Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

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texasdiver
Posts: 2285
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by texasdiver » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:43 pm

I spent the past few days shopping for a used vehicle for my daughter and have noticed that most all the vehicles on the market through dealers have the service records available via CARFAX. It's actually pretty informative. You can pull up the service history of a car you are interested in and see what's been done and when.

So I've been wondering. Does anyone know if this is something that only dealer service departments and perhaps large independent garages do? Or do most all mechanics these days enter service records into these data bases?

In other words, if I send my daughter to the local minute lube type place for an oil change and service, will that visit show up on her vehicle's computerized service record? Or will it only happen if she goes to a dealer? I'm just wondering who maintains these databases and who contributes to them? Everyone who works on vehicles or only the actual dealers?

I've always kept my own detailed service records for my vehicles. But now the cars in my universe include my daughter's car 2,000 miles away. And I'm wondering if the completeness of her vehicle's service record depends on how she has it serviced.

RudyS
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by RudyS » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:53 pm

If you can access the records without paying, just check some out and see what kind of places are listed. Of course your "sample" MIGHT only include cars serviced only at the dealer, so nothing to learn there.

miamivice
Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by miamivice » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:58 pm

I think it's just dealers although I haven't looked into it.

I consider it to be an invasion of privacy. There is no reason a public record needs to be created for each and every oil change on a particular vehicle.

Jack FFR1846
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:44 pm

miamivice wrote:I think it's just dealers although I haven't looked into it.

I consider it to be an invasion of privacy. There is no reason a public record needs to be created for each and every oil change on a particular vehicle.
If you're ever looking for a Subaru, I've got a dealer for you. We bought my father in law's Subaru last April and know he's had it since new. He's had it serviced at the same dealer where he bought it which is a mile from his home. I knew the engine had been replaced under warranty and went there to ask for service records so I could know if the timing belt had been replaced and when the engine had been replaced. They wouldn't give me anything and said they would only give records to the person who brought the vehicle to them for any particular service. So my FIL goes in and gets all the records. They only go back 4 years. They don't keep them any older. Not helpful, but nothing I can do.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

tim1999
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by tim1999 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:33 am

Our company fleet vehicles get their oil changed at the Valvoline chain quick oil change places and those records show up on Carfax. Also, in my area the records from some of the higher-volume independent shops show up on Carfax.

Mudpuppy
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Location: Sunny California

Re: Computerized car maintainance records or service history?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:58 pm

Here is the CarFax page on where they get their data: https://www.carfax.com/company/vhr-data-sources

That's not very informative on which maintenance facilities provide maintenance records. From a quick Google search, it's entirely voluntary and does not apply to any one service sector universally. So one independent mechanic may provide information to CarFax and another does not. Same goes for a dealership: one may provide the data to CarFax and another does not.

While there's a greater probability a dealership will report to CarFax, don't count on it. I'd still say to maintain your own records if you wish to have those handy for a future sale. Edit: And if your daughter is 2000 miles away, teach her how to keep her own records.

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