The states where car repair is most expensive

When that pesky check engine light illuminates on a car’s dashboard, drivers in California can expect to pay more to repair whatever has gone wrong than those in any other state.

On average, California drivers paid $410.73 in parts and labor to address a dreaded check-engine light, according to a study conducted by CarMD. At the opposite end of the scale, Ohio drivers paid the least — $341.83.

Also see: This is how much car prices have gone up

Four of the 10 costliest states were in the West, including California, Colorado ($403.03), Utah ($395.86), and Montana ($388.71). The least expensive states in the survey were largely Midwestern, including Ohio, Wisconsin ($344.45), Michigan ($347.82), Indiana ($352.20), Iowa ($352.70), Minnesota ($362.64), and North Dakota ($363.17).

California drivers may have paid the most overall, but those in Mississippi paid an average of $152.63 for labor for a check engine light repair, or about $7.50 more than Californians. Vermonters paid $125.95, the lowest average for labor.

A check engine light can illuminate for a host of reasons. However, issues related to a car’s vacuum system (such as a loose or faulty gas cap) or emissions system (such as a clogged catalytic converter or bad oxygen sensor) are the most common.

Also see: This is the city with the most expensive rental market in the U.S.

On average, CarMD says that mechanics charged about $25 to diagnose and rectify a fuel cap-related check engine light, while replacement of catalytic converters cost on average $1,383 last year.

CarMD says its data comes from technicians across the country who use its database.

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