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Carfax vs Autocheck

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by TacoDawgfan, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Jan 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    TacoDawgfan [OP] Hunker Down You Hairy Dawg!

    Jan 30, 2011
    First Name:
    2011 Silver 4x4 TRD Sport w/JBL
    5100's at 1.75, Rear leaf TSB, Moto Metal 951 16x8, BFG TKO2 265/75/16, AFe Stage 2 CAI w/pro dry filter, Access Loredo tonneau cover, N-Fab steps, Tinted windows, EGR in channel vent visors, Ultragauge, UGA drink coasters in the front cup holders, and a Graco car seat in the back seat
    I have been looking to buy a 4x4 Tacoma. Found a good looking and clean used one at a dealer, certified preowned, one owner trade in. This dealer uses Autocheck which comes back clean for this truck. I put the vin in Carfax to see what would happen and without paying the $35 to get the full report it tells me there is 1 major report on this truck. So my question is, is one of these better than the other? I had never heard of Autocheck, so I trust Carfax more. I hate to waste 35 bucks to find out it's been wrecked or something, because then I will be done with it. The dealer told me Carfax does this to lure you in to pay the fee and there is nothing wrong with this truck. My instinct says this is a great truck. 2010 4x4 Trd off road with 23k very clean, looks to have been taken great care of. So before I spend the money, has anyone had any experience with the 2 or others? Should I trust Autocheck? I've always been leary of buying a used vehicle, but if I knew this one hasn't been wrecked I would be willing to make an offer. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
  2. Feb 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    SunTzu Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    First Name:
    Minneapolis, MN
    '07 4WD TRD OR
    Bilstein 5100 shocks and struts TRD cold air intake TRD stainless steel exhaust TRD short shifter TRD floor mats
    I have used both, but haven't used Autocheck for a few years now. I would say that the dealer/salesperson is actually correct (rarely does this happen). Personally, I wouldn't bother paying $35 for Autocheck. I would rely on experience. Have a friend who knows cars or a mechanic check it out if you are not comfortable. There are many more things that a seasoned mechanic will know right away but will not be found on Carfax/Autocheck.

    BTW, if you REALLY want to spend some money to get another report, I have also used InstaVIN.com as well. It gives you the bare minimum if you need to crosscheck the accuracy of the dealer's Carfax. $6.99 but like I said BARE minimum information.

    (You can skip this part if you want, it's a bit long)
    Long related story: last year my brother wanted me to check out a 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo that was about priced fairly cheap. It had low mileage and the carfax that was provided said the car had a clean title and the mileage was accurate. He also said it was always garaged and never driven in snow. Sounds like a perfect buy right?

    When I saw the car, I immediately noticed that one side had an glossy paint on the passenger side and dull driver side. It started from the passenger door and went up to the front bumper. Dead give away: Fresh paint. I asked him to open the front hood and he proceeds to tell me the engine is in the rear. (Duh, I own one.) In the front trunk there was hidden re-welds of the frame that were already starting to rust.

    Then I sat in the car and checked the speedo, 60,000 miles. (17 yr old car, which means less than 4000 miles a year.) But the steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot was replaced with aftermarket. Another dead giveaway because as you drive the car those items show the most wear and tear.

    Lastly, I checked under the frame, and there was a whole mess of surface rust. There were also missing braces and brackets on the engine/transmission. When I pointed it out, he said his garage tends to flood in the spring and he upgraded the clutch. Suuuuure.

    Anyways, moral of the story, don't rely 100% on Carfax. Use your (or your friend's) experience and common sense. I *HIGHLY* doubt that your 2011 Tacoma will have any of these symptoms but just thought I'd share a case in point.

    Good luck with the sale, I hope I didn't scare you. :wink:
  3. Feb 19, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    dmb72 post count low - toyota truck count #6

    Feb 12, 2011
    First Name:
    Oxnard Shores, CA
    TRD 4x4 De Badged
    Tires, De-Badged, Dyno Lock, Tonno Pro Tri-Fold
    I'm a buyer for a BMW store...things I've heard at auction before: "this next car has uni-body damage but a clean (no accident or air bag or frame damage) one owner carfax.

    The factories can fix damaged units at the port as well as the consumer fixing damage without reporting it to the dmv or insurance...which is where carfax gets their info. If you're buying used, have a tech that can spot paint-work or frame damage out with their hands & eyes...carfax...or carfox as I call it is about 50/50 in my exp.
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