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#2074446 - 11/11/10 07:49 PM Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ?
LT4 Vette Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12492
Loc: USA
I'm helping a friend look for a nice, low mile used car and I was wondering if its possible some shady car lots can roll back the miles on a digital odometer ? shrug

We looked at some cars in her price range with 20-30K miles on the odometer and the cars have wear and tear as if they were driven 100K miles. Are digital odometers tamper proof or can they be changed to show less miles ?

Thanks

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#2074449 - 11/11/10 07:54 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
daman Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 10486
Loc: Bad Axe, MI
I highly doubt it. never heard of any way to do it.
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#2074450 - 11/11/10 07:57 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
CharlieJ Offline


Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 1383
Loc: FL
Yes. There are programs out there that allow the user to set the odometer to the desired mileage.
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'07 Mazda3 2.3 Mobil 1 0w-20
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#2074453 - 11/11/10 08:00 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
saaber1 Offline


Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 1877
Loc: Pacnw
Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
I'm helping a friend look for a nice, low mile used car and I was wondering if its possible some shady car lots can roll back the miles on a digital odometer ? shrug

We looked at some cars in her price range with 20-30K miles on the odometer and the cars have wear and tear as if they were driven 100K miles. Are digital odometers tamper proof or can they be changed to show less miles ?

Thanks

Definitely possible. Think about what computer whiz kids can do nowadays. I once looked at a used car on a lot and it did actually change miles from the first time I looked at it. As I recall in a period of 2-3 weeks it lost something like 80k miles. Maybe he just drove around the U.S. in reverse ha ha. Shady was the right word to describe that lot.

This is one reason why my rule of thumb is I will pay up to 30% more for a clean car with known maintenance history, preferably being able to talk to original owner or at least the owner who owned it for most of it's life. Several times I have heard of dealers getting busted for this and the penalties are huge! If the other signs such as drivers seat, drivers door handle, radio knobs, rubber pedals, etc. don't jive with the mileage I would just assume it's been altered somewhere along the line. I prefer to wait for one from a private party where you can talk to the owner and view maintenance history. A car with 20-30k should look virtually new IMO.
_________________________
"when 5W30 is cold, ...the oil is 35 weight (5+30),...20 w 50 starts at 70 and warms up to 50"
- Kyle, auto mechanic & VP Speedline Motorsports, INTL

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#2074455 - 11/11/10 08:02 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
Hollow Offline


Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 1063
Loc: the South
Are there ways to do it? Yes.
Are they expensive? Usually.
Will it always work? No.

So, it depends on if the seller wanted to shell out $1-$3k for equipment/programs to do it. This is why I get a CARFAX and have an independent inspection.
_________________________
2003 Subaru Outback: 2.5 H4 143K
QSUD 5w30+MOS2, Maxlife ATF, Mobil1 75w90
1992 Oldsmobile 88 3.8 V6 75K
Needs fixing. Lots of fixing.

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#2074462 - 11/11/10 08:05 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: Hollow]
saaber1 Offline


Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 1877
Loc: Pacnw
Originally Posted By: HollowEyes
So, it depends on if the seller wanted to shell out $1-$3k for equipment/programs to do it. This is why I get a CARFAX and have an independent inspection.

There was one outfit that got busted in Seattle and that was their business to go around and rollback odometers. The dealers would put how much mileage they wanted and cash in the car and the guys would show up and do it. They did several dealers. You can probably find an article on it with a google search. Lowlifes!

edit: found a different one, this isn't the one I was thinking of: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/90508_odometers10.shtml?dpfrom=thead

"The state contended that when odometers on vehicles Friedley sold were converted from kilometers to miles, the mileage on some or all of them was rolled back by as much as 50,000 miles. Most of the vehicles were expensive trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The Cosands are agents of Geronimo Holdings Ltd., of Cranbrook, B.C. The Simpsons are owners of Geronimo Holdings. The Shafers are owners of Valley Cars and RVs of Spokane."

Check out these videos... ARGGGGGG!

and



Edited by saaber1 (11/11/10 08:18 PM)
_________________________
"when 5W30 is cold, ...the oil is 35 weight (5+30),...20 w 50 starts at 70 and warms up to 50"
- Kyle, auto mechanic & VP Speedline Motorsports, INTL

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#2074463 - 11/11/10 08:06 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
PhillyJoe Offline


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 522
Loc: PA
Wouldn't you be able to find a late model wreck at the junkyard, and swap the low mileage cluster into your car that has the 100,000 mile cluster?

