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Old 5th February 2013, 16:33   #16
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
I test drove the new Alto 800 and noticed that the speedometer is in disconnected condition and the engine warning lamp was continually on.
First, you should have refused to drive the car. I was offered a test drive of a customers car that had come in for service once. I flatly refused. The least these dealerships can do is invest money for one demo car. I don't think thats too much to ask for when one is in the business of selling automobiles.

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Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
My question: is it legal to ask for the service history of the vehicle from the service center? Isn't that violating some privacy with all this RTI that's flying around?

Alternatively, I can ask the owner to get me a service history but to ensure that they are untampered, is another discussion.
I think you are confusing service records to something else. Every time a car goes into the service station it Odo reading is recorded along with the repairs carried out. This is information helps both the manufacturer and the car owner. If you wonder, what does the car owner gain in it? I would any day fork a premium for a vehicle with complete service record from an authorised service station. As it would give me all the information of the vehicles health and adventures over its lifetime. This record can be accessed by all authorised service stations. You can walk into an authorised service center and with the basic details of the car get service details.
Regarding tampering of the data. At Mandovi motors they do not give you a printout but allow you to catch a glimpse. The owner can get the print out and the same can be verified by the seller too.

RTI is Right To Information for citizens of India from organizations "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by government, or non-Government organizations "substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds" provided by the government are also covered in it.
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Old 5th February 2013, 16:50   #17
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Post Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

Thanks Joey. Quite an eye-opener that.

I can only imagine how paramount a vehicle's service record and history becomes now and the kind of significance it assumes in today's era. Good thing that most service centers maintain and save detailed service records pertaining to a vehicle. Insist on and pour over them before making any choices.

At any rate, I agree with most guys; just no substitute to good old due diligence - however trivial, mundane, boring etc. it may seem! No telling how much money it may save you in the process.

Last edited by Omtoatom : 5th February 2013 at 16:52.
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Old 5th February 2013, 16:51   #18
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
If you have an OBD reader put it on and check. Most ECUs store mileage independently from the odometer!
Those wizards who clock cars know about it. Resetting the ECU data is no big deal either. Either it's a 2-step change (change/reprogram the odometer chip and also reset ECU data), OR a 1-step operation (reset ECU to reset odo reading, as shown in the video).

In the end, only the service history (if the manufacturer stores data on a central server) and some of the telltale signs (age of tyres, worn out or brand new pedal rubbers, shiny steering & gearshift) cannot be wiped out.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 5th February 2013 at 16:52.
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Old 5th February 2013, 16:51   #19
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
Rajeev, how often will dealers give you that info? Usually the most we as consumers can know is the manufacture date. When it arrives at the dealer's lot etc are inputs the dealer won't be willing to share anyway, right?
The dealers will definitely give you that information. Infact, if you see the initial ownership threads, we can see most of the folks getting calls from their dealers upon the car arrival at dealership, and carrying out a visual check etc.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
It also helps to call the authorised service center where it was serviced, provide the car number and procure maintenance history.
I would say this as the most important and easy way to check on the authenticity of used cars. Most service centers provide these details if you say that you are going to buy the car. In addition, if you call up the previous owner and request him to give his consent to them, they will even provide you the detailed description of the car history.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Typically, another good indication are the pedals. See if the rubbers on the pedals are worn.

Same for the steering wheel, on some cars the steering wheels starts showing some wear, or starts looking very smooth and polished after prolonged use.

Same for the chair. Especially the driver seat. high mileage tell tales are worn side of the chair, because of the getting in- and out-.
Spot on! Check the steering wheel, pedals and the seats for another easy visual check on the wear and tear, especially if the claim is for a low mileage car.
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:05   #20
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
  • Examine the tyres. Tyres last anywhere upwards of 25,000 km, so if the odometer shows 30,000 km or less, it should still have the original tyres.
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The crooks keep improvising and their under-clocking techniques are impossible to detect.
One of which is getting used tyres from the market which date back to the model of the car. There is a market running just for this which feeds the used car dealers.
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:12   #21
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
how often will dealers give you that info? When it arrives at the dealer's lot etc are inputs the dealer won't be willing to share anyway, right?
As customer we can ask to have a look at the PDI records for that particular vehicle. This card usually indicates the arrival date of that car at the dealer's stock yard.
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Originally Posted by mac187 View Post
First, you should have refused to drive the car. I was offered a test drive of a customers car that had come in for service once.
This was at a display campaign camp in front of our office and was a new car. I noticed the foul play only by seeing the malfunction lamp on and the inoperative speedometer.

Last edited by rajeev k : 5th February 2013 at 17:30.
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:12   #22
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

I used to live in an area where there were many used car showrooms(in Qatar) and I made friends with a showroom sales guy.

Once he explained to me, how to detect if a digital odo has been rolled back; it was something like, you turn the key 1 click forward and if there's no delay in odo display, then it has been tampered with.

I'm not sure cuz I never tried it myself.
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:24   #23
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Those wizards who clock cars know about it. Resetting the ECU data is no big deal either. Either it's a 2-step change (change/reprogram the odometer chip and also reset ECU data), OR a 1-step operation (reset ECU to reset odo reading, as shown in the video).
I'm no expert, but I thought most ECUs were designed in such a way that if you do change the odometer reading, that would actually show up as well? Like a counter, that can not be reset easily.

Problem is that it's so attractive to roll back odometers, that whoever does it can afford to spend time and money.

In my home country, the Netherlands, dealers and workshops are required to enter odometer reading in a central database. For instance, regular services or any car that has an MOT gets its odometer reading registered. When buying a second hand car you can consult the database and get an overview of the various odometer readings in time. It's a good impression, but not perfect. Just read one in eighteen cars in the Netherland suffers from Odometer fraud.

In the USA there's something similar, Carfax report. Again, not perfect, but a good indication.

So, you're probably best by trying to get as many documents, bills, parts, maintenance records etc. And look for all the other telltales and cues as discussed/suggested by everybody.

Jeroen
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:32   #24
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
...whoever does it can afford to spend time and money.
We hope and pray for the day when our government also passes a law making clocking of cars illegal. Till then, I guess we'll live by our wits. The number of major scams that affect the motoring community in India is overwhelming, and there are very few straightforward laws that can protect us in the event that someone does actually plan to con a gullible person.
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Old 5th February 2013, 17:49   #25
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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We hope and pray for the day when our government also passes a law making clocking of cars illegal. Till then, I guess we'll live by our wits. The number of major scams that affect the motoring community in India is overwhelming, and there are very few straightforward laws that can protect us in the event that someone does actually plan to con a gullible person.
Interestingly clocking is not illegal in most countries. But selling a car with a 'way off' mileage could be. Basically, it's misrepresentation of the goods to be sold by the seller. Whatever the legal terminology is in the various different countries/legalsystem. That's 'as good as it gets" today I'm afraid!

It's not illegal in the US or the Netherlands. On the upside; in the Netherlands a law will come into effect that will make it illegal from 2014 onwards. The Dutch politicians belief it will have a preventive effect. That would be a very first in human history. If a lot of money can be made, no amount of laws will prevent it from happening. For those in the trade it's simple mathematics, how much is the fine and how much am I making clocking and what's the chance of getting caught.

There is staggering amount of money to be made by clocking. Even, rolling back 20-30K kilometers, on say a 3 year old BMW 3 series, would put a few thousand extra Euro's in the pocket of the seller.

Having the odometer readings collected and stored in a central database is probably a much more potent measure. We have this in the Netherlands and its being enhanced over time. Today it includes odometer readings at MOT and regular services. But it will be mandatory to include odometer readings for instance for all accidents with damages above a certain amount, any repairs not just regular maintenance.

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Old 5th February 2013, 22:38   #26
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Here is what i do, just call up any random workshop and tell them the vehicle number and ask them when is the next service due?
After they answer this i immediately act as surprised and ask them to tell me what was the mileage on last service and also include some random things to get detailed info. Has worked with maruti suzuki and hyundai

If you have seen the RC and owner's name you can confidently ask them almost anything. They don't bother to verify anything else.

My friend was almost about to give advance for the purchase of SX4 and i tried this for the first time.The SX4 was 3 years old in immaculate condition, done 26k kms.
It worked and did wonders.
The answer i got "Sir you got your car service done last month only at 90k kms"

Make sure you get the service history for atleast last 2 services. Because it has happened ,people get the odo reset and then get the car serviced and will show you the latest service record. The buyer generally believes it.

If you can visit the workshop its even better. Just ask them and they will tell you. I just tell them that i have purchased the car recently and ask for service history.Even if you don't have the car with you.
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Old 6th February 2013, 01:10   #27
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Clever and a nice way
Although i would have done it officially but ur way out is much simpler and faster way

Btw how do you validate on a new car being delivered to you for the odo reset by the dealer?

I recently purchased skoda rapid and wanted to be sure of this bcoz of skoda dealers notorious ways but couldnt find any clue on this and took it after inspection by a mechanic
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Old 6th February 2013, 09:11   #28
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Clever and a nice way
Although i would have done it officially but ur way out is much simpler and faster way

Btw how do you validate on a new car being delivered to you for the odo reset by the dealer?

I recently purchased skoda rapid and wanted to be sure of this bcoz of skoda dealers notorious ways but couldnt find any clue on this and took it after inspection by a mechanic

Apart from verifying the manufacture month and year from the VIN and doing the detailed check on the dealer records which would say the vehicle arrival at dealership, am afraid there isn't much one can do.

Wherever possible, donot accept a new vehcile which was manufactured more than 1-1.5 months, to be on the safe side. This is because, adding around 20 days of transportation, 30-45 days is ideally what it might take for a new car to be dispatched from the manufacture, to reach the dealer end.

But this can fail, if its a slow moving vehicle which genuinely happened to be at the dealership for some time.
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Old 6th February 2013, 09:41   #29
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

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Here is what i do...
Excellent! That's called living by your wits!
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Old 6th February 2013, 20:02   #30
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Default Re: How to detect *Odometer Fraud*

I came across another kind of Odo Meter fraud by Taxi Operators. Generally this is popular in daily taxi hires (not radio cab operators) from Railway Station, Airport etc. They actually over-clock the ODO to record more kms. Generally for every .7Km they record 1Km.

One of my trusted old taxi driver told me they change something in gearbox to record more Kms and mint more money from unknown customers.
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