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Report: Average Repair Costs Remain Flat

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April 21, 2015—After two years of increases in average repair costs, 2014 saw virtually no change, according to the recently released 2015 CarMD Vehicle Health Index report.

The report looks at common check engine-related car repairs, associated costs and annual trends for model year 1996 to current vehicles.

2014 broke the trend of large increases the industry has seen over the last several years. Repair costs were up only 0.6 percent last year, comprised of a 2.7 percent increase in average labor costs offset by a 2.8 percent decrease in parts costs. The oxygen sensor, which can negatively impact fuel economy by as much as 40 percent, remained the most common check engine light repair. For the fifth consecutive year a majority of hybrid repair costs declined—some by as much as 50 percent.

The most expensive repair was "replace transmission assembly" at $6,400. Conversely more than 5 percent of check engine lights resulted in free repairs.

Appearing on the list of 10 most common check engine repairs for the first time are "replace thermostat" and "replace fuel injectors," which can be affected by weather extremes, as well as fuel choices and maintenance decisions.

The 2014 CarMD Vehicle Health Index analyzed more than 98,000 repairs reported to and validated by CarMD's network from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014. 

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