Tips for your car: Modified odometer! All you need to know and how to not be fooled!
Honda S2000 odometer
Do you heard about cars with 200,000 km on board, but looks good? The potential buyer gets scared when he sees this huge number of miles, so it can be "arranged" so that the odometer to show only 96,000 km.
How do you know if the odometer looks real kilometers, you can find here!
When you buy a second hand car, you should check first if it was involved in a serious accident.
Another common problem is the number of miles that the odometer show. Let me tell you a secret, which, suddenly, there is no secret... that absolutely all the mileage for any car model car can be modified! To show less kilometers, of course! Yes, you read right.
In some countries this is not illegal as in the United States, where this act is punishable under federal law. In many countries, can only be an element of deception, if the injured party realizes and sue you - because he paid for a product that has been modified from its original state. In this case, yes, can be considered an illegal procedure, but is difficult to prove. But if you buy a car from someone who deals with it, you can drag in front of Police, because it's broken some laws. The private sellers can do anything. If you later will sell the car, is your business.
Ok, we cleared that the mileage back wagging is not violate any law in some country. But how to do this?
There are two kinds of mileage "watches": mechanical and digital. The mechanic kind for many years are no longer manufactured, but are found on different models. I usually watch that show up to 99,999 km by means of mechanically engaged rotated through a metal cable. Digital clocks measure of the distance with a microchip that reads data from the gearbox (not rotate as people think). The digital type is more reliable, because has no moving parts and are more precise.
How to give back the mileage?
In mechanical watches is very simple and anyone can do it. Remove the board and remove the mileage cable. Than couple the cable to a drill or electric screwdriver with an adapter and "run". I mean in one minute you can start from, let's say, 80,000 km, passing by 99,999, to 25,000 or where you want to stop. There were rumors that if you go by car in reverse, that gives the counter miles back. Not really, because mechanical watches only go in one direction.
The digital odometer, as now most of us have, it is easier to modify, but it takes longer. Remove the board to remove the unit that has clocks. Usually that unit is a unitary piece which includes mileage with speedometer, tachometer and other clocks and lamps / witnesses. This unit connects via a socket to the car computer or electronics unit. So, remove the clocks and remove the plug that connects to the car. To go to a digital mileage, you need a special software installed on a computer. Mileage is connected to the computer via a dedicated socket. It is much like the diagnosis - each brand has its own plug. The odometer has only 3-4 socket that usually come with software for modification, that has USB adapter plugs. Once odometer is connected via USB to computer, you can enter in the special software.
The only difference between a mechanical and digital odometer is that the digital one can not be programmed with the precise number of miles that we wish. Software to change the mileage works as follows: for each clock is a special code. This code is inserted in the program and shows different fixed values.
Let's take an example
. We try with a 2007 BMW X6
, which has 160,000 km on board. Connecting odometer using the software and code, we have five kilometers values issued by software: 13.287 km, 49.322 km, 62.884 km, 93.767 km and 128.722 km. We can not, for example, program the software to fix 75,000 km, but can choose only one value above which suits us. After programming the new clocks, they are fixed back without any noticeable changes.
How to figure out whether a car has or not real miles?
Since the beginning, you should know that there is not easy to tell if a car is lying or not. More specifically, if the seller is telling the truth or not. You must have some knowledge about cars and mechanics, or need to evaluate helped by a connoisseur.
Here are some details that have to look
- has aftermarket battery, not the original: means the car has 80,000 to 100,000 km, because an original equipment battery does not last more.
- it has outworn wheel / leather steering wheel / shifter skin: the car has over 100,000 km
- the driver's seat upholstery is cracked or worn: the car has over 50,000 km
- rubber pedals are used: the car has over 100,000 km
- squeaky door: car has over 50,000 km
- squeaky board or get different sounds: car has 80,000 km
- armrest is worn: the car has over 130,000 km (armrests are made from a leather / high-strength material)
- the hood / tailgate lift have no power to raise: the car has 100,000 km
- rear muffler rusted: car has 80,000 km
- shock absorbers are not the original from the factory: the car has over 150,000 km
These are just a few guides, but these depend very much from car to car. But, whatever the car, if a car show on board 80,000 km, must not have worn wheel, pedals, shifter and armrest, nor changed any part of: suspension, clutch, lights, etc.. These are the main things we look.
If you are a serious connoisseur, when you evaluate a car must see what's underneath. If you have original pivots, original suspension, disc brakes, original exhaust, etc. If several elements appear not to be the originals but the odometer says it has few kilometers, must ask ourselves some questions.
May we be attentive to details such as seals wear, how the doors closes, hood, tailgate, the sounds are heard from inside, the steering wheel oscillation, if the lights are scratched and frosting, whether or not original wheels repaired, functional air conditioning, good body elements alignment , etc..
Something more concrete is consulting the service card. I mean, if the service book show differences between the mileage from the latest revision and the total kilometers on odometer is less, is certain that is not ok. Furthermore, say you bought a Volkswagen, so it is best to go with it to a representative of Volkswagen. Perhaps they fail to tell you exactly the actual number of miles, but they can say what revisions were made in the past and at what mileage the car came into service. We hope you will not get a response like, "Sir, your car shows 135,000 km, but how is possible when the last revision was made at 189,000 km??"
What is the conclusion
Mileage to be altered is a pretty common and easy, occurs among those dealing with re-used cars. Yes, it's easy to give back mileage, lasts only 15 minutes and it costs 50 euro / car, from those who deal with it. But it is difficult to figure out later if, on the car you want to buy, the board odometer is good. It's difficult but not impossible.
Unfortunately, even if connected to a diagnostic unit, you will not know that a modification has occurred on the number of miles.
The problem is not the fact that the car you buy has actually 150,000 km instead of 80,000 km, if it looks great and works great. The problem is that each car has a different maintenance regime, depending on the mileage. And instead to take care of it properly, you risk spoiling you more often and do not know why.
That's because cars also have a lifetime and optimal functionality, then start to "give up" from the mechanical, electronic or comfort point of view. At least it's good to know what you buy and what investment to expect in time.
If you are interested not to be fooled and buy knowing what you need to know... by read this far, now you know!
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