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How odometer scams can be detected in vehicles, and which tools are used in the process?

April 4, 2024

Odometer scams and inconsistent mileage are challenging for the modern automobile industry in 2024. People with bad intentions attempt to interfere with the proper operation of the odometer, forcing the system to display incorrect numbers. They use a variety of tools to achieve their goal. These tools have different approaches and outcomes. However, it is critical to consider how to identify such incidents and prevent them from happening in the future.

What is considered odometer scam?

An odometer scam is illegally changing the vehicle mileage by rolling back, disconnecting, or altering the initial miles on the dashboard. Such odometers don’t show the reality and shouldn’t be considered for calculations.
The odometer scam prevents accurate calculations and causes financial damage to the public. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 450,000 cars go on sale with incorrect mileage information annually. Based on the same source, the total loss of American citizens exceeds 1 billion US dollars. Even with data from the United States alone, it is clear that the odometer scam is an important concern for states.
Odometer scams are intended to change car mileage and artificially reduce the miles shown on the instrument panel. They have been increasing in frequency, particularly recently. A variety of factors can explain this process. However, before we look at these circumstances, we must first determine whether the odometer scam is punishable and what the punishment will be for the perpetrator.

What is considered odometer scam

Is it punishable?

Yes, the odometer scam is punishable in many countries. Odometer manipulations are a worldwide problem, and states try to combat such actions in various ways. Many jurisdictions have different regulations and, in some cases, laws that prohibit such activities.
Federal law governs this issue in the United States. Altering the odometer and knowingly providing false mileage are federal crimes. The penalty could be up to three years or a $10,000 fine. On the other hand, if you are a victim of odometer fraud, you may file a civil suit. It is feasible when the damage exceeds $1,500. However, you must show that your vehicle has been clocked.
In the United Kingdom (UK), mileage correction services are illegal. In 2012, the provider of such a service was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and financial fines. According to the UK government release, the decision was made in accordance with Regulation 6 of the CPRs 2008 and Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.
Manipulation is not a crime in all European Union member states. However, it is considered a punishable offense for the user and the person who performed the manipulations.
As you can see, regulations differ by country. Furthermore, this is a broad term, and sometimes it’s hard to determine precisely what it refers to.

What devices are used for odometer fraud?

People use various tools to modify mileage information. The means and outcomes of using these devices differ. As a result, to identify them later, it is critical to understand what methods people use to change their mileage. The following devices are the most used in practice:

  • Odometer rollback tool: Rolling back mileage from the vehicle’s digital dashboard is common in auto odometer scams. Cars that are sold with inconsistent mileage are usually manipulated by the rollback devices. This gadget connects to the system and forces it to lower the miles on the instrument panel. For example, if your odometer shows 80,000 miles, you can display 40,000 or any desired number using this device. However, it has a huge setback. Rollback is quickly detectable by scanner tools.
  • The odometer reset tool is another famous method for odometer manipulations. With the help of this tool, individuals can entirely reset their mileage data. Hence, if the car odometer shows 55,000 miles after using the reset tool, the dashboard will display 0 mileage. However, it only changes the numbers on the control panel and cannot delete the information from the system’s storage units. Therefore, the actual statistics are easily trackable.

How odometer scams can be detected in modern cars?

The odometer scam can be easily detected with the following steps:

1. Request the Disclosure Statement and service reports

Before you buy a second-hand vehicle, you should request the official documentation that provides all the information. It will contain the services the automobile has gone through during its lifespan. Once you have this data, you can compare it to what is currently showing and determine if the information is correct.

2. Examine the physical aspects of the auto

It’s not only for aesthetic reasons but to find anything suspicious. For example, if you find any unusual scratches around the instrument cluster, it can be a red flag for buying this used car. The reason is that during the odometer scam, they often remove the odometer physically, causing some damage and scratches around the dashboard.

3. Compare wear and tear

Used auto with low mileage should not have signs of significant wear. Hence, the vehicle components should be in good condition.

