How To Know If Someone Lowered Vehicle Mileage

Photo credit: Flickr
Photo credit: Flickr

Used cars are all around us and lot of people buy them mostly because they are cheaper. However, if you check online or newspaper ads, you’ll see that the difference in price between cars with a low mileage and the ones with lot of miles on them is enormous. That’s why lot of dealers use experienced technicians to lower mileage on their used vehicles. Can you find out if someone changed the mileage?

Well, it all depends on a quality of a job someone did. In older cars there is only one place where miles are recorded and that is in the main instruments, so when they change that, there is no other place to look. New cars record mileage in multiple components. So, if they change the mileage in all components of a car (which is rarely case), it is going to be very hard to know is someone actually lowered the mileage.

On the other hand, if they changed the mileage just on main instruments, you can check other components and find out the real mileage.

For example BMW records mileage in the main gauges, ECU, key and transmission computer.

While situation in the US is somewhat more controlled than in Europe, this problem is not that big.

On the other side many car dealers in Europe lower the mileage of their cars and the main reason for that is a purely bigger profit. Here are few tips on how to protect yourself.

According to lawyers, only way to protect yourself is before the purchase. Ask the seller, whether it is dealer or private seller, to state the vehicle’s mileage in the car’s documents. In case that the mileage is inaccurate, you can sue them and ask for your money back or for lower price. If the seller, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to state the vehicle’s mileage, it is a clear sign that it might be wrong.

You can also protect yourself by carefully inspecting the car, especially the interior because it shows most of the wear and tear. Start from the seats and continue to gas, brake and clutch pedals and finish at steering wheel and dashboard. You can also check out the service book, but keep in mind that it can be faked.

It is very easy to lower the miles because most of the car related software, even the simplest ones, can be use just for that purpose. Stay safe, follow these tips and buy from respected dealers.