4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Odometer

The odometer on a car tells how far the vehicle has traveled. It can be mechanical, electrical, or a combination of the two. Part of the odometer includes a trip meter. A trip meter indicates how far the car has traveled during a certain period of time. For modern vehicles, these are mostly electronic.

Odometer Tampering

Odometer tampering is a type of fraud that happens when the incorrect number of miles is presented to the potential buyer. It makes the car look like it has been driven less than it really has, so the buyer can sell it at a higher price.

Signs of Odometer Tampering

One of the easiest ways to see if the odometer has been tampered is to look at the vehicle’s service history. Every time the car was brought to the shop, the mileage should have been recorded. This includes oil changes, or any other service the vehicle has had throughout its lifetime. Another way to tell if an odometer has been tampered with is if there are switches that don’t seem to belong on the dashboard. While taking the car for a test drive, play with these switches and if one turns off the speedometer, you know it has been tampered with.

Signs of a Replaced Odometer

Sometimes an odometer fails and needs to be replaced by a mechanic. One sign to show that it has been replaced legally is the garage will have a replacement sticker inside the vehicle. The sticker is normally located in a noticeable area, such as the driver’s door jamb or near the VIN number. The sticker should have the original mileage written on it.

If You Suspect Tampering

If you suspect odometer tampering, you should try to get as much proof as you can. Once you have proof, contact a consumer law attorney. The attorney will advise you on what steps need to be taken, as well as let you know how you can protect yourself.

The odometer is an instrument in your vehicle that tells how many miles your car has been driven. This is important information to have so you know when to get oil changes or provide the data to prospective buyers. Odometer tampering does happen, so keep on the lookout for it when purchasing a used vehicle. If you do suspect tampering, contact a lawyer right away. For more information about odometers or to have your odometer replaced, contact YourMechanic.


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Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Chrysler Sebring V6-2.7L - Speedometer Sensor - Costa Mesa, California
As always Chris dignosed the problem quickly and correctly. The repair was almost as quick and very reasonably priced. He has worked on six of my cars over the years and I wouldnt even think about using anyone else
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD - Speedometer Sensor - Menifee, California
Good knowledge of vehicle , answered all my questions , knew what he talking about , very competent mechanic . I highly recommend him .

Rigoberto

11 years of experience
739 reviews
Rigoberto
11 years of experience
Jeep Liberty V6-3.7L - Speedometer Sensor - Chicago, Illinois
Not only did Rigobertos did an excellent job in repairing my car, I actually saved some money from the original price quote.
Jeep Liberty - Speedometer Sensor - Chicago, Illinois
Rigobertos brought my car back to life after it was not drivable for five months. His knowledge and professionalism is top notch.

Jose

15 years of experience
213 reviews
Jose
15 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Prix V6-3.1L - Speedometer Sensor - Duluth, Georgia
Jose was very professional, was on time (actually a bit earlier than expected which was just fine for me) and did the job in a timely fashion. There was a mix up with the part but he went out and was able to get the correct one, at no extra charge for me, and he even made sure that everything was working afterwards. Did a great job and would definitely recommend to friends and family.
Buick LeSabre - Speedometer Sensor - Roswell, Georgia
Jose was punctual and professional. He did an excellent job fixing our speedometer. We've already booked him for another gig. Thank you for this service!

Stacy

24 years of experience
366 reviews
Stacy
24 years of experience
Ford Transit Connect L4-2.5L - Speedometer Sensor - Stockbridge, Georgia
Stacy Smith did a marvelous job. The wrong sensor worshipped with him. So he tried to fix the one I had. He was pleasant and thorough throughout the experience. I would highly recommend him.

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