diablo37989

can you tamper with a digital odometer?

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there's a lot of talk on this and other Indian forums about First Choice and other second hand car dealers clocking the odometers so that cars show much lower mileage. however, manufacturers (like Maruti) claim that digital odometers are tamper-proof. is this correct? or can 2nd hand dealers really tamper with digital odos with ease?

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Hello diablo37989, to the best of my knowledge, even digital odometers can be tampered by Used Car dealers. Someone told me that tampering a digital odometer is less time consuming too as in analogue meters the assembly has to be opened carefully.

However, i am also told that it is difficult to tamper odometers of Ford and Skoda though not impossible. Maruti, Hyundai, Honda meters are easily reset. I believe all Used Car dealers tamper the odometer readings as people buying Used cars prefer less driven cars. People buying used cars should search for such cars where the total service record is available with the owner. I believe that such cars are safest to buy as the buyer knows the history of the vehicle and can take an informed decision.

All authorised dealers maintain full record of the cars that are maintained by them, so look out for cars which are serviced and maintained by the authorised dealers.

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Please also refer to this thread:

http://www.autocarindia.com/new/autocar_forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2672

To know the clocked kms its also better to inspect the tyres, see the wear and tear and the month and year of manufacture that is etched on each tyre. If there's a mismatch in the four/five tyre manufacture dates, a logical expnanation must come or else its suspect as car dealers often replace the used tyres with other used tyres.

So if a 2nd hand car of 2005 shows 40000 kms on the odo and has its 4 tyres manufactured in 2007, with half the tyre life appearing finished (say 18,000-20,000 kms) then its odo must be tampered. The original tyres of the 2005 car must have done some 35000-40000 kms by the time these were changed in 2007. To add to it, the new tyres have journeyed for at least 18000-20000kms. Thats a cool run of 60,000 kms on a conservative estimate assuming there was no tyre change before 2007.

anjan_c20072009-05-24 16:15:15

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Agreed. Peripheral evidence also includes the wear on pedal rubber (metal shows through in about 50,000km) etc. One other check is the full service history. Then looking at the points where the car was serviced you can check for any abnormal period with very low mileage. Incidentally, I had the first set of tyres in my Accent go in only 12 to 15,000km. 

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There was some news that Skoda dealer reduced almost 30k km off Skoda to resale it at around a profit that a new cars sales even wouldn't have given.

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I guess it is quite easy to reset a digitial odo. A friend of mine, drove his i10 for a week for about 400kms and after this only he got it registered. After registration, he found the odo to clock around 35kms.

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Unscrupulous dealers unplug the speedometer/odometer cables and happily give test drives to people on customers new cars awaiting delivery. This is something to be careful when buying a new car also. Am sure the used car dealers also do this for vehicles on their lots awaiting sales.

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Of course, Yes. It can be done by the manufacturer its a very simple procedure. The memory is stored in the dash board. Modifying the device board set up is the way it is done. Is it possible to know whether a digital odometer is tampered by external inspection, read whatever I want it to in the mileage value.

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Tempering digital odometer is almost 30 min process. Maybe an expert takes even less time. It requires opening your odometer by removing the steering wheel and the circuit of odometer is attached to a pc where you can change the reading to your desired number through a special computer software. And you fit it back.

The charges may vary from 500 to 1500 rs depending upon the market value or resale value of the vehicle. And you cannot discover it until you unscrew and open the meter again.

CATCH: Now i will give you a trick to catch the tempered odometer . Its simple but maynot work on few cars. I tried it on authorized second hand dealership cars and found it worked.

Normaly the speedometer hand rests on zero kmph mark on a car with engine off and it wont shake or move even if you hit the meter from above.

But on a tampered odometer the speedometer needle/ hand tends to jump a bit if you hit hard on dashboard with your hand above the odometer console. This is a trick to catch a cheat. Good luck!

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