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Old 08-04-08, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Car 1: 1989 Sedan L. and 1990 Sedan LS
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Car history issues

Okay my son was looking for a mid-90's Honda product ...maybe a Civic, maybe an Integra, maybe a Legend G1 coupe. We planned on looking out-of-province, so we figured a car-fax account would be helpful ( a LOT of junk out there!). So, I signed up for the $35 for 30 days, unlimited VIN search deal ...and we started looking at cars. Most reports came up as "clean" ...very few showed any mileage history. Then I got scared. We found a car in-province, and it came up clean on car-fax. Then a friend suggested we try our province's free VIN search service for "local" cars. We ran the VIN and it showed a theft recovery ($3500 damage claim), an accident ($1800 damage claim), and that the car had been written off as a total loss vehicle ..not once, but TWICE!! Yet, the car-fax service said it had a clean title. All provinces in Canada are now part of a national car info database this information is not kept secret.

I sent an email to car-fax, explaining my dilemma: I had purchased their service, relying on it to give me accurate info on cars I was looking at. And now, I'm having doubts about the "quality" of the service I'm paying for. The response I got was unexpected: ...they essentially said: "Well, we can't know everything about every car. We depend on our sources to give us accurate data." I responded by saying: "I paid for your service in good faith, thinking I would get accurate data ...and now I'm having serious doubts."

They are going to refund my $35.

Bottomline: don't depend on these "services" to provide accurate info on a used car's history. Do as much personal "sleuthing" as possible.
1990 Cobalt Blue Pearl Sedan LS w/JSP-92104 spoiler, Bose Stereo w/single cd player, plus FM Honda 6-disc changer in glove box. Automatic, 268,000 kms, original drivetrain, stock size tires. 1989 Ebony Black Metallic Sedan L Auto. Integra AM-FM cassette head unit, and Honda 6-disc changer in glove box. Stock size tires. Original engine threw a connecting rod mid-Feb, 2007 at 380,000 kms. JDM swap-out July 1, 2008. Car still off the road pending serious body work on rear quarter panels.
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Old 08-04-08, 04:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hm very interesting, thanks.
the blue legend in your pic looks awesome
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Old 08-04-08, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree, CarFax is far from an end-all, be-all source of car history accuracy. It is only as accurate as the information each dealership submits. You get a shady dealer that wants to move this messed up car that just came in quickly, he'll repair it so you can't tell it has a bent frame, and try to get it sold as soon as he can. There's no way he'll list it with CarFax as having any problems whatsoever, as that would hinder a sale. Good job checking with other sources also!

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Old 08-04-08, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Doesnt carfax offer a "buy back" guarantee? If you buy a car that they say is okay, then you uncover evidence later to the contrary, they will buy the car from you?
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Old 08-04-08, 01:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Carfax is good to get a general picture of where the car has been, but the rest of the stuff on there is so ambiguous. I have never relied much on their service for anything other than that. I would try to buy a car directly from the first or second owner & not rely on Carfax for the history.

Their buyback guarantee, from what I can recall, has some major catches to it. I think they will only pay wholesale or a certain percentage over wholesale value for the car.

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Old 08-05-08, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, a buddy of mine just picked up an 05 VP Civic Coupe, - after he bought it... You can tell with a close eye that it was in a pretty serious accident, turns out that it has a flood damage record. Now he has had problems with the altenator, and now the starter. Seems like the electrical would be what went due to the flood.
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