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Thread: Vin Lookup

  1. #1
    Cole Sanger
    I have a quick little story to tell you about. I recently was looking at trucks. Specifically GMC/Chevrolet trucks, and one awesome Dodge. Anyway, I go to a dealership and test drive a really nice looking 2005 GMC dually (Bell Ford in AZ). Anyway, I get home to show the wife and call my cousin in Havasu that works at the GM dealership to ask him what to look for on this truck. He asks me for the VIN so he can lookup the "VIS" which is a vehicle maintenance history report. I owe my cousin big! He said the truck had been towed a total of 4 times because of a wiring problem with the injectors. The most recent time was only 400 miles previous to where the odometer read. So basically the people got pissed after getting it towed for the fourth time and traded it in on a Ford. Understandable. So I go back to the drawing board and look at 10 trucks. I give him all of the VIN's (which I got off of Autotrader). He looks them up and there were major or possibly major problems with all but 2 of them. Anything from the injector issues to transmission rebuilds. One of the two was sold, and I bought the other. My cousin is able to tell me where the truck was purchased, serviced and what trim package also with the VIS search (helpful if it was sunk in the hurricanes and not reported). All of these trucks had under 25000 miles on them and all were 2004-2005 trucks.
    Now some recent information I got from a buddy at work last night is that there is a website by the name of that has really good forums. These forums have people visit them that work at GM dealerships and will run the VIN for you and post it back on the site. Heck, that is good for looking up your own VIN to see what is really going on at the dealership. My buddy said that there are other sites that will do the same thing in the forums, but I was only interested in the GM one...sorry Dodge/Ford guys. I know that it really helped me when looking for a used truck. I hope that this can help someone else in the future.

  2. #2
    Cole Sanger
    I looked at a truck at Canyon State Auto Brokers here in AZ. Lifted 05. Anyway, it didn't have the trim package that I wanted, but it was on the way to the truck that I bought. I looked it over, and knew I didn't want it without driving it. Not what I was looking for. The funny part of this story is that I was looking under the truck at the frame and lift it had (RCD). The frame was totally scratched up from front to back. Then between the frame and the body there was about 2 inches of mud caked in. I was looking at the undercarriage for 5 minutes. I told my wife to put the kids in the truck because we were out of there. The salesman was standing about 5 feet away from me the whole time talking with someone else that worked there. As I give him back the key, he tells me how he just put the lift on and the truck was babied. I almost laughed out loud. It hasn't rained in AZ in over 90 days. Where the heck did they find mud so deep that it would get on the bottom of the body with a 6 inch lift and 35 inch tires. And the frame was so bad that it looked like someone removed the tires so they could drag it in a gravel pit. The other thing was that I knew the truck was a fleet purchase. So it was used as a parts runner for the dealership. Babied...I doubt it. More like drove as hard as possible until they got the new year trucks. Good luck hunting.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    great story and great post. alot of people can learn from your experience here. i for one would never buy a used vehicle from a dealership unless i knew the previous owner. buying private party is easier to get the real story. even if they try and pull the wool over your eyes. you can look at thier other vehicles they own, how they take care of thier stuff, what they are into. lets say your looking for a lifted truck and you see this guys into offroad buggys or trucks, well ok he probably tore the crap out of the truck. some dealerships know how to hide missuse or damage very easily. especially to the ill informed. plus its much more likely that a private party seller will be a bit more honest with you as long as you allow them to be. meaning dont get angry when he/she says "well ok yea we did use the truck for blah blah blah...." its then you can look at it and see if it was damaged at specific areas. the bad thing about private party is that its not very common for them to allow you to take it home for a day and check everything over. compression or leakdown test,filters, oils, brake system, drivline, how it tracks on the road, ect, ect,ect. trying to learn the history is very difficult so having a friend/relative that can look up dealer service history is a great tool.

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