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4Runner Odometer Rollback #5116728 05/26/19 07:38 PM
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Maddog1337 Offline OP
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Hello Oil Connoisseurs,

I'm looking at the following vehicle: a 2002 Toyota 4Runner 4WD V6 Limited Trim. Here is the Craigslist ad:

https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/d/streamwood-2002-toyota-4runner-limited/6894394777.html

I checked out the vehicle today, and the odometer matched the listing at ~155K mi.

The VIN is JT3HN87R129076790.

The free MyCarfax lists the last reported mileage at 202K for emissions testing on 2/15/2018. I know in some cases discrepancies exist in mileage on Carfax reports that can be the result of an error or a fat finger, etc. However the entire service history progresses incrementally, therefore I believe the 202K in 2018 is correct.

The backstory on this one is that this guy is selling it on behalf of his Uncle, who has moved out of the state. The vehicle is also titled in the name of a used car dealership (red flag? curbstoning?). However I got a peek of the title and it's filled out and signed by this guy's Uncle, all ready for me, the buyer, to sign.

Investigating further, I created a MyToyota account, which will give you the service records for when the car was taken to a Toyota dealership. The last service at Toyota for this 4Runner was 12/19/11 at 130,528 mi. It goes without saying that I should give increased credibility to the mileage reported by Toyota. It also makes sense, going back to the Carfax, with emissions testing 1/7/2012, at 131,000 mi. Comparing the 131K to the 155K odometer reading currently on the car, I find it hard to believe the vehicle was only driven around 25K miles from 12/19/11. That's around 3K miles a year!

I put down a $100 deposit because I requested extra time to gather funds. We are scheduled to meet tomorrow to complete the sale. I feel after further research that I should walk from the sale. I'm struggling back and forth because I believe the guy is genuine, or at least acted very genuine. The car was last registered 10/2018, with a new owner reported. I believe this is when his Uncle purchased the vehicle. Perhaps the current owners were victims of odometer fraud?

We settled on a purchase price of $4,000, which honestly is pretty good at 155K or 200K+. The vehicle drove great, no leaks, and minimal rust. However, I can't trust anything else that guy said, so I might be looking at large repairs down the road. I could pay for a full $40 Carfax report but I don't want to dump anymore money in this investigation. What do you guys think? Walk? I signed that my $100 deposit was non-refundable, but I'm not sure if I should request it back in the name of fraud.


2017 Mustang V6 17K: | Roush CAI | Steeda GT X-Pipe | Roush GT 2.5" Axle Back Mufflers | BBK Oil Catch Can |
Mobil EP 5W-20 w/ Fram XG10575. ~5-7K mi OCI.

2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport V6 147K
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116733 05/26/19 07:43 PM
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eljefino Offline
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So if you like it, you like it.

The guy is definitely curbstoning.

You could ask for your money back if you get cold feet. You put money down on a 155k mile car which the seller is unable to follow through with. If you don't ask, the answer is definitely no.

Rust is about the only thing that's tragic to fix.

What bugs me more than anything are those oversized rims and tires.

Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: eljefino] #5116741 05/26/19 07:49 PM
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Maddog1337 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by eljefino
So if you like it, you like it.

The guy is definitely curbstoning.

You could ask for your money back if you get cold feet. You put money down on a 155k mile car which the seller is unable to follow through with. If you don't ask, the answer is definitely no.

Rust is about the only thing that's tragic to fix.

What bugs me more than anything are those oversized rims and tires.


Curbstoning or not, I don't really care, as long as I can get the car titled in my name. My problem is what looks to be a clear odometer rollback. And if he's curbstoning, then it's his dealership who did it. I don't want problems down the road, a title with a mileage inconsitency, trouble selling it later, etc. In addition the timing belt was done at 100k, and should be done every 90-100k. Well if the truck is at 200k+ then it's due. That's not a cheap fix.


2017 Mustang V6 17K: | Roush CAI | Steeda GT X-Pipe | Roush GT 2.5" Axle Back Mufflers | BBK Oil Catch Can |
Mobil EP 5W-20 w/ Fram XG10575. ~5-7K mi OCI.

2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport V6 147K
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116746 05/26/19 07:51 PM
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JLTD Offline
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It's a bit fishy, but if the vehicle is in good condition....AND he allows you to take it to a mechanic to have it checked out....AND it's not a salvage, it might be a good buy. If he balks at all about the inspection, it's time to walk run away.

After further investigation:

It's priced a little high....private sale is about $4100 in "outstanding" condition. It looks pretty nice but with the oversize tires I'd beware of higher wear on the driveline.

Could be a flood damaged vehicle so caution there.


edit: I'd pass. Too many question marks.

Last edited by JLTD; 05/26/19 07:52 PM.

I use the overseas manual to choose my viscosity.


Hers: 2008 Jeep Liberty 154k, SS 5w30/Amsoil
Looking at options.

His: 2015 4Runner 60k, SS 5w20/Amsoil

Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116753 05/26/19 07:56 PM
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hallstevenson Offline
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Originally Posted by Maddog1337
However I got a peek of the title and it's filled out and signed by this guy's Uncle, all ready for me, the buyer, to sign.

Ask to see the title again - it should have the mileage at the last sale.

Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116755 05/26/19 08:00 PM
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JC1 Offline
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Could he have changed the cluster due to issues with the old one?

