The answer is simple: an odometer reading shows the mileage a vehicle has clocked since it left the manufacturer’s doors. It’s a good indicator of wear and tear on a car. The higher the mileage, the greater the wear on a vehicle’s components. Consequently, a high-mileage vehicle is worth much less than an identical low-mileage model. 

That said, the vehicle mileage isn’t the sole determinant of its value. How the miles were accumulated can make a difference, too. For example, highway trips and driving in stop-and-go city traffic impact the car differently. The latter is considered to cause more damage.

Other important factors impact a vehicle’s worth. The car’s previous accident and maintenance history records are important when calculating car value.‍

An odometer is a device that clocks the distance a vehicle travels. Keep in mind that the odometer logs every mile the car travels in forward and reverse gear. The odometer can be mechanical or digital. 

Rolling back an odometer can be as simple as plugging in an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or onboard diagnostic (OBD) tool and resetting the car mileage. Manufacturers of these tools create them to enable mechanics to diagnose car issues. However, shady dealers and sellers use them to alter the odometer illegally. 

You don’t need to be a mechanic to recalibrate the vehicle odometer. With a few bucks and basic car computer knowledge (which can be acquired by watching YouTube videos), you can easily roll the vehicle odometer back or forward.

Also known as “mileage rollback,” is essential when buying a used vehicle to ensure that you get accurate information about the vehicle’s actual mileage. Odometer fraud involves altering or tampering with the odometer reading to make it appear that the vehicle has lower mileage than it does. Here are some steps you can take while ascertaining how to detect odometer fraud:

• Obtain a Vehicle History Report: The vehicle history reports often include information about previous odometer readings, title transfers, and reported incidents. Look for any inconsistencies in the reported mileage.

• Inspect the Interior: Check for wear and tear consistent with the reported mileage. If the interior looks excessively worn for the stated mileage, it could indicate odometer fraud.

• Check Service Records: Review the vehicle’s service records, if available. It is important to check how to detect odometer fraud. Regular maintenance and repair records can provide insight into the vehicle’s usage.

• Inspect the Odometer and Dashboard: Look for signs of tampering around the dashboard and odometer. Mismatched screws, scratches, or other physical damage could indicate that the odometer has been tampered with.

• Compare with Wear and Tear: Compare the condition of the vehicle’s exterior, tires, pedals, and other components with the reported mileage. Excessive wear on these parts could suggest higher mileage than claimed.

• Check for Digital Odometer Tampering: Some modern vehicles have digital odometers. Check if the odometer display is consistent, and look for any discrepancies in the digital display.

• VIN Decoding: Decode the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to obtain information about the vehicle’s history, including mileage readings from previous inspections or registrations.

• Title and Ownership History: Research the title and ownership history of the vehicle. Frequent changes in ownership, especially over a short period, could be a red flag.

• Be Wary of Unrealistic Deals: If the price of the vehicle seems too good to be true for its make, model, and reported mileage, it’s worth being cautious.

• Check Online Databases: Some jurisdictions maintain databases of reported odometer readings during inspections and emissions tests. Check these databases for any inconsistencies.

• Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn’t feel right while checking how to detect odometer fraud and about the deal or the vehicle’s history, trust your instincts and consider walking away.

The inspector will compare the vehicle’s maintenance records, service history, and any available Carfax or AutoCheck reports with the odometer reading. Inconsistencies between the documented mileage and the odometer reading can raise suspicions of fraud.

Mechanics can often determine if a vehicle’s odometer has been tampered with while they inspect the odometer by examining the physical components of the odometer and its connections. Signs of tampering might include loose screws, misaligned numbers, or evidence that the dashboard has been taken apart.

Contact Auto King Mobile Mechanic to schedule your appointment and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vehicle is in good hands!