty oxygen sensor.
“The technicians at CarMD can’t stress enough how important it is to address ‘check engine’ light problems early,” said David Rich, the company’s technical director. “Many drivers ignore O2 sensor problems because it seems like their car is driving just fine, but it is really guzzling a lot of extra gasoline and will likely end up causing ancillary problems that drive up car repair costs down the road.”
The complete rankings can be seen at carmd.com.