WP_DEBUG How to tell if odometer has been rolled back? 9 Best tips - GARAGE BEAST

How to tell if odometer has been rolled back? 9 Best tips

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Are you going to buy a used car? or have bought one already? The most common fraud in the used car market is Odometer tampering and we will discuss How to tell if odometer has been rolled back.

Due to Lower economic growth, we have seen many people moving toward used cars. These scams are usually done by the car dealers to scam you into believing that this car is very much less driven and to charge you extra money on that.

The newer car they have more and more digital odometers which in result make it easier for the scammers to temper the Odometer.

We will discuss one by one how the car Odometers are tempered as we know the value of your hard-earned money and we don’t want you to fall into such scams and can check yourself if the Odometer has been rolled back or not.

Below is an Infographic on How to tell if odometer has been rolled back if you don’t want to read the whole blog post.


How to tell if odometer has been rolled back

#1 Car maintenance history

The best tip to know If you or someone you know wants to know that How to tell if odometer has been rolled back , you can check this scam by seeing the previous maintenance records you can see how many intervals the cars have been maintained but with that, another thing mentioned on those records is the mileage.

See the previous maintenance record and match them with the mileage on the car odometer.

#2 Pedals

Another thing you can take notice of are the pedals on your car. If the car Odometer shows low mileage but the pedals show more wear & tear.

If the pedals show more overuse on them and you see the lines on pedals more fader than usual so the chances are that the car actually has more mileage on that.chances are that odometer has been rolled back.

if you see that the vehicle has some really fresh set of pedals do check if they were ever replaced or not.

#3 Gear Knob

Another way that is most suitable way for manual cars is to check if the odometer has been rolled back is to see the Gearknob.

If the gearknob seems to have more wear on it and the Odometer shows less mileage chances are that the odometer has been rolled back.

#4 Steering Wheel

Another way to check was my odometer rolled back or not is to check the steering wheel, if the steering wheel texture has faded chances are that the vehicle has more miles on it as the car that has been driven more would have fading here and there on the car.

#5 Visit a trusted mechanic

If you think that you cannot do it yourself and you don’t know how to tell if odometer has been rolled back and you are not able to judge if the Odometer is rolled back or not. You can take are trusted mechanic with you.

The mechanic by seeing the inner and outer condition of the vehicle as well as the engine will be able to tell if the claimed mileage is actually true or not.

#6 Check Overall vehicle condition

If you are checking if someone rolled back the odometer or not? the other way is to check the overall vehicle condition. If you see the vehicle Odometer is showing Low Mileage but the way car is from inside out does not depicts the claimed mileage chances are either the car has been driven carelessly or the meter is rolled back.

#7 Check Dashboard

Another way to check is to see the dashboard if you see the dashboard and it has a lot of fading marks on it chances are that the car has high mileage on it.

Another way to check is the gaps in the dash if you have some marks on the opening of the dashboard chances are that the dashboard was removed or opened at some point and on a low mileage car there is no need for low mileage.

If you see that the dashboard has an unnecessary shine on it and if you sit in the car and you smell something like a dashboard cleaner then it means that the car was recently detailed or a dashboard shiner was used then you should be extra cautious.

#8 Check Tires

If you are buying a family car and not a performance vehicle with low mileage if it’s under 50,000 miles but you see that the tires have worn a lot and most probably you would have to change if you buy make sure to check and inspect the rest of the car as most of the tires last 50,000 miles on average.

So if the car mileage doesn’t co relate with the reading on the odometer chances are that there is some sort of tempering with odometer.

#9 Check Speedometer

Another Goodway to check the car is to see the speedometer if you are going to buy a car with an analog meter. Do check if the opening of the speedometer area on the dashboard has scuff marks on it if not then next thing is to check if there is any dust visible inside the speedometer most of the mechanics will not do the cleaning of the speedometer cover and you can see traces of dust in it which will make it easier for you to catch if the speedometer has been rolled back or not.

