Odometer Tampering Check: Odometer Has Been Tampered With?

Posted by at 28 April 2015, at 12 : 25 PM

Odometer Tampering Check: Odometer Has Been Tampered With?

One of the easiest ways that a car dealer can make a second hand car more appealing is to tamper with the odometer and give the appearance that the car has traveled fewer miles than it actually has.

Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that there is a 3.5% chance that every car has its odometer tampered with. Hence, it makes the odometer tampering check even more important. Understanding this fact is essential for the second-hand car buyer since he may end up buying a car that has done hundreds or even thousands of miles more than is actually shown on the odometer. But there are safeguards, including a thorough examination of the vehicle to check the condition, looking for tell-tale signs such as new parts, taking a test drive, looking for physical signs of odometer tampering, and having a car history check carried out. This article will look at these points and how a buyer can protect himself.

How To Check Whether The Odometer Has Been Tampered With

New technologies have made it harder for certain unscrupulous car dealers to tamper with the odometer. As you may already know, tampering with a cars odometer is a federal crime, but it is an astonishing fact that many used cars have had their odometer tampered with, making it essential to perform an odometer tampering check.

Although the offense is punishable and the offender can face a fine, imprisonment or a combination of both, the offenders aren’t deterred, and the incidents of such tampering continue to rise. It looks like a difficult thing to perform an odometer tampering check, but it can be very easy if we just apply a little common sense. You just have to check out certain things about the vehicle and you can easily find out if the odometer has been tampered with or not.

The first check for odometer tampering is to examine the vehicle carefully. You have to see if the condition matches the miles shown by the odometer. Check the condition of tires and the date given on the tire. You also have to see if some parts like hoses, batteries, clamps and fans have been replaced, or whether there is any sign of wear and tear on these parts. If any of these look brand new or recently replaced, be alert because it may be the owners attempt to hide the car’s damaged condition or real age.

You can take a test drive to see if the vehicle’s condition and performance matches the miles shown in the odometer. If the performance is very bad there is a possibility that the odometer has been tampered with. Also, if the speedometer sticks, this can be a good sign that there has been some tampering.

If the odometer is a mechanical one, look closely at the digits to see if they are straight. Check for scratches or any other tampering marks on the odometer. It is generally easy to tamper with mechanical odometers but even the new digital odometers are not immune to tampering. With the right software, a person can roll back a digital odometer fairly easily.

But one of the best ways to check for odometer tampering is to have the vehicle history checked by using an agency. For a fee, these agencies will generate a car history report, which will include the true mileage of the car. There is no more accurate check of whether the odometer has been tampered with, and all that is needed is the vehicle identification number.

As you can see, checking whether an odometer has been tampered with takes some time and effort, but is well worth it in order to make sure the mileage of the vehicle is as it says on the dealer’s paperwork. By following the tips outlined above you can ensure that the used car you buy will be in good condition and has not been tampered with.

General Automotive Articles