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.

Documents

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.  

Mechanic 

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. 

Takeaway 

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. 

Using mileage discrepancy while selling a car is a well-known method to get the premium price. Even though such action might even lead to legal issues, some people are still willing to take a risk. When you know that all the other providers use the same trick to sell their automobiles, sometimes you don’t stand a chance to get familiar with the odometer discrepancy.

Mileage discrepancy vs odometer discrepancy

Mileage vs an odometer

Before describing the purpose of these terms, we must know what an odometer and a mileage stand for. An odometer is a tool that people use for measuring the distance traveled by a vehicle. It might be either mechanical (consisting of cogs that turn based on the wheel rotation) or digital (uses a chip to measure and display the mileage).

Most automobiles also come with a trip meter (trip odometer). It’s a gauge that can measure the mileage of a specific trip. For instance, if you wish to measure the actual distance between your house and work you can simply use this function to get precise results. Similarly, measuring the actual Miles Per Gallon (mpg) is much easier if you fill up your tank and count the distance traveled. When you fill the tank up again, you can calculate the mpg on your own.

Is mileage discrepancy the same as odometer discrepancy?

Selling a car with mileage discrepancy might seem a thing of the past but it happens on a daily basis. The seller can use it for earning more money out of the trading even nowadays. The mileage discrepancy refers to misrepresenting the mileage of the automobile. The odometer discrepancy has to emphasize the unreliability of the odometer tool in terms of counting and reading the mileage but in most cases, these two terms are used interchangeably.

Why do people care about mileage?

Would you buy a car if you knew that it is going to become useless after 1 year? Even if you got such a car as a gift, it is doubtful if you could make good use of it. Car manufacturers use the mileage to portray the life expectancy of the car. Therefore, people always use mileage as the major factor while determining the remaining lifespan of the automobile.

Even though it’s controversial whether mileage truly reflects the car’s wellbeing or not, people tend to trust these digits more than anything else. Especially if you are loyal to your car’s manufacturer, you will find it hard to believe that there are more important factors to rely on. However, if you are a car geek you don’t have to care about an odometer discrepancy.

Is mileage truly important?

The short answer is No. The life expectancy of an automobile depends on multiple factors and mileage is not one of them. However, it does reflect the approximate condition of a car. Let’s take the example of car parts. They wear out after using it after a certain period and the mileage does reflect to some extent how long they are going to last. Although, it doesn’t take into account the driving habits, road condition, location, and many other factors that determine the longevity of automobile components.

The mileage indicates how many miles an average person is going to drive a car before it gets broken. However, it doesn’t take into account all the other factors that we have mentioned above and can be quite misleading. Those who are aware of this issue prefer to sell a car with mileage discrepancy. Especially if they took good care of their “best buddy” and would like to express this through mileage.

What causes an odometer discrepancy?

If you have noticed an odometer discrepancy you may wonder what can be the cause of it. You may be surprised to know that this term may refer to a condition that is not under your control.

Total mileage limit of the car

Have you noticed how many digits can be displayed on your mileage indicator? Sometimes the mileage discrepancy is caused because of the number of digits that can be displayed as the indication for the distance traveled. For instance, most of the cars have five-digit (99,999) or six-digit (999,999) odometers. If you exceed this limit your car will not be able to count the mileage after reaching the limit. If you sell a car with a mileage discrepancy that is caused by such unforeseen factors make sure to keep a record of the approximate distance that you travel. This is vital especially if you intend to sell a car as the new owner will most likely be interested in this seemingly useless indicator.

Usage of mileage correction tools

Probably the most common reason that you have heard about is using a speedometer calibration tool. Those who have above-average mileage per month are more willing to use such tools. They don’t mind selling a car with mileage discrepancy especially if they are sure that their car is in much better condition than other vehicles with the same mileage.

However, take into account that using such tools for unethical purposes is forbidden and might lead to serious charges depending on your country of residence. To make sure that you are on the safe side only use such modules in controlled environments. The odometer stopper tool has many other advantages as well and might come in handy only if used for ethical purposes.

Be aware that using mileage correction tools for deceiving others is a direct representation of Odometer discrepancy.

Why do people use mileage correction tools?

Why do people need mileage correction?

Even though the name of this tool might seem self-explanatory for some of you, it can serve multiple purposes. In general, correction tools are meant for dealing with the unpleasant digits displayed on the odometer. However, we will discuss the advantages of Mileage stopper Tools because of their unique features.

  • To test the performance of the vehicle

Not everyone wants to use the mileage correction tool to sell a car with a mileage discrepancy. Using a premium quality mileage stopper tool will allow you to test the performance of your car without recording unnecessary mileage. The odometer discrepancy might be caused by worn-out or different size tires.

Similarly, if you are a Do-it-Yourself guy, probably would like to test your car in a controlled environment. People find it essential to install mileage stopper tools in order to avoid recording extra mileage while accomplishing this task. However, you can only do so in a controlled environment.

  • To correct the misleading data on the odometer

Imagine how difficult selling a car with a mileage discrepancy would be. Many people face such difficulties when they are not aware of the perceived value of mileage beforehand. Simply, the unusual size of the tires might lead to a thousand extra miles per year. The mileage Blocker can help you to reduce the recorded mileage in order to make it in line with the true distance traveled.

