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What Does Reset Odometer Mean?

December 19, 2022

Yes, you can easily Reset odometer in your car, but always think twice before you make this decision. Resetting the information can lead you to a legal dispute.

All vehicles have an odometer that seats in an instrument cluster. The odometer records the distance you travel with your automobile and displays it on the dashboard. Monitoring all miles or km is crucial as you will be able to better plan oil changes and other essential maintenance services. The odometer is an important part of your vehicle and nobody should interfere with its proper functioning. However, tempering with it is really common nowadays. People change and reset the correct data to make their cars more appealing to potential buyers. 

Since low mileage is worth more money, many owners desire to somehow change the digits. They found several simple solutions. Most Japanese cars store mileage on an instrument cluster rather than control units. Hence, once you replace the cluster with the new one, the mileage will show zero. Some try to achieve the same result with a knob. It has several functions such as showing temperature and fuel percentage, but it can also change the odometer. Pressing the button for several seconds will reset the data to 0. Always take into account that such actions are illegal and extremely unethical. 

Why do people reset odometer?

There are two major reasons why people try to reset mileage of the automobile. First is the technical issue of the system when it resets itself automatically. Make sure to double-check everything, because this is an extremely rare occasion in modern vehicles and in most cases, the real problem is something else. The second reason behind such action is a person’s fraudulent purposes. Especially if someone tries to sell an automobile shortly. The idea is quite simple. The less distance a vehicle has covered, the higher its price will be. In addition, low kilometers attract buyers and your chances to sell an auto increase significantly.

Therefore, the reasons behind such actions can be different and opposite to each other. While one is caused by a pure technical drawback, another is based on the unethical use of a modern device. The last one is much easier on a car with a digital speedometer and is also harder to detect. As you can guess, changing any information within the system is not good intentions. So, be careful and try to check as many details as possible before you purchase anything on a market.

Why are miles so important?

Importance of miles

We all know that the number of miles on a dashboard is one of the most important factors in a vehicle purchase process. But why is it so important and What do miles on a car really indicate?

People believe that higher mileage means more maintenance costs and overall wear and tear. They consider these types of vehicles as well-kept and having higher resale value as well. This is the main thing that pushes others to Reset odometer. As it is not legal, they use different automotive devices to change the numbers on a digital speedometer in a car. 

However, the truth is that definitions of “low” and “high” are changing constantly. Due to technological development, what was usually called “high” in the past is no longer the same today. For example, 100 000 miles meant too old for a car, while now they can live up to 200 000 miles without a problem. 

Even though mileage can contain important information and give you a general idea, other conditions are no less significant. You have to judge carefully the driving habits of previous owners and the conditions under which the automobile was used. Sometimes these factors are much more important than ordinary numbers shown on a dashboard.

Hence, you, of course, need to pay attention to how many miles are on the odometer, but please do not dramatize. There are more to judge, for example, manufacturer, model, age and condition. Facts and statistics indicate that high mileage can have a different meaning for everyone and it is changing from time to time. You just have to consider as much as possible when buying a car.

Is it legal to reset odometer?

The short answer is NO. It has been reported recently that several dealers had access to a device which allowed them to reset mileage. As vehicles with fewer miles are worth more, companies prefer to have a special gadget that will help them make a further profit. But the main question is whether resetting the information is legal.

Of course, resetting an odometer or any such action is illegal in the United States. There is a Federal statute in force that forbids it and many states created specific laws outlawing it as well. The Federal statute clearly indicates that a person may not “disconnect, reset, alter, or have disconnected, reset, or altered, an odometer of a motor vehicle intending to change the mileage registered by the odometer.” The law also forbids any kind of conspiracy regarding this matter and the party convicted faces the same punishment. Anyone who violates this statute may be sued by the US government for $10,000 in civil penalties per violation. Moreover, a person faces fines and up to three years in prison.

In addition, any person who bought a car with reset data and no door stickers may face a lawsuit. Any party who does not follow the strict rule will receive a fine of minimum $10 000. The amount may differ and can reach hundreds of thousands depending on other circumstances.

