Usually in San Angelo, the biggest driving concerns are the endless stoplights and trying hard not to spill your hot coffee in your lap. Sooner or later, though, we all have to deal with the dreaded "Check Engine" light.  It can be a costly event. Getting to the nearest service center can seem like the longest trip ever.

Hands of automotive mechanic check and inspecting the engine of the car.
Narongrit Sritana
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A diagnostic solutions and services company analyzed data from nearly 14 million cars, trucks, vans and SUV's whose drivers sought help for a "check engine" light. CarMD.com calls their analysis the "2022 CarMD Vehicle Health Index".

Mechanic showing a paper in a clipboard to a woman
Wavebreakmedia Ltd
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A "check engine" is designed to come on when your vehicle's computer sees an issue that might be affecting emissions and/or, fuel economy.  The 5 Most Common issues indicated by a "check engine" light are:

Sam Edwards
Sam Edwards
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1) The need to repair a catalytic converter. Average Cost $1355.

2) Replace an oxygen sensor. Average Cost $243

3) Replace ignition coils and spark plugs Average Cost $387

4) Replace mass air flow sensor $319

5) Tighten or replace gas cap $25

Photo by Teddy Österblom on Unsplash
Photo by Teddy Österblom on Unsplash
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Even if your car is running great the "check engine" light can come on.  When it does, it is important NOT to ignore it.  The most expensive "check engine" related repair, which is replacing the catalytic converter is usually caused by ignoring more affordable repairs for too long.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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2021 repair costs were up 3.6% overall. Down somewhat from the peak year of 2016.  The average car repair costs $393 on average.  In San Angelo, that figure is $368 when adjusted to reflect the average difference in auto costs here vs. the national average.

When it comes to the cost of "check engine" light related car repairs, Texas is 14th overall with an average cost of 385.35.  It is up from 18th place the year before. Most expensive is California.  Least expensive is Ohio.

Overdue Invoice Notice
David Pimborough
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Texas ranks 18th Most Expensive State for auto repair labor costs overall. However, San Angelo auto repair rates are about 10% lower than the rate in Houston, and 13% lower than Dallas. This is mostly because a repair shop in San Angelo doesn't have to pay as much mortgage or rent as they would in a major city. There are cheaper spots in Texas for auto repair, but generally San Angelo is very reasonable overall.

Cute young lady happy driving car
dragana991
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So don't ignore it when the "check engine" light comes on. It could just mean that your gas cap is loose.  That is not at all expensive, unless you happen to need a gas tank fill-up.  Then, you could be out some real cash.

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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