IRVINE, Calif. – Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Rhode Island ranked No. 13 for largest repair costs associated with a car’s check engine light, according to a new report released Tuesday by CarMD.com Corp.
In the annual Vehicle Health Index report, the average car repair cost in the Ocean State in 2012 was $371.30, an increase of 12.24 percent from the 2011 list, when the state ranked No. 25.
On average, the labor rate associate with check engine light repair was $127.58 and parts cost an average of $243.72 in Rhode Island in 2011.
Comparatively, in New Jersey – the most expensive state – average car repair costs were $392.99 in 2012. Following New Jersey were the District of Columbia at $391.62, California at $390.37, North Carolina at $389.91 and Maryland at $387.78.
Out of the New England states, Rhode Island ranked second for the average repair costs. Beating out the Ocean State was Connecticut, which ranked No. 7 on the list with an average repair cost of $385.10.
Neighboring Massachusetts ranked No. 25 with an average repair cost of $358.37 in 2012. The cost represented an increase of 11.13 percent from 2011, when the Bay State ranked No. 34 on CarMD.com’s list.
Repair costs associated with the check engine light in the rest of New England were significantly lower, with Maine ranked at No. 43 at $328.08 and New Hampshire ranked at No. 44 at $328. Vermont ranked No. 51, the cheapest in the United States, with average repair costs of $269.72.
“In 2012, we saw a dramatic shift in the top five most expensive states for average car repairs, as many drivers along the East Coast incurred rising auto repair costs, while they simultaneously contended with Hurricane Sandy's aftermath,” Ieon C. Chen, CEO of CarMD.com Corp., said in prepared remarks. “Car owners in many states also continued to put off small repairs, contributing to cumulative failures with increased repair costs.”
“With costs and vehicle age up from coast to coast, we encourage the industry and car owners to utilize this data to help maximize vehicle life and minimize repair costs,” added Chen.
In 2012, the average cost of check engine light-related repairs in the U.S. was $367.84, an increase of 10 percent from 2011.