A glowing check-engine light on a driver's dashboard can lead to feelings of fear and uncertainty. This is true now more than ever as an NBC News report recently highlighted the most expensive states to fix this common automotive problem. Despite some regional variation on rates, labor and parts, the report shows a 10 percent increase in the national average cost to repair problems linked to the check-engine light. Regardless of your home state, an auto insurance package with roadside assistance is always a good idea when considering the alternative - the possibility of being stranded on the highway with one of these check-engine problems.
"In 2012 ... many drivers along the East Coast incurred rising auto-repair costs, while they simultaneously contended with Hurricane Sandy's aftermath," CarMD CEO Leon Chen told the news source. "Car owners in many states also continued to put off small repairs, contributing to cumulative failures with increased repair costs."
Although many cars on the East Coast fell victim to flood and wind-related damages, vehicles all over the country are susceptible to everyday problems that can compound drastically over time and leave a driver with a much bigger bill than expected. Having a cheap automobile insurance plan can prevent some major headaches, especially during the inclement weather of winter months.
One small light can indicate many problems
The namesake of the check-engine light is rather misleading, as a wide variety of mechanical problems may cause it to flash. The Boston Globe recently revealed the top 10 repairs that need to be addressed when this happens, some of which have little to do with the engine itself. Of course, some problems are easier to fix than others, and the cost of these repairs can range from 10 cents for a tightened fuel cap to more than $1,100 to replace a catalytic converter.
According to CarMD's 2013 Vehicle Health Index, big expenses - such as a new catalytic converter - are an uncommon occurrence, accounting for only 6.2 percent of repairs. Thankfully, these types of failures can typically be traced back to smaller parts that are often cheaper and easier to replace. Nevertheless, most check-engine light problems are related to a faulty oxygen sensor, which will still set drivers back an average of $293.88 - not exactly pocket change. Of course, many of these problems will be the result of general wear and tear, but accidents are always a concern. Auto insurance is a must-have in the uncertain world of vehicle maintenance.