How to identify odometer tampering while buying used cars in India

Blog Posted on:-May 23, 2018 Categories:- News

You must be aware of the oldest unethical trick of odometer rollback in used cars in India. This is probably the single most important thing to check before buying a used car for you. To resolve this issue, all the car manufacturers have already switched to digital odometer, but it helped the scammers instead. If you have any friend who works in any car service center, you may be knowing how easy it is to manipulate the readings of a digital odometer. It takes just Rs. 1500 and half an hour to get it done, which is now harder to detect also.

Some used car dealers sell a used car which has crossed mileage of over 1 lac KMs by reducing its odometer reading to just 16000 KMs. The poor buyer, who got cheated, will come to know about this only after 2-3 days of making payment and getting delivery of the car. Getting help from police is the only option left with the buyer which will further add the purchase price of the car.

What exactly is the odometer fraud?

Any alterations in the reading of the odometer (analog or digital) by any means is called as odometer fraud. Used car sellers do so to make the car look like new and sparingly used. This makes the buyer to pay more for nothing extra.

How is it performed?

All the cars with the digital odometers have circuit board with a chip which stores the reading of the odometer. Either this chip itself is replaced with the new chip with desired reading or the original chip is rewritten with the help of OBD2 readers by connecting to the car OBD2 port.

Then, How to identify it?

Unfortunately, there is no single way to identify this fraud. You need to find it by using your common sense or experienced mechanic. However, here is a list of the points which can be noticed to detect odometer tampering.

  1. If possible, connect OBD2 reader in the port and get the data. Most of the cars store mileage reading independent of the odometer reading.
  2. Try to locate the service and maintenance history records of the car from any authorized service center and compare the KMs of last service with the current reading in the odometer.
  3. If the car has very low mileage as compared to the age of the car, be suspicious and watch for any clue using stickers on windshield, doors etc.
  4. Check the tires carefully. Generally new set of tires last up to 40k to 50k KMs. If the car has odometer reading of 13k and the owner has replaced the original tires, it has certainly got the odometer rolled back.
  5. Look for wear and tear of the components of the car such as brake and accelerator pedal, steering wheel, gear knob. You will get the idea of the age the car.
  6. Know your previous owner and his driving habits. Also, check if it is used as a taxi.

Moral of the story: If you feel anything suspicious, just walk away.

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