I'm not even sure you can tell by inspecting it, unless it was in
really bad shape. And of course, if you're gonna go that far you might
as well just replace it. Carfax doesn't have that level of detail - it
will occasionally show some service details, but it's a garbage-in,
garbage-out system. Did you buy it from a dealer or a private party? I
assumed you asked them. If they don't know, I would change it out,
along with the water pump.
'04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6
Central NJ USA
This would only work if they've been fully serviced at a main dealer,
which would then be on the dealers computerised records. If they've
changed to independents, which is likely, then the only way to know is
to ask who's been servicing it for the past few years, or contact the
prev owner yourself. When I got my mk2 Golf the books were stamped but
no receipts, so I dropped the prev owner a letter which he actually
followed up and called me, though by this time I'd had the campbelt done
out of precaution. This info is of more use when the previous owners
have had the car a while, if they've only had it 6 months this may be
more tricky to info glean.
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