I agree Car Fax is complete BS and the fine print on those reports mean squat.
Our neighbor had a QX56 which I personally know was in a pretty serious collision with a deer (front end pass and pass fender were totally crushed). Insurance was involved as were police. When he listed the car on autotrader, I decided to run the VIN (for fun) and noticed that it came back clean on Car Fax.
Another car which we were looking to buy was from a co-worker who also said his vehicle (GX460) was clean and never in an accident. I ran the car fax and did an auto check which both came clean and was about to agree to purchase until a nurse told me the real history of the SUV. Turned out it was rear ended and most of the back had to be replaced. I brought this up once I was aware and his response was that "maybe it was my wife, I dont know...but the car fax is clean so you can sell it later" - WTF???
After those two incidents, I stopped paying to run them. Just like dealerships look for paint mismatch, I will gladly pay my mechanic $80-100 to spend 60-90mins and lift the car and look for weld spots, paint spray on certain parts, etc.
whats the difference between thumbs up and rep? sorry, i'm new here..
Thumbs up tells the community that a deal is good, and can trip people's deal alerts when a thread gets enough thumbs up.
Rep is a 'thank you' that goes specifically to the member who posted the deal.
Rep really doesn't do much for you except for show the community that you are an active, contributing member... however after 200 reps you get an extra entry into the daily drawing, so there's a benefit there.
I stopped trusting CarFax after I had my MB dealer run one on my
own vehicle. It did not even list the extensive deer collision from two
The insurance comapny, GEICO, did not report it to CarFax. The
bodyshop(owned by an authorized Mercedes dealership also did
not report it to CarFax. The damage was in excess of $5000,
which I would consider to be major prior damage, no?
However, the CarFax report did list almost every single oil change.
Maybe because it was a comprehensive claim not collision?
Running a Carfax to find out if a car has been damaged is pointless. The best thing Carfax is for is for finding out if the title is clear---not been totalled out by the insurance company for accidents, theft, flooding, etc.... However, there are ways that people can get the title cleared by buying out of state and importing it...somehow it clears the title.
So you suggest getting a private investigator instead?
no... I'm just saying CarFax can't be completely trusted. Yes, they do keep a pretty
decent record of the vehicle, based on public sources.
but if the insurance company and bodyshop don't report major collision repairs, it's
up to the buyer to find someone who can tell the difference.
I took my car to CarMax for an appraisal. When I first entered, they had a nice
Buick and a big poster that showed its previous damage. They claim that they
do not buy cars with such damages.(much less than the deer damage that I had)
The appraiser gave me an appraisal a LOT higher than what I expected. On top
of that, he and his manger were not able to tell that any body work was done
on my car. (but then again, it was repaired at an Mercedes dealer's own auto
body shop that only works on Mercedes and no other brand) If I had to estimate
my own vehicle, I would have refused to buy it because of the major deer collision.
Of course, I would never have been able to tell the difference, especially since
the CarMax appraisers also couldn't tell.
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