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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-26-2009, 02:22 PM
Harri Harri is offline
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Clean car fax - but how to check for accidents

Hey,

possible E90 buyer here.

I am looking at a 2006 325i CPO.

The car fax and autocheck looks very clean.

But how can identify if all fenders, bumpers have not been painted after an accident?

Also for the car in question, has VIN sticker on right shock housing (near windsheild washer reservoir) inside engine bay.

But there is no VIN sticker on left shock housing, is that normal?

Also on the hood inside, there is no VIN sticker.

Dealer says thats how it is. Is this correct?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Hari
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2009, 02:37 PM
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Spitfirocks Spitfirocks is offline
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seems normal...

Look for repaint by checking for fisheyes. These are left behind after a car has been touched up.

As for accidents, just make sure the car feels solid.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2009, 02:52 PM
Bartman619 Bartman619 is offline
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Pull up the carpet in the trunk and look for creases in the metal. Look under the hood by the fenders if you see the same. Look for any signs of repaint. Make sure the car tracks straight when you test drive it...,and ask a lot of questions about its history. There should be a VIN under the hood..maybe they're hiding something.
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2009, 03:45 PM
liverbomb88 liverbomb88 is offline
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Feel the paint edges. If smooth, then factory; if rough, then repainted. Also look at bolts and nuts. Factory should be painted, and if a panel/hood had been removed, the paint will be stripped.

Last edited by liverbomb88; 04-26-2009 at 03:48 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2009, 03:45 PM
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Visual inspection and a paint thickness gauge.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2009, 04:07 PM
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IF the dealer's used car manager is savvy, he will have a paint thickness gauge and use it to check the cars. Ask him to go over the panels in your presence and tell you what the readings are.

As an example, all of the panels on my '06 325i read either 5 or 6 on a paint gauge.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2009, 04:40 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liverbomb88 View Post
Feel the paint edges. If smooth, then factory; if rough, then repainted. Also look at bolts and nuts. Factory should be painted, and if a panel/hood had been removed, the paint will be stripped.
Also look for missing decals that were applied at the factory. No decals, the panel has been replaced. The only reason I can think of for replacing a panel is due to damage in an accident.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2009, 06:09 PM
Harri Harri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman619 View Post
There should be a VIN under the hood..maybe they're hiding something.
Can any one confirm this for sure? possibly a pic of it?
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2009, 06:32 PM
Bartman619 Bartman619 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harri View Post
Can any one confirm this for sure? possibly a pic of it?

Don't have a pic, but if you open up the hood the VIN is stamped on the passenger side strut tower.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2009, 09:45 PM
fasttimes fasttimes is offline
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Check all the seperate painted panels at different angles in natural daylight. Unless the shop had a Michelangelo you should be able to spot a paint job.
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2009, 10:05 PM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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Open the hood / doors, etc., and look to see the edges that are hidden. On a factory job they are uniform. A very small spot repair and good blend with factory original paint may indeed be difficult to spot though...

Common things like bumper cover repaints with original color are also more difficult to spot, but matter less than a quarter panel repair or hood in terms of crash history likeliness though.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2009, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harri View Post
Hey,

possible E90 buyer here.

I am looking at a 2006 325i CPO.

The car fax and autocheck looks very clean.

But how can identify if all fenders, bumpers have not been painted after an accident?

Also for the car in question, has VIN sticker on right shock housing (near windsheild washer reservoir) inside engine bay.

But there is no VIN sticker on left shock housing, is that normal?

Also on the hood inside, there is no VIN sticker.

Dealer says thats how it is. Is this correct?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Hari
If it doesn't 'feel' right...walk away. If it is a great deal, you already have a suspicion of why that is so. There will be other deals soon enough. Do you want this playing on your mind when you drive off the lot?
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2009, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Also look for missing decals that were applied at the factory. No decals, the panel has been replaced. The only reason I can think of for replacing a panel is due to damage in an accident.
Are you referring to the shield and lion on the trunk? Are you sure about this? I have seen BMW's without them. I would imagine someone can request them to be removed.
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I agree with furby
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Hahahaha, I like you furb, you like to live dangerously.
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I started to google to find a picture to match furby's suggestion to Gia, but it quickly became clear it was an inappropriate search to conduct at work.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2009, 07:59 AM
fasttimes fasttimes is offline
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What is the history of this car? Should the current owner know of any accidents not listed in car-fax? If so, just add an affidavit section to the bill of sale. Someone with nothing to hide won't blink twice at signing this.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2009, 08:11 AM
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How confident are people of Carfax information?

