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Odometer not Working? What If I Tell You that the Issue Might Be Something Different from What You Thought

May 16, 2024

Odometer not working in cars is one of the major symptoms that show the system’s malfunction. Since the odometer is embedded in the dashboard, where we see the total mileage, many people believe this breach is caused by the digital control panel. However, the issue is frequently something else, and it is essential to figure out and fix it as soon as possible. In this article, I will explain all of the possible causes of your odometer’s breakdown.

What Is the Odometer and What Purpose Does It Serve?

An odometer is a device that measures a vehicle’s mileage. If your automobile’s digital odometer stopped working, the dashboard would display incorrect miles. The total traveled mileage is not valuable solely because of the distance. If you use this data correctly, you may significantly enhance the car’s condition and performance. The odometer serves numerous purposes:

  • Mileage Measurement: The odometer is the primary instrument for calculating mileage. It is the most reliable source for distance measurement.
  • Following Vehicle Maintenance: Mileage plays an important role in car maintenance. It assists in determining oil change dates and other vital information. That is why the odometer has such an essential part in maintenance.
  • Detecting Resale Valuation: The automobile price changes according to the mileage rate. An odometer not working will have a significant impact on the resale price of a vehicle.
  • Checking Warranty: In most cases, looking at the mileage determines whether or not your car is still under warranty. As a result, you may precisely determine this information using an odometer.
  • Monitoring Fuel Efficiency: The odometer can tell you how much fuel your automobile uses at a particular mileage. By monitoring this data over time, you can see how your vehicle’s fuel efficiency varies.

How Does Odometer Work in Vehicles?

The control unit is in charge of counting wheel revolutions and provides this number to the dashboard. The odometer counts kilometers based on the vehicle’s default wheel size and sends this information to all relevant control units for storage and utilization. But how exactly does this process go? All the odometers follow these steps:

  1. Detecting the Motion: Whether an odometer is mechanical or digital, the system first has to detect the movement of an auto.
  2. Monitoring the Movement: Mechanical odometers transmit information through cables, while digital odometers use sensors to detect wheel rotation. In both cases, the data is sent to the system. If the auto odometer stopped working, the car gauge couldn’t display the mileage.
  3. Calculating Distance: Mechanical odometers use gears to convert movements into distance. In electronic systems, computers calculate the data.
  4. Displaying the Information: Measured mileage is displayed on the odometer via mechanical wheels or electronically.

Mechanical and digital odometers show the total mileage traveled by an automobile since its manufacture. Both have to go through the same steps, but their approaches differ.

Odometer Work in Vehicles

What Can Cause the Odometer Not Working Issue Other Than a Truly Damaged Vehicle Odometer?

Connection Issue to the Dashboard

Mileage measuring is a challenging process that requires the use of multiple instruments at the same time. That is why the constant flow of information is the foundation of the entire process. Imagine a scenario where the sensors correctly identify the shift in the distance, but the connection between the sensors and the system is lost. Of course, at such times, sending information will be unsuccessful, and the correct data will not be presented on the dashboard. As a result, carefully examine dashboard connections because they are responsible for both power supply and data delivery.

Changed Vehicle Wheel Size

As we mentioned earlier, the odometer calculates mileage based on tire size and number of revolutions. Changing the tire size for tuning or other reasons compromises the information recorded by the odometer. The point is that the system perceives the size of the tire as it was at the initial stage. As you resize it, the total number of turns can increase or decrease. Of course, a single turn will have no effect. However, the difference will be huge in the long run. If the car odometer stopped working, it will show inaccurate miles on the dashboard. As a result, make sure that the wheel size remains constant and is not impacted by tuning or wear.

Odometer Tampering

Manipulation of the odometer involves influencing it in such a way as to change its reading artificially. Manipulations on the odometer have been an unsolved problem lately. It is becoming more and more relevant in cars. The problem is not just data falsification. The mileage error affects the proper functioning of the system and other data calculations.

Instrument Cluster Malfunction

The odometer is part of the instrument cluster. When the cluster breaks down, it might cause the odometer to malfunction. As a result, while considering the various causes of the inaccurate mileage display, don’t forget to verify the control panel itself.

Vehicle Odometer Not Working Caused by Speed Sensor Damage

A speedometer and speed sensors are crucial elements when it comes to mileage measurements. The speedometer detects the speed of a vehicle and sends this information to the odometer. Considering auto speed, the system calculates how much distance it should have covered. Hence, the speed sensors have a huge impact on the miles calculation.

How to Resolve the Issue Once Odometer Stopped Working?

When the odometer in your automobile does not show the correct mileage, you must fix it as quickly as possible. There are several methods for correcting incorrect information in vehicles.
When you notice your odometer not working correctly, the first thing you should do is figure out why and never try to fix it on your own. The chances of you messing up the system and complicating matters further are significant. As a result, always remember to take your car to a specialist for an inspection. Doing so will give you an exact answer to what caused the failure.
Once you have the answer and know that the odometer is incorrect, you have the following options:

  1. Odometer replacement: You can replace a faulty instrument providing inaccurate data with a new one. Remember to set it to the original mileage right after installation.
  2. Mileage Adjustment by a Professional: Take your car to a service center, explain the issue, and ask them to set the mileage to the original showing.

Keep in mind that certain individuals utilize the Mileage Blocker unethically. Remember that this device is just for automotive testing and tuning.

Resolve the Issue Once Odometer Stopped Working

What Is the Mileage Blocker, and When Can I Use It?

The Mileage Blocker is a tool developed by German car professionals. The primary purpose of this innovative tool is to help testers in quality inspection and tuning of vehicles. What does the mileage blocker do? It stops the miles recording process and prevents the device from saving data about new miles in ECUs. As a result, this tool is untraceable.
Once the odometer stopped working properly or the car owner feels that the mileage is incorrect, he consults a specialist to inspect the vehicle. In these circumstances, professional testers utilize mileage blockers. It has several crucial advantages:

  • It’s untraceable and doesn’t store information in the ECUs;
  • The mileage blocker doesn’t delete or reset any already recorded data;
  • It comes with the easy DIY installation instructions;
  • The device has several modes, and you can select your favorite one;
  • The mileage blocker from SKF has a mobile application. It enables
  • you to monitor and control the module from your smartphone;
  • Its premium quality materials enable the device to work in all conditions;

You can purchase the mileage blocker online from the SuperKilometerFilter website. Make sure that this device is only for car testing and tuning. It shouldn’t be used on free roads or unethically. For further information, please visit the support section or contact the SKF customer service department.


Odometer not working in cars can be caused by various factors. Connection issues, wheel size modifications, tampering with the odometer and instrument cluster, and speed sensor malfunction can all be the reasons. Make sure to check all the factors and identify the cause precisely. Afterward, you can visit a professional for help.

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