6 Tips to Detect Odometer Tampering
Odometer tampering is a grave problem nowadays and many used car buyers have this sad experience. Why is odometer tampering widespread today? The reason is very simple. An increased number of fraudulent dealers use this car scam because it is easier to sell lower mileage used cars. Unfortunately, even the implementation of digital odometers didn’t eliminate this scam. However, you should keep in mind that altering the odometer of the car is an illegal act. According to the data provided by NHTSA, over 450 000 vehicles having false odometer readings are sold on a yearly basis. Thus, to help consumers detect odometer tampering, we can recommend you taking a look at these tips.
Exploring the vehicle service history
In fact, checking the vehicle’s history service is a wise decision. You are probably wondering, ‘’Why should I take this step? ‘’ Whenever the car appears in the garage, the mileage of the car is usually mentioned on the repair order. Actually, this is the key to having access to the information related to mileage readings. This is a perfect way of finding out about the documented service history. Then, explore the vehicle history in detail. If you notice that the service history is reliable, you can take a breath and purchase it with confidence. On the contrary, if you have certain doubts that the odometer mileage is altered just turn back and leave the dealership immediately.
Paying attention to switches that don’t belong
When inspecting the vehicle look for unfamiliar switches that may be either around the dashboard or under the steering wheel. Watch out. Most probably, the main function of these switches is turning the odometer system on and off. The reality is that scammers just turn off the odometer while they are driving a car. Later, when they are eager to check the vehicle’s speed, what they do is switching it back.
Telling the dealer that you want to see the title.
Examining the title thoroughly is crucial. A piece of worthy advice is comparing the mileage that is on the title with the odometer of the car. It is obviously a cause for concern if you discover that the mileage is obscured or you can read it with difficulty. Be especially careful when examining the date when the title of the vehicle was issued. You should definitely give up on the vehicle if it is on sale shortly after the title was issued. The reason is that a scammer may have issued a new title aimed at concealing a mileage alteration.
Checking the numbers on the odometer
Make sure that the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned in a proper way. It is always a good idea to bang on the dash using your hand. If there is no problem with the odometer, the numbers aren’t crooked and don’t have gaps. Are you about to obtain a car that comes with an analog odometer? In this case, be aware that the numbers should be lined up in a straight manner.
Taking a close look at the wear and tear of the vehicle
Any used car purchase should take a close look at the overall wear and tear of the vehicle. You had better ensure that there are no ‘’heel spots’’ on the carpet or floor mat. Low miles on the odometer combined with worn out carpets is a sign of odometer tampering. Don’t forget about examining brake pedals of the car. If they are in bad condition it is already a serious issue.
Asking a skilled mechanic to inspect the vehicle
Did you notice certain warning signs while inspecting the vehicle? The most reasonable decision in this situation is having a reliable mechanic inspect the car. It is true that a professional may notice many slight details that an ordinary buyer often fails to find out. A pre-purchase inspection is what any informed car shopper needs to do for having a clear idea about the vehicle’s condition. Only after taking this step you can be sure that you are purchasing a reliable and safe car.
Finally, no one wants to pay a considerable amount of money for obtaining a vehicle with rolled back odometer. But if you have already appeared in such a situation, it is more reasonable to look for a solution. Since odometer tampering is illegal, you have the right to seek a legal assistance. Hiring an experienced attorney is probably the best thing that can do in this case.