How to Check If Odometer Was Rolled Back?

How to Check If Odometer Was Rolled Back?

Rolled Mileage: How to Understand That The Numbers Have Been Changed — The Red Flags

With the advent of electronic technologies in the industry, the auto world faced a significant problem of adjusting the mileage of a used car, especially before resale. The process of twisting the number of miles traveled of a vehicle with the advent of electronics has become more convenient and does not require any special knowledge. It is enough to have special electronic equipment connected to the car's computer, and twisting the vehicle's mileage will be pretty simple.

When opting for a used car, many buyers are guided primarily by its mileage. Meanwhile, in most cases, the numbers on the odometer say absolutely nothing — rolling the miles operated has long become the norm. But how to understand if the mileage was intertwined? In this article, you can learn about the main signs of a rolled run.

Odometer rolling — what is it

The process of rolling the odometer is changing the number on the miles traveled indicator. Most often, the readings are adjusted to sell the car at a higher price. Nevertheless, there are several other reasons why sellers opt for this procedure. Twisting of the readings may be caused by the need:

  • To avoid expensive maintenance (in the onboard computer of some cars, there is information about the time of maintenance, if this schedule is violated, it starts to issue alarm messages).
  • To hide the fact of replacing the dashboard (after an accident or for other reasons).
  • To keep silent about malfunctions of components that can affect the correct operation of the speedometer (for example, generator, battery, etc.).

It is crucial to remember that you can twist the odometer of absolutely any car, regardless of price, brand, and model. Nonetheless, the higher the cost of the vehicle, the greater the benefit the seller promises to adjust the readings.

Mileage counters differ in design. The most unreliable instruments are the old mechanical odometers. Electronic devices are the hardest thing to cope with, but they are far from a guarantor of trustworthy information. In the case of an electronic odometer, you can connect to the information stored in the car's electronic systems through the standard OBD diagnostic connector and change it with specialized programs.

How to check if odometer numbers were changed

To establish the fact of numbers changing, it will be necessary to carry out computer diagnostics. You can check the car yourself if you have the appropriate software, hardware, and knowledge. But it is better to contact a trustworthy service center.

Nevertheless, it is often possible to find out about interference with the electronic filing only by indirect signs. Usually, this is a discrepancy in data, such as the time of an event recorded by the onboard computer. The more oddities revealed by checking the speedometer, the more the buyer thinks about whether he needs such a car.

Suppose the driver drives many kilometers in a year. In that case, the vehicle goes through scheduled maintenance more often (oil change, filters, etc., about which a corresponding note is stated in the service book). Therefore, in addition to twisting the run, the car owner must also fake the marks in the service book.

Some car owners, serviced by official dealers, falsify signatures about periodic scheduled maintenance (mainly oil, pads, and filters change) to hide the genuine mileage of the car, which is later rolled before being sold. Examine the service book for erasures and inconsistencies with the seller's words (indicates that the owner is hiding something).

How to understand if the mileage has been changed

It isn't easy to detect a rolled run, but it is possible. Consequently, you will need maximum attention and knowledge of the particular signs of a twisting run.

In addition to direct signs of twisted mileage, indirect ones will not tell you the exact numbers, but if they are available, you can confidently declare that the car has been used for a long time. Here's what you should focus on:

  • Pay attention to the front of the vehicle. If the front bumper and hood have many small chips, this may indicate frequent trips on the highway and high mileage.
  • Sift through the windshield. If someone wants to sell you a car with a low number of miles traveled, in which the windscreen has many small chips, then you should be on your guard since the multiple numbers of chips on the glass indicates a relatively large mileage.
  • Examine the headlights. If the front optics require polishing, it shows not a very small number of miles traveled of the car.
  • When inspecting the machine, pay attention to the gas, brake, and clutch pedals. If the pedals are worn out, and the mileage on the odometer is small, then most likely, the numbers on the car are twisted.
  • When visually inspecting, pay attention to the interior (especially the driver's seat). If the seat is crushed and worn out in order and the mileage on the odometer is low, then most likely, the car's number of miles traveled has been adjusted.

Odometer twisting impact

Twisting the odometer will not affect the mileage itself. When it comes to digital odometers, it is worth remembering that information is stored in them and special electronic units, such as ECU. Therefore, if, for instance, a person's odometer itself is damaged, this will not affect the mileage. You need to repair your device and parallel the numbers with the actual miles traveled in such a situation.


Most car enthusiasts prefer to buy cars from the aftermarket. So you can save a lot and buy a decent car for little money. But this is not always possible. Trying to inflate the price, unscrupulous sellers deliberately twist the mileage of the vehicle. You need to know how to identify it visually and with the help of technology. It is imperative to remain vigilant and careful when making a car purchase. Ways to help make sure or, on the contrary, doubt the authenticity of the mileage indicators can help you get a good car. Do not be too lazy to check all the documentation and inspect the vehicle’s interior. Often it is these seemingly insignificant things that will help to avoid an unsuccessful purchase.