As the median age of a car on the road nears 11 years, drivers can breathe a (slight) sigh of relief: Fixing their cars is getting cheaper.
The average cost for car repairs stemming from a check-engine light fell 6% in 2011, California-based CarMD.com says, with drivers averaging $333.93 per repair. About two-thirds of that went to parts, with labor making up the remaining third. CarMD says lower labor rates, driven by the recession, are responsible for the overall decline in such repair costs, but the cost of parts has gone up, and severe repairs are becoming more common.
High airborne dust in Western states risked expensive repairs ($400, on average) to vehicles' mass airflow sensors, CarMD says. Nationwide, faulty oxygen sensors were the most common cause of a check-engine light. To replace those sensors, drivers paid the least in Nebraska and the most in Illinois.
See where your state ranked in the chart below.