New Jersey Most Expensive State for Car Repairs

June 12, 2013—New Jersey is the most expense state and Vermont is the cheapest when it comes to car repairs, according to a new CarMD.com report.

The average total diagnostics-and-repair bill in New Jersey was $393, according to the report, which analyzed more than 160,000 check engine-related repairs made on model year 1996-2012 vehicles in 2012.

Rounding out the top five most expensive U.S. states for auto repair were District of Columbia, California, North Carolina and Maryland.

Overall, repair costs across the nation related to a vehicles’ check-engine lights averaged $367.84, a 10 percent increase.

CarMD said the vehicle owners’ procrastination in having repairs made as a major reason for the increases as delayed repairs become more expensive as problems worsen.

The report also cited Hurricane Sandy as the reason why New Jersey car owners doubled the number of trips they made for repairs, initially for flood damage. New Jersey drivers saw a nearly 21 percent increase in labor rates and a roughly 8 percent increase in parts costs.

The most affordable state for auto repair is Vermont, at $269.72. The state also had the lowest labor and parts costs, at $153.82 and $115.90, respectively.

The District of Columbia saw the largest overall increase in repair costs, up 20 percent, while Wyoming had the greatest drop in average repair costs, down 17 percent.

Ratchet and Wrench, June 2013

 

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What to look for in a used car

We often get asked what should one look for in a used car.  It depends, of course, on what you want but most folks are looking for something relatively inexpensive and yet dependable.  With that in mind, we usually recommend a solid, reputable import like Subaru, Toyota or Honda.  This type of car tends to be well built and parts for future repairs (inevitable in a used car!) will be available and less expensive than European or higher end cars.

The first step is figuring out how much you want to spend and what you can expect to get for that much money.  Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds are great for checking the approximate value of used cars.

Once you find what you are looking for have it checked by us or any other independent shop.  Even if you are buying a “certified” car from a dealer, have it checked by a neutral party.  No one can predict what will happen when you drive it off the lot, but even an hour spent by a professional can tell you a lot about the structure of the car, what might need work soon and perhaps how it has been cared for.

 

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Girlington Featured on Yahoo Shine: Our Awesome Video

So, here is our Yahoo video for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. We actually got to page one on Yahoo home page! Woot!

I wanted to provide a place where people didn’t feel

like they were getting ripped off, where people felt like they could trust what the technicians were saying to them, what the technicians were doing. ~ Demeny

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Change your oil religiously

If you do nothing else for your car, change the oil religiously. We have seen more than one engine completely ruined by infrequent oil changes. The oil in your engine is the only thing that prevents metal on metal friction inside your engine so when the oil breaks down, you are doing damage.

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Use premium parts

If you are planning on keeping your car for more than a year, use premium parts. We always recommend them because they last longer, have fewer problems and failures and save you more in the long run on labor.

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Replacing headlights and taillights

Many headlight and taillight bulbs are relatively easy to replace yourself (although some are hard even for us and these should be done by us to prevent damage to your car). If you want to save a few bucks, stop at an auto parts store and do it yourself. Just remember not to touch halogen bulbs with your bare fingers. The oil on your fingers will cause these bulbs to explode when it heats up. Jeeze!

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Brake tests affect Vermont State Inspections

Vermont State Inspection rules have recently changed. In years past we didn’t have to look at your brakes as long as they stopped the car within a certain distance. Now we are required to check the brakes on every car and you fail if they are getting worn out.  They also fail if there is  rust on the rotors, since this indicates the pads are not making proper contact with the rotor.

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Check engine light and emissions

Vermont State Inspection is a safety and emissions test, proscribed by the state. That’s why dash warning lights are a flag – a “check engine” light indicates an emissions problem.

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