  • To fight with stereotypical perception

Imagine the situation, you are selling a car and you notice that all the other car owners have an edge over you because of corrected mileage. In such a situation, you might be triggered to do the same thing in order to sell at an appropriate price. Similarly, understanding car care can radically improve the life expectancy of the vehicle. However, the mileage indicator may not show actual figures and mislead potential customers. To avoid such difficulties people find it essential to use such modules at a certain stage of car ownership.

As you may have guessed, using the Mileage Stopper Tool for another purpose than testing is illegal in most countries. It is not advisable to sell a car with mileage discrepancy as it is unethical. Even though it might seem reasonable for most people, there are those who would use this module for rollback purposes. To avoid an odometer discrepancy allegation, you can also try to explain to the potential buyers truthfully what they have to know about your car. Even though you might not be the most reliable source in such a case, it is still worth a try.

Is selling a car with mileage discrepancy legal?

Is using mileage discrepancy illegal?

In the majority of the countries, selling a car with mileage discrepancy is illegal. That is why most people tend to use mileage stopper tools instead of rollback devices as they are untraceable. This is a plug-and-play tool that can’t be traced even with a computer and is widely used to keep mileage at a reasonable level. However, as we have already mentioned this is not the purpose of the tool and it doesn’t have to be used for such purposes. Use the module if you would like to test your car, and it will portray the condition better than the mileage.

Is it possible to check the actual mileage?

There are many ways to check the real mileage of the car but in some cases, it is still impossible to trace any correction. Some of these methods might be used by insurance companies as they rely on mileage figures to charge you a premium. Here are the most reliable methods to determine an odometer discrepancy.

Check the full history of the car

Selling a car with a mileage discrepancy became quite common nowadays. Hence, it is vital to determine any flaws before buying a second-hand car. There are many websites that check the title and the background of your automobile via the VIN check, for instance, CarFax, CarVertical, etc. Simply enter the VIN code and you will get all the information you need. You will see if someone altered the mileage. You’ll also be able to check the history of previous crash damage, theft warning (when applicable), and outstanding finance.

This step might be the easiest but it is not a free service and you will have to pay for it. You may find websites that offer such services for free but as you may have already guessed they will not be accurate.

Look at the car’s MOT certificate

MOT certificate can tell you if the automobile met the minimum environmental and road safety standards. Similarly, the MOT certificate always contains mileage data and you can access it to check the reliability of the odometer figures. However, it doesn’t guarantee that an automobile is roadworthy.

Ask the owner to provide such documents and compare them year by year to look for abnormalities. Look for the reasons for the unusual decrease in mileage for the specific year to make sure the odometer reading is accurate. If the owner can’t/won’t provide an MOT certificate, you can always check online using the registration number. This step will not apply to you only if the country of origin of the car doesn’t require such a certificate.

Simply ask the questions

Even though it might seem controversial most of the car sellers will simply disclose all the information if asked properly. Ask them freely and you may find out that you can get all the information that you need. Similarly, if you are not dealing with an inborn liar you will notice if they cannot provide convincing responses.

If you are buying from a dealer, check the paperwork to make sure that no disclaimer allows them to deceive you. For instance, some dealers may state that the mileage is incorrect and if you don’t read the paperwork you may rely on misleading figures.

Check the service history

The service history provides information about any maintenance services provided to the car. Besides, they keep a record of the mileage of the car and you can check the reliability based on the dates of service center visits.

The main drawback of this method is its reliability. This data can be easily falsified in order to deceive new buyers. To make sure that the data is reliable you can call the garages and ask them for the information that you require.

Inspect the vehicle on your own

If you are a car enthusiast, you would have already noticed the main signs of high mileage. Even though the mileage doesn’t always reflect the condition of the car, it is sometimes noticeable on most of the parts of an automobile. Check the interior and the exterior of a car and look for wear and tear signs. For instance, the condition of the steering wheel, pedals, and switches will indicate the approximate age of the car. The same applies to car paint. The new painting might indicate that the owner attempted to cover major issues and repairs.

However, it is hard to make such assumptions as the life expectancy of each component will depend not only on mileage but also on maintenance and the brand of the car. Some makers are famous for their exceptional quality of the components and will most likely last much longer than any other parts of their competitors.

Have an explicit test drive

If you have such an option, don’t hesitate to take a car for a test drive. Faulty parts usually cause unusual noises that you’d easily notice during the test drive. Similarly, some components simply depend on mileage. If the car is too old, its parts might easily wear out and require repairs. If the owner is selling a car with a mileage discrepancy most likely he wouldn’t care about the maintenance either. Such action could expose an odometer discrepancy. In that case, it would be pointless to make such adjustments.  During regular maintenance, it’s not uncommon to check the odometer reading and record the results of the inspection. 

It would be best to drive another car of the same model to make the comparison. This will allow you to determine if there are some unusual flaws.

As you have seen there are multiple methods to determine the true mileage of the car. However, all this hard work might even be in vain if the owner used the mileage stopper module. If this tool caused the odometer discrepancy, it would be impossible to determine wrongful figures on the odometer. This is why we always advise our customers to avoid using our testing module for such purposes.

Takeaway

Using mileage discrepancy while selling a used car is quite common these days. You have to be cautious to avoid buying a car with an odometer discrepancy. There are many ways to determine whether the mileage of the car is misleading or not. However, some people tend to use the mileage stopper tool from Super Kilometer Filter to stop the mileage of their automobile to deceive others. The main function of this module is to use for testing the performance of your “best buddy” and using it for fraudulent purposes is unacceptable.