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#4687300 - 03/07/18 09:52 AM Ran a CarFax report on my own truck...
mrsilv04 Offline

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 8275
Loc: Illinois
For kicks and giggles, and a $4.99 fee, I ran a CarFax report on one of my trucks.

Once I had it and reviewed it, all I could do was laugh. Paying $4.99 for this, was about $5.00 too much.

1) None of the service work (warranty or non-warranty) that the dealer (a Chevrolet/Cadillac dealer) did to it appears on the report.
2) The number of owners is wrong. It shows the truck as a one-owner. I'm owner #2.
3) An accident that was reported to, and investigated by, the police is missing.

The report shows that I've owned it for 14 years (wrong), with an estimated miles driven per year of 15,951. Using those numbers, it should have around 221,000 miles on it. It actually has 101,000 miles.

However, the report *does* show a tire rotation by Midas. The problem is... it never happened.

Yes, it is a sample of one... but it's a bad sample of one. When I bought the Fusion and the last Town and Country, I didn't even get a CarFax/AutoCheck for either one, and instead relied on my eyes, ears, and brain... and did just fine without a report.
2004 Silverado - on its 3rd Jasper engine in less than one year.

#4687307 - 03/07/18 09:57 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
Audios Offline

Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 888
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
Thats sad, for something that pepole rely so heavily on it can be misleading. Most smaller shops dont report, but any dealership should. This is a great link for anyone looking for cheap reports. I bought 5 in 2 days through them, you get an emailed PDF within a half hour.

Edited by Audios (03/07/18 09:57 AM)
2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL

#4687312 - 03/07/18 10:01 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
demarpaint Offline

Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29792
Loc: NY
I did the same thing a few years back on a vehicle of mine that was parked and totaled. The driver of the car who hit my vehicle paid out via her insurance, there was a police report as well. She was a drunken driver! The report came back perfect. Those reports imo are a [censored] shoot at best. I know a few people who had similar results. I wouldn't waste my time or money on one.
God Bless Our Troops

#4687314 - 03/07/18 10:01 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
dishdude Online   content

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8757
Loc: Phoenix
I use them only to determine if it was a former rental car.
2018 Challenger SRT

#4687323 - 03/07/18 10:05 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
KrisZ Offline

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7473
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Like with many businesses, when they started out the reports were probably quite accurate, but as they grew they started to cut costs. I wouldn't be surprised if there's reports were not generated by some sort of algorithm now.
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-21k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-155k miles

#4687326 - 03/07/18 10:07 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
CleverUserName Offline

Registered: 11/08/17
Posts: 177
Loc: California
Iíve dodged a couple bullets thanks to CarFax & Autocheck. If you can get one done cheap, itís a valuable resource to have on a used car purchase.

Also they can be manipulated by certain individuals who know how info is reported.

Looked at a ďcleanĒ F250 that had an obvious odometer swap. Had 70k miles according to Carfax, but drove and interior looked like it had 250k. Evidence of front end repair w/overspray not listed on report as well.

Police reports and theft recoveries are more likely to be seen on Autocheck report in my experience.

A clean Carfax is an indicator of value, whether itís bogus or not.

Edited by CleverUserName (03/07/18 10:11 AM)

#4687404 - 03/07/18 11:12 AM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
Haven't looked at a Carfax for any of mine that I can recall, but I ran an Autocheck one on my old Durango and the accident it was in wasn't on it. It was reported to the police and fixed at a Dodge dealer. Don't really have any faith in them. Interesting to look at though. I've looked at plenty of vehicles that have obviously been wrecked and have clean reports. I remember once I was looking at a really sharp Commander, it was an 08 and this would've been 2010 I think. The whole front of the undercarriage was spotless (engine, engine cradle/subframe, all the suspension stuff) and then from the engine back, it had the normal dirt of a 2 year old vehicle. Plus it was missing a badge or two up front.
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

#4687539 - 03/07/18 01:22 PM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: HoosierJeeper]
Kira Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5257
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
One service may be better than another but I think the verdict is in; IFFY AT BEST.

Family member's car had nothing but registration renewals listed. Always dealer serviced. (CarFax)

Sis' '88 Cherokee had a busted grille (radiator not hurt) CarFax listed Liberty Mutual as totaling it. Perhaps accurate but misleading.

Dealership in Bethesda reported big services which jibed with their in-house records.

Gotta scrutinize

#4687549 - 03/07/18 01:29 PM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
exranger06 Offline

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 3911
Loc: Guilford, CT
According to Carfax, my CR-V had new tires installed at a shop in New Hampshire about a month after I bought it, when in fact it had never left my driveway in CT.
2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)

#4687627 - 03/07/18 02:30 PM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
Pajero Offline

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 871
Loc: Rio Rancho, NM
Carfax has infiltrated the police departments records database. They sell police reports for police departments and split the profits with the PD. In exchange, they let police officers run free carfax reports for investigations.

Very very sad!


Always remember "Planned obsolescence."

1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC, 133,xxx
Fram Ultra/ Snorkel with Pre-filter

#4687643 - 03/07/18 02:41 PM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
copcarguy Online   content

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 335
Loc: PA
I had a truck I special ordered and bought brand new back in 2007.

I traded it in a while later and the dealer had a free carfax on it on their website. It showed one owner which was me.

Fast fwd to this year I happened to see it at a used car dealer. On THEIR website it still showed one owner, and carfax just combined my events with the second owner.

#4687695 - 03/07/18 03:25 PM Re: Ran a CarFax report on my own truck... [Re: mrsilv04]
dnewton3 Offline

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 7392
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
I think this is like most other things.
Garbage in = garbage out.

I got a car-fax on my recent purchase last year of a 2006 CVLX for my son. It had an extensive record of many routine services and maintenance items common to the Panther cars. But the best thing I saw was that there was a dealership associated with most of the work. So I looked up the name of the dealer on the 'net and called them. (it was a Michelin tire/service shop). They actually confirmed that the records were accurate.

My point is that there's no assurance that the carfax is correct, but maybe it gives you an avenue to finding out more info. Info that is easier and more trustworthy to confirm. Or, conversely, makes finding out lies easier!
The act of preventative maintenance, in and of itself, is FAR MORE important than brand/grade/base choices among lubes and filters.
- under maintaining something is akin to abuse/neglect; that can kill equipment by shortening the lifespan
- over maintaining something has never been proven to be anything but a waste of time and money