Do We Put Too Much Faith in Tipp-Ex?

As you know dishonest sellers will do just about anything to sell a car. Some of the methods used to deceive people require skill and a certain level of 'expertise' (forging logbooks, modifying VIN numbers, etc.).
Others however need nothing more than a bottle of Tipp-Ex to execute a con and you'd be surprised how many of us fall for the latter.
The following is a dramatisation of a true story that I read about on recently. Certainly makes you think twice about trusting the Tipp-Ex!
Picture the scene - You're inspecting a used car at the sellers house. Everything looks okay with the bodywork and you decide to ask a couple of questions about its service history. Does it have a full service history? Where was the work carried out? Can I see the stamps in the service book? etc. Everything seems to check out and you're close to making an offer....just one last thing. "Has the timing belt been done?" you enquire.
"Absolutely" replies the seller confidently. "It was done at 137,000 miles". A quick look at the service book shows no evidence of it but wait - the seller has additional proof. "Take a look in there" he says as he lifts the bonnet. "You can see for yourself".
Sure enough when you look in the car you see a carefully crafted record in Tipp-Ex proudly boasting that the car has had its timing belt done at 137,000 miles.

Just One Problem

The car you're inspecting is a Ford Fiesta that contains a 1.3 Pushrod engine. This engine doesn't have a timing belt! How can you trust anything else the seller has to say?
Moral of the story - ignore the Tipp-Ex and qualify any service history by phoning the garage directly. It's too easy to forge service books, stamps and receipts these days...and of course - don't regret it, Motorcheck it!

Tipp-Ex on Timing Belt
Patrick N - August 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm
Hi Shane, interesting article. I guess the answer is yes we do place too much faith in tipp-ex, forged service history etc. "Buyer be very aware" should be the motto of the day. If the deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is. It's hard for a potential buyer to walk away if they are emotionally excited at the prospect of owning their dream car cheaper than they thought possible, shady dealers know this. The heart should never rule the head.
Shane Teskey - August 13, 2010 at 10:44 am
Hi Patrick, Thanks for the comment. You're right about the "Buyer be very aware" advice. Lots of scams out there at the moment.