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Posted: 10/21/2006 9:35:27 PM EST
Call me a huge skeptic. I see that alot of what I call second tier dealerships ( I don't know the actual term- but the ones that sell exclusively used cars from 1-15 years old, sometimes on consignment etc) offer free Carfax reports. I remember when Carfax first came out, I felt like it had the unbiased style like Consumer Reports. Now it seems like every dealership is using it. Are they in cahoots? What states should I avoid buying a car from? Meaning what states don't require salvage titles to be reported to the DMV? So when I click on Ebay auto, I have an idea what to filter out.

Link Posted: 10/22/2006 2:37:38 AM EST
I would say they are. Carfax isnt affiliated with any dealer or manufacturer AFAIK.
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 3:05:54 PM EST
They may be trustworthy, but the info is only as good as what is supplied to them. Meaning, ive had fender benders where ive fixed them myself. Now, I did disclose the issues to potential buyers, but some ppl may not. I dont waste my money with carfax unless its done for free or what not. I guess itll tell ya if something major was done and went thru insurance, but ya never know. Dont rely on it solely in your purchase of a used vehicle. there are some pretty good ways to tell if things have been altered or messed with. If its so good a job you cant tell than its probably better than factory anyways. lol
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 4:44:34 PM EST
No. Nothing beats a thorough inspection by someone who KNOWS that particular model. Carfax is a pretty good indicator initially, but if it passes, then have the vehicle inspected. Mistakes can and are made for odometer entry, which can falsely flag a roll back. Vehicles with major collision repairs are often not reported, or have the incident labeled as "minor" when it was much worse.
I use Carfax all the time, but too many times things are out there that Carfax can't catch. Have any used car thoroughly inspected before you purchase it. Man, the stories of heartbroken people I have had to deal with.........
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 7:38:01 PM EST
I'm starting to be more aware of car damage not only because I am shopping for a second hand car, but also because my new career as an entry level claim adjuster has me thinking of all kinds of worse case scenarios. Since I take claims from people who lie about their damage that they've done to their other vehicles or lie and claim no damage to their vehicles in some hope that we will be lenient on determining fault. I have exposre to shops and field adjusters, and see photo inspections of vehicles and I can't believe the cost of repairing cars now a days. On top of the amount of fraud out there. My experience in this new job is minimal, just a few months. I wish I was in my job a little longer so I have more inside information and experience. That way when I shop for used car, I feel like I know what I'm doing.
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 4:53:30 AM EST
Carfax is trustworthy, people are not
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 5:08:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/25/2006 5:11:00 AM EST by only_a_flesh_wound]

Originally Posted By MTUSA:
Carfax is trustworthy, people are not


But...

Last time I bought a car, I used Carfax. Looked at (later bought) a 1999 Honda CR-V at a local Honda dealer. Car had been leased new from the same dealer, serviced there, and turned in at the end of the lease. I asked for the name of the folks who leased it. Turns out they were local. Everything checked out. They had nothing to gain, but gave the car a big thumbs up.

But in the back of my mind, I'm thinking I'd better double check with Carfax. I did. Report came back clean. So I thought, what the hell, I'll check my '90 Legend. Yup. Came back clean too. Only problem was that I knew that I had hit a deer over two years prior and did almost $4,000 worth of damage which my insurance company paid for.

I learned that in Indiana (and other states), the insurance companies (or BMV, or somebody, I can't remember) are not required to report the information for Carfax to collect, so my "bonifide Carfax report" meant nothing. Absolutely nothing. So no, I would not count on it.
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 6:37:53 PM EST
I wonder which states don't require those to report salvage title etc. I remember reading a Car and Driver article about a year ago about how there was a large amount of used cars on the market after Katrina. Just a quick detail job and the car looked brand new....

I work CA claims and I know that by law the insurance companies have to report to the DMV damages over $750. This is known and form SR-1
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 3:54:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 7:08:56 AM EST
Carfax only takes into account insurance claims. If you get in an accident and don't report it to insurance, then it won't show up. Found that out on the last used car I bought.

It had a new fender that was "home painted" with no primer or clearcoat, but still looked good, until I powerwashed the car lol.
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 8:52:22 AM EST
Carfax doesn't show all insurance claims. I checked my fathers car that had two (2) relatively minor collision repairs (paid by insurance) and it showed nothing.

I brought a used honda and later found out it had major body repairs, to the tune of 2k, carfax showed nothing.

Any tool that dealers are all to happy to show you, won't give you the whole picture. It does show registration and ownership history.
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 9:21:02 AM EST
CarFax is a waste of money. Period.

If you are interested in a car have a mechanic you trust go over it, otherwise take your chances.

Some years ago I bought a used BMW M3 from the BMW dealer. The CarFax showed that it had only been in a "minor accident in a parking lot."

LOL, that car wound up looking more one of Mike Tyson's dates. Later I find wood screws holding the corrnoring lamps on, no aux fan at all, new ac compressor, front cap had been welded back on, new rear sway bar and shocks, etc etc etc etc. Never again.

There was nothing I could do, if you read their disclaimer, they only promise to show what has been reported TO them.

My son ran his 328is into a ditch one night. I had a tow truck get it before the police and the insurance, he was 16 yo and the insurance bump would have been a bitch. I paid for the whole body shop trip, that will never be on a CarFax, WTF is it good for? Mileage?

Good Luck,
Bill
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