What is odometer rollback and how to detect it?

Odometer rollback or otherwise also known as odometer fraud is the illegal change of the mileage readings of the vehicle in order to have an appearance of a lower total mileage. Rolling back aims to show that the car/vehicle is less-used. This creates an illusion of long life left and fewer repairs needed for the car.  Actually, the result of such activity can cause the buyer to pay much more money than the actual cost of the vehicle.

One can commit an odometer fraud through:

  • disconnecting and/or resetting the odometer,
  • altering and/or changing the numbers,
  • replacing the odometer without any provided notice etc.

To detect odometer rollback fraud you should:

  1. Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage on the vehicle maintenance or inspection records. If you find any inconsistencies with the numbers on the official documents, you might be facing odometer fraud.
  2. Inspect gas, brakes, and tires to see whether they are consistent with the odometer’s mileage number or not.  
  3. Check the last oil change. A sticker on the car will show the last oil change and the mileage number.
  4. Pay attention to the car’s interior; the condition and wear of the wheel, gear lever, pedals and other parts.
  5. For the car with a traditional mechanical odometer, pay attention to the numbers to be aligned correctly and be readable. If you find any crooked and/or gap containing numbers, you might be having odometer fraud.
  6. The number of previous owners of the car sometimes can speak about the real condition of the vehicle as well. In the case, you have an excessive number of previous owners but the mileage number is too small, this might be a reason to worry about possible odometer fraud.

So, before buying a car, it’s necessary to check the odometer number in order to get information about the possibility of maintenance and repair of the vehicle, how the previous owner looked it after; specifically, whether there are dash screws and scratches and what is its life expectancy. Be sure that the car warranty is applicable, know its real price etc.

If you come across with some difficulties in finding the possible fraud, feel free to contact us for support.    

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