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#2074464 - 11/11/10 08:07 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 4267
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Sure is possible and the worst part is that there is no way to tell without OEM computer, or excessive wear signs on the interior. Unlike analog odometers, where you could see physical marks, signs of cluster removal or the digits not lining up properly, digital odometers won't show these things as all you need is an OBDII port and some software to change the reading.
_________________________
2006 Mazda3 2.0 - 190,000 Km
2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0 Zetec - 160,000Km
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#2074466 - 11/11/10 08:08 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24140
Loc: ME
yes but you need several boxes all from the donor car.

PCM, BCM, cluster... who knows, maybe cruise, airbag and ABS modules, they see MPH pulses.

You can pull VINs from, IIRC, 2002+ OBDII ports with the proper scan tool. VIN not matching the car would be a warning flag.

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#2074496 - 11/11/10 08:51 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8505
Loc: Upstate NY
If it's an older GM, it's even harder since with easily-available software a PCM can be written with a new VIN. I had a tuning house do that when getting a reflashed PCM for the Buick.
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2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

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#2074497 - 11/11/10 08:52 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odomet [Re: LT4 Vette]
CBR.worm Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1420
Loc: Jupiter, Fl
It amazes me when looking at used cars how some 20k mile cars look worn out and others are perfect at 100 or 200k.

When we were looking for a newer car for my wife we looked at some Infiniti M35 and M45's. We were looking at 1-2 year old cars with less than 30k on them. The dealerships were telling use how great the condition was. They were trashed. In one case I made the sales guy go sit in my car which had 100k on it at the time. He said they didn't have any cars on the lot in that good condition. His comment was that if you want this kind of condition you need to buy new.

We test drove a Mercedes E350 w/ 17k that had rips in the faux leather (mbtex) seats. How does that even happen? That stuff is indestructible. We looked at one year old accords that had wear holes in the carpets and cracks in the seats?

The best was at the 6th BMW dealership when the sales guy found out we had already test driven 28 cars he almost abandoned us. Ultimately we ended up buying an almost perfect car from him. Just rolled over 30k on it last week. Put 10k on it so far.

On the original topic, some cars can be driven with the odo disconnected. Or in the case of my first tundra, a speedo-healer can remove 20% or more. When I sold that tundra with 220k I knew it was closer to 300, but at that point, who cares.

My '91 escort GT was sold with 196k, i used to disconnect to odometer cable before I did highway trips. Mostly so no one would know how many miles I was really driving. Considering how many time I drove from NY to Fl in any given year, there Is no telling how many miles were really on it, but again - at 200+k ,who cares.

I knew a guy in Miami in the early '00s that for a (large) fee could disable the odometers on Mercedes, yet keep speedometer and other functionality. He was popular with the lease crowd. I think he's dead now...


Edited by CBR.worm (11/11/10 09:03 PM)
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#2074498 - 11/11/10 08:54 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
antonmnster Offline


Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 652
Loc: Minneapolis
I think it would be next to impossible to alter the mileage in my BMW. Every module in the car is coded to the car and if any one is changed, a bright "tamper" dot shows up on the cluster. Maybe a dealership could pull it off, but so much of the communication protocols are proprietary that I think the average used car salesman would have a hard time pulling it off.

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#2074511 - 11/11/10 09:13 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
Eric Smith Offline


Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 2622
Loc: Kansas City, KS
Back in 01 I knew a guy that was leasing at 99 F150. Can't remember how long he was leasing it for but he still had a long while to go and was very close to going over. So he unplugged the speedometer/odometer. Not sure if he got away with it as it should of raised some flags.
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05 Chevy 3500 (Class C RV) 33k (PU 5w30)
04 Escape 136k (PP 5w20)
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#2074520 - 11/11/10 09:29 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: LT4 Vette]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24140
Loc: ME
I used to read rec.autos.tech back in the late 90s when electric speedos just came out and there were all sorts of leasees trying to disconnect the odo but found their trannies weren't shifting into overdrive (or even out of 2nd!) and they had CELs and all sorts of other issues.

They've probably been pulling that stuff since forever, but are now caught on it.

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#2074526 - 11/11/10 09:46 PM Re: Is it possible to 'roll back' a digital odometer ? [Re: eljefino]
Cutehumor Offline


Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 8957
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I used to read rec.autos.tech back in the late 90s when electric speedos just came out and there were all sorts of leasees trying to disconnect the odo but found their trannies weren't shifting into overdrive (or even out of 2nd!) and they had CELs and all sorts of other issues.

They've probably been pulling that stuff since forever, but are now caught on it.



talk about being owned. LOL
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