In previous articles we’ve learned about how you can check a used car’s history through a Carfax report. Carfax is a commercial web-based service that provides vehicle history reports to individuals and businesses. These reports contain information about a used vehicle's past, including details such as:
- Accident History: Information about any reported accidents or damage to a vehicle.
- Title Information: Whether a vehicle has a clean title (meaning it hasn't been salvaged, rebuilt, or declared a total loss) or if it has a branded title, such as a salvage title or flood title.
- Service and Maintenance Records: Information about routine maintenance and service performed on the vehicle.
- Number of Owners: Carfax can provide details about the number of previous owners a vehicle has had.
- Recalls: Information about any recalls that apply to the vehicle.
- Lemon History: Carfax reports can sometimes indicate if a vehicle has been classified as a lemon, meaning it had recurring issues that led to multiple repair attempts.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Each Carfax report is associated with a specific VIN---a unique code that identifies each and every vehicle.
And, most importantly of all for many used car shoppers, a Carfax report also includes:
- Mileage History: Carfax can show the recorded mileage at various points in a vehicle's history. This can help verify whether the odometer has been tampered with or rolled back. This is important not only so that buyers can avoid overpaying for a vehicle but also avoid becoming entangled in an odometer fraud issue with the authorities after assuming ownership.
The only thing possibly worse than that is buying a stolen car.
Carfax Error Warning
While useful toward protecting used car shoppers, a Carfax Vehicle History Report can also cause problems with an honest used car seller due to a simple mistake made by the technician or mechanic who has serviced their vehicle---accidently listing the mileage incorrectly and becoming part of Carfax’s permanent record.
That was the message in a recent Steven Welch YouTube channel episode where the host explains what the “wrench” symbol means on the dash display of a new Toyota Tundra and how the numbers beside it can confuse not just the owner, but the service tech as well.
Follow along with the host and find out why such a simple function can become a big headache for car owners who fail to ensure that their correct mileage is entered into the system during a repair or service.
What does the wrench symbol on the dash mean?
For additional articles related to having your vehicle serviced, here are a few for your consideration:
- Lube Service Leaves Customers Stranded on the Road Warning
- Toyota Care Dealership Service Center Mistakes
- Oil Change Customer Sued for Death in Car Service Center Incident
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
Image source: Deposit Photos