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Old 8th September 2007, 08:13   #1
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Default Odometer Reading: How to tell if it has been tampered with?

Mod Note : Please continue the discussion in this thread (How to detect *Odometer Fraud*). Thanks

I'm planning to buy an used car for my commute to work. Now my Q is how do I find out if the odometer
reading is tampered or not ? In India u can't trust anybody so easily !

Last edited by GTO : 5th February 2013 at 13:17. Reason: Adding link to new thread
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Old 8th September 2007, 11:58   #2
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1. Check the tyre wear and tear. Worn out tyres / Brand new tyres with low Odo reading means odo is tampered with.
2. Check tyre manufacture date on side wall of the tyre (requires some close examination) and compare with Odo reading and vehicle registration date.
3. Divide the odo reading by number of months since vehicle is registered. Anything less than 200 Km per month average usage is suspect. Why has the vehicle remained idle so long? (apart from odo reading, idle vehicles tend to deteriorate faster).
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Old 8th September 2007, 14:02   #3
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In non-electronic odo's, if there is a shake in the speedo needle, it almost always means tampering.
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Old 8th September 2007, 14:05   #4
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Another thing to add, check if all the digits in the odo are correctly aligned, If the alignment is wrong it has been adjusted.
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Old 8th September 2007, 17:38   #5
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Consider buying a 'Tru-value' from Maruti, if you are looking at Maruti vehicles. At least they come with a warranty.
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Old 8th September 2007, 22:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Consider buying a 'Tru-value' from Maruti, if you are looking at Maruti vehicles. At least they come with a warranty.
Simply because a vehicle is parked in a True Value showroom / yard does not mean that it is covered by the True Value scheme. LPG covnersion, for example, disqualifies a car from being included in the True Value scheme. The TV dealer will still buy / sell it, though. No warranty; same prices.
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Old 8th September 2007, 22:14   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Consider buying a 'Tru-value' from Maruti, if you are looking at Maruti vehicles. At least they come with a warranty.
There is no guarantee that true value has not done the same. Their warranty is only on the engine & gearbox which seldom fail.

Ask for service records for the last 1 year at least. Or just take the vehicle number & cross check with the company authorised service centres.
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Old 9th September 2007, 10:33   #8
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In view of all of the above - only buy a used car from known people?
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Old 10th September 2007, 10:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
In view of all of the above - only buy a used car from known people?
That could leave a sour taste in the mouth at the end. Find a good mechanic & take him with you, understand the condition of the car before you decide on it. Sometimes you may find a genuine car which has a few issues, in these cases, just bargain with the seller & get it for a decent price & do up the car yourself.
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Old 10th September 2007, 11:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
In non-electronic odo's, if there is a shake in the speedo needle, it almost always means tampering.
I don't agree on this . I have seen many vehicles where the speedo meter needle shakes even though they haven't tampered the odo.
This happens coz of the cable being short or something else to with the cable.
Heck when i changed my pulsar's speedo cable , now my speedo meter needle shakes ( I haven't tempered my odo)
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Old 10th September 2007, 11:39   #11
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Also make sure you read Adya's excellent article on buying used cars.
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Old 10th September 2007, 12:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushrutha View Post
I don't agree on this . I have seen many vehicles where the speedo meter needle shakes even though they haven't tampered the odo.
This happens coz of the cable being short or something else to with the cable.
Heck when i changed my pulsar's speedo cable , now my speedo meter needle shakes ( I haven't tempered my odo)
That may be the case with two wheelers but not with four wheelers. In four wheelers the cable is never short until and unless you are using a cable belonging to some other vehicle. This to a very large extent is also true for two wheelers. Use the correct cable with proper installation and there should be no shake.

I remember in my Esteem the speedo cable used to be connected somewhere in the gear box. This prevents any kind of shake in the speedo needle as the cable used to be locked down in place. Most of the times the shake ocurs because of worn out parts in the speedo assembly on non-tampered vehicles.
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Old 10th September 2007, 12:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
In non-electronic odo's, if there is a shake in the speedo needle, it almost always means tampering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Most of the times the shake ocurs because of worn out parts in the speedo assembly on non-tampered vehicles.
I couldn't understand. Both your statements are quite contradicting.
Can you please be more specific.
Thanks
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Old 10th September 2007, 12:54   #14
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What I mean is that the parts of these assemblies dont wear out so easily. On a tampered odo the needle almost always shakes even when the vehicle is on but standing still.
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Old 10th September 2007, 13:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
What I mean is that the parts of these assemblies dont wear out so easily. On a tampered odo the needle almost always shakes even when the vehicle is on but standing still.
Nope Vikram, even my car's speedo needle has a shake till it reaches 25 kmph and the meter has never been tampered with.
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