CarMD.com released its 2013 CarMD Vehicle Health Index ranking of check engine-related car repairs and costs for model year 1996 to 2012 vehicles. For the first time in six years of this study, car repair costs jumped 10% nationwide to $367.84 on average per repair. The no. 1 most common repair remains a faulty oxygen sensor, which can reduce fuel economy by as much as 40%. With gas prices and repair costs rising, this annual Index sheds light on vehicle failure data and repair trends that impact safety and reduce fuel economy.
There’s good news for fuel economy increasing through hybrid electric vehicles. Hybrid repair costs continue to drop with increased volume of hybrids on the road, and parts and people qualified to service them. The most expensive repair in 2011 was “replace hybrid inverter assembly” at $4,098, which decreased by nearly 5% in 2012. Hybrid repairs no longer hold the top spot. The bigger problem for vehicles overall is the age they’re reaching – now surpassing 11 year on average, meaning costly and catastrophic repairs continue to rise.