Be Smart, Check in Advance. CARFAX — Your Vehicle History.
CARFAX — Your Vehicle History Expert
Sometimes what you don't know can't hurt you, but that's not the case when buying a used car. As an independent vehicle history provider, at CARFAX we've made it our mission to tell you everything you need to know by uncovering as many events as possible from the previous life of a used car. Our primary goal is to help you get to know your next car from the inside out before deciding to make an investment that will be part of you and your family's everyday life. We believe your next car shouldn't be hiding anything from you.
CARFAX Vehicle History Reports contain over 28 billion historical records from 20 European countries, the US and Canada, which are updated daily with new information.
Even if you live in a country we don't collect vehicle data from, it's still always worth checking the Vehicle Identification Number without obligation. The used car import and export market is booming and many owners would be surprised to find out exactly what happened to their vehicle during its previous life abroad.
Privacy for Customers — Transparency over Vehicles
Let's be clear: Although we strive to find every detail of a vehicle's life so far, we are focused only on the vehicle's history, and do not collect any information on previous owners. The information we provide relates solely to the vehicle, its odometer reading, any accidents that have been covered up, where the vehicle comes from and much more — it never gets personal. We've uncovered irreparable damage several times in the past, but other times our vehicle history checks draw a blank — and sometimes that's actually a good thing.
Second Hand — Not Second Best
Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.
But more than anything else, we don't want you or your family unknowingly sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn't % safe. This is why we strive to take these vehicles off the road, which not only makes the used car market safer but our streets safer too.
CARFAX — 35+ Years of Experience in Vehicle Histories
CARFAX was founded in the US in and expanded into Europe in Around team members spread across six European offices process vehicle information from 22 countries.
Fostering strategic partnerships with registration authorities, law enforcement agencies, government departments, insurance companies, inspection centers and numerous other leading companies around the world has enabled us to compile a unique international database for vehicle histories. We use this database to help make the used car market more transparent. We give everyone in the process of buying a used car access to what is currently the world's most comprehensive source for vehicle history reports, and is growing day by day.
We remain neutral and independent despite our partnerships — our sole purpose is help customers make an informed choice and ensure their safety and the safety of their family. This includes never collecting any personal details — we do not accept any PII from data sources amongst the information we provide about a vehicle. We ensure that data protection laws are observed at all times. Furthermore, we always collect our data in compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks — in all the countries in which we are active. We expressly distance ourselves from illegal activities such as data theft, scraping and hacking.
With nearly a half-million shiners' worth of mobile luxury at our command, we set out to do something, well, costly. Something that involved some real palm grease, some major jack. You know, the long lolly, the heavy spondulicks.
So we drove to the Drake Hotel in Chicago, where we became embroiled in a modest contest to see if we could purchase one of the doormen's fantastic $ Russian Army coats with the gold braids and maybe the bearskin hats thrown in for a few extra shinplasters. But even as we freely peeled off the scrip, the scudos, and the blunt, the doormen proceeded to conduct a back-seat test of their own, and then the cars got spirited off to an underground location unknown to us or even to Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
Fortunately, the Drake features a parlor famous for serving dirty vodka martinis in goldfish bowls, and that's where we finally poked noticeable holes in our expense accounts and long-term memories.
When the little phosphorescent butterflies had cleared a day or two later, we tried to drive home but wound up at Chicagoland Speedway and then in Kankakee, a town made famous in the Millennium Edition of the Places Rated Almanac for placing th out of metro areas. It took a few hours, but we finally got turned in an easterly direction - thanks to the chauffeurs who didn't know about the martini bar - and fetched up at the art deco Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, where we again felt at home amid status symbols worth the big purse, the large ready, the tall pony.
But here's a little secret: No editor at C/D will ever earn enough to buy either of these cars, so if you expect us to rate them on some sort of credible fiscal scale, well, just know that one of us spent way, way more at the martini bar than for his hotel room. The cars tested here may be Large and in Charge, but we're just large around the mouth and in charge of a lot of debt.
Nobody needs this car. It's like having the adult-movie concession at the Vatican -- amusing but not hugely practical. Which is why bystanders come running to behold it, brandishing cell-phone cameras and emitting the sort of whoops you'd hear at Razorbacks games. At one point, in front of the Drake, we had a dozen animated gawkers gathered on the sidewalk and in the middle of East Walton Place, blocking traffic. An enraged garbage-truck driver honked until he spied the metal monument that was fomenting the commotion. That's when he abandoned his idling rig and walked twice around the Phantom, smiling and posing the three questions every civilian eventually asks: "Whose is it?" "Can I look inside?" "How much?"
