How to ascertain odometer rollback when buying a used car

When purchasing a used car, one of the crucial aspects is the amount of miles the car has covered as recorded on the odometer. That reading can inform you about a number of things such as: how regularly the used car was serviced, any imminent maintenance and repairs, if the warranty of the car is still active, the service life of the vehicle as well as the value of the vehicle. Rewinding an odometer is intended to deceive a buyer. It indicates that the car is less-used with more life expectancy and fewer maintenance issues on the horizon contrary to the real scenario. Here are a few basic checks to assist you in ascertaining a possible rollback before buying a used car.

Tip 1: Check the vehicle usage

Compare the age of the car with the present mileage. An average car in Australia covers about 12,000 miles annually. If the used car has covered considerably fewer miles than the average 12,000 miles per annum, this may be a cause for alarm.

Tip 2: Check the condition of the car

The brake pedal experiences a significant level of force and wear. If the used car has a low mileage while the rubber pad on the brake pedal is almost worn out, this may signal a potential problem. Apart from a rolled back odometer, the only plausible explanation would be if the previous car user mostly drove the car in stop-and-go traffic. Car mats and carpets are fairly durable and endure tens of thousands of miles prior to showing signs of wear. If you notice heel spots on the driver's floor mat yet the readings on the odometer seem extremely low for such deterioration, there's a likelihood that the odometer has been rolled back.

Tip 3: Go through the paperwork

Request the seller for a copy of the car maintenance paperwork. Generally, each receipt consists of the mileage and the respective date history. Analyse the maintenance history to establish whether the present distance reading corresponds with the seller's past usage record. Detect any odd gaps in dates and mileage as these may confirm odometer tinkering or a case of poor maintenance practice.

Tip 4: Hire a mechanic to inspect the used vehicle

Sometimes your gut feeling can tell you that something doesn't add up, but you cannot point out the reasons why. In such case, have a mechanic carry out a pre-purchase inspection on your behalf.