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How to Tell if the Odometer has been Rolled Back

When buying a used car, there is always an apprehension of being ripped off. Especially if you are not a person who knows a lot about cars, the different types of engines and all the jargon that comes with it.  However, there are a few things you could do to ensure that you don’t fall into a trap and end up by buying a car that is not worth the money. 

One of the most common ways in which you could be played when buying a used car is through mileage or odometer tampering. An odometer is a device that provides you with the exact number of miles the vehicle has travelled. A car that has travelled fewer miles would fetch a higher price in the used car market. Therefore used car dealers may resort to tampering with the odometer to reduce the number of miles a car has travelled. Here are some foolproof methods to help you steer clear of odometer fraud.

Ask for Records:

There are various ways to identify if the odometer of the car has been tampered with such as checking inspection records and service records of the car. Usually, when the car is given for a service the number of miles the car has run is noted in the journal. You could ask the dealer for the service and inspection records of the car to know how many miles the car has run. For instance: a car runs an average 12,000 miles a year, so if the car is about 5 years old, it should have run about 60,000 miles or closer to that number.

Look for Odometer Information:

If the odometer has been changed, you would find a sticker from with the date on which the odometer was changed along with the number of miles the car has run. This sticker would usually be near the dashboard where it would be visible or on the door of the driver. You could calculate the number of miles of the old odometer from the sticker and the number of miles of the odometer that is presently in the car. If the car has a GPS then you could check the GPS to find out the exact number of miles the car has run.

Tyre Inspection:

Inspection of the tyres and the accelerator, clutch and brake pedals would also enable you to understand if the odometer has been tampered with. For instance: if the number on the odometer is 25,000 miles the tyres of the car should still be in good shape and the treads of the tyres should not be too worn out. Place a coin in between the treads and if 1/3rd of the coin is hidden by the treads then the odometer may not be tampered with. But if less than a 3rd of the coin is covered by the treads then there is a good chance that the odometer of the car has been tampered with. 


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