What's endearing about the Phantom is that it's such a peculiar stroll down motoring's memory lane, less like driving a car than shepherding a chrome barn attached to two carriage lamps. It just wafts down the road. Excellent waftability. The hood alone stretches one inch short of six feet. We thus made regular use of the $ two-way camera mounted on the bumper, affording a critical left-right view as we cautiously nosed out onto Michigan Avenue. The Phantom is more than two feet longer than the already vast Benz S and more than a half-foot taller. A perfect 10 on the international look-at-me scale. In front of Soldier Field, a guy driving a Prius gave us the finger. Wonder if he likes his Prius?
Speaking of fingers, the steering is so light that one digit will supply sufficient turning force, and the wheel's two leather ear grips are positioned weirdly at four and eight -- the preferred chauffeur's grip, apparently, said to mitigate unnecessary and unsettling inputs. The brakes are mushy but gentle, the ZF six-speed kicks down when it's damn well ready, and there's not just a ton of body roll but more like tons. The air-spring suspension is bungee-cord pliable -- the Phantom relaxed its way through our lane-change regimen at the same velocity as a Ford Explorer -- and when those huge inch run-flat Goodyears met expansion joints or frost heaves, all we heard inside was a muted "tha- hupp," like the sound of a banana hitting the kitchen floor.
If you work at it, you can actually hustle the Phantom. You'll know when you're hustling it, because the "Power Reserve" gauge reveals, in percentage points, how far you've depressed the gas pedal -- one of those features that'll keep you asking, " How much did I pay for this?" This metroliner is fast like a rhinoceros is fast -- eminently capable of the feat but content to laze in the sun until all other remedies have been exhausted. The flying lady, way out there on the horizon, sometimes even looks like a rhino's horn. Or Hillary's flag atop Everest.
The whole point of the Phantom isn't driving. It's riding. What we have here is mobile furniture -- seats and carpets and cabinetry like you'd find in a Lockheed Electra or on an Onassis yacht or in the Orient Express. There are cigar-size ashtrays all over the place, and it smells like the Marlboro Man's first saddle. We rode in the right-rear seat every chance we could -- once for three hours -- and never remembered to attach our seatbelts, because why would you belt yourself into a buttery couch in a London smoking room? Back-seat riders immediately acquired a sense of entitlement and began issuing orders: "Just pull up to Starbucks," I barked at road warrior K.C. Colwell, "and honk until someone comes out." All rear passengers reliably shed their shoes, as if in anticipation of a business-class flight to Heathrow. The Phantom's C-pillars swoop down at an angle intended to hide your regal visage from pedestrian riffraff. Look 90 degrees right or left and all you'll see is the reflection of a true aristocrat in the art deco mirrors -- namely, you. And it's quieter at full throttle and at a mph cruise than that exemplar of tomb-like isolation, the Lexus LS Listen to the clock ticking.
Given its price and ostentation, the double-R is a very large target. It's easy to deride its barn-door grille, squinty eyes, Queen Mary arse, and dry-clean-only lamb's-wool floor mats.
Nobody needs this car. Everybody wants this car.
If you want to know what we think of the S, read our test of the S (February ), then apply another $57, to the sticker and another ponies to the driveshaft. In the hills, both S-classers drive alike -- same moderate body roll, same understeer, same aloof and steely persona. Not hugely involving. In a straight line, though, they're as different as Warren Harding and Warren Beatty.
The S blasts to 60 mph in seconds. Know what that means? To 60 mph, this ton Teuton is quicker than:
1. A Porsche Carrera S.
2. A Chevrolet Corvette convertible.
3. A Ferrari Scaglietti F1.
The S whooshes through the quarter-mile in seconds, same as a Lamborghini MurciÃÂ©lago. This big Benz's twin-turbo V manufactures pound-feet of torque as low as rpm. We once nailed the throttle just as Colwell tried to open the glove box. His arms flailed and thrashed at cabin air, and it wasn't until the Benz had attained another 60 or so digits that he was able to lean far enough forward to effect any dashboard operations.
