Help me decipher repairs on a car from a Carfax report

We’re looking to buy a used minivan, and there’s one about an hour from us that is priced much lower than its counterparts. On the Carfax reports, there’s a comment about services provided: steering gear replaced, stabilizer bar links replaced, sway bar links replaced. This all took place in August of 2008. Is that the sort of thing that indicates an accident or serious damage? Should we steer clear of this one?

Thanks in advance!

NMI - need more information.

What year and model minivan are you looking to acquire.
How many miles are on it?
Where is it located? Always been there?

Hard to say. If there’s no mention of crash damage on the report, it was probably just a mechanical failure. It is possible that there’s a repair campaign for for that particular model, or three’s a history of that model having steering problems.

This one is a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country LX with 37,000 miles. Used to be a rental, then private owner, then reposessed and bought by a dealer. It’s currently in Greenfield, IN.

It sounds more like they hit a bad pothole than had a bad wreck.

FYI (dont know what you know about cars)
The stabilizer/sway bar is all related to front suspension, specifically to maintain handling during turns.

Here is a good quick description.

Having those components replaced wouldn’t be too big a concern for me. It’s not like they are a slipping transmission, or a frame that got bent from an accident. However, I’m not a mechanic - but I do a decent amount of my own car work.

As the car was originally a rental - I wouldn’t be surprised if it got abused a bit. I’ve not had good luck with cars that were previously rentals.

It’s unusual to have a steering gear (rack and pinion assembly) fail at such low mileage and young age. I’d like to know why it was replaced. If it was damaged from some sort of impact, I’d want to satisfy myself that nothing else close to it was likewise damaged but not repaired.

I find it suspect that it lists both stabilizer bar links and sway bar links. They’re the same thing – a stabilizer bar is also called a sway bar (short for anti-sway bar). It may just be a simple matter of confusion, but it sends up a red flag.

These items are all related to the “front end” Sounds like the result of an accident that damaged the front of the vehicle. I would ask the dealer to allow you to take the vehicle to a mechanic that you trust. He should give you the straight dope on the vehicle. When you drive the van, see if it handles well. Not pulling to the right or left, not making any unusual sounds or vibrations, ane the steering doesn’t have “play” in the wheel.