Photo credit: virgmos/Shutterstock.com.
If one thing in life is certain, it's that at some point your check engine light will come on. Probably at an inopportune time, too. But whenever it is, we caution you not to ignore it. Especially in the age of Covid. According to CarMD, a provider of automotive diagnostic and business solutions, 2020 led to financial challenges for many, which means some people held on to older vehicles longer than ever before. CarMD says these changes impacted the age of vehicles and the types of repairs needed.
Top 5 Check Engine Light Causes
So what are the top five causes of check engine lights and how much will they set you back? There are no big surprises in the list, which pretty much mimics that of 2020. The 2021 CarMD Vehicle Health Index lists the top five most common check engine light-related repairs in 2020 along with the average cost to make that repair, including parts and labor.
CarMD says each of these issues will keep a vehicle from passing its state emissions test and negatively impact fuel economy if ignored.
"We want vehicle owners to utilize the information provided by CarMD to become informed about the importance of being attentive to scheduled maintenance and addressing check engine light issues in a timely manner, which can positively impact fuel economy, extend vehicle life, reduce the likelihood of future repairs and make it easier to pass a smog test," said David Rich, CarMD technical director. "We don't want people to panic when they hear that catalytic converters are the most common repair. It's important to remember that while catalytic converters are costly, they don't typically fail unless maintenance and other repairs like as a faulty oxygen sensor or ignition coil are ignored, or a vehicle has high mileage."
As we've reported recently here at CarProUSA, there's been a dramatic increase of catalytic converter thefts during the pandemic, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Thieves are after the precious metals they're made of such as rhodium that can be sold to metal recyclers.
Rich adds that the uptick in catalytic converter replacements and need for these parts can be partially explained by the increase in the average vehicle age to an all-time high of 11.9 years in 2020. As people keep their cars and trucks longer, the automotive aftermarket will need to adjust related parts supply forecasts accordingly.
Here are some other 2021 CarMD Vehicle Health Index findings according to its press release:
April 28, 2021