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How To Reveal Potential Odometer Rollback? – A Guide

January 9, 2023

 Potential odometer rollback is a common act of tampering with the vehicle that results in false odometer reading. As usual, the main goal of such tampering is to increase the sale price. Needless to say, it is a dishonest practice. Hiding real mileage for malicious purposes is illegal. Various organizations are fighting against it. For example, NHTSA creates campaigns to raise awareness in society. However, most parts depend on an individual’s effort. With a help of comprehensive information, we can protect ourselves and not let other people lie to us. What can we do? How to protect ourselves from this danger? – There are a variety of recommendations that will help you make decisions about taking measures to avoid becoming the victim. Before we move to the recommendations, let’s get to know what is “clocking”, who are victims of this crime, and what people use for such manipulation, how can we identify signs of such manipulation. 

Let’s get started and learn everything about potential odometer rollback.

What does potential odometer rollback mean? 

Also known as “busting miles” or “clocking” is an illegal practice of rolling back odometers to make them appear that it has lower mileage than it really has. It happened since the invention of odometers. In the past it happened manually with analog odometers, now digital odometers are tempered with a help of various devices that are sold freely online. 

Those tools are plugged into the car’s computer port, and people who aim to change the numbers can choose what they want their mileage to be. After resetting, automobiles display the numbers they choose. 

As for the analog odometer, you do not need special equipment. All you need to do is remove the panel and roll it back manually.

When we are talking about the possible clocking, it means that we suspect that the owner or dishonest dealer used some method to correct data for a deceitful purpose. You can employ various methods to find the hidden truth. 

You may think that it does not threaten you, but let me tell you that you can become a victim even without knowing it. Strictly speaking, it harms you not only financially but also can be dangerous for your life.

Look through the statistical data and judge the situation yourself. 

Who are potential victims and how are they identified? 

Potential targets and their identification

According to the NHTSA preliminary report, the problem is severe for American consumers, any vehicle on the used car market can be the object of tempering. Late-model Vehicles which accumulate high mileage in a short period are objects of tampering. Additionally, automobiles in business or rental fleets are victims of such manipulation. As long as the distance traveled is considered one of the key indicators of the condition and therefore the price.

Carfax is the leading vehicle history database. They report complete information about the accidents, maintenance, number of owners, odometer readings, emission inspection records, and other helpful information. They get comprehensive and truthful information from several sources such as Manufacturers U.S. motor vehicle agencies Auto auctions and salvage auctions, service/maintenance facilities insurance companies, car dealerships Import/export companies, Canadian motor vehicle records, and consumer protection agencies. As you can see, the list is long. Hence, it indicates how trustworthy the company is. The company marks an automobile with “Potential Odometer Rollback”, if two consecutive odometer readings are less than a year apart, the latter is a least 3 000 miles lower than the earlier one or 1 mile lower than the earlier.

The price of being a victim

As a buyer, you may put yourself in danger unconsciously. You may skip scheduled maintenance. Hence, it makes your transport less safe. 

You pay more than usual. As we mentioned above, distance traveled is one of the main indicators in determining the price.  

You need to report actual data to the insurance or financial company. If they discovered the truth before you, you may find yourself in an inconvenient situation. 

Signs of a possible odometer rollback

As we previously mentioned, some tips and tricks will help us to identify signs of odometer correction. It means you may not need a comprehensive investigation in order to guess that something is wrong. The identification happens differently, depending on the type of odometer. 

With mechanical odometers, physical signs of tampering are clearly visible. Scratch marks,  loose screws, messed up numbers on display, uneven spacing, unreadable numbers, and finally if you perform a test drive and numbers do not add up – all of that is an inevitable indication that it has been tampered with.

As for the digital one, the potential odometer rollback is not obvious. It’s harder to spot it. In this case, you need to inspect other parts and components such as steering wheels, driver’s seat, and brakes. If you have enough time it would be a good idea to inspect the auto completely and make your conclusions. If you are not confident in your abilities, you can ask for the help of an experienced professional who can say if the data is relevant to the general condition of wheels.  

How to detect genuine data? 

Detect the original data

We already talked about signs of rollback and tips to spot it effectively. Now let’s move to the particular measures to take in order to reveal potential odometer rollback. It should be noted that you can make conclusions yourself based on VIN checks, specific documents, or through visual inspection. Let’s discuss them one by one in more detail. 

Vin check

VIN is a 17-digit identification number for cars. It can reveal public information about automobiles such as features, specifications, and manufacturers. You can track registrations, warranty claims, emission ratings, and details like engine size, transmission, and fuel type. Additionally, you can learn whether it was stolen in the past or had a road accident. Needless to say, it provides you with mileage-related information at different periods.


Checking documentation closely is always a good idea when it comes to making purchase decisions. Documents always give you comprehensive information, it’s hard for others to lie to you when you take a closer look at details. You can compare data with what the seller says to you. Always ask for the original title. Do not trust copies, because dishonest sellers always try to forge those copies. 

Visual inspection

If you take a closer look at the steering wheel, pedals, seats, tires, pedals. You can estimate how worn out they are. With regular usage, from time to time the top layer wears off compared to other parts of the wheel.  If the seat adjustment mechanism is broken or not working, it’s a sign that it is not as new as the seller wants to show. If the pedals and driver’s side carpet look excessively worn, but the less km covered, the odometer has been tampered with.  


If you are not confident in your automotive skills, you better visit an experienced mechanic.  Mechanics have a better understanding of the internal condition of vehicles. They can guess easily if something is wrong. The most obvious indicator for potential odometer rollback can be when the seller refuses to allow a mechanic to perform a more detailed inspection. 

What do people use for “clocking”? 

People use different methods to mess with mileage-related data indicated on the odometer. In the past it was a manual job. “enthusiasts” remove the panel and changed data according to their wish. When it comes to the electronic odometer, there is a wide range of rollback tools that aims to decrease the numbers displayed. The biggest problem with those tools is that information is not removed from other control units, which means that anyone who takes a closer inspection discovers tampering. If you try those tools, you discover yourself in an inconvenient situation. In the worst-case scenario, you will face legal issues.

Apart from illegal tools, people start using the ethical tool called, Mileage blocker which is an extraordinary device for those who want to halt the kilometer recording process unconditionally. The purpose of halting this process may have ethical reasons such as testing the performance in a controlled environment. Installation is very easy, but if you come across any difficulty, our support team is ready to provide any service you may need. The most fascinating is that kilometers do not add up instantly even after removing the module. You can shop for it on our website. Unfortunately, wrongdoers benefit from the innovative possibilities of the module and use it for malicious purposes. 

At Super Kilometer filter We recommend not to use it for deceitful purposes. Committing odometer fraud is an illegal act that is strictly prohibited in the civilized world. 


So, you know the meaning behind the potential odometer rollback and also how to spot it like a pro. So, you know what to consider when it comes to the manipulation of odometers. On the other hand, as a buyer, you are armed with the knowledge that will guide you through the purchasing process. I guess you are well-informed of all the risks that are related to buying and selling automobiles. 

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