Mechanic reporting requirements

Tiny
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Does a registered mechanic have to report vin#'s and repairs made on such vin# to a clearinghouse, government, or global agency? In other words, vin history reports do not show mechanical repairs associated with a vin #. Is there a way to learn the mechanical history of a particular vehical before purchasing a used car? Your help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 AT 9:46 PM

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Tiny
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There are no requirements on this. Perhaps an accident from an Insurance report maybe. Reciepts from the prior owner are about the only way to know. I am not aware of any requirements by the dealer, but couldn't say 100%.
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 12:57 AM
Tiny
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Thank you for the reply.

I am concerned about the history of a vehical, because of the mysteriously low mileage. Briefly speaking, it had 10 miles in 2002 at the time of becoming a leased vehicle for 3 yrs and 3 mos. At that time, the vehicle had 21,357 miles and was taken to auction three times in three months, ultimately being "announced as fleet/lease vehicle. Two months later, the car had only 3 additional miles and was at auction again as a fleet/lease vehicle. Six months later, it had 200 more miles (21,580) and was at auction again. Eight months later, a dealer bought the car from auction and is selling it now with only 22,126 miles.

Any input as to why this car had less than 800 miles put on it over the course of 5 years? What could be the explanation? Was it sitting in a mechanic shop with mulitple problems that I will never know about? Was it just being idle with no motion, allowing any fluids to gum up? Am I being overly cautious?

If you or anyone has input about this, please let me know. I am concerned and at the same time, I feel like this is a good deal with low miles. Thank you.
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 2:34 AM
Tiny
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What kind of car?

Sounds like being cautous is wise. It may not be multiple problems but it certainly sounds like there is an expensive problem or a unsolved problem. Auction cars scare me. I know too many guys that send them there knowing they are problem childs.
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 11:00 AM
Tiny
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Ut oh. Thank you for the opinion.

It is a 2002 BMW x5 3.0i 4D. Stock # 4124951, green, 6 cylinder. The vin# is 5UXFA53582LP54369

The dealership is Carmax. Are you familiar with their program? Look them up online, if you aren't. They claim to put the vehicle through rigorous mechanical checks and validate the "health" of a car before putting it on their lot. Their guarantees are:

Certified Quality Inspection
Clean Title Guarantee
CarMAx 5-day money back guarantee
MaxCare extended service plan (if I purchase it?)
Carmax 30 day limited warranty

Any other opinions?
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 11:44 AM
Tiny
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SW

Isn't it the CarFax that can give you a history of the vehicle?
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 11:58 AM
Tiny
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The CarFax history report gives a brief listing of the vehicle's entry into the auction and if it has been in an accident. Nothing about the mechanics of the particular car is recorded. I know that this car hasn't been in a wreck. I'm more concerned about a possible mechanical problem that is unresolved or undetected. For some reason, there are only 800 miles put on the car in 5 years. Something is wrong with that.
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
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Certified Quality Inspection-they looked at it and may or may not have fixed anything.

MaxCare extended service plan (if I purchase it?)-
CAREFULLY read it over. There are usually many exclusions. Rarley do they pay off. There is a high limit that once you exceed that amount in repairs, the warranty is void. You pay for any diagnosis. They will only pay up to a certain amount of labor. They may only pay a certain portion of the part, or want to supply a part. I hate the warranties myself.

You never know what you'll get, maybe it will be fine. My gut feeling is you are right about your suspicion.
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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 11:32 PM

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