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How To Avoid Milometer / Odometer Fraud

Odometers are often rolled back so the seller can make more money. Cars with low mileage are priced higher. Omit 35000-40000 KMs and it will artificially inflate the value to about Rs. 1.0 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakhs.

Digital odometers were supposed to make it hard for criminals to tamper with them, but they still managed to find a way to hack them.

Most vehicles store their digital milometer / odometer reading on the instrument cluster on a re-writable chip. Once the chip is located, they will have it de-soldered from the board and get it connected to a computer’s serial port where its data can be downloaded and manipulated.

There are many programs known to edit the data from on these chips.

The data on the chip is coded with inverted hex values. The milometer /odometer data are then edited and rewritten to the chip, which is then re-soldered to the milometer / odometer board and put back into the car. On older cars that sports analogue counters, the milometer / odometer is manually rolled by hand.

Tampering the milometer / odometer not only raises the value of the vehicle, it also deceives buyers that the vehicle is in better condition.

Here, we wrote down a few tips that will help consumer’s determine if the milometer /odometer has been tampered. Make sure that you keep these things in mind when you buy a used car.

Check The Instrument Dashboard

Make sure that the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned correctly. They shouldn’t be crooked, there should be no gaps. Check if it jiggles when you bang on the dash with your hand. If the vehicle has an analog odometer, as opposed to newer digital readouts, check that the numbers are lined up straight.

Look for some manmade marks inside the instrument cluster. Look for fingerprints or smudge marks. If you find some, it is a sure sign that someone has been in the cluster. Look for loose parts and switches that do not belong. There have already been reported cases of vehicles being rigged with switches that turns the odometer off and on.

Check The Wear And Tear

Make sure that the wear and tear match the declared mileage. Look out for signs such as worn seats, scratches on the keyhole, the steering wheel and other vehicle parts. These are indicators that the vehicle has been used a lot. If it looks too worn for the declare mileage that means that it has been rolled back. Check the vehicle’s tires. If it shows 70000 Kms or less it should have the original tires.

Look For Service Stickers / Service Records

If you are checking a car with a digital milometer / odometer, it will be difficult to see physical signs of tampering. You can only know by dismantling the instrument cluster to see if the odometer has been de-soldered


You can look for service stickers inside the door or under the hood that may give the actual mileage.

If the milometer / odometer has been replaced or if a mileage correction was done, there will be a sticker / records showing:

· The date of installation / service.

· The service records always tells.

· The vehicle’s last known mileage prior to the repair or replacement.

· The mileage added to the vehicle while the milometer / odometer was inoperable, if any.

You should also look at the owner’s manual for maintenance records. Make sure that there are no missing pages. It is also smart to contact the service center to validate the service manager ‘s signature.

  • 2018-02-06T14:26:18
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