Our shark-gray Merc asked for only seconds to transform 50 mph into 70 mph. On two-lane highways, we learned not to floor the throttle until we were in the passing lane. Otherwise, this heavy destroyer was too likely to ram whoever was being overtaken. Here's something else that'll amuse and panic your passengers: Set the Distronic Plus proximity cruise control for mph while following, say, a dawdling Ford F, then lift your foot completely off the gas. Later, when you pull out to pass, the S will automatically proceed to a buck-twenty entirely on its own, as if possessed by the ghost of RenÃÂ© Dreyfus, and no red lights or Klaxons or legal warnings will so much as suggest themselves. All of this is accompanied by neither turbo lag nor vibration nor exhaust roar. At every driver swap, we had to glance at the tach to tell whether the V was even reciprocating.
Our "base" S was fitted with all the electronics known to German engineers and a few known only to Homeland Security, and the desirable active body control that cost $ on the S is here standard. Not to mention brake lights that flash furiously during panic stops and a right-rear seat with eight power comfort adjustments, plus a ninth that automatically slides the right- front seat forward to keep it clear of one's costly monkey-paw loafers, and pneumatic bolsters that stiffen during cornering so you don't have to expend any unnecessary energy holding your own torso erect, God forbid.
Did we mention that, during a mph panic stop, the S requires only 12 more inches of tarmac than a Mazda RX-8?
Compared with the Rolls, this Mercedes resembles some sort of J.C. Penney "Discount Daze" bargain. For the price of our Phantom, you could buy an S, all seven sedans in last month's "Cheap Skates" comparo, and more than 14 months' worth of luxury lodging at the Drake in Chicago. After which, the parking valets will likely give you one of their handmade Russian Army coats, which, we are here to tell you, affect women in a warm and memorable way.
Last February, we called the S "the best S-class ever," but now the S is the best S-class ever, soon to be challenged by an S65 AMG that will surely be more potent, making it the best S-class ever, causing some of us to ask, "Why?" This car is already all arrogance and attitude, and every vehicle impeding its progress evokes that German descriptor " Backpfeifengesicht," which means "the face that cries out for a fist in it." All we can tell you is that the S feels like the most luxury, comfort, style, speed, subtlety, and glory ever to attach itself to the three-pointed star of Sindelfingen, and you can quote us on that. For a few months, anyway.
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For The Love of God, Don't Ever Buy A Mercedes-Benz S
Caveat Emptor is something the Romans never imagined would apply to purchasing motorized horseless chariots, but the famous Latin phrase meaning “buyer beware” should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when shopping for a used car.
Despite my pretentiousness of opening this column with a Latin lesson, I can tell you I’m not a smart man. But I do have a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career of asking, “What will it take for you to buy this beautiful Chevy Malibu today?”
That’s right. I was a used car dealer. After a decade in the car business, I semi-retired with a few pieces of my soul still intact. I am left with the superpower of coaxing people into buying polished turds, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of which used cars to avoid.
Before, I used this great power with great irresponsibility. Now I will use this power for good, keeping you from buying a disaster on wheels.
This brings me to my first official PSA, short for Pile of Shit Announcement. Thanks to Jalopnik, everyone knows the engineers at BMW enjoy making engines that function like hand grenades and that owning an Audi Allroad will leave you so broke you consider it a win if you can trade it on Craigslist for a Sega Dreamcast.
G/O Media may get a commission
What many people don’t realize is no automaker is immune to making critical mistakes in engineering. Even venerable brands like Honda and Toyota have horrific examples of “what the fuck were they thinking?” that run counter to their normal levels of dependability.
Certainly Mercedes-Benz, a company touted as “engineered like no other car in the world”, have engineered out of this world mistakes. Which is why today’s PSA states: For the love of God, don’t buy a Mercedes S
was the first model year this all-new S-Class went on sale in the U.S. It was meant to re-establish Mercedes’ dominance in luxury land yachts. With sexy wheel arches, unparalleled ride quality, and an endless array of gadgetry like four different seat massage settings, affluent buyers were lining up to pay close to six figures for the new S.
Nearly a decade later, nice examples can be picked up for a piddly $15,$20, It seems like a screaming deal. But I am going to tell you that even if the salesman puts a gun to your head, don’t ever buy one.
Many of you are probably thinking I’m going to dive into several of the well known problems that plagued Mercedes-Benzes of this era. Things like the air ride suspension or the vast array of electronics, both of which fail in spectacular ways. You’re wrong.
With a good independent mechanic, or if you’re handy with a screwdriver and swear words, you can keep these systems going reasonably well. What brings this car to its knees is a small part you would never think of.