How to find out that an odometer has been reset

Changing the mileage on a car has been a common strategy by sellers for decades. They used many tools for reaching their goals and making money. As technologies are getting more advanced day by day, now they have access to modern devices. That is why you need to know how to identify Reset odometer.

  • Worn tires – the first thing you need to look at is the tires of the automobile. It will show you how often the car had a long trip. Furthermore, if the odometer shows low but the tires look worn, something is not right. You have to check the manufacturing details on the tire.
  • Scratches on the instrument cluster – this is important for vehicles that have the odometer in the cluster. To roll back the odometer they need to go through a plastic seal, which is hard to manage without causing visual damage to it.
  • Wear and tear – if the car is new and has low mileage, it would have minimal wear and tear.  So, if you notice that seats are not in good condition, obviously used foot pedals and worn paddings, this may indicate that the vehicle is not as new as the seller proves.
  • Damaged parts and replacements – new cars do not need to replace any parts unless a serious accident happens. If you notice replacements or engine damage, it would be logical to assume that someone might temper the odometer.

Today many customers pay attention to the mileage that is shown on the odometer. That is why sellers sometimes try to artificially and illegally reset mileage. Try to check these above-mentioned points to make sure that you are making the right decision.

What to do if you suspect odometer fraud

Odometer fraud

As mileage has a lot of importance in our daily life, car owners always try to somehow change the distance shown on an odometer. In order to achieve their goals, they use different methods such as tempering the odometer, roll-back or erasing an entire data from the storage units. In spite of the fact that such actions are illegal, people Reset odometer and it is becoming more and more frequent nowadays. Resetting is easier on vehicles with a digital speedometer, that is why modern automobiles are the main target. If you don’t react accordingly, you may face a serious legal issue. Hence, you have to know how to act if you suspect odometer fraud.

If you have bought an automobile and suspect the odometer fraud, you should report the case. You can file a police report, reach out to any local law enforcement institutes, or contact an attorney with appropriate experience. This will help other people as the information will be publicly available on the car record. Moreover, potential buyers will be cautious about scams. In addition, it will not only protect others but also guarantees that people responsible for the fraud will be punished according to the law.

Therefore, technological improvement has pushed the whole world to create innovative and more advanced systems, however, it has huge negative effects as well. In the automobile industry changing the correct data on the odometer has become extremely common and easy. Anyone can become the “victim” of odometer fraud and in order to avoid any issues, we have to know exactly what to do on such occasions.

Mileage blocker – a legal alternative

Although reset mileage is against the law there are cases when we need to apply little changes. First of all, it is related to testing purposes. When brand new cars should go under several tests it will not be fair, if the mileage was counted. Imagine how frustrating it would be when you buy a new vehicle with several thousands of miles already counted on the odometer. To avoid frustrations from the customers, manufacturers do NOT erase any data, but simply stop counting them while being on the test. Always remember that using such devices on a free highway is unethical and nobody should use them for fraudulent purposes. 

A mileage blocker is a smart device that can halt the mileage/km recording process from all control units. This means that the data regarding the real covered distance will not be stored at all, hence, it will be untraceable. Moreover, it is made of heat-resistance and high-quality parts that will work flawlessly in any condition. In addition, to make your life even more comfortable, mileage blocker from SKF is the only one that has its own mobile application. So, you will be able to control and change modes from your application.

What makes this product great is that it has easy do-it-yourself DIY installation instructions and you don’t need to go to a professional technician to install it. Follow the guidance and you will be able to do it by yourself. Fortunately, this unique device is available online and you can purchase mileage blocker anytime from the official website. if you have any additional questions please check the support page or contact the customer center.


Now that you have known how people Reset odometer, it will be easy for you to detect odometer fraud in a car. You should always remember that not everyone uses new devices legally and some may have fraudulent purposes. This means that we need to stay alert and try our best not to become the victim of odometer fraud. To make this tendency better, a team from Germany has created an innovative and trustworthy device – The Mileage Blocker. It helps companies and private owners to test their vehicles without recording any miles. But remember, using this device on freeways is not ethical and may face legal charges.

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