Which States Have the Most Car Trouble?

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If you’re a car owner, it might at times feel like having to deal with unexpected problems is the rule rather than the exception. Even if you try to pre-empt everything, there’s always the chance that the utterly unpredictable could occur, be it something as simple as a dead battery or as shocking as a car accident.

Unfortunately, we at YourMechanic have to see these kinds of things happen to our clientele every day, and it recently got us wondering about which parts of the United States experience the most car trouble.

We endeavored to answer that question by finding out how common it is for people in each state to use Google to search for keywords that imply they’re having trouble with their car.

These keywords were:

  • Car accident lawyer
  • Car wont start (this term was used instead of 'car won’t start' due to its far higher search volume)
  • Dead car battery
  • Tire repair
  • Windshield repair

We entered these terms into Google Trends, which takes keyword search volume and adjusts the results by state population to give a standardized level of interest. This makes every state’s data comparable despite huge differences in population size. We then combined each state’s keyword interest levels and ranked them in order to find our results.

It’s worth mentioning that a few of the smaller states didn’t have enough data to provide an accurate level of interest for one of their search terms. We therefore filled these gaps with the median level of interest for that search term to avoid them being ranked too low in the results table. This means that, while the final result for those few states won’t be of pinpoint accuracy, they will all be at least close to their true rankings.

Which states do you think will have the most problems with their vehicles? Read on to find out…

States with the most car trouble

Kansas was the state with the highest amount of interest in terms pertaining to car trouble. It had the highest interest in ‘car accident lawyer’ as well as very high interest in ‘car wont start’ and above average levels of interest in ‘windshield repair’ and ‘tire repair’. Followers of The Kansas City Star might not find this latter issue too surprising – it was recently reported that Kansas City’s number of pothole complaints rose from 256 in the first six weeks of 2018 to 1,407 in the first six weeks of 2019. This can likely explain why more Kansas residents are having problems with their tires these days.

Meanwhile, Louisiana finished in 2nd place. Although it had far less interest in ‘car accident lawyer’ than Kansas did, the state had more interest in every other term, explaining why it ranked so highly overall. Nevada rounded off the top three with only one point less than Louisiana, totaling at 383.

States with the least car trouble

At the other end of the rankings, Maine was the state with the lowest interest in car trouble terms. This isn’t the only way in which the state was diametrically opposed to Kansas – it also had the lowest interest in the term ‘car accident lawyer’ while, as previously mentioned, Kansas had the highest.

Connecticut had the 2nd lowest search interest in car trouble keywords. None of its results were outstandingly small, but the Constitution State did manage to maintain consistently low search volume across the board. New York finished in 3rd place and, although the state had one of the higher levels of interest in ‘car accident lawyer’, it had low results for every other keyword. It could be that this is partially due to the state’s requirement that every registered vehicle must undergo a mandatory safety inspection every 12 months. This ensures that drivers regularly have their cars checked and potentially catches and prevents mechanical issues before they can occur.

Judging by these results, it would appear that the states with less car trouble are often found in the north! Car trouble can be avoided by doing a quick VIN search on your vehicle. A vehicle history report will give you all the information you need to make the right decision before buying a car.

Do you think our data accurately represents your state’s level of car trouble? Or do the results surprise you? If you’d like access to a text version of the tables, click here.


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