The results are in and Americans are paying more for car repairs. According to the results of the 2013 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, which investigated the cost of repair cars for the model year 1996 to 2012 vehicles, car repair costs increased 10 percent on a year-over-year comparison, averaging $367.84 per repair. CarMD noted that this is the first time in six years that the cost of repairs increased.
"On one hand we're seeing an increase in car repair costs that can be attributed to factors such as a market correction and a higher percentage of more expensive repairs related to the aging vehicle population, but on a more positive note we see costs for hybrid repairs continuing to drop and drivers making fewer check engine-related trips to the repair shop," said Ieon Chen, CEO, CarMD. "The broad findings in the CarMD Vehicle Health Index can empower consumers to extend vehicle life through informed repair and maintenance decisions. Whether you make repairs yourself or seek service from a trusted professional, the most common check engine-related repairs demonstrate that addressing small problems early is key to saving time and money."
The index showed that the most common repair was a faulty oxygen sensor, which has been shown to reduce fuel efficiency by up to 40 percent.
As the average age of vehicles on the road has surpassed 11 years, car owners have addressed minor repairs on their own in order to save money. Those looking to prevent any further damage to their interior are encouraged to equip their set of wheels with Husky Liners® custom fit floor mats.
Three out of four vehicle need service
While repair costs have increased, much of this is due to Americans neglecting their vehicles. When you decide to forgo a visit to a service center, you take the risk of inflicting costly damage to your vehicle. According to the Car Care Council, 77 percent of vehicles on the road are in need of service or parts. The council said that the top three problems with vehicles on the road were with engine oil, engine cooling systems and brake service.
"Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Following a routine maintenance program like the Car Care Council's free personalized schedule and e-mail reminder service can help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions."