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Speedometer Fraud: Tips For Buying A Car

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Speedometer Fraud: Tips For Buying A Car
Speedometer Fraud: Tips For Buying A Car

Video: Speedometer Fraud: Tips For Buying A Car

Video: Speedometer Fraud: Tips For Buying A Car
Video: How to spot odometer rollback fraud on your used vehicle 2023, May

A turned back speedometer lets the price of a used car soar. There are a few tips to spot speedometer fraud when buying a car.

From Stefan Grundhoff

The new used car stands beaming beautifully in its own driveway. The 3 Series BMW already has 70,000 kilometers on the clock, but looks like it has been peeled from the egg. The pride of the whole family. After a few weeks the nasty surprise follows. Damage to the timing chain that nobody can understand. After a thorough check and some research, one thing is certain: the green BMW has already covered more than 150,000 kilometers.

Rotating the speedometer has become a flourishing business. Salespeople are turning back and many car buyers are looking down the tube.

Speedometer fraud is not a new invention. The odometers have been turned back for decades. At that time it was still done manually with a drill that screwed back the speedometer cable. Today the drill stays in the workshop because the odometers are mostly electronic.

Ordered from the yellow pages


Before the car is put in the newspaper or in one of the car exchanges, many turn to computers or the yellow pages and look for a speedometer service. With a hand money or a notebook, the mileage is quickly turned back for more and more used cars in the driveway or a workshop.

Many speedometer optimizers like to stop by at home. After all, discretion is everything. 90,000 kilometers become 63,485 and 32,051 are made another 23,988 kilometers shortly before the inspection. Not only private individuals have long been picking up the phone and ordering the service to their home. The number of turned back speedometers is also increasing at car dealerships.

Code cracked quickly

So far, car manufacturers have hardly done anything to prevent the speedometer from turning. As soon as the current new model is on the market, the computer experts have cracked the code and memory levels. Using the most modern software, the odometer reading is adjusted according to customer requirements, even on the latest models. The speedometer manipulation works on the system plug or the instrument cluster in a few minutes.

Even if the mileage of some new cars is stored in three or four “secret” places in the car - the speedometer almost always works. The instruments only need to be removed from some cars. Even then, it works in less than half an hour.

Driving up the price

The speedometer can usually only be determined when it is too late; or not. With the speedometer turned back, the value of a car can quickly be corrected upwards by a few hundred or thousand euros. Take an example: A Mercedes C 220 CDI, built in 2001, with a medium level of equipment, costs around 19,000 euros with 52,000 kilometers. With around 80,000 kilometers with the same equipment, it is just under 17,000 euros. A difference of around 2,000 euros.

A VW Golf 1.9 TDI built in 1998 costs just under 8,000 euros with 100,000 kilometers. If the vehicle has less than 60,000 kilometers on the clock, the entry-level prices are more than 10,000 euros. In addition to the equipment, the mileage is the number one reason to buy. However, if you follow a few tips, you can minimize the likelihood of a speedometer being turned back.

Tips when buying a car

Every car has a service book. Check whether all inspections have been carried out and the entries can be traced. Look for wear and tear on the seat, pedals, steering wheel and switches. There are often entries in the engine compartment about the last oil change. Ask about workshop, TÜV and inspection invoices. The mileage is also recorded here. Inquire with the previous owners (are in the vehicle registration document). They can certainly say a lot about the mileage. Look at the seller. A critical eye never hurts. And beware! The speedometer is often turned back, especially with young leasing cars.

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