According to a summertime state-by-state ranking of repair costs researched by auto diagnostic company CarMD, Wyoming drivers “paid 17 percent more than the U.S. average for overall repairs, including 19% more for labor and 15% more for parts.” The average cost in the state: $389.18, about $100 higher than the cheapest states.
This makes no sense until you note that “overall repairs,” in this context, will include only those repairs motivated by the dreaded Malfunction Indicator Light. (“Check your engine, sir?”) And the next four most expensive states are also out West, which gives away the secret:
The higher average out West can partially be attributed to higher amounts of airborne dust: by putting off replacing air filters in Western states, vehicle owners put their vehicles’ mass air flow sensors at risk. On average, this is a $400 repair.
On my car, the air filter is a 15k replacement item that costs about $20; the MAF sensor runs a cool $488.
The title, of course, comes from this famous 1923 auto ad:
I have no idea what an air filter for this thing might cost.