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How Do You Tell If A Car’s Been Clocked? – A Guide

November 14, 2022

How do you tell if a car’s been clocked? – You may think about it many times. Identification of clocked cars is still a challenge for most of us. Whenever we want to buy a used car, we check the general conditions of it. However, one of the priorities is mileage. Lower or higher mileage is often an indicator of the general condition of the vehicle. Sometimes, this criterion does not tell enough and we need to inspect an automobile in order to make reasonable conclusions. There are a lot of methods that allow you to discover genuine mileage data. The point is to be alert . Think twice if it is relevant to the physical condition. Lying about mileage is the most common crime nowadays and you are in danger of becoming a victim if you ignore this fact. 

So, if you would like to know more about the issue, read the following paragraphs, which is a guide for you. Get a comprehensive answer to the most common question you ask: How do you tell if a car has been clocked?

What is Vehicle clocking? 

Vehicle clocking - explanation

Clocking is the process of rollback mileage data, so it would appear to have traveled fewer miles than it really has. It may happen for various reasons. Mostly, the reasons are unethical. For example, individuals want to hide the original information in order to make vehicles more attractive on the used auto market. 

You may erroneously think that this practice stayed in the ’90s when people manipulate mechanical odometers with a screwdriver. Needless to say, screwdrivers are replaced by software for manipulating information to your advantage. 

Altered mileage is a bigger problem than you think. Various statistics and research revealed that it brings huge financial loss. Apart from financial aspects, there are safety issues. Wrong information has a harmful effect on making maintenance schedules for automobiles. For instance, you may ignore replacing some components because you think that it’s not urgent. 

As we already mentioned, people have different reasons for altering mileage. Before we answer the question: How to tell if a car’s been clocked?  Let’s review what those reasons are.

Why do people roll back odometers? 

As you know automobiles depreciate quickly. The lower the mileage the more desirable it is for buyers. Low numbers give a false impression that it is well-kept. However, altered numbers do not change the real condition. That’s why this is a deceitful, dangerous, and wrongful practice. Despite the fact, many people do it to their advantage. 

Another reason is still dishonest. Some people try to avoid penalty fees from leasing companies. Usually, they offer leases based on mileage. high -mileage leases are costly, that’s why rewinding the miles is the best solution for many to avoid penalty charges. 

The same happens with insurance companies that offer their quotes based on miles covered. However, it is very risky, if they discover that you are committing fraud, it will be more harmful to you than paying more for the company. 

After all, mileage correction doesn’t always happen for dishonest reasons. Sometimes it has a practical purpose and it is an ultimate necessity. For example, in case of incorrect value, the reasons can be as followings:

  • Jump-starting
  • Damaged dashboard in an accident 
  • Electrical fault 
  • Engine replacement

In those cases, correction is legitimate. Legitimate acts are meant to be documented accordingly. How can I tell if a car has been clocked? You may not know exactly, but statistical data speak volumes. 


I would like to offer you various statistical data from various researcher, so it will be easier to make conclusions about how serious the problem is. 

As the leading authority on vehicle checking services and custodians of original automotive data, CAP HPI claims that one in 16 cars in the UK has a mileage discrepancy which costs more than £800 million every year. They also report that approximately 36% of dealers express worry about the issue because all of this hurt their business. 

According to the up-to-date information provider for buyers, Car vertical, the tendency is on a rise. The company researched tampered automobiles. They collect the data from all over the world. They analyzed cars by the various criteria, such as the following: model, production of the year, fuel type, and tampering cases by country. Targeted automobiles are mainly premium class rather than Economy class. Specifically, German luxurious models, BMW X7 and X5 series. This brand is a leader in all research criteria.

As for the fuel type, diesel automobiles are also the subject of tampering. The chief reason for this is that their value has increased by a big margin. Audi A6, Volkswagen Touareg, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are almost all diesels.

Needless to say, all research shows that mileage fraud has a negative economic impact on victims. Buyers spend thousands of dollars for a product that is not as good as it seems. How do you tell if a car’s been clocked? what to do in order to avoid becoming the victim of this fraud? Keep on reading to learn more about signs that will help you to spot the possible discrepancy.

How do you tell if a car’s been clocked

How to detect clocking

The following tips will help you investigate the real condition of automobiles before buying them. 

Ask for service history 

Sellers always keep documents for MOT testing and other obligatory services, if he or she follows the maintenance schedule strictly and takes good care of the auto. Take a closer look at stamps and see the relevant mileage-related information. Make sure that it goes up logically each year. 

Additionally, you can see the online MOT certificate. It will allow you to know the following facts:

  • If it passed or failed
  • The mileage recorded
  • where each test was done
  • what parts failed at each test, and if any parts had minor problems
  • when its next MOT is due

Inspect closely

How do you tell if a car has been clocked? – Take a closer look at every detail. You can estimate the physical condition of the automobile and say if it covered a big mileage. Look at the parts and components that experience wear and tear. How well-kept is the steering wheel? What’s wrong with pedals?  Do seats look well? As for the exterior, observe stone chips on the bonnet – it will be a good clue for you. If mileage says one and physical condition claims a different thing, do not think too much. Someone tries to fool you. 

Get a VIN check

Do not forget to get a report from one of the authoritative online platforms. You can get it free at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). There is a wide range of choices when it comes to choosing checkers online. We suggest you choose the authoritative one because it’s a high chance the cheaper checker will not be as comprehensive as you expect. So, you will know information about recorded mileage in the past, but you will know the whole story about the auto. 

Take for the test drive 

How to tell if a car’s been clocked? Before you make conclusions, take the targeted auto for the test drive. Sometimes it’s not necessary to be an automotive expert to make logical conclusions. As soon as you get behind the wheel you will be able to identify inconsistencies between odometer reading and the condition of some components. For example, if you see a sloppy gearbox, worn brakes, and clutch suspension, you have a reason to think that something is wrong.

What to consider when testing cars’ performance

Test drive is one of the important parts of the automotive business. No matter whether you sell or buy, testing the performance plays a decisive role when it comes to unleashing the full potential of the auto. However, when you are a seller, you face the problem of adding unnecessary miles, of course, no one wants this to happen. In some cases, you are not a seller and you just want to see the possibilities if your auto is in a controlled environment. If so, I have good news for you. You can purchase an innovative tool – A Mileage blocker that will allow you to halt the mileage recording process from all control units unconditionally. You can install it very easily with a help of instruction.

Is it legal to use a Mileage blocker?

The short answer can be that it is not illegal unless you use it for fraudulent purposes. As you may guess, dishonest people may use it for fraud, because the module performs flawlessly, it stops the recording process from all control units. Moreover, it leaves no trace and it is impossible to detect what really happened. As we already mentioned, a premium quality module from Germany will not disappoint you. Bear in mind, that we do not recommend illegal usage, just use it for testing and tuning. In case of additional questions, our support team well help you. You can also visit costumer center. Be careful, dishonest people can use such innovative tools for malicious purposes. How can I tell if a car has been clocked?


So, mileage verification is no joke. Sometimes it is a big challenge because of the advanced tools people use to manipulate it to their advantage. However, you still have a chance to discover the truth if you employ the above-mentioned techniques. How do you tell if a car’s been clocked? Strictly speaking, it is not easy to find out the truth in a world of lies, but not impossible. Just make all the effort!

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