How to detect Odometer tampering in a first visit?

Posted by Andrew Richardson on July 23rd, 2021

Odometer Rollback is the biggest crime that automotive dealerships commit. It is illegal to tamper with the odometer's readings and install a non-functional odometer in the vehicle. When the vehicle is sold, the buyer should be given a written statement about the vehicle mileage at the time of transfer, buyer and seller name, vehicle type, body, and identification number. If the vehicle has exceeded the mileage limit of 99,999 miles, it is vital to provide information to the buyer.

Signals that odometer was rolled back

1. Inspect the mechanical odometer number

As a buyer, you need to verify the odometer physically. It should be aligned in a straight manner, and it should have gaps between the digits. If the numbers are not aligned, then there are chances of odometer tampering. You can test drive the vehicle to ensure the number in the odometer is working correctly or not.

2. Check the electronic display

The digital odometer that displays more than a number signifies it has been tampered. The automobile manufacturers use an asterisk or special number to indicate tampering. If the automotive displays more than odometer readings, verify the vehicle number to see what does that symbol indicates.

3. Have a look at the tires

The tires of a passenger car last from 35,000 to 60 000 miles. If the miles are less than 20,000 miles, the original tires should be placed on the vehicle. A vehicle that has low mileage and tire change signifies that odometer readings have tampered with, and you need to ask the dealer why they changed the tires.

4. Search for other wear and tear signs

The car wear and tear should be in sync with the mileage. The worn-out seats, floor, mats, carpets, brakes, and clutch pedals indicate the vehicle's condition. A low mileage vehicle with upholstery replacement means something is suspicious, and the seller is trying to make the odometer rollback less obvious.

5. Check the maintenance stickers

See if a vehicle has stickers imprinted on it. These stickers reflect the crime. Like, the mileage reminder, when the service was due, oil change stickers, etc. You can even lookout for service cards, warranty, and other inspection tags on the vehicle.

6. Odometer Tampering Penalties

The legal law governs penalties and fines for the seller who commits such an offense. It may also lead to the imprisonment of the seller. If you are not sure about it, you can consult a qualified lemon law attorney who can help you with legal aspects.


Odometer tampering is a crime that needs to be handled in a qualified way. You can contact Allenstewart to discuss your legal situation.

Andrew Richardson is the author of this Article. To know more about Lemon Law in Wisconsin please visit our website:

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Andrew Richardson

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Andrew Richardson
Joined: July 18th, 2019
Articles Posted: 64

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