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View Full Version : Does this car seem fishy? (2004, 16K mi.) Carfax pages attached


CaliColin
04-16-2008, 04:06 PM
I know it's impossible to infer from a simple carfax, but I'm looking for some insight here. As you can see, it's almost 4 yrs old and only has 16,172 mi. It was serviced once at Desert BMW in Vegas when it had 16,158 mi. This makes sense, since the 1st recommended svc. is at 15K. But I see gaps of time where it supposedly sat somewhere for months without being driven. I will be looking at it soon, and have a PPI scheduled. But any insight or expert analysis would be appreciated. Thanks!

Fast Bob
04-16-2008, 05:58 PM
IMHO, CarFax is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine....it`s the biggest scam since The Star Registry (where for $100, they`ll name a star after your wife, GF, etc., and all you get for your hard-earned Benjamin is a useless piece of paper). Go look at the car...if you like it, have it thoroughly checked over by someone familiar with BMWs. Happy hunting !

Klamalama
04-16-2008, 06:36 PM
I know it's impossible to infer from a simple carfax, but I'm looking for some insight here. As you can see, it's almost 4 yrs old and only has 16,172 mi. It was serviced once at Desert BMW in Vegas when it had 16,158 mi. This makes sense, since the 1st recommended svc. is at 15K. But I see gaps of time where it supposedly sat somewhere for months without being driven. I will be looking at it soon, and have a PPI scheduled. But any insight or expert analysis would be appreciated. Thanks!

It's unusual but possible. Two years ago, I purchased a 2000 Mercedes for my wife. It was then 6 years old and had 16500 miles. It was a CPO from MB. So it can happen!

CaliColin
04-16-2008, 08:59 PM
IMHO, CarFax is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine....it`s the biggest scam since The Star Registry (where for $100, they`ll name a star after your wife, GF, etc., and all you get for your hard-earned Benjamin is a useless piece of paper). Go look at the car...if you like it, have it thoroughly checked over by someone familiar with BMWs. Happy hunting !

The carfax told me that it is a single owner vehicle that started its life in Santa Monica, CA. Then ended up in Las Vegas via auction. Then auctioned again and made its way back to Costa Mesa. Also indicates that service was done at 16K. This is all valuable information. If the car changed hands a dozen times and showed a ton of dealer visits, that is information that would make me walk. For this reason, carfax adds value as supplemental information to make an overall purchasing decision. It should not be used as the sole decision maker. It's one piece of a bigger picture, and part of being an informed buyer. And now I am off to name a star after myself. :rofl:

DSXMachina
04-17-2008, 06:25 AM
CarFax is useful supplemental information, but it is NOT the complete story. For CarFax to know anything about a car the info must be provided to them. Not all garages, body shops, insurance companies or states do. In addition, a garage (such as mine) which does supply info to CarFax, can easily NOT send specific information to CarFax if the customer requests it. That junkyard engine we installed-we'll keep it our dirty little secret. There is absolutley no law against it! No, there is no fraud if the seller is not asked if it is the original engine, and no statute states that a car cannot be sold without its original engine (or transmission, or differential or whatever).
As was suggested, pay a good garage to very thoroughly check out the car once you've done your due diligence.

ua549
04-17-2008, 06:29 AM
2k miles per year is not unusual for people with several cars.

I had a cheap Mazda Turbo for 8 years and ~16k miles that I only drove to/from the airport.

Boile
04-17-2008, 06:36 AM
It's unusual but possible. Two years ago, I purchased a 2000 Mercedes for my wife. It was then 6 years old and had 16500 miles. It was a CPO from MB. So it can happen!

But how did you certify that the odometer was anadultered? Carfax? :p

Boile
04-17-2008, 06:38 AM
The carfax told me that it is a single owner vehicle that started its life in Santa Monica, CA. Then ended up in Las Vegas via auction. Then auctioned again and made its way back to Costa Mesa. Also indicates that service was done at 16K. This is all valuable information. If the car changed hands a dozen times and showed a ton of dealer visits, that is information that would make me walk. For this reason, carfax adds value as supplemental information to make an overall purchasing decision. It should not be used as the sole decision maker. It's one piece of a bigger picture, and part of being an informed buyer. And now I am off to name a star after myself. :rofl:

You're assuming that the information they told you is true and complete.
If you don't trust that, then it's still useless.
If you do, why ask complete strangers over what's written on paper with a "guaranteed" stamp of approval?

Andrew*Debbie
04-17-2008, 06:54 AM
There is a good chance the car came off a 3 year lease and ended up auctioned off. If true it is odd a dealer wouldn't want it as a CPO. Low mileage is a big plus.

Could have had minor to moderate collision damage.

Car bounced around between dealers. Not all that unusual. Likely was reconditioned too.

I'd ask the selling dealer for a printout of the vehicle service history.

Take a gauge with you and see how the tires are wearing. If the front tires aren't wearing evenly walk away.

