Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

https://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistor...LCpUp1%2BJtiN5

Currently hunting for MT FJ. This one's for 2010 MT 120xxx miles. Good price car looks clean. Lots of 1 star google reviews for Dealership where it's currently parked. Carfax is clear of any major accidents / flood etc. Anything in the service record that should put me off?

From what I can tell,
Pros:
Single owner.
Accident free.
Both cities are small, southern towns (no crazy major city traffic).

Cons:
Doesn't show vehicle made the Manufacturer recommended service checkpoints.

Poor oil change frequency (none of the oil changes were under 10K intervals), although some of the oil changes may not have been reported to carfax.

Also I don't have anything against the Jiffy Lubes and the Valvolines of the world, but I find most people who are diligent about car maintenance will either change the oil themselves or take it to their regular mechanic.

Thanks for looking!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:16 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

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Currently hunting for MT FJ. This one's for 2010 MT 120xxx miles. Good price car looks clean. Lots of 1 star google reviews for Dealership where it's currently parked. Carfax is clear of any major accidents / flood etc. Anything in the service record that should put me off?
You already caught most of it. FYI Toyota didn't start adding the free 2 years / 24 miles services on FJ's until 2011, so this being a 2010 explains some of that. Strange that whoever did service the truck before 56K didn't report the oil changes to CarFAX, I'd assume it's a small/cheap rural service center.

"Southern towns" i.e. North Carolina and Kentucky, not so far south to worry about Louisiana / Texas flooding but not so far north that he lives in states that salt the roads.

No mention of clutch service, so be prepared for that in the next ~40K miles.

How do the photos look? If you'd like to PM me a link for the truck I'd be happy to take a closer look.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 02:07 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

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Also I don't have anything against the Jiffy Lubes and the Valvolines of the world, but I find most people who are diligent about car maintenance will either change the oil themselves or take it to their regular mechanic.

Thanks for looking!
Agree! When I looked for my 1 owner mall crawler last 11 months, this were instant disqualifier for me.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:41 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

I think a lot of the people on here change their own fluids, so I wouldn't let that be a deterrent. Carfax is good but its not the know all be all and their accident reporting casts a pretty wide net covering a lot of different things.

I was in my truck when a lady parked next to me and opened her door and put a quarter size ding in my passenger side rear door. I had the ladies insurance company pay for the work to have it removed using a paintless dent removal. Since the body shop charged the insurance company over $1000 dollars to do the paintless dent removal the insurance company reported it to carfax and they listed it as being in an accident without even reading the paperwork.

Had I know this i would have just paid cash to have the ding pulled out. At this point im just ranting about carfax so sorry.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:06 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

I would normally say that being a a one-owner vehicle is one important factor in a purchase, but the lack of a documented service history kind of offsets that.

What is preferable, a vehicle with only one owner who neglected critical maintenance, or a three-owner vehicle where every owner was meticulous about maintenance and had a fully-documented service history?

If the 10K mile OC intervals were NOT with full synthetic oil, I’d be concerned about sludge and timing chain wear.

At a minimum, I’d have the cover over the cam chain tensioner pulled so the extent of tensioner protrusion (indicator of timing chain wear) could be assessed. For extra assurance, have the driver’s side valve cover removed to see the extent of varnish and possible sludge buildup.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:35 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

Meh….Carfax is overrated as a "trusted" source.

IMO its a loose guideline.

I can pull my Carfax and I can tell you it is blank - rest assured that all services have been completed and have the paperwork.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:41 AM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

Just because there's no history, doesn't mean service was neglected. Many of us do our own service intervals, and some don't trust the dealerships. My system here does report to CarFax, but many shops don't have that type of system. It doesn't mean it wasn't performed. Contact the seller and ask questions. Lots of questions. And get the records. Anyone really wanting to sell will produce these. If they don't seem to be that organized, maybe pass on the purchase.

The red flag for me is that it went to auction. There's usually a reason that vehicles end up at an auction. Nobody would buy from that dealer for one reason or another. I buy and sell a lot of Toyotas but I steer way clear of auctions. If nobody else wanted it, than neither do I.


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Last edited by CabinCruiser; 05-24-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 10:14 PM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

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Poor oil change frequency (none of the oil changes were under 10K intervals), although some of the oil changes may not have been reported to carfax.
10K is the oil change interval for the FJ (at least as of 2011); what am I missing?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 05:00 AM
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Re: Any carfax detectives? Red Flags on this one?

I looked at a Tundra sitting on a Honda lot in Columbus, OH. It had a clean carfax. As my wife and a salesmen got into the front seats I got in the back. The salesman was touting the clean carfax and how clean the truck was. In the back there was over spray all over the door, carpet and seat. I believe the dealership bought it wrecked repaired it in their body shop and never reported it knowing everyone wants a clean carfax report. So yes those reports are a guideline. Bad thing is dealers use them as bargaining chips to justify a premium price.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 05:46 AM
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My 2012 FJ listed with 56k had minor accident listed on the Carfax when I purchased it Certified from a Toyota dealer. It was listed at auction, sold to an independent dealer where it sat before being picked up by my selling dealer. When I had my US Off-road winch bumper installed at the manufacturer facility in Texas, we found a slight dent on the old bumper bar. No other sign of work. So it appeared to be a truly minor accident. I looked at other FJ’s with clean carfaxes before buying mine. One I drove dived so bad at stops from bad shocks I actually got nauseous. I purchased a Toyota Platinum care warranty on top of certified warranty and had to use the original certified one year warranty for the infamous driveshaft clunk. The driveshaft was replaced with the newer version. Still have 2 years and 29k left on warranty. Other than that 30k miles driving no issue. I plan to keep the car for long time so I didn’t care about the accident note on carfax. I have spent about as much as I paid for the car in off-roading upgrades. An accident on carfax is only an issue if you plan to trade it in soon after buying.
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