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A sidenote: for all those who have wondered if services like Carfax ever worked...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was really starting to lose faith in Carfax and the related history check services, until I came across this when looking for a car after my trusty Honda got totalled. I had not found a single car that had shown anything negative up to that point and I must have generated dozens and dozens of reports. Even my old Civic does not show up as totalleed when I currently check it.

Anyhow, some background. One of the candidate vehicles was the Mazda Miata. This one was a few thousand lower than others, and below Edmunds TMV. The listing on Autotrader had no VIN listed which I found problematic. My wife called to get the VIN from the seller and I plugged it in...



and further down...



Naturally my wife asked the seller before getting the VIN if the car had any mechanical problems or if it had been in any accidents. The answer was that it had never had any mishaps
post #2 of 6
thanks for the post. it is troubling though that they don't have the correct info on your old honda. how much do you trust carfax now?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
thanks for the post. it is troubling though that they don't have the correct info on your old honda. how much do you trust carfax now?
You know, I had some qualms before my accident (when I had looked for cars) because of all the trouble-free vehicles I would come across; but I really just hoped for the best. As far as I was concerned, all these services would do for me is reduce by a little the probability of getting a POS. My best bet was usually having my mechanic check the car, I trust him 100% (shameless plug for anyone in Tucson: Stuttgart Autohaus are DAMN HONEST AND GOOD!). I am wondering though if my ex-car's records would not be updated at the AZ MVD until they either try salvaging the title (which would not be surprising as it was really in decent condition other than the frontal damage) or if it is just that the insurance company took ages to declare it to the AZ MVD as totalled. I just don't know .
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I should probably add that at least for Carfax the guarantee is against them not reporting something already in the MVD records. So if something went haywire but there was never an accident report and MVD received that info, they will not cover you if you find it out after the fact.
post #5 of 6
Carfax is a good prescreening tool. I wouldn't trust it 100% for any car that I'll spend my hard earned money on. Fifty buck and any decent mechanic will be able to tell you if it's worthwhile, even better if the mechanic has a paint meter. The other thing is that Carfax can't in any way tell you about rust issues. If you live in rust prone areas, you will get a POS unless (a) you know a thing or two about cars, or (b) you have a reputable mechanic check it out for you.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
Carfax is a good prescreening tool. I wouldn't trust it 100% for any car that I'll spend my hard earned money on. Fifty buck and any decent mechanic will be able to tell you if it's worthwhile, even better if the mechanic has a paint meter.

The other thing is that Carfax can't in any way tell you about rust issues. If you live in rust prone areas, you will get a POS unless (a) you know a thing or two about cars, or (b) you have a reputable mechanic check it out for you.

I agree - having a good mechanic inspect the vehicle is a must. Carfax records will tell you (hopefully) what areas of the country the car was registered in which would help determine the probability of rust, beyond what the mechanic can see without tearing down parts of the car.
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