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Delivery from Car Repair Hell

crh-2“Check engine.” Sigh… Are there two words in the English language that inspire any more anxiety than those two? It could be that the light is malfunctioning (Huzzah!) or it could be that the engine is about to explode through the hood of your car but whatever the reason that the light is glowing at you, your car must be taken to the mechanic and you just might be in car repair hell.

Surprisingly enough, WiseInsuranceQuotes.com’s investigative unit has learned that how much you are about to pay to turn that light off may not be completely about the cause for the light. The tab for repair may depend largely on where you live. Here is what we know so far:

1.) Hellacious Cost for Parts: Up until about 10 years ago the West Coast was the worst region of the country in which to find the parts to fix your car. Oh, California mechanics had all of what you needed at their disposal. They just charged a huge markup to actually open the boxes. All that has changed. New Jersey (10th in the country in 2002) is now the nation’s most expensive place to find parts to repair your baby when she’s sick. On average a New Jersey shop will charge $256.28 for the parts that will get you back on the road. The District of Columbia runs second at $247.97. California is still in there pitching at $247.13. North Carolina and Maryland round out the top five positions on the dubious side of the chart.

2.) Hellacious Cost for Labor: Okay, New Jersey may have the highest parts price in the country. Does that mean that they charge the most for labor as well? Surprisingly, not even close. New Jersey mechanics get $136.71 in labor charges per repair on average. That ranks 34th in the country. To find the highest labor cost in the country you must get off the Eastern Seaboard and travel most of the way across the country. Save Big Bucks on Car Insurance. Get Quotes Quick and Easy.

Labor prices are Rocky Mountain high in Colorado. The unfortunate driver that breaks down in Colorado will pay an average of $150.75 in labor to get rolling again. It’s a good thing that seeing the mountains makes folks feel peaceful. Coming in second is Utah at $149.09. Oregon is third at $146.72. New Mexico and Montana complete the top five.

3.) A Heavenly Place to Buy Parts: Okay Bad News Bear, is there any place in the country that has particularly good prices if I break down while I’m visiting? Well it’s all relative as far as “good” but there are places that will leave you a little more intact than others. You might try the Green Mountain State of Vermont. There you can expect to pay “only” $153.82 for parts. West Virginia is next at $180.16, while Iowa checks in third at $181.20. South Dakota and Michigan come in 4th and 5th respectively.

4.) A Heavenly Place to Pay Labor Costs: Well if you can’t trust Ben and Jerry then who can you trust? Little Vermont comes in lowest in labor cost as well. If your “check engine” light comes on while you’re visiting the B and J Ice Cream factory in Waterbury, Vermont expect to pay the relatively light price of $115.90 for labor. Neighboring New Hampshire is second at $121.88. Massachusetts is third at $124.58. Rhode Island and Ohio complete the list.

Perhaps the best tip, though, is “Don’t Wait.” No matter where you are, the problem will only get worse…and more expensive.