How to know if the kilometers of a car are original?
A car can look good and sound good when it's revved up, but that doesn't mean it's in great condition and worth what they're asking for. There are many factors that go into determining the value of a car and the odometer reading is one of them. However, How to know if the kilometers of a car are original? Read on, in this article we will explain it to you in detail.
Many people think that odometers reveal the whole truth about the kilometers traveled by a vehicle, nothing could be further from the truth! It turns out that these gauges can be manipulated so that their reading is less than the car's actual mileage. But don't worry too We will tell you how to know the kilometers of a car even if its odometer has been altered.
What happens when a car has many miles?
- How to know if the kilometers of a car are original?
- 1. How to know if the mileage of a car is original when the odometer is mechanical
- 2. How to check the mileage of a car when the odometer is digital
- Why do some owners change the mileage of their vehicles?
- How to know the real mileage of a car?
- Crime for altering the mileage of the vehicle
How to know if the kilometers of a car are original?
Many vehicle components can be modified. In the particular case of odometers, they can be reset to take hundreds or even thousands of miles or kilometers away from the figure they show. Unfortunately, this fraud is being committed more than many people realize.
Odometer reading is very important to buyers and knowing this, Many people risk turning their car's odometer back so that they can sell it for a better price or faster.
How to know if a car has lowered the kilometers? There are two types of odometers, mechanical and digital. To find out if the number of miles indicated is correct or to detect any kind of manipulation, please follow the steps below.
1. How to know if the mileage of a car is original when the odometer is mechanical
Preferably at your trusted workshop or with a mechanic at home, check the following:
- Odometer cable. This part usually does not need to be replaced. If there are any obvious signs that the cable has been tampered with or replaced, you should ask the seller why.
- Panel. If you find evidence that the dashboard has been tampered with, you should ask the owner why, especially if it is a new vehicle.
- Odometer numbers. Check the odometer numbers very well because when manipulated they can be distorted.
- Condition of timing belt and brake discs. These items will mainly show high mileage. The belt is changed after 70-100 thousand kilometers, and grooves appear on the discs after about 30 thousand kilometers. In most cases, its replacement is an expensive procedure, so it is often not done before sale.
- Condition of suspension and chassis. The underside of the car, both the suspension and the chassis, are usually an indicator of vehicle wear. If this test does not visually match what the odometer indicates, you should ask the owner about his driving habits and where he usually uses the vehicle.
2. How to check the mileage of a car when the odometer is digital
If you want to check the mileage of a car equipped with a digital odometer, The first thing you can do is visit a gas station or car dealer where computer diagnostics are done.
Scammers often use cheap equipment to hide real mileage. What this type of software does is delete the data present in the memory of the control unit but not of other modules, such as the braking system or the gearbox and transfer box control.
To detect evidence of tampering, a specialist simply connects your laptop to the computer and scans all systems. The program will show signs of a counter reset.
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Why do some owners change the mileage of their vehicles?
The reality is that the manipulation of vehicle mileage in the used market is something that happens sometimes. Unscrupulous sellers do this for two reasons.
- Make the car "younger". According to the requirements of most car manufacturers, once the car has traveled around 70,000 miles, there is a maintenance that costs a lot of money. Approaching this threshold, the car owner reduces mileage to sell the old car at a newer price.
- They make the car "older". Sometimes car owners fraudulently add more miles to the odometer. This is to convince the buyer that the maintenance is on time, as it is possible that he has had to make some major repairs ahead of time, due to improper use of the car.
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How to know the real mileage of a car?
If a car has had its mileage short, there are a few ways to figure out what its actual or at least approximate mileage is.
1. Verification by computer
The actual mileage of the car can be established by connecting to an electronic unit. Because of this, you just need a laptop and a USB cable for OBD-2 download. Once the connection has been made, the control unit will give all the truthful information on the vehicle's mileage.
If the person who tampered with the car's mileage has wiped the data, you can access the crash and error system. In many cars, this data is recorded along with the mileage. This data may also not be available if all related data has been deleted from the vehicle's computer.
2. MOT certificates (Ministry of Transport).
A good way to know the approximate mileage of a car is through the vehicle's MOT inspection certificates. These reports are delivered to certify that the vehicle meets the minimum requirements for driving on the road. This means that to obtain this MOT certificate, the car must meet certain requirements in terms of environmental standards and road safety.
3. Service history
Another way to check a car's miles is through its service history. Usually, vehicles have a disk o documents relating to its maintenance, indicating the date and the miles owned at the time of the service.
This story can also be manipulated, so if you have any doubts, there is something you can do. When checking your service history, look at the names of the mechanics or the workshop.
Once you have identified the dealer or mechanic, you can contact them to confirm if they have maintained the car you are interested in. You can also check copies of your logs to compare mileage with the service history report.
4. Test on the road
It is necessary to test a car very well before buying it. Ideally, you should try to drive multiple cars of the same model you want to buy. This will give you a better idea of how the car should feel and sound. When testing other cars, you should pay special attention to those with higher mileage.
Be careful and try to hear unusual noises such as rattles, clicks and groans as these sounds show worn car components. If the car you are buying has lower mileage than the models you tested, it shouldn't make any of these sounds.
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Crime for altering the mileage of the vehicle
Under 49 USC § 32703 of the Transportation Code, the federal government makes a crime:
- Offer for sale, sell, use, install or have installed a device that causes a motor vehicle's odometer to record a different mileage than the vehicle's mileage;
- Disconnect, reset, alter or cause a vehicle odometer to be disconnected, reset or altered with the intent of changing the kilometers recorded therein with the intent of defrauding, driving a vehicle on a road, motorway or expressway if the person knows that the the vehicle's odometer is off or does not work.
Those who tamper with or back off a car's odometers often also tamper with or falsify the title and other documents that contain information about the vehicle's mileage.. Misrepresentation of a car's mileage are separate offenses under federal law and often accompany charges of tampering with the odometer.
Civil and criminal penalties for odometer fraud
Criminal penalties for federal odometer fraud charges can be expensive and severe. (49 US Code § 32709). Civil penalties can include fines of up to $ 10,000 for each violation, with each odometer tampering constituting a separate violation. You can also be sued by anyone defrauded by the odometer or altered documents, with potential damages three times the amount of actual damages or $ 10,000, whichever is greater. (49 US Code § 32710).
Additionally, if you have knowingly and voluntarily participated in odometer fraud, you can be sentenced to up to three years in federal prison.
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