4. Check engine hours

You can check the details regarding the engine hours as well. However, it can be completely irrelevant. For instance, imagine two case scenarios where two car engines are active for 1 hour. But the first vehicle was stuck in a traffic jam and had gone 1km, while the second automobile moved freely on the highway and covered 100km. Of course, the engine hours are the same, but the automobile damage is completely different in both cases. Therefore, this data is not always as important as people think.

5. Do a test drive

Test drive helps you check if the vehicle odometer correctly counts the mileage information while driving. It can also be helpful to detect some other issues you didn’t have in mind. So, driving any car before you purchase is always a good idea.

6. Visit service centers

If you’ve checked everything but you’re still unsure, you can ask a professional to get a car tested for you. They have devices that can detect details that you can’t see.
All these methods can be detected and valuable, except if someone uses a Mileage Blocker for unethical purposes. The mileage blocker is only meant for testing purposes in a controlled environment, and using it on the public road is not the purpose of this tool. However, as this device is untraceable, individuals sometimes use it illegally.

isit service centers for repair

What triggers people to modify the mileage?

People don’t want to be victims of odometer fraud. Individuals are often aware of the risks that may follow fraudulent activities. However, they still try to modify the mileage artificially, and some factors push them to do so.

  • Increased resale value: Vehicles with lower mileage are more expensive as they are considered to be in better condition. Even though that’s not always correct, it affects the valuation. Hence, people use odometer scams to artificially reduce the miles or km on the dashboard and sell the car at a higher price.
  • Pay-per-mile insurance: Insurance companies usually calculate auto payments based on distance. The higher the mileage is, the higher the insurance rate becomes. To reduce insurance payments, individuals modify the miles in their automobiles.
  • Lower overall costs: Lowering mileage influences different payment rates. Therefore, minimizing mileage will lower the monthly and annual expenses. That’s sometimes the primary motivation for people who manipulate odometers.
  • Emergencies: Mileage modifications are not always for deceiving purposes. In some cases, it’s necessary to adjust the odometer. Such circumstances include car accidents, system malfunctions, or physical damage to the dashboard and odometer.

Is mileage truly important?

Today, mileage still matters and significantly affects potential car buyers’ decisions. However, the reality behind it is completely different.
First, let’s discuss why miles have been a dominant factor in assessing vehicles. The reason is that when a car covers a particular distance, over time, it becomes used and shows significant signs of wear and tear. Then, it gradually requires more services and maintenance costs. Therefore, automobiles with higher mileage should need more money, right? The answer is NO. Let’s go in depth with the analyzes.
The assumption that vehicles with higher mileage are in worse condition will be correct if we take the two identical cars used under the same conditions and roads. This is practically impossible. Plenty of factors, such as driving habits, terrain, roads, traffic, oil changes, exploitation, following maintenance guidelines, fuel quality, and many others, significantly affect any automobile. 100k miles is utterly different on the highway and in the village. Therefore, while purchasing a secondhand vehicle, one must check the usage rather than mileage.

What is the best device to ethically stop mileage recording in cars?

The Mileage Blocker from SuperKilometerFilter is the best device for halting distance recording. This device doesn’t erase previous mileage information. It only stops counting extra miles and prevents the system from storing the data in control units. Therefore, this information is untraceable.
The mileage blocker has different modes, so you can choose which is more suitable. It also has a mobile app that allows you to monitor and control the blocker directly from your phone. Moreover, this innovative device is made with only premium-quality materials in Germany, which makes it workable under any weather conditions. You can buy the mileage blocker online from the SKF website.
People use this device unethically because of its high efficiency and untraceable effect. Remember that the mileage blocker is meant for only car testing under a controlled environment, and it’s not created for use on free roads. Please visit the support page or contact the customer service department for additional information.


Odometer scams involve actions to reduce car mileage via odometer adjustment tools. The most common practices for achieving this goal are mileage reset and rollback. However, they are detectable by scanner devices. The only untraceable tool is the Mileage Blocker, made for car testing and ethical use only.

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