CarMD Releases 2022 Vehicle Health Index of Check Engine Light Repair Trends


Find Catalytic Converter Replacements on 2005-2008 Model Year Vehicles Top List of Most Needed Repairs

IRVINE, Calif., April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Corporation, a leading provider of automotive diagnostic data and business solutions, today released its 2022 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index, an annual overview of automotive repair costs and trends. related to control engine lighting. With new car inventory still scarce and gas prices soaring to record highs, CarMD’s report can inform vehicle owners about commonly diagnosed car problems, associated costs and ways to extend the life of the vehicle.

This at-a-glance infographic from CarMD highlights automotive repair trends related to check engine light during calendar year 2021. CarMD Releases Annual Trends Vehicle Health Index Report Check Engine Repair to educate consumers about the important role the warning light plays in vehicle life, fuel economy and the environment.

“The Check Engine Light is designed to come on when a vehicle’s computer detects a problem that impacts emissions, which means if you’re driving with a Check Engine Light on – even if it looks like your vehicle is running well – you’re not getting as good fuel economy as you could get, you’re harming the environment and potentially doing more harm to your car or truck,” said David Rich, Technical Director of CarMD. “We encourage car owners and the automotive aftermarket to refer to the CarMD Vehicle Health Index to monitor check engine light repair trends, which can help inform repair diagnostics. , purchasing parts and extending the life of the vehicle.”

The following is a breakdown of the five most common check engine light related repairs in 2021 and the average cost to complete that repair, including parts and labor. Each of these issues will prevent a vehicle from passing its state emissions test 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 the mass airflow sensor, $319

  5. Tighten or replace fuel cap, (free to squeeze and $25 on average to replace)

Other results detailed in the 2021 CarMD Vehicle Health Index:

  • Auto repair costs increase in an aging vehicle fleet. In 2021, car repair costs increased by 3.6% overall, totaling just under $393 on average, as the average vehicle age increases to 12.1 years and cars begin to outlive their parts.

  • The age of the vehicle has an impact on engine lighting issues. CarMD found that 2007 model year vehicles were the most likely to need a check engine light related repair in the past year, new 2021 cars and trucks (still under warranty) being the least likely to have a problem. The 2005-2008 model year cars and trucks were most likely to need an expensive catalytic converter.

  • Why is catalytic converter repair so expensive? Catalytic converters contain precious metals – palladium, rhodium and platinum – which make them a valuable commodity for thieves. The good news is that catalytic converters usually don’t fail unless a more affordable repair, like replacing an oxygen sensor, is ignored for too long, or the vehicle runs out of fuel. age, essentially surviving its parts.

  • Don’t panic! The Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose gas cap. CarMD reminds drivers not to panic or ignore a check engine warning light because it could be an easy and affordable fix. One of the five most diagnosed check engine light repairs is a loose, damaged or missing gas cap that is free to tighten and roughly $25 replace. Vehicles of model years 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 were most likely to have a gas cap-related issue, data that can be helpful to automotive aftermarket retailers for inventory forecasting.

The 2022 Index statistically analyzes over 17 million vehicle breakdowns and recommended repairs in the United States over the past calendar year. This year’s Vehicle Health Index as well as historical reports are available here.

CarMD also offers a free online vehicle inspection service available at for service information, predictive failures, recalls, technical service bulletins and other proactive vehicle health information.

About the CarMD Vehicle Health Index

Published annually since 2011, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index is the industry’s first and most comprehensive report to provide consumers and the automotive aftermarket with information on the repair of check engine headlights. one year to the next. When used with resources like CarMD Garage, it can help owners better understand and budget for repairs. When used in conjunction with other resources such as Innova RepairSolutions2 and the CarMD PRO SCAN inspection solution, this index can provide repair professionals with information on the type of parts most likely to be needed when a car rolls into the service bay.

Since 1996, every car, truck, SUV, minivan and hybrid vehicle sold in United States must have an on-board diagnostic system (OBDII). It monitors approximately 80% of a vehicle’s systems to trigger the check engine light and alert drivers to issues related to emissions, fuel economy, drivability and cost of ownership.

CarMD is uniquely qualified to provide unbiased repair cost and trend data having built the most dynamic database of faults and repairs related to vehicle on-board diagnostic systems. Data comes directly from each vehicle’s OBDII system, reported by millions of vehicle owners and the professionals who service them. Fault and repair data is validated by CarMD’s network of certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians.

About CarMD
Based in Irvine, California, Corporation is a leading provider of commercial automotive diagnostic solutions, including Car® PRO Scanning, digital automotive aftermarket platform services and vehicle data licensing. CarMD specializes in automotive technology solutions that leverage and enhance the capabilities of the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) port. Published every three years, the CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ reports on trends in automotive repair and maintenance. For more information on CarMD’s automotive alternatives, including current and archived Vehicle Health Index reports, visit

Media Contact:
Kristin Brocoff
[email protected]

CarMD logo (PRNewsfoto/CarMD)

CarMD logo (PRNewsfoto/CarMD)



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