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Want To Save on Car Repair Bills? Move to Indiana!

As car owners, we dread two things: paying those high insurance premiums and taking the car in for maintenance and repair. Doesn’t it always seem like you take your Toyota in for an oil change and suddenly there’s a major catastrophe waiting with your brakes? It’s just not fair, whether you get these repairs done in person or do it on your own, with the help of literature and a helpful website. Well believe it or not, what state you live in can have an effect on how much you pay for your repairs.

Indiana, Maine, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire

Indiana claims the top spot for cheapest auto repair in the country, with an average total cost of $283.95. It’s joined by other the other Midwest states of Wisconsin and Iowa. Northeastern Vermont costs drivers the least in labor at $98.90, while those in Maine paid least for parts on average at $175.91, with New Hampshire rounding out the top five in lowest repairs.

Nevada, Rhode Island and Alaska

Interestingly, Nevada, Rhode Island and Alaska fall in the middle of the list; unlike the Indiana/Wisconsin/Iowa clump, and the New Hampshire/Maine/Vermont New England connection, there is no geographical connection between a Western state, a Northeastern one and Alaska – which is separated from the rest of the United States by about 500 miles of British Columbia. Nevada’s position in the middle of the list is also curious because of the most expensive repair costs troubling inhabitants of states in the same part of the country.

Wyoming, Utah, California, Montana and Arizona

Surprised to see these five at the top of the most-expensive list? There might be a reason for it; higher amounts of airborne dust – where it’s hotter and less humid, especially in this current climate – have been known to silently clog vehicles’ mass air flow. Put off too long, replacing the air filter in a western state can run up to $400. CarMD, a California-based company, suggested that higher altitudes might have something to do with it; this is echoed by Robert Maez, chairman of the Automotive Service/Collision Technology department at Pueblo Community College, who said the topography of Colorado (which placed sixth for highest repair costs), “might get more check engine light problems than other states due to the altitude and mountainous areas.” (CarMD followed this up and found that in fact, repair shops were simply charging a little bit more.) Longer distances between car shops, too – like in Wyoming, which is one of the least populous states – might drive up prices.

In fact, in Wyoming, car owners will pay over $100 more on average when they take their vehicles into the shop, with a $389.18 price tag. Utah, California, Montana and Arizona follow lose behind, with none under $360 for average auto repair costs.

The Number One Repair

Across the country, replacing a faulty oxygen sensor was the most common repair, and it cost the least in Nebraska and the most in Illinois, with an over-all $100 discrepancy ($209.81 vs. 313.25). The average is $246.39, for a part which, if left faulty, can impact fuel efficiency by up to 40 percent.

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