Carfax is Useless

Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
3,604
Location
WV
I recently acquired a 14 Mercedes E350 Cab. Of course I looked at the Carfax report but so many things made no sense. The ID plate on the car stated it was manufactured in Jan 2014. Carfax stated it was sold in early Feb. 2014 in Virginia. No way that car gets from Germany to Va in less than a month. I ran the vin and it was released in June 14. Carfax shows 2 dealer services where they changed the oil. Other listed services show checking something for the owner like trim etc. The car has 71k on it and all services were at the selling dealer. I visited a different dealer with the vin. They pulled it up and found that it had been fully serviced per MB schedule every 10k at the dealer. That means everything from Differential to transmission fluid changes. Brake fluid everything by the book. This was a 1 owner car. So not only were the services not reported or recorded by carfax, but what they did was not reported. MB is famous for just reporting 10k service with no details but in reality they check the car over thoroughly. They even lubricate seals. I feel like I have a really good vehicle that looks and runs like new. I even got it for a really good price because it a convertible, it's winter and the car was on the lot for about 3 months.
No thanks to Carfax!
 
Yes, just a tool as are all glovebox records/receipts, owner logs, and the VIN dealer service history.

So, the previous owner purposely didn't leave you the history of service and all the receipts. Vehicle owners and dealers are so useless.
 
No thanks to Carfax!
What's the point of your rant ? If you solely relied on CarFax, it seems like you might have passed on this vehicle due to lack of service information. You do realize that Carfax only collects the data they receive ? They sure don't - nor can they - go and get the data. This is ALL on the shop that services a vehicle, like ones that report "Scheduled service performed".
 
It's really a matter of LUCK. I am pretty sure the most reliable car brand (Lexus/Toyota), for every batch of vehicles they manufactured in a day, there is one or two ends up as a lemon.. Carfax is just "one" of the accessory to look at in buying a used vehicle
 
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What's the point of your rant ? If you solely relied on CarFax, it seems like you might have passed on this vehicle due to lack of service information. You do realize that Carfax only collects the data they receive ? They sure don't - nor can they - go and get the data. This is ALL on the shop that services a vehicle, like ones that report "Scheduled service performed".
The point of my rant is to give people like you and imp4 someone to attack and make yourselves feel good.
 
but my wife's former car that was totaled, did not show up totaled, even years after it was.
I still have our Odyssey connected to my My Carfax account. It was totaled in '17 and 6-8 months later, it popped back up after getting registered in Indiana. It gets oil changes and other repairs done in Michigan now, as I recall.
 
The point of my rant is to give people like you and imp4 someone to attack and make yourselves feel good.
If you call that an "attack", oh well.... You don't seem to understand how CarFax works but after all of the other comments in addition to mine, you should now.
 
Carfax is a BUSINESS, and, as a business, they spread lots of marketing hype & advertising propaganda all over the place. It’s up to you if you believe the manure they spread all over, often at a pretty high price! No substitute for checking a car out for yourself & preferably having a trusted mechanic look at it too.
 
Carfax is a BUSINESS, and, as a business, they spread lots of marketing hype & advertising propaganda all over the place. It’s up to you if you believe the manure they spread all over, often at a pretty high price! No substitute for checking a car out for yourself & preferably having a trusted mechanic look at it too.
There is supposed to be truth in advertising. However the car fax I adds I have seen - from memory - don't really promise anything.

I tend to agree with the OP - there to some degree useless. There worth looking at to see what is there. But its wrong to assume that something isn't there doesn't mean it didn't happen - like service, or even an accident or flood. Its an elimination tool at best. You can rule some vehicles out for sure based on what is there, then go look.
 
It is simply one tool used in investigating a vehicle before purchase. Like Hall stated, "You do realize that Carfax only collects the data they receive ? They sure don't - nor can they - go and get the data." The OP should not consider the advice given over several post as an attack. He should understand Carfax is but ONE tool used in vehicle purchase investigation.
 
There worth looking at to see what is there. But its wrong to assume that something isn't there doesn't mean it didn't happen - like service, or even an accident or flood.
Our son's Accord had what looked like a "complete" CarFax. Oil changes all done every "X" miles with no skips or missing ones, replacement tires, brake jobs, battery replacements, etc, etc all on timelines that made sense. To some degree, this isn't all because of CarFax, it's because the shops the previous owner used reported their work to CarFax. The CarFax for the Civic we bought wasn't as complete but still had plenty of work listed. Things like oil changes were shown on a good schedule (looks like they followed the MM and not 5000 miles or 6000 miles) and they even had the oil changes done at a Honda dealer. There were (2) gaps in time and mileage on oil changes but I'm not presuming they went 15,000 miles between oil changes, at least not based on their previous schedule. Maybe I'm wrong though.... Or maybe they had it changed at a shop that doesn't report to CarFax.
 
I use carfax as a guideline only. I had an 87 Corvette ragtop that I traded in to a dealer. I had tons of receipts in the glovebox. The dealer just threw them in the garbage can as if they were worthless. A lot of consumers pay too much attention to Carfax. A person could blow an engine and not have it reported to Carfax depending on who did the repairs etc.
 
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