I had a decent prang in my 330 a couple of years ago (since sold) - 25, 000 and 3 mths to fix - and I did a carfax on it when I was selling it and it came up clean?
As a note though, I did fully disclose the damage, the repairs were excellent and done at a Dealer body shop. The car drove like new after it but confused about the Carfax?
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2009, 08:19 AM
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CarFax can only know what they are told. Most if not all insurance companies repot accidents to CarFax. Probably most reputable/high end auto-body shops report it. THere are still tons of small time body shops that will not report it. So take CarFax with a grain of salt.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinter View Post
I agree with furby
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerilla twang View Post
Hahahaha, I like you furb, you like to live dangerously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
I started to google to find a picture to match furby's suggestion to Gia, but it quickly became clear it was an inappropriate search to conduct at work.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2009, 06:13 PM
hasopi hasopi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman619 View Post
Don't have a pic, but if you open up the hood the VIN is stamped on the passenger side strut tower.
Is there a VIN stamp on driver side strut tower?
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  #18  
Old 05-07-2009, 09:18 AM
shupdood92 shupdood92 is offline
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sounds good bro...can you possibly run a carfax for me. my girl's looking to buy a car..its

1hgcm66514a007743

thanks!
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  #19  
Old 05-07-2009, 10:35 AM
neapolitan neapolitan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shupdood92 View Post
sounds good bro...can you possibly run a carfax for me. my girl's looking to buy a car..its

1hgcm66514a007743

thanks!
Uhhh, dood, quick way to get banned... do this kind of stuff by private email if you must.
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  #20  
Old 05-07-2009, 10:55 AM
roadkillrob roadkillrob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wag-zhp View Post
Visual inspection and a paint thickness gauge.
+1 it it was a good paint shop, the chances of finding anything still creased or bent are slim, overspray is doubtful anywhere as they mask everything off well and forget fisheyes or rough paint - chances are a good shop will have better paint quality than the factory after it is sanded and buffed.

The only way to be sure is to use a paint thickness guage, or pay for an independent inspection where they check the paint thickness, get the car up on a lift etc - often worth the money. A lot of times just negotiate it - tell the seller you are happy to buy it for x price if it passes an independent inspection and meet the seller somewhere to get it inspected, if he hesitates or tries to avoid an inspection, then walk!
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  #21  
Old 05-07-2009, 02:15 PM
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IF the car feels solid, there is no overspray, no orange peal, no funny pannel gaps, and nothing strange under the carpet - don't worry about it. Car fax is mostly good to make sure your car wasn't a salvage title or something extreme.

I would take the car to an independant mechanic and have him check it out. I had a friend once buy a CPO Audi S4 that was a frankenstein car - everything after the back seat was welded on from another car. THat was a surprise a little too late.

For the piece of mind, spend $50 and have someone check it out. cheap insurance.
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  #22  
Old 05-08-2009, 05:49 AM
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furby076 furby076 is online now
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1) Carfax can only tell you what it knows
2) CPO uses more then carfax - they supposedly check the car
3) It never hurts to have your own mechanic check things out
4) Realize that while your car may be 100% operational today, tomorrow it could be 100% busted - there are no sure things.
5) Enjoy the fact your CPO has a pretty good warranty
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Quote:
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I agree with furby
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerilla twang View Post
Hahahaha, I like you furb, you like to live dangerously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
I started to google to find a picture to match furby's suggestion to Gia, but it quickly became clear it was an inappropriate search to conduct at work.
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  #23  
Old 05-08-2009, 06:54 AM
richcruz richcruz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harri View Post
Hey,

possible E90 buyer here.

I am looking at a 2006 325i CPO.

The car fax and autocheck looks very clean.

But how can identify if all fenders, bumpers have not been painted after an accident?

Also for the car in question, has VIN sticker on right shock housing (near windsheild washer reservoir) inside engine bay.

But there is no VIN sticker on left shock housing, is that normal?

Also on the hood inside, there is no VIN sticker.

Dealer says thats how it is. Is this correct?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Hari
The body shop manager for Manhattan BMW just pointed out that my had work done on it, and that the color doesn't match the rest of the body. His first hint was that the color looked off. I had the car for little under a month and never noticed it. The car spent two weeks at my dealer's shop (for minor issues) and this was never point out. My advise for you is to find a knowledgeable service person (pref. a BMW specialist) and ask for their opinion. Use what you learn to either negotiate the price or something else.

As someone else said here, make sure the car drives solid and meet your other expectations.
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  #24  
Old 05-08-2009, 07:05 AM
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CPO is just a warranty. The dealer checks the car and decides if it is worth their $$$ to warranty it. My friend got his Frankenstein car CPO because the dealer didn't care that it had been in a major accident and was willing to warranty it.

Yes, a good dealer will take care of you, but not all BMW dealers have scruples.
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  #25  
Old 05-08-2009, 09:51 PM
rhank rhank is offline
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carfax reports

Quote:
Originally Posted by furby076 View Post
CarFax can only know what they are told. Most if not all insurance companies repot accidents to CarFax. Probably most reputable/high end auto-body shops report it. THere are still tons of small time body shops that will not report it. So take CarFax with a grain of salt.
In my personal experience with CarFax I have found that their reports depend on whether the police are involved. My '01 325xi' was hit several times in the rear and repaired without any mention on Carfax.

The only time there was a carfax report on a vehicle I drove (honda) was when I was forced to report an accident because the other driver smelled like a bottle of whiskey and I wanted him off the streets. Yes, he too, hit me in the rear.

So...my feeling about CarFax is that it really isn't of much value. People with 'fender benders', if smart, would handle the issue directly with the person that hit them. If they have appropriate information then all is good.

The insurance companies that had to repair my car never reported the information to carfax...there isn't any value to them in doing so.
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