elle, with respect, neither are going to be anywhere /near/ as useful as
a proper physical inspection. you know a little bit more about engine
inspection now than you did before. with the honda d-series engine, you
can see if there's sludge/resin and you can see the cam lobes to inspect
for wear. this is a good indicator of condition in the rest of the engine.
Hi Jim. The purpose to me of these title check services is to offer
some evidence for whether the car either (1) is a salvage vehicle (if
it is, this is a car property insurance problem, for one); (2) has had
more owners than the seller is claiming; or (3) has had the odometer
tampered with. Carfaxdotcom and autocheckdotcom from my reading are
not perfect, but to me they give more peace of mind. The physical car
inspection is as important, absolutely. If I am not pleased with
either the title check or the physical inspection, then I reject a
used car. Believe me, my physical inspection checklist derives largely
from reading here over the years. I am looking at 7th generation ( =
2001-2005) Civics with around 100k miles or less on them and documents
to support length of ownership and maintenance, too.
On 9/24/09 4:30 AM, in article
I wouldn't put much stock in carfax helping with number 2 on your list. I
have seen the carfax for a couple of vehicles I bought new with less than 20
miles on the odometer and it aready showed 3 owners. The explanation from
the dealer was that transfers between dealers were recorded. If this is
happening already with a brand new car that has never actually been sold to
a consumer, I can't imagine what will show up on one that has been traded in
and resold a couple of times.
But then, the number of owners is really irrelevant. Its the maintenance and
accident history you are more interested in.
and even that doesn't mean anything much. those sources only show you
what has been recorded, not unrecorded. i've seen "clean title"
vehicles that are clearly rebuilt serious accident victims. i've seen
"salvage" vehicles in perfect condition [i own one]. and i've had 300k
mile vehicles in better condition than 100k. the only reliable method
of determining quality is inspection. end of story.
I am just a rank amateur car buyer but IMHO I disagree with
**not** using carfax.
Sure if an experienced con/shyster wants to shyster someone, then
someone will likely be shystered.
And there are many car's that may not show all their histories
on carfax but i doubt the number is significant compared to all
the car's problems that will appear.
I subscribed to carfax a few years ago for the intentional
purpose of checking/buying a used car. One car that was on a
large dealer's used lot was less than 1 yr old. When I inquired
about why such a new car was on the used lot the reason given was
that the customer/owner traded up.
Well... car fax showed that the car was involved in an extensive
front end collision about 3 months after it was purchased and it
had bounced across 5 different *used* dealer lots before ending
up at this dealer's used lot. That was one car and salesperson i
needed to avoid. It only took minutes to get that info.
and there are many more stories like that one, than a story like
(fake story follows --->) "a friend bought a car and it was in 3
wrecks and was totaled out as a salvage because it was submerged
in the great flood of New Orleans and carfax showed the car had
only one owner and had never been in an accident, carfax sux"
(<---end of fake story)
I tend to think of carfax as a time saver. Inspection can take
lots of ones time.
If someone is trying to shyster you then it might take **more**
inspection time. carfax can eliminate many (maybe not all) but
many of those wastes.
even that is not very reliable. a 5-year old car has significantly
depreciated, and a cosmetic fender bender will cause it to be written
off. and yet you can get a structural rebuild done by [drunken] monkeys
on a 3-month old car with no history.
spend the money having aaa physically inspect for you. /wayyy/ more
Up here in Canada, we have a show called Marketplace.
They did a story on Carfax and showed how inadequate it is.
I concur with the other posters that suggest a physical inspection is the
only way to go.
nope. rental cars can be abused, or they can be well maintained.
"totaled" can be physically utterly trivial depending on what the
insurance company deemed value to be at the time. relying on anything
other than physical inspection is an exercise in self-deception and
gullibility to advertising..
On 9/25/09 7:13 PM, in article
email@example.com, "AZ Nomad"
Depends on the price & physical condition of the car. I have owned cars
that were previously declared totalled & gotten many years & many miles of
good service out of them. But then, I don't even trust paying a mechanic to
do a mechanical inspection before I buy a car. I do it myself. If there is
anything seriously wrong with a car, its usually pretty obvious once you
start looking closely at it.
unless your carfax report states the nature of the damage, you have no
idea what "totaled" means other than that the insurance company
considered it "uneconomic to repair". it doesn't mean squat in terms of
structural integrity. oh, and vehicles are are repaired, but don't have
any record on carfax, can be chop-shop repairs - i.e. uber dangerous.
you should only spend you money on the one that matters - physical
friend had their teenage daughter joyride their new lexus over an
embankment. the vehicle was inspected, repaired, and given a clean bill
of health. but it didn't drive right. after getting the brush off from
the insurance company several times, he submitted a report from an
independent inspector revealing the problem - irrepairably bucked
subframe. insurance company wrote off the vehicle and paid for a new one.
without that insistent and pedantic owner, inspection and subsequent
write-off, there would have been no carfax, and you could have been
driving that vehicle right now.
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