Car Odometer or Od(d)ometer? Part-2

Odometer Rollback
Odometer Rollback – There is certainly a rise in odometer tampering

Continuing from the last blog, after we see the car. The moment I saw this Civic, I thought the car had really long and a hard life. I asked my friend, “Are you sure, it’s this one?” He said “Yeah! Exactly the one I was looking for.” I paused for a moment. At this point, I realized that all he wanted was a vehicle with four wheels, some boot, five seats and at a price that his bank account would permit him to spend. This Civic was a perfect match for his criteria, essentially ticking all the right boxes except one.

Whilst talking to the dealer he said “This car is company owned and driven car. It’s only 5 years old, it has clocked 25,078 kms and is for Rs.4,50,000 (Approx $7000).” Before my friend could explain the reason he chose this car, I asked the dealer, “But, the condition of the car does not match with the odometer readings? I mean look at the worn out tyres, rattling dashboard and engine swaying around.” At this point, I sensed the dealer trying hard to convince us and failing miserably, regretting his decision to not pursue accounting. At this stage, I insisted my friend to take the chassis number, registration number and odometer reading and to verify it from outside.

So, I advised him to go to any of the Honda’s service center and ask them about the car’s service history. Once he gives all the details, the center would co-operate and not judge him as someone trying to hatch a plan to steal the car.

The next day, I again get a call from him, this time in a worried tone. “This car, when it went it went last time for servicing had clocked 65,240 kms.” At this stage, my doubt was confirmed, that the dealer had rigged the odometer to show the car was in a very good condition and taken care of properly. But what really gave in was that the car looked seemingly tired, dull and was company driven. My friend called the dealer about the car, but he had finally realized that accounting was better.

An odometer reading is like going through a car’s age. The more running it has done, older and more problematic it can be later. Though, there are people (existing in small percentage) that do maintain their cars, irrespective of the kilometers covered. The questions remains how do you discover the car’s true condition if there is no guide to help you. Well, there are a few ways that will help you from getting duped –

  • Always compare the kilometers on the odometer with that of the vehicle’s maintenance & service history.
  • Ask your mechanic to inspect the car for you to compare the mileage and the wear & tear of the car.
  • Notice the condition of various car components like brake, clutch and accelerator cable and match it with the odometer reading of the car.
  • Take a good look at the tyres, to check them for wear and match it with the odometer reading.
  • Raise a doubt, if the vehicle mileage does not match with the old looking condition of the car.
  • If a car has mechanical odometer and not a digital one, check if the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned properly, and they do not have any wobbling or gaps when you run the car.
  • Do not believe a dealer, blindly.

Share your stories, if you encountered any odometer related incident in the comment section below. Make sure to subscribe to receive updates on the blogs. If you need any help in making a car buying decision, feel free to message me.

Click on the link for Part-1 of this blog.

Image credit – http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars

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