Truck Repair Costs Are on the Rise

CarMD photo 1 II

For the first time in six years, automotive repair costs have gone up. As you might expect, the slumping economy was responsible for repair costs staying so low during the last several years, but that seems to be over now — at least according to the 2013 Vehicle Health Index report just released by

According to the report, 2012 labor rates went up 17 percent on average while parts costs were higher by 6 percent; the average repair cost was $367. The VHI report considers more than 161,000 repairs across the country and concludes that people are holding onto their vehicles longer and trying to stretch every dollar; unfortunately, for many of us, that means ignoring the check-engine light.

The report notes that the top five issues that trigger the check engine light — faulty oxygen sensors, loose gas caps, catalytic converters, ignition coils, and spark plugs and wires — can have a detrimental effect on fuel economy and cost more money to repair the longer one drives with the trouble code lit. is worth checking out because it offers a free service that provides all the recalls and technical service bulletins released about your truck as well as offering a grade rating based on how well you've followed scheduled maintenance recommendations. Of course, the website will want to sell you its plug-in diagnostic tool, but you can get all the information about your vehicle and repair trends for free.

The best advice we can offer is to find a good, local mechanic who has the specialty tools necessary to diagnose most of your truck's problems. Just don't be surprised if his (or her) prices are starting to sneak up a bit.

To read the report, click here.



@Jeff S
As much as I dislike the Ford Focus my mother bought, she bought it because she can ingress and egress from the vehicle easily and she stated it easy for her to drive and cheap on fuel.

I can't blame her for wanting a vehicle that suits her needs.

Everyone has their own needs, if someone is happy with a Tundra and the feel confident with the vehicle, so be it.

@Big Al from Oz-Exactly if a particular vehicle fits you needs and you are happy with it what else do you need? There is an article about the soon to be released 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage subcompact car on TTAC with a lot of commentors criticizing the old 90s econobox styling except for one that says it is a inexpensive car that serves a purpose. If I didn't have and use my S-10 for 12k with electric windows and a miserly 3 cylinder engine I would be interested in it just for commuting in and running errands. Granted I would not buy something like that for long distance travel, but again it is a product fulfilling a need for a small inexpensive and economical car. Every vehicle made serves a unique purpose for its owner.

That's really what it is all about -- satisfaction with what you bought!

In my case, I do not state my preference lightly or to win someone over to my point of view, since my preference now is based on ownership of many, many trucks over several decades. Three of those truck which were bought brand new, each with less than 12 miles on the clock, at the time. I really don't give a rat's ass about what other people choose to buy and drive. Only about what I drive.

I'm not selling Tundra, nor did I sell Silverado when I first bought it in 1988, and neither did I sell F150 when I switched brands in 2006. I bought the best truck on the market, each time.

The point here is that trucks have evolved and will continue to evolve and in the future I will probably buy an F250 with the biggest gas-motor in it that I can find, IF Tundra discontinues the 5.7 as their top-line engine, as rumored because of CAFE.

All I need is a half-ton, but I want a bigger mill than the 5.3, 5.4 or 5.6. I really don't give a hoot about the price of gasoline. Never have. Never will. It's all part of the cost of the daily grind.

If people tell me that they are having a great ownership experience with a truck, regardless of brand, I say that's good for them! But I know what I like, and other Tundra owners know what they like, and that's why we bought them, even though Tundra costs more than the other brands.

The F150 is a great truck, for those who do not want or cannot afford better. Ditto with Silverado and RAM. I have no problem with anyone buying what they choose or what they can afford.

I know what I like and I express my preference because there may be people who are so entrenched into buying an F150, Silverado or RAM that they fail to see the forest for the trees.

If a person is in the market, look at everything that's out there, and then decide. It is to my benefit that the Tundra is the most American truck on the market and the least problematic.

That ain't all bad, and to overlook the Tundra when you're shopping because of some misguided loyalty is really shortchanging yourself.

I do not dispute that the F150 is the best selling truck on the market, and there's a reason for that. But based on my experience, ownership and use, the 5.7 Tundra does any F150 one better. I hope they continue to offer that magnificent 5.7 in future Tundra trucks.

@Highdesertcat--That is all that really matters is that you choose what you like and that you are satisfied with it. Anyone elses opinion doesn't matter its your own personal experience.

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