As others have said too many questions. It does look nice. You might want to tell him that you did a search and the mileage is 200K not 154K. See what he says before you walk.


2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116757 05/26/19 08:02 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by Maddog1337
We settled on a purchase price of $4,000, which honestly is pretty good at 155K or 200K+. The vehicle drove great, no leaks, and minimal rust. However, I can't trust anything else that guy said, so I might be looking at large repairs down the road.


It's a 16 year old SUV with certainly over 155K so you might be looking at large repairs down the road anyway. Would you buy without hesitation if it didn't have the odometer issue? Either take it to mechanic for a quickie $60 ppi and or inform the seller about what you found out about the mileage and ask for a $500 price cut.

Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116760 05/26/19 08:03 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Typical car flipper deal. Buy a truck with 200k. Get a lower milage dash and swap it in saying its lower milage.

I can guarantee you that its not his uncles truck.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am Maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor Chevron sae30
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116773 05/26/19 08:12 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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I would not purchase the vehicle if it were me trying to decide. There are too many downsides and not enough upsides to this deal.

There is an old adage about buying used cars which states something like, "if the person selling the vehicle is not the person listed on the title, then don't walk, run the other direction."

If that were the only thing about this deal, I could understand talking yourself into it. However, the mileage thing is another, big, speed bump to buying this vehicle. Who knows how that could come back to haunt you after you have purchased it. You could run into trouble trying to register it, you could pay more in sales tax, etc. This alone would scare me away.

Add in the mismatch of seller and titled owner, and it's a hard pass in my book.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116774 05/26/19 08:14 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Doesn't look like he bought from auction.

Date Price Odo (mi)  Cond Eng/T Ext Color Type Region Auction
5/15/19 $1,200 271,457 2.0 6G/A White Regular Midwest Cleveland
4/10/19 $4,900 186,169 4.0 6G/A Silver Regular Midwest Minneapolis
5/1/19 $3,500 172,149 3.6 6G/A Black Lease Northeast New Jersey
5/21/19 $3,300 156,750 3.4 6G/A Burgundy Regular Northeast NY Metro Skyline
5/7/19 $5,600 140,556 2.9 6G/A Red Regular Northeast Baltimore-Washington
4/11/19 $4,500 114,641 - - 6G/- - Brown Regular Midwest Chicago

Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116780 05/26/19 08:18 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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One more thing to add: If you absolutely must have the vehicle and decide to buy it, you should consider doing the following as a condition of the sale -
1. request the seller accompany you to the DMV to do the registration/title transfer.
2. request a xerox copy of the seller's driver's license.
3. type up one of those quick Bill of Sale docs you can find for this sort of thing, filling in the relevant info and adding another part that explains why the person signing the BOS is not the titled owner. List their name and DL number and have them initial that portion in addition to signing the document. Then take it and have it notarized.

I realize all of that may be excessive and unlikely to get complete agreement from the seller, but I would be more interested in seeing the seller's reaction to the requests than actually getting them to agree to all of them.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116787 05/26/19 08:25 PM
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Soggydog Offline
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A co-worker of mine traded his 430k mile 2002 F150 for a 2017 F150. They gave him $500 for his trade in. Several weeks later I noticed his truck on Facebook marketplace for sale for $2500 and only 190k miles....no doubt in my mind it was his truck. Small town dealer sticker on the tailgate and a solid white fender on a white/Gray 2 tone truck.


Currently running...
2011 Ford F250 4x4 6.7L, 2011 Toyota Camry SE 2.5L, 2002 Dodge Caravan 3.3L,
2012 Honda Rincon,2012 Honda Rancher AT,09 Honda Trx90
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116796 05/26/19 08:30 PM
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incognito_2u Offline
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Something smells rotten , and we ain’t in Denmark........something tells me there’s more up this Sellers sleeve than we know...........Walk away While you can and continue your search from a somewhat legitimate Seller!
Just saying........


2006 Jeep Commander 3.7 V6 -115k (M1EP5W30/XG3600)
2006 Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVTi -84k (M1EPHM5W30/XG3600)
1999 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -88k (PUP5W30/XG4386)
1998 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -67k (QSUD5W30/XG3600)
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116805 05/26/19 08:37 PM
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Maddog1337 Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for your responses. This forum is such an outstanding resource. I am young, and continuing to learn. I'm glad I did some due diligence. This would have been my first used car purchase. It is disconcerting that the used car market is full of scammers, but that is life I suppose. If anyone on here is selling a third gen 4Runner, please, let me know.

I think I need to walk. The $100 won't break me, but I will be requesting it back - hopefully a name drop of reporting to the Secretary of State will help (or escalate, ha... that's why the breaker bar is in the trunk).


2017 Mustang V6 17K: | Roush CAI | Steeda GT X-Pipe | Roush GT 2.5" Axle Back Mufflers | BBK Oil Catch Can |
Mobil EP 5W-20 w/ Fram XG10575. ~5-7K mi OCI.

2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport V6 147K
Re: 4Runner Odometer Rollback [Re: Maddog1337] #5116809 05/26/19 08:44 PM
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Kira Offline
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Does the sentence, "The vehicle is also titled in the name of a used car dealership (red flag? curbstoning?). However I got a peek of the title and it's filled out and signed by this guy's Uncle, all ready for me, the buyer, to sign.", make sense?

Used car dealership name on the title...the guy's uncle signed it. How do you type that without knowing you were lied to? Am I missing something?

Scuzzy dealership

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