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Mr_Shiftright

About

Username
Mr_Shiftright
Location
California
Joined
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1,173
Last Active
Roles
Moderator
Points
2,161
Location
California
Vehicle(s) I currently own
Mini Cooper S; Dodge Dakota 4X4, Triumph TR6
Badges
41
Posts
56,730
  • Re: Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

    The San Jose team is their farm team, and they stink, too! :p As I'm sure you all know, Rancho Cucamonga and the Modesto Nuts are the teams to beat in this league. Stay tuned for more nail-biting action.
  • Re: Edmunds Members - Cars & Conversations

    Stopped by the local COPART today to look at a wrecked Porsche for an appraisal.

    GEEZ--if you took a little kid there to view the utter carnage in that yard, they'd never want to drive when they grew up. Burned out hulks, cars smashed beyond recognition, blood spatter, cars torn in half.

    I know, we can't judge the fate of humanity by sitting in an ER room, but still, we can never forget to be careful out there.
  • Re: Edmunds Members - Cars & Conversations

    Is the CarFax and individual buys on a car and pays for themself the same as the CarFax that dealers pay for and link from their listings for used cars? A friend is looking at Mustangs for the kid in GA and the CarFax shows rear end damage from a collision. I wondered if a paid CarFax gave a dollar value on repair to get more info about the "collision."
    I wonder how much one of those paint thickness devices that appraisers use to tell if a panel has been repainted cost? Seems it would be worth it to get one of those (if not too expensive) and use it on cars like these. Review it the same as Carmax does; they told me two painted panels or more = wholesale. I have a feeling sometimes they cheat up to 3 or more rather than two. Of course, if the panel has been completely replaced this won't work, but most body shops paint edges and corners like Kindergartners, so a close inspection will reveal much.
    The really good ones are a bit pricey, in the few hundreds. I don't use one because I appraise mostly older cars, and the likelihood that they've been smacked a few times in their lives is pretty high. I use a good magnet which isn't a precise tool, but it can spot body filler at least.

    My feeling is that if with a trained eye you can't be sure if I car has ever been in an accident, then the repair is of a high quality and won't affect value very much if at all. So you look for overspray and bad panel alignment, check the CARFAX, run a magnet and you're done.
  • Re: Edmunds Members - Cars & Conversations

    Is the CarFax and individual buys on a car and pays for themself the same as the CarFax that dealers pay for and link from their listings for used cars? A friend is looking at Mustangs for the kid in GA and the CarFax shows rear end damage from a collision. I wondered if a paid CarFax gave a dollar value on repair to get more info about the "collision."

    I think CarFax is limited to what info is reported to them by different sources. I've seen accident reports say simply " accident reported" and others say "accident more than $1000 damage". Never saw an exact damage figure.
    I get the professional version and I haven't noticed any more detail in them. What you DO have to watch out for is that Carfax keeps adding to a car's record, so that a printout from 6 months ago might not show an added accident, even though that added accident happened 5 years ago.

    That actually happened to me, Two years after I bought the car, an accident from 5 years prior was added.
    Now isn't that interesting. Wonder where that info was floating around for all those years.

    Just as frustrating as "accident reported" is when a car is listed as a "fleet" vehicle without telling what kind of fleet it was in. I'd look more favorably at use as company fleet vehicle used by one person than a rental fleet vehicle.

    I wanted to suggest that an Auto Check report combined with a CarFax might give a more complete picture as each has it's limitations. What do you think?


    I have run cross-checks between Autocheck and CARFAX and they can differ. For instance, on my car, there is no mention of an accident in 2008, but there is on CARFAX (which they posted in 2013).

    My suspicion, for which I have no evidence, is that dealers will cherry-pick between the two and post the most flattering one.
  • Re: A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

    My only reservation about the wisdom of such an ad is that it might attract a disgruntled tech whose difficulties might stem as much from his own talents as the atmosphere in his former shop.