Friend, let me introduce you to this little gear. It lives deep inside the S's V8 engine, which is coded M, and is connected to the timing chain. Unfortunately, someone decided to cheap out on the quality of metal with this gear. Like someone addicted to meth, the teeth on the gear can start to decay and fall out, with catastrophic results.
The first warning of impending death is a check engine light throwing camshaft timing codes. If, like most careless third- or fourth-hand owners, you ignore this warning light, you’ll notice an increasingly out of balance engine. It will start to gyrate, like Shakira in “Hips Don’t Lie.”
If you are insane enough to keep driving as the sprocket continues to degrade and the jiggling becomes more intensified, like Beyoncé in “Single Ladies”, the timing chain could eventually slip.
Piston will mash valve, and your car will be dead. Remember the Mercedes in Michael Clayton? That is exactly what happened to him. Exactly.
With the cost of a used engine around $ and installation labor around $, for a bit more you could have leased a new Mercedes C-Class.
Let’s say you’re a more fastidious owner, and decide to replace the gear before your engine starts dancing seductively. It’s only a cheap little gear, right? Well this handy video from will tell you exactly how to do it in a few simple, easy steps.
- Step 1: Remove the engine from your car.
- Step 2: Remove the front cam covers, secondary air pump, guide pulley, thermostat housing, belt tensioner, oil filter case, vibration dampener, water pump, coils, valve covers, timing chain adjuster, and timing cover.
- Step 3: Replace the gear.
- Step 4: Somehow remember how all of this goes back together, then do that.
It’s that simple!
If this job seems a bit too challenging, you can farm it out to your local Mercedes dealer. They certainly have a lot of practice at these, and are happy to bill you the bazillion labor hours it takes to get it done.
Sadly, the issue was not contained only to this year and model. I chose the S as the flagship example. Virtually the entire Mercedes model lineup (non-AMG, that is) with a certain serial number range of V6 and V8 gasoline engines during the and model years were affected.
The V6 engines, called M, have similar defective gears in their balance shafts. Like the V8s, they can wear out prematurely and cause the same kind of death-jiggle.
With the cost of parts and dealer labor rates, you’re still probably not far off from the cost of putting in a used motor. With some lesser models, like a C-Class, the repair would exceed the value of the car.
The odds of this failure happening to you are probably about the same as losing a game Russian Roulette with a single bullet in the chamber. Not as huge as they could be, but would you want to take that chance?
The only practical solution? Buy a S, making sure the engine serial number is not in the affected range. Mercedes fixed their mistake by then with stronger gear teeth, settled a class action lawsuit regarding the matter, and moved on to make other mistakes, like the CLA-Class.
This has been a PSA brought to you by Hoovie at Jalopnik.
Correction: I originally stated the S V8 engine had a balance shaft which the faulty gear was attached to. Only the V6 cars have balance shafts, but both engines have a similar gear attached to the timing chain with inferior metal quality. This post has been updated to note that difference, but the overall point stands—buy a or later S-Class. I apologize for the error!
Tyler “Hoovie” Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and is now selling hamburgers to support his personal fleet of unreliable European cars. He documents his exploits on Twitter @hooviesgarage and will soon be writing for Drivetribe.
The new C-Class is a key- model for Mercedes-Benz, as it makes a really important percentage of the total sales. It is not the technological showcase, S-Class is, but it is one of the vehicles to make the brand profitable. Apparently, for cost reduction purposes, it will share the same technical platform with the larger E-Class, but it will be tuned for a much more sharper driver response. Mercedes-Benz intends to make the new C-Class for the very first time a true sports saloon, and not a smaller answer to the E. This intention is justified by the major success recently seen by the sporty BMW 3-Series.
The official unveiling will be held at the Geneva Motor Show with sales starting shortly after. The station wagon is suppose to arrive six months later, in the fall of Sharing the same platform and design tendencies will be the new CLK coupe and cabriolet.
It’s a clear thing that the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class will directly target the BMW’s E90 3 Series. Like the rest of the medium luxury sedans, the C-Class was never able to match the BMW success. The previous generation brought the battle closer with new engines, sport suspensions and sporty styling revisions. All these changes have helped, but the C-Class was still no match for the 3 Series. It was good against the Audi A4 and Lexus IS, but not great.
The new C-Class is not expected to grow much in size and the styling will also not make a radical change. As seen on test prototypes the front lights seem to have a more square appearance in contrast with the curvaceous lines of the previous model.
