How to Detect Odometer Fraud (Check Tampered or not)

If you are going to buy a vehicle means you have to consider many things. One of the important aspects you have to notice is odometer. Especially buying a used vehicles odometers are an important thing to know the actual condition of the vehicle. Even travelling in taxis you have to careful on odometer readings.

Why should Odometer?

Normally odometer used to calculate the distance driven by the vehicle. Also, it will help to find out vehicles condition and the forthcoming repairs. But in many case sellers and dealers tampered or altered the odometer to run in reverse. In order to cheat the buyers by proving that the particular vehicle is less used.

Sellers normally tampered the odometer measurement by dismantling and changing the plastic gears inside the odometer to make the power drill run back.

Now odometer has connected with digital readouts, which has a facility for easy Google search. Also, you can use OBD 2 tool to check the readings from ECU. But we can’t think that every digital odometer is trustworthy because there are so many meter repair shops to easily tamper the speedometers. They altered the chip inside the PCB by typing the codes in a blank chip then combine it with a chip burner next to the laptop.

In this article, we are to detect how to find the odometer fraud. Let’s start the discussion.

How to detect fraud Odometer?

odometer fraud
If the mileage is comparatively less mean you need to concentrate on the things which are listed below.

  • Average vehicle’s mileage is usually 10,000 miles per year. For example, if the car is 6 years old means it should have the mileage near to 60000. If the mileage is lower than 60000 means it may be an altered odometer.
  • Some dishonest dealers dismantle the speedometer cable in order to lower the mileage measurement. And they drive the vehicle till selling it to someone.
  • Just pull down the seat belts then leave it suddenly, if it moves back quickly then odometer in good condition, if it is slow then it’s time to doubt.
  • Damaged steering wheel, brake pedal, clutch, gear knob, accelerator but the mileage is low means which indicate the defraud in that vehicle. Because these pedal rubbers will wear out at 40-50,000 kilometres of usage.
  • Also, check the condition of the seats and carpet/car mat. Because those are durable things. If it seems shabby or become rigid that reveal the extra usage even odometer cheat at times.
  • Even the fading paint colour will indicate odometer cheat if it rolled back. You can assume the mileage of usage with the outlook too.
  • Just examine the keys too, whether it has the brass colour exposed or not, if you have suspension.
  • Check out the tyres that they are OEM [ Original Equipment Manufacturer ] tyres or changed one., even you need to check out the tire tread. Because the damaged rear tires will indicate the extreme use. Usually, tyres duration come upwards 25,000 km. If it shows 30,000km or lesser than that it’s an original tire. If it not so just examine carefully.
  • Sometimes there will me unwanted noises while moving on chuckholes. Indicate the speedometer defraud.
  • At times screwdriver marks at the speedometer console itself the evidence of defrauding.
  • Sometimes an ill-fitting odometer console can indicate the tampering.
  • Also fingerprints on the glass near the plastic.
  • At times odometer mileage becomes very low when you buy a vehicle from the business person means the speedometer may tamper.
  • The digital speedometer has an electronic speed sensor, which is controlled by a micro-controller in the instrument cluster. If the sensor is cut off then the vehicle will not work properly. So you can check this too. But that can be repaired by cluster suppliers.
  • Just hit the dashboard to find out that the shown odometer readings are correct. If it has gaps that may display the fraud sometimes.
  • Also be aware who used the vehicle previously, because the mileage may be low if it used by an elder citizens and business purpose. But if it is a salesperson it must be high no.

Note: Above listed things are not the same always. Vehicle parts may worn because of extreme usage. So you should carefully analyse all the things along with a mechanic’s help to avoid some nonsense.

Documentation to notice

  • Ask for the full-service history of a vehicle. If the service records are irregular then there is some mess. Because those service centres have the odometer reading for every service.
  • Don’t forget to check the maintenance reports because which prove the present mileage is correct or not.
  • Though they provide the copy of the title certificate you need to ask for the original certificate of the title, to check the mileage.
  • You should ask for the approved service station number to directly collect the information about the car. At least you can ask the information about the last service has taken to that vehicle.
  • Even all they have is photocopy means be sure all the records are trustworthy by examining receipts carefully.
  • You should ask for the maintenance receipts that should have the mileage and date in that. With that, you can find out whether the odometer has tampered or not.
  • Also, some vehicles have PUC certificates [ Pollution Under Control] to check the timestamps and kms.
  • Just ask for the PDI records [ Pre- Delivery inspection] of a vehicle. It is an arrival date of the vehicle to the particular dealer or seller.
  • The second-hand vehicle has MOT [Ministry of Transport] certificate to check out the speedometer readings.
  • At times the records may from new states, that indicate title-washing. Those title certificates have slender differences according to the state requirements.
  • Also, you should search for the next service due to the sticker in the car, so that can help you to find the previous service date is correct or not.
  • It’s necessary to display a decal for the odometer reading whether they tampered or not. Just check inside of the car any decal or special stickers is pasted or not. It may be pasted on the places like instrument cluster, sometimes in the glove box or driver’s door pillar. This kind of decals usually indicates that the vehicle has a new odometer instead of incorrect odometer at times.Most important…
  • You can’t decide whether the odometer has tampered or not easily. So you need a mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. If the seller doesn’t allow the mechanic that proves there is some shabby thing happened.
  • Follow your instinct, what it says.

Note: Even taxi drivers change the speedometer readings by pressing a button or switch. So be careful while travelling in taxis, cars or buying a used vehicle.

Even it’s a used car, it will bring a kind of happiness to your family. So just mind the above things before buying a vehicle. Also, share the information with the world. regarding odometer fraud, because it may be helpful to someone.


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