Why Is Mileage Important?

Why Is Mileage Important?

The Importance of Mileage for a Car: The Main Reasons Why It Is So Crucial

When opting for a used car, we first look at the date of manufacture and the mileage on the odometer. It is believed that these factors make it possible to assess the technical condition of the automobile.

What mileage is perfect for a car is relevant for many people who purchase a used vehicle. This metric is often manipulated as it might tell a lot about the automobile being purchased.

It can be challenging to respond to the question, «What is the normal mileage for an automobile?». Considering this indicator is manipulated, and if the vehicle has a low number of miles operated, its price can differ significantly. To purchase a quality used car, it is essential to know some mileage aspects and their peculiarities.

What is mileage: primary features

Vehicle mileage shows the number of kilometers traveled. This parameter is measured in tens of thousands of kilometers. It is determined by the odometer and should not be changed following legislation, as it is of pre-eminent importance.

An odometer is a device that estimates a vehicle's mileage. It should be noted that sometimes these readings are not 100% accurate. The number of miles operated by a car can say a lot. Whether the vehicle has already wound tens of thousands of kilometers, there is a possibility that some parts will break faster, the body will be damaged, etc. With its help, you can calculate an approximate margin of safety and estimate how much more is left for the car to serve.

The importance of mileage when buying a used car

Why are kilometers more critical? The principal reasoning: cars that have driven more kilometers also show more signs of wear and tear. It is less likely to happen with vehicles that are parked for long periods.

When buying a pre-owned car, buyers often try to understand the numbers adequate for a particular vehicle. Difficulties arise in defining average mileage since the following factors blur this concept:

  • Operating conditions. If the car drives on high-quality roads, even mileage will not affect its technical condition. Nevertheless, there are no guarantees that a car with average annual miles operated of several thousand kilometers and used for off-road driving will be serviceable.
  • This indicator should be given special attention since old cars with low mileage are rare.
  • Car It is one of the principal factors to look out for. So, for instance, a large cargo used for commercial purposes might wind as many kilometers in a month as a passenger car travels in a year.

Consequently, the calculation of the average mileage is made according to an abstract formula, which correlates the car's age, the number of accidents, the number of owners, and many other factors. When determining this parameter, you need to focus on the odometer readings, dividing them by the car's age.

As the car's mileage is considered high, it is impossible to give an exact answer to this question for the reasons described in the previous section. For each type of car, its mileage is calculated, and, for example, in the case of heavy vehicles, even 200 thousand kilometers will not be considered excessively high mileage.

How to calculate adequate mileage

You can calculate the average mileage when buying a car based on several recommendations:

  • If the car's appearance does not instill confidence, but there is a little indicator on the odometer, you need to talk to the vehicle You should find out in what conditions the car was used and whether it got into an accident.
  • Before closing a deal, you need to pay attention to the year of manufacture and vehicle It is necessary to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the car, its weak points, and the availability of the manufacturer's warranty. This information will help you quickly find out if the odometer has been twisted.
  • It would help if you were wary that the cost of the car is greatly underestimated or overestimated.
  • Do not blindly believe the odometer numbers, even if they are electronic.

Frequently, buying a pre-owned car turns into a lottery. Some sellers try to conceal all the flaws in the vehicle, complicating making a deal. To minimize risks, the mileage of the car and its age should be compared.

How to detect twisted mileage

If the vehicle is implemented with an electronic dashboard, rolling mileage can be detected using special sensors. They are mounted on the gearbox shaft or attached to the wheel, transmitting the information received to the onboard computer. So, by connecting the car to the diagnostic equipment at the service station, you can find out if the run has been twisted.

Another hint is the position of the numbers on the odometer. If they are set in exactly one line, they were most likely twisted because if the device counted kilometers, the numbers would appear on the dial gradually.

Calculating cheating on the electronic odometer is more complex since tampering with the vehicle's ECU is very difficult to detect. At a minimum, you will have to contact a service center, where specialists might do this using special equipment.

The service workers who last changed the oil on the car can also tell the genuine mileage of the vehicle. According to the existing rules, the craftsmen must leave a sticker on the automobile with the date of the last replacement and the car's number of miles operated at that moment.

A hint that the car is old, no matter what mileage is on the odometer, will be the state of the interior. Why cabin? Because, during the repair, the body is often restored — to make it look new, it can be repainted, and the buyer is unlikely to guess that the car was in a severe accident. But the cabin is usually given less attention, so its condition can tell you a lot.

How to withdraw problems when buying a used car

When buying a pre-owned car, there are several rules to follow. First, there is no need to choose a vehicle, focusing only on the specified mileage and only on the appearance — both can be worked out the kinks by the sellers.

Don't consider the cheapest and most expensive deals. Study the identity of the owner if you buy a car from a private one. A personal conversation with him will clarify a lot about the condition of the vehicle. Finally, you can determine the mileage indicated for a car in previous ads through several portals and services.


Summing up, you should note that mileage is a vague parameter that will not help reveal the whole truth about the car. When determining the number of miles operated by a vehicle, it is worthwhile to objectively assess the car's condition. If it looks used enough, and the mileage is minimal, you should have additional questions for the seller: «Does the odometer show the correct numbers?», «Is the seller the first owner of this car?», «Has the vehicle undergone repairs?».

To roughly calculate what mileage will be average for a particular vehicle, you should ask the seller for the following information: how old is the automobile and how intensively was it exploited. It is also worth understanding that to increase the value of their car on the market, many vehicle owners resort to manipulations, such as tweaking the odometer readings. Unfortunately, it is possible to falsify indicators both on a mechanical device and on an electronic one.

Purchasing a used car is a complex process that must be approached responsibly. Only in this case, the purchase will delight the car enthusiast for many years, and the need for important repair costs can be forgotten.