The difficulty increases with the cars having digital speedometer because the tempering is done usually via the circuit board so there are no chance of any dust in the speedometer but another way to check if you get inspected by a third party and if you are lucky enough to open the dash part of speedometer there is seal if the seal is broken on the speedometer then chances are that the speedometer is tempered.

Can digital meters be tempered?

If you think that if you are seeing car with digital meters and there can’t be any chances of tempering then maybe you’re thinking the wrong way.

The analog odometers were actually more difficult to rolled back as compared to digital meters as it required to open the meter and then temper it by hand.

The digital meters on the other hand are faar more easier with the correct equipment to tamper.

There are certain gadgets used by car dealers that they use it to rolls back your meter to make the car seeming more attractive to customers like us.

Why a Rolled back odometer car is not good?

If you are thinking if the car is looking good and drives perfectly fine on the test drive so what the issue if it looks like the odometer is rolled back.

Well you are somewhat right but the thing is that if you buy this car and drive it.

Chances are due to odometer being rolled back if you drive this car you will face multiple maintainence issues, because if you maintain your car according to the current mileage chances are that you may miss the maintenance schedule, because cars are maintained according to miles or kilometers the part has driven.

So this purchase maybe a pain for you in the longer run, may cause trouble while travelling or maybe even leave you stranded on the road.

If you suggest you then that’s not a good idea to buy car with a rolled back odometer.

To see how big of a Fraud it here is a video explaining it:


If we conclude all the discussion when buying a car that has low mileage on it make sure to keep all these signs in mind if you want to keep yourself safe from getting scammed. This will make you understand if odometer has been rolled back or not.


Can digital odometer be rolled back?

Yes digital Odometers can be rolled back but for some of the cars it is much more difficult to roll them back when compared to analog meter.

What to do if Odometer is rolled back

If someone has sold you a car with rolled back odometer simply visit that dealer let them know that they have scammed you and then proceed legally with it as Rolling back the odometer is a federal Offence and you can sue them for $10,000 plus the legal fees.

what does odometer roll back mean

In simple words, it mean someone has tried to temper the mileage of your vehicle to sell you a fake low mileage car to get some extra bucks out of your pocket.

Can a bmw odometer be rolled back

Unfortunately Yes BMW Odometers are able to be rolled back, the scams has increased day by day, even the digital meters are not prone to this fraud.

Why would an odometer be rolled back

Greed for extra money is why Odometers are rolled back, they want to buy a normal mileage car at a low price and then roll it back and sell it for much more the price of the car because of being the low mileage.


  1. December 2014, I purchased a 2014 Nissan Murano. The dealer indicated that the car had only nine miles on it. Had I been more savvy I would have checked the tires for wear but I didn’t. It seemed to have a great ride( 6 cycl) pretty good pick and braking. But inside of a year it felt like it was dragging, and I needed new tires and new brakes. Not having anyone savvy to assist me, I went and bought new tires. I had three(3) trips- about 500 miles a piece, I drove about 11 miles during the week and less than that on week-ends. I have less than 30,000 miles on it as of January 2023. But it just doesn’t have the pick up and barely driven car should have. I really thing the miles were set back. Is it ssafe to trade in?

    • Hi Joyce hope this reply finds you in good health, Sorry to say this but the tires part looks fishy now there are 2 scenarios, First maybe the car dealer has changed the tires and swap the new one with old ones which is not good but better than getting the meter rolled back or second the car had some miles rolled back which I pray didn’t happened.
      If you love the car , love to drive it and except this pickup issue it feels great 30000 miles are not that much for Nissans. You should get it inspected there might be some catlytic convertor or throttle body issues or any minor issues I hope, but first get it inspected before going for the trade in options. If you still not feel satisfied then for your peace of mind you should go for the trade in option and this time try to find someone who has knowledge in cars to seen for scams in the market.
      I hope my answer has helped you

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