How to tell if a car’s odometer has been tampered with

The odometer is a device used to measure the distance traveled by a vehicle. The odometer is usually located on the dashboard of the vehicle. The word “odometer” is derived from two Greek words meaning way and measure.

An odometer can be digital or mechanical. Mechanical odometers generally comprise several gears. Each tooth on the mechanical odometer represents a numerical digit. The teeth rotate in accordance with the rotation of the wheels through a drive mechanism and a cable. A window housing shows only the current mileage of the vehicle and not the mechanical parts.

Digital odometers differ from mechanical odometers in that they use a computer chip to track mileage. The current ones are displayed digitally.

However, many car dealers, in an effort to deceive people and sell a vehicle under false pretenses, alter the mileage shown on an odometer. Not to become a victim of odometer rollback fraudit is necessary to have the knowledge about the signs when the odometer is manipulated.

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That’s why, here we tell you some signs that indicate that the car’s odometer has been altered.

1.- Signs of manipulation of the odometer

This is a very important way to check if the odometer is fake. You should look at the numbers printed on the odometer to see if they are misaligned or crooked. Check for noticeable gaps in numbers at unnecessary lengths.

While not always a sure sign of tampering, smudged fingerprints on the inside of your car’s odometer can be a telltale sign that someone is deliberately scamming you.

2.- Documentation of the vehicle.

When buying a used car, many experts recommend reviewing the documentation to obtain information on the parameters: year of manufacture, registration and number of times the owner of the vehicle has been changed.

The year of first registration is the moment in which the car starts to roll, from which it is possible to calculate the average number of miles corresponding to the years that the vehicle has traveled.

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The car gets between 9,000 and 12,500 miles a year on popular vehicles and under normal use. With luxury cars and sports cars, this figure may be lower. Therefore, for vehicles that have been used for 3 years or more, it is not possible to have miles of 12,500 – 15,500 miles, if possible, it will be very rare.

3.- Check the vehicle history report (VIN)

What does a VIN report tell you? A vehicle history report gives you a variety of information about a car you’re buying: odometer readings, ownership history, title status, and more.

4.- Overturned odometer

Once you are done, one of the ways is to check if the odometer is dumped. You should also test drive the car before deciding to buy it. The action helps you get to know the feeling of driving, and detect noises and vibrations from worn parts after previous use.

One way to check old cars that experienced mechanics apply is to drive the car on steep inclines and bumpy roads. At the same time, turn on the air conditioning at maximum capacity.

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In this way it will help you to easily detect errors in the engine and chassis system.


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