Hi Folks, I am considering buying a manual transmission 2010 Mazda Mazda 3i Touring. The Carfax does not have anything besides the last maintainance done by the dealer. Is that reasonable, should I be worried? I did test-drive the car and it feels fine. Thanks. UMIADE
Carfax is often missing lots of information, although they try to convince you otherwise.
As with any used car purchase, your best bet is taking the car to a good mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. A small amount of money spent now might save you from an expensive mistake.
Yes, pay a recommended local mechanic to inspect it.
In 1993 we purchased a 1979 Lincoln Versailles from our elderly neighbors. It was obviously in excellent condition with low miles. I still had it checked by our excellent independent mechanic shop. They gave it a total thumbs up. I thought at that time a Lincoln Versailles was just a Mercury Monarch with a Lincoln grill. It had a 351 cu in V8, Heavy duty suspension, 15 inch wheels, four wheel disc brakes, and 9 inch rear end. In 2 years we put nothing more than oil/ filter changes into it. We paid $4,000 and traded it in for a new 1985 Crown Victoria. The Ford dealer gave us $3,800. I guess we won on this one. $100 for a reputable independent inspection is well worth it!
You have to make sure that the mechanic is a good one though. My uncle just bought a 2004 Taurus (supposedly) that had been checked out by a mechanic at the dealership where he works. The Taurus was actually a 2002 model that had the driver’s door replaced which had a VIN # still attached. That’s what they assumed was the correct VIN. It was a private sale and he got a partial refund from the seller. When the title arrived…the mistake was discovered. I showed him the VIN tag below the windshield and they matched the title.
Good ideas above, especially about taking the car to a mechanic for a professional look-see pre-purchase evaluation. Prior to that you might also look up what it says in the “Consumer Reports Guide to Used Cars”. Big-chain bookstores and most public libraries usually have it. You can see what other owners of this make/model/year have had problems with. Then you can ask the mechanic to pay special attention to those areas during the inspection. Best of luck.