In the era of mechanical odometers many car owners used to fix the mileage before selling their “swallow” by themselves, often with the help of improvised means. In the era of electronic odometers, this trick can not be done, since the data on the mileage of the car are stored in different systems of the car. But nowadays, there is a whole galaxy of companies, masters and sellers of special equipment which can help unscrupulous craftsmen to solve such a “problem”. How should an honest used car seeker deal with such a situation?
Determination by indirect signs
The first thing you need to pay attention to when choosing a used car and if you want to correctly determine the genuine mileage, are the indirect signs. Of course, they will not allow finding out the exact value, but they will help to catch the owner in a lie, if there is such. The matter is that each detail in the car has its resource. In our case the main clue will be the peripheral parts. For example, we have a water pump. It serves about 100 thousand kilometers, after it needs to be replaced. Let’s assume that the owner declares that the mileage of the car is less than 100 thousand km. Let’s look at the pump. If it is new, the owner is obviously lying. The same trick can be done with almost any parts, including tires.
Carefully examine the exterior of the car. Scuffs, splashes, paint chips, damages of trim materials can show that the car was used very intensively, or that it has been used much longer than its owner is trying to show. First of all pay attention to the things you often interact with: steering wheel, gearshift, all kinds of knobs and buttons. It is also worth remembering that the fabric of the finishing materials begins to shine at about 100 thousand km of run, and to get scuffed and break somewhere at 150-200 thousand km.
If the mileage was twisted qualitatively by a qualified technician, then the computer diagnostics can give no results at all. However, it is still necessary to make it. Firstly, to identify faults. Secondly, there is a chance, that even with twisted mileage it will be possible to find out the information about the real values of automobile devices. Such information is valuable, because it can help to catch the owner or agent lying.
Use an online aggregator
Today there are many online services which allow finding out the exact or at least approximate real mileage of a car. The data in such aggregators is generated based on information from diagnostic cards, service station data and calculations of insurance companies for repairs. Online aggregators are good because they allow finding out many more interesting things about the car. For instance, if it is not wanted or pledged, if it was not in a taxi park, etc. Of course, the aggregators’ services are not free. But it’s better to pay a few thousand to these guys than to tear the hair out of your head after spending hundreds of thousands on a car.