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Be careful out there.. when buying a car


The Fred

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I've been real close to buying several autos lately only to have carfax show me how wrong the mileage is, how many accidents it has been in, how long it was a rental and more..

:angry:

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These are times that the Carfax pays for itself in avoided problems.

I also have had good luck with having a mechanic inspect a car for me prior to buying. I used a place called Lemon Busters or similar once, with good results. About $100 for the inspection, and gave a complete list of what they thought might be wrong with the car. If a car is still under warranty less of an issue of course.

Another day I was looking at a car in another city, called a local car inspection place to get them to go have a look at the car. The car inspection service said they no longer go to that dealer due to problems dealing with them in the past, but they would be happy to inspect the car if I brought it to them. That ended my look at that car lol.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I don't think buying a rental car would bother me much - the people who rent Cadillacs are much less likely to beat them up and rental companies usually maintain their cars very well. As long as the accident damage was repaired properly and I couldn't tell the car had been damaged visually, that wouldn't bother me either. The incorrect mileage would be a problem though.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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An anecdote: After arriving in L.A. in 1986, I went to a local dealer cluster to buy my wife a car. We had already discovered that you couldn't buy an American car in L.A. without paying $2K+ over sticker price, and that's not how I do business, thank you. We were on the used car lot of the MoPar dealer in the cluster and the first thing I noticed was that the cars were all mid-mileage, 40,000 to 80,000 miles, but all of them read in the low 30,000 range on their mechanical odometers. I wasn't impressed but the salesman told me that I could have any car on the lot for $3K. I wrote a check and picked out a car that had about 45,000 miles on it and about 32,000 on the odometer. They wanted another $1,000. After looking over the car, including noticing tell-tale scratches on the odometer wheels and noting that tire wear indicated end-of-life for 40,000-mile tires, I decided to go ahead.

They wanted another $1,000. At that point, I took a close look at several other cars on the lot and saw the same tell-tale scratches on all of the odometer wheels. I asked for my checks back. I was ignored, and I asked for my checks back again. It looked like they expected me to leave, without the checks. I went to the main office, which was ringed by cubicles with people signing papers and closing deals, and a couple of offices. I went to the center of the room and said loudly "I want my checks back." I repeated this, a little louder each time, and the fourth time, after everything stopped and everyone was staring at me, and I was starting to get a little steamed, someone came trotting out of one of the offices with the checks.

A salesman followed me out the door, talking about why we were paying cash. He said that he did the same thing because he had a recent repo. I looked at him and told him that he hadn't needed to do that, and he could have simply worked something out with the dealer or bank when he had a problem.

Caveat emptor. I still don't understand the less-than-subtle interrogation about credit after I was leaving with my checks, and I'm not sure I want to know. Apparently they were trying to get information to fine-tune their scam procedures.

To this day I regret not calling the sheriff about that operation.

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Yes carfax is cool, but it is NOT the be all and end all...

It is an "OK" place to start... And as the Fred notes a "dirty" carfax is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, a "clean" carfax tells you NOTHING. If you find a car with a clean car fax it is still a very good (required IMO) idea to take the car to a trusted body shop to look for evidence of major accident damage or questionable paint work (both easy to spot by someone in the business) and take the VIN to your local friendly dealer and have them run the service history of the car. (Some will some won't... some will charge $10 to do this... ask around)

And a final suggestion, older cars should be checked over by a trusted mechanic. Compression, and leak down tests are a good idea for any car older than 2000 or ones with high mileage.

When I bought my '02 Caddy I purchased the month long Carfax service... When I ran my prospective STS it came back clean... I was feeling really good about the sale until I ran (for fun) my wifes '99 4Runner. That car is was a total loss theft recovery. I knew that when I bought it directly from the insurance company who used the car as a training demo to show shops how to fix cars "correctly and safety"

To make a long story short... the 99 4Runner has a clean carfax too...

In the future I will not be using carfax until the support for this service is more than 5% in the industry. Sorry, but its still buyer beware out there.

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Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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Agreed,

I like to have an automobile looked over no matter what.

Carfax shows you interesting things about the history some times and can be a lifesaver. Just now it showed me that a car I like the looks of, it has a new compressor, it had transmission service and etc.

Accidents don't bother me if it looks fine and is not front end damage. Frontal damage I avoid like a chinese plague.

I've seen some really shady things in my time including several automobiles at the sale with low tires on one side to cover up a FUB all R frame

*sigh*

MerryChristmas

IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image

Be a Capitalist or work for one.

IPB Image

Work for a Capitalist or be one.

MerryChristmas

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