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CarMD Publishes Vehicle Health Index of CEL Trends

Catalytic converter replacements on model year 2005-2008 vehicles top the list of most needed repairs.

Advertisement Corporation released its 2022 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, an annual overview of check engine light-related car repair costs and trends. With new car inventory still sparse and gas prices skyrocketing to record highs, CarMD says its report can inform vehicle owners about commonly diagnosed car problems, related costs and ways to extend vehicle life.

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“The Check Engine Light is designed to come on when a vehicle’s computer sees a problem that impacts emissions issues, which means if you are driving with a check engine light on – even if it seems like your vehicle is running great – you are not getting as good of fuel economy as you could be getting, you are hurting the environment and potentially doing more harm to your car or truck,” said David Rich, CarMD technical director. ” We encourage car owners and the automotive aftermarket to reference the CarMD Vehicle Health Index to monitor check engine light repair trends, which can help inform repair diagnostics, parts purchasing and lead to extended vehicle life.”


CarMD provides the following is a breakdown of the five most common check engine light-related repairs in 2021 and the average cost to make that repair, including parts and labor. Each of these issues will keep a vehicle from passing its state emissions test , CarMD says, and will negatively impact fuel economy if ignored:

  1. Replace catalytic converter(s) with new OE catalytic converter(s), $1,355
  2. Replace oxygen sensor(s), $243
  3. Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s), $387
  4. Replace mass air flow sensor, $319
  5. Tighten or replace fuel cap, (free to tighten and $25 on average to replace)

The 2022 Index statistically analyzes more than 17 million failures and recommended repairs for vehicles in the U.S., over the past calendar year. More details about the Vehicle Health Index, as well as historical reports are available here.