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Understanding Odometer Rollback and How to Avoid it

How To Sell My Dead Car

When shopping for a used car, it's important to be aware of the potential for odometer rollback. This is a form of fraud in which the seller manipulates the car's odometer to make it appear as though the vehicle has less mileage than it actually does. This can greatly impact the value of the car and lead to costly repairs down the road.

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What is Odometer Rollback?

Odometer rollback refers to the illegal practice of resetting or altering a car's odometer to show fewer miles than it has actually been driven. This can be done physically, by tampering with the odometer, or electronically, by hacking into the car's computer system.

How to Spot an Odometer Rollback

There are a few red flags that can indicate a car has undergone odometer rollback. These include:

  • Inconsistencies in the vehicle's service records or maintenance history
  • Wear and tear on the car that does not match the reported mileage
  • A discrepancy between the mileage on the odometer and the mileage reported on the car's title
  • A digital odometer that has been tampered with

How to Protect Yourself from Odometer Rollback

To protect yourself from odometer rollback, it's important to be diligent when shopping for a used car. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check the vehicle's service records and maintenance history
  • Have a trusted mechanic inspect the car before purchasing
  • Check for any discrepancies between the mileage on the odometer and the mileage reported on the car's title
  • Run a vehicle history report to check for any previous odometer rollbacks


Odometer rollback is a serious issue that can greatly impact the value and reliability of a used car. By understanding what it is, how to spot it, and how to protect yourself, you can make a more informed decision when shopping for a used car.

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