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What Is An Odometer That Collects The Crucial Data For Your Vehicle?

October 12, 2023

An odometer is an instrument in a car which records mileage and displays the total travelled distance on the dashboard. A lot of people wonder what is an odometer, and even some automobile owners barely know the importance of this tool. They mix it with a speedometer, which plays an entirely different role for a car. The mileage information is crucial for your security, maintenance, and insurance as well. If you know how to use this data correctly, you will save time and money every month. This is why you need to know the importance of an odometer and its practical usage.

What Is A Odometer And How Does It Work?

The odometer is a tool within your vehicle which works as a calculator and counts all the miles you travel. Once it tracks the data, it shows the appropriate numbers on the instrument cluster. Mostly, the systems show this information below the speedometer. This is where you will find the information regarding your total distance.

There are two types of odometers: mechanical and digital. The mechanical tool is more traditional and can be seen mostly in older cars. It consists of numerous gears which connect to the drive systems. When a car is in motion, those gears and wheels start rotating. The system records all the rotations and calculates the total distance respectively.

As for the modern vehicles they have digital odometers. They work differently and have their unique way of measurement. Precisely, digital odometers use electronic sensors and microsensors that detect the distance. If you are curious what is the odometer that counts the mileage better, it will be a digital device. The reason is that they are less prone to discrepancy and more precise in calculations. The sensors analyze the data and display them on the control panel.

What Is The Difference Between An Odometer And A Speedometer?

A Speedometer measures the speed of a car, while an odometer measures the mileage. Because of some similarities in spelling, individuals usually mix the term. Sometimes, they don’t even know that the odometer is an entirely different tool. This is why you need to differentiate these two from each other clearly.

The speedometer is an instrument on the dashboard which measures the speed at which a car is moving at a particular time. It provides drivers with real-time data and changes constantly according to the speed. Older models use a needle, while new cars have digital measurements to display the information. Speedometers are crucial for every driver, and they have to control their speed constantly.

Now it is time to answer the question: what is an odometer? Odometers measure the total mileage that an auto has driven during its lifespan. Whether it is mechanical or digital, they both have the same function. This tool gives the information that helps a vehicle and the owner to do different calculations and get all the information they need. This is why the uninterrupted function of odometers is crucial for the automobile.

Difference Between An Odometer And A Speedometer

Why Are Odometers Important?

The odometer has a crucial role in the car’s correct functioning. Moreover, it gives you valuable insight into the vehicle’s history and condition. No matter you are a car enthusiast, professional or planning to buy a new vehicle, you have to know the details about the odometer.

  • What is a odometer, and what makes it so important? Vehicle maintenance is the major advantage of odometers. Based on the mileage information collected from the system, you can detect oil changes, brake check-ups and tire condition. Regular monitoring based on the mileage will extend the lifespan of your vehicle.
  • Mileage information influences the prices significantly. That’s why when you are buying a car, the mileage is one of the first things that you always check. The lower the miles are, the higher the price will be. Consequently, this data directly affects the resale price.
  • The mileage information from the odometer is the main reason for essential compliance. In various countries, it is mandatory to undergo the inspection after a specific amount of mileage.
  • What is the odometer, and how it protects you? Automobile odometers often prevent fraud and deception. Its data is a beneficial tool against dishonesty.

What Is An Odometer And Why Individuals Try To Manipulate It?

As odometers are the source mileage calculation, it is one of the most important elements of modern cars. As you have seen, it has multiple benefits and contains essential data. Despite all of those, people try to get access somehow and artificially manipulate odometers. The reasons vary according to the personal objectives.

The most common reason for modifying the odometer is the vehicle’s price. Odometers measure the mileage; hence, if someone hacks the odometer, he/she can change the mileage information as well. Consequently, mileage modification affects the price of a car, and a person can make a profit. These people might not know what is a odometer and what its actual benefit is. It’s not a simple miles indicator that counts the distance during a trip.

On the other hand, there are people who use such tools only in emergency cases. For example, when they need to replace the instrument cluster or an older odometer due to a technical malfunction. In such case scenarios, it is even better to modify the showing and make an official recording for every change you make.

Can I Change the Automobile Odometer By Myself?

As there is a chance of altering mileage, many might think they could do it by themselves. Yes, once you have a proper device and know how to use it, you can change the information accordingly. However, there are essential aspects that you have to know.

First of all, remember what is the odometer and how it can help your car to last longer. It stores the history of the vehicle and improves security, maintenance, and overall condition. As soon as you decide to change the real information about your automobile, things might not sound good any more.

The crucial part of mileage alteration is that interfering with the odometer’s functioning is illegal in most countries. In the United States and the EU, it is against the law to change the odometer (with few exceptions). Of course, the charges will be different based on the state or the place where you live, but it may cause serious legal disputes against you. Therefore, think twice before you decide to utilize cheap devices to change the mileage in your car.

What Others Use To Change The Odometer?

People use different devices to change mileage in their vehicles. When you ask them what is an odometer? They will respond that it is just a tool that measures the miles in a car and shows it on the gauge. However, it is more than random numbers and contains valuable information for car owners.

Roll back devices are commonly used in practice for odometer deception. It can remove as much mileage from the dashboard as you wish. Hence, you will no longer see the accurate mileage information. However, it has a significant flaw – the original mileage is easily traceable, and scanner tools will identify the use of a rollback device.

The same goes for the resetting tool. It resets the whole amount of mileage and displays zero as the total traveled distance, but any tester will identify the original data. Consequently, it will only create additional issues for you.

Freezing the mileage is another method. The idea is to stop the mileage recording process, but the manufacturers couldn’t create the tool which would adequately do the task. All in all, these devices are not suitable for this task and only contain risks.

Others Use To Change The Odometer

How To Detect Fraud

Since you know what is a odometer and how important it can be for your auto, you need to identify the possible discrepancy. With simple steps, you can check the vehicle history and identify actual mileage.

  1. Check the official disclosure statement and records. When a car goes for official check-ups, all the information is recorded and saved in a log. When you request the documents, they will provide all the necessary information.
  2. Look for external damage to identify the issue. Changing the odometer showing sometimes implies physical removal of the odometers. Hence, if you notice extra scratches or suspicious damage, you should stay alert.
  3. Overall wear and tear can be helpful in some cases. If the car has worn tires and pedals, but the odometer doesn’t show relevant distance, it can be a sign of odometer fraud.

The Best Odometer Device 

What is the odometer without a proper device? Many tried to roll back or change the gauge without a trace. It was a problem for car testers. When a vehicle goes under a test, you don’t want to get back a car with increased mileage. It’s natural and normal. Imagine you are buying a brand new car, and because of multiple test drives, it comes with dozens of thousands of miles already recorded on it. Of course, you will be a bit frustrated.

The German Super Kilometer Filter (SKF) team has developed a Mileage Blocker. This brand-new device alters the mileage recording process, and no device can detect any trace. It uses new technologies that block the ECUs from storing the mileage information. Meaning that nobody can find out what was the actual traveled distance. Moreover, the blocker has several modules and you can choose which one is the best fit for you. To make it even more comfortable, it comes with a mobile application and you can control the device remotely. In addition, it includes simple DIY installation instructions. Remember, it is only for testing and using it on highways will not exempt the penalty. 


What is an odometer is a crucial question for car owners and enthusiasts. It records every mileage and shows the whole information on the instrument cluster. It is one of the most essential elements of every automobile. Despite its importance, people try to change the mileage information and show misleading data. For testers, manufacturers from Germany developed a device called a Mileage Blocker. It successfully alters distance recording and also has an untraceable effect. It is available online, and you can also contact customer service for any further details.

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