Odometer fraud may cause economic severe setbacks to inexperienced purchasers. We explain the do’s and don’ts when searching for a new car.
Learn the 10 Must-Check Points to Verify before Purchasing a Vehicle
Each year, Americans purchase millions of cars valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars. When shortlisting cars, minor imperfections may be overlooked by the incautious buyer, causing massive overpayments and facing repairs.
What’s more, wrongdoers may profit from the inexperienced by performing odometer tampering to inflate the vehicle’s market value. In this article, we share ten tips-to-avoid-odometer-fraud in the next car purchase.
10 Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid Odometer Rollback
Watch out for loosely tightened screws, scratches, or marks in the dashboard. Any sign of manipulation could point out that the odometer has been tweaked. In the case of mechanical odometers, double-check the alignment of the digits. In particular, the 10,000 numbers and all the others should be straight up.
Go for a test drive with the car to ensure that the speedometer stays close to the right speed values on the road. Also, search for any service stickers either inside the doors or under the hood.
There is the chance to get confirmation of the actual mileage if any of these are present. Fraudsters remove these stickers to convince the fake mileage, but they could overlook one of them, thus revealing their trick.
Ask for the owner’s manual to check the maintenance records. Pay special attention to mileage information or the lack of pages where mileages should be registered for red flags.
Check with the car dealer whether they have already run a computer warranty check on the vehicle. There are commercially-available software tools that verify the mileage records, including insight on possible alterations.
Legit car dealers will provide any programs or documents for free whenever you request the information. Otherwise, this may be a red alert for you. Always be wary of any lack of transparency.
Request the title documents so you can double-check if the mileage reading looks legitimate; any alteration in the forms is a clear red flag.
The steering wheel should have smooth wear due to regular use. Also, check for excessive wear signs in the most common places: arm-rests, floor mats, pedals, and even around the ignition.
Keep in mind that recently replaced parts in any of these areas could point out an effort to hide the real use in the car; and the mileage. Electronic odometers are also prone to be altered. Stay safe.
Stay Safe from Odometer Fraudsters Nearby
Purchasing an old car with an altered odometer does not only set you back hundreds of dollars. There was also the safety risk when driving added to the economic hassle. Moreover, those vehicles are often more prone to repairs and need spare parts for replacements.
Stay in the safe zone checking all the information about the car you can get before committing to the purchase. If the dealer or the owner is unwilling to be transparent, there could be something out of place in the vehicle they want to hide. Make the best out of your money.