If all that checks out, pay for the PPI.
---


16K in 3 years in unusual for So Cal, but it is possible.

When we moved to ATL, we decided we didn't want a long commute.
We live 3 miles from work and don't drive that much. We put about 600 miles a month on our Miata. That is our daily driver. When we drive. Some days we walk to work.


The X3 is mostly a weekend car. After 7 months the odometer is at 3,800 miles. The first 1,000 we put on the first week we had the car. Currently we are driving the X3 about 400 miles a month

ross1
04-17-2008, 07:05 AM
IMHO, CarFax is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine....it`s the biggest scam since The Star Registry (where for $100, they`ll name a star after your wife, GF, etc., and all you get for your hard-earned Benjamin is a useless piece of paper). Go look at the car...if you like it, have it thoroughly checked over by someone familiar with BMWs. Happy hunting !

Well stated Bob.
I have personal knowledge of heavily damaged cars that have "clean" carfax.
The information carfax recieves from ins. cos., repairers and the ever diligent government agencies is regarded as gospel.
A clean Carfax doesn't mean Jack Ship and a tainted one could be nothing more than an insurers write off of a car for reasons other than heavy damage.
Contribute the money towards a proper inspection by a qualified person familiar with the car in question.
The car itself speaks truthfully. Carfax is a tool of the sellers.

CaliColin
04-17-2008, 10:21 AM
Thanks for all the input. Again with the carfax. No one is saying that it should be taken as a clean bill of health people. It's one bit of information. As I stated before, if it showed that the car changed owners excessively, or showed mileage that mysteriously declined, this is enough suspicion to walk. A clean carfax is not a reason to buy. But a bad carfax casts enough doubt to walk away.

erdoran
04-17-2008, 10:26 AM
When I was checking out Z4s on ebay i found one with a clean carfax (provided by seller), but when I ran it on autocheck it showed up as "frame damage announced" at auction. carfax had the auction, but not the frame damage portion. Just a single datapoint, but it ought to mean something. If I were about to buy a used car I'd get both carfax & autocheck and if both were clean, THEN pay for an inspection--but I haven't bought used for a really long time so I'm no expert.

kingdunke
04-17-2008, 02:15 PM
how much is the asking price?

CaliColin
04-17-2008, 02:18 PM
$33K. I'm offering $27K if the PPI checks out

kingdunke
04-23-2008, 06:28 PM
still lots of money. but 04 has the new style.

CaliColin
04-24-2008, 11:30 AM
'04+ has more than new style. New Valvetronic engine gives 25 more HP while giving 12% better gas mileage, new 6 speed tranny with XDrive sends 0-100% torque to front/rear axles. Personally I don't even care about the new look. BTW, the car was sold when I called back.

philo98
04-25-2008, 02:56 PM
When I was checking out Z4s on ebay i found one with a clean carfax (provided by seller), but when I ran it on autocheck it showed up as "frame damage announced" at auction. carfax had the auction, but not the frame damage portion. Just a single datapoint, but it ought to mean something. If I were about to buy a used car I'd get both carfax & autocheck and if both were clean, THEN pay for an inspection--but I haven't bought used for a really long time so I'm no expert.

I had the same experience when we were shopping for a daily commute car several years ago. Carfax and Autocheck did have conflicting information on some of the vehicles. Even though I am not a fan of these types of services, if you pay for Carfax you need to pay for Autocheck as well to complete that one piece of information. But nothing beats a good mechanic.

If you can, take it to Carmax. They will recognize the smallest blemish. We took a Ford Explorer to them to sell and they told us it had been in a signifcant accident. We owned it new and it never was in an accident, however when I relocated the shipping company put 2 dents on the side of it. The shipping company had it repaired at one of their insurance companies body shops, but it turned out they painted the whole part of the sheetmetal where the damage was done. So, instead of 2 dime sized dents, it appeared to Carmax that it was in a serious accident. They said this cause they did a paint thickness test. I told them what happened and they did not believe me even when I had the body shop receipts. So, I sold it elsewhere.

peakpro
04-25-2008, 05:11 PM
I had the same experience when we were shopping for a daily commute car several years ago. Carfax and Autocheck did have conflicting information on some of the vehicles. Even though I am not a fan of these types of services, if you pay for Carfax you need to pay for Autocheck as well to complete that one piece of information. But nothing beats a good mechanic.

If you can, take it to Carmax. They will recognize the smallest blemish. We took a Ford Explorer to them to sell and they told us it had been in a signifcant accident. We owned it new and it never was in an accident, however when I relocated the shipping company put 2 dents on the side of it. The shipping company had it repaired at one of their insurance companies body shops, but it turned out they painted the whole part of the sheetmetal where the damage was done. So, instead of 2 dime sized dents, it appeared to Carmax that it was in a serious accident. They said this cause they did a paint thickness test. I told them what happened and they did not believe me even when I had the body shop receipts. So, I sold it elsewhere.

cool carmax story...thanks