The rear-end design is expected to feature elements from the latest S-Class, translated in a sportier general feel. As you can see from the renderings provided by our designers the car will have a more athletic and sturdy stance. All of these will e mixed with the current tendencies of maximizing interior room and comfort.
The sophisticated air suspension or the Active Body Control will not be offered due to cost reduction reasons. The expected power-units will be the basis direct injection 4-cylinder litre with power ranging between and bhp. The and liter V6 will offer and bhp respectively. The top AMG litre is expected to be updated in order to match the Audi RS4 and future BMW M3, and will offer about bhp. Also available will be the litre diesel and the new Command operating concept found in the new S-Class, but in a simplified version. 4MATIC AWD system is most likely to be available as well.
Prices are expected to increase slightly, but they will not make a big departure from the current models
The original C-Class was introduced to the public in as a replacement for the model. It was the cheapest model in the Mercedes lineup until the arrival of the A-Class in The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was built at the Mercedes-Benz factories in the German towns of Sindelfingen and Bremen, as well as in Daimler-Chrysler’s South African factory in East London. The very first C-Class sedan was assembled on June 1, and the second generation C-Class rolled off the assembly line on July 18,
The C-Class was introduced in , as a competitor to BMW’s E36 3 Series, as its predecessor, the , had been. The C-Class become immensely popular, quickly getting the title of Mercedes-Benz’s best-selling class of vehicles worldwide. Much of its popularity was due to its affordability. At the time the C-Class sedans were the entry level to the Mercedes-Benz range, but now are no longer the smallest, least expensive sedans offered by Mercedes-Benz. The model also kept the sporty image of the with a smoother and more rounded appearance than lines than the other vehicles produced by Mercedes at the time, its sporty image giving birth to a competition version in the German Touring Car Championship.
The second generation C-Class was introduced in , with an even sportier look than the previous generations, with a sportier fascia and shortened rear. The sedan debuted with a range of straight-four and V6 petrol engines and straight-four and straight-five Diesels. The V6 poweplants were versions of the previous model with increased displacement, to L and L, this one with bhp. The Diesels now featured common rail direct injection and variable geometry turbochargers. Six-speed manual gearboxes were now standard for nearly the entire range (except the C and C CDI). For the first time, the number designations were no longer equivalent to the engine displacement, more specifically in the C ( L), C ( L) and C CDI ( L).
The main competitor for the new Mercedes C-Class will be the highly successful BMW 3-Series, the current benchmark for this class of vehicles. For a few years now the BMW 3-Series have been honored with lots of prizes: Automobile Magazine name it "Automobile of the year", Car and Driver "Best luxury Sport Sedan" and "World car of the year" by an international jury of 46 automotive journalists. With its satisfying combination of power, performance and day-to-day practicality, the world’s first sport sedan is still the best.
For the world’s first sport sedan and wagon get even better with new engines, new model names, new transmissions, improved performance, new color and additional interior updates.
i and xi come to replace the i and xi Sedan and Sports Wagon. The i and xi will be powered by an improved version of the curent liter Inline-6 engine that is used in the i and xi. it will be an aluminium-magnesium engine block that will have an output of hp and lbs-ft of torque. The curent version produce only hp at rpm and lbs-ft at rpm. So there is an improvement of 15 hp and 15 lbs-ft.
The top speed is electronically limited to mph. Comparing to the model that made the 0 - 60 mph sprint in second (manual transmission) and sec (automatic transmission), the model will have an improvement of seconds and seconds, that will mean: seconds for the manual transmission and seconds for the automatic one. The exterior will be also different: the Crimson Red will replace the Electric Red and the Montego Blue metallic will replace Mystic Blue metallic.
Click here to read our complete BMW 3-Series review.
Then we got into a conversation, and by the tone of the. Conversation, and based on the topics raised, the opinion finally strengthened in me that she was still asleep and nothing like that, consciously Kira recently celebrated her eighteenth birthday, which was very pompously celebrated in a wide circle of her family and acquaintances.
She was a homely girl without any frills, unlike her peers in school. Puffing over her next homework, she was again distracted by the photo of cute Ricky Martin, who was decorating the wall in front of her desk. Her mother's call interrupted her.
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Before her stood a young man, but no longer a guy. It didnt look like a breakthrough in the high-tech business. On the legs are sturdy sports shoes, tight sand-colored trousers, on a triangular torso, a light gray cotton T-shirt with a V-neck. Jordan noted that denim shorts and.