It's the automotive version of "For want of a shoe, the horse was lost." Many drivers ignore the check-engine light. But by not paying now, many end up paying more later.
In 2016, the second most common check-engine-light-prompted repair was replacing the catalytic converter, for a hefty $1,190. But in most cases, a catalytic converter won't fail "unless a related root cause -- such as a faulty spark plug -- is ignored for too long," said CarMD, a software provider that delivers vehicle health and maintenance information. Replacing the ignition coil and spark plugs, at a cost of $401, was the third most common repair after the check-engine light went on, CarMD said.
Here are the 10 most common repairs that were related to the check-engine light last year.
1. Replace oxygen sensor(s): $258.63 in total average parts and labor costs
2. Replace catalytic converter(s): $1,190.18
3. Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plugs: $401.22
4. Inspect for loose fuel cap; tighten, replace: $16.88
5. Replace mass air flow sensor: $378.15
6. Replace ignition coil(s): $243.42
7. Replace spark plug wires, spark plugs: $341.71
8. Replace evaporative emissions purge control valve: $176.45
9. Replace thermostat: $225.40
10. Replace evaporative emissions purge solenoid: $195.95
Source: 2017 CarMD Vehicle Health Index