Mileage manipulation in used cars

Vehicles with below average mileage at particularly low prices - speedometer fraud?

If you are looking for a new used car, then the year of construction, mileage and of course the price play a major role. If the year of construction and mileage cannot logically be reconciled, you should take a closer look at the vehicle. The same applies if the mileage is extremely low and the price is disproportionately low. Because this is where fraudsters are often at work. So be careful of manipulating the mileage of used cars!

Speedometer manipulation in a few minutes

One might think that the manipulation of kilometers in used cars does not occur very often, since the manipulation should actually be quite high hurdles. However, according to the ADAC and police, about every third used car is manipulated at the mileage. This is also conceivable for fairly old cars, since the odometer can still be turned back mechanically. The newer models, however, can only be turned back electronically. But fraudsters who specialize in this can manipulate the speedometer in a few minutes.
The fraudsters hack into the engine control and can thus change the stored mileage in the speedometer and in the other control units.
In cooperation with the help of the ADAC and the police, the manufacturers are constantly trying to improve the software in order to make the software more secure. However, as quickly as the manufacturers upgrade the software, the hackers and fraudsters are also constantly improving their technology, so that the manipulation is at most briefly contained.

What else the fraudsters do

The best manipulation is of no use to the fraudsters if the mileage does not match the look of the car. Therefore, these dubious sellers also try to upgrade the interior afterwards. For example, the rubbers on the pedals or the shift bag are replaced, giving the impression that the vehicle has actually been used less.
Because only when these factors have been adjusted can the seller request significantly more money. Conversely, this means for the buyer that a good look inside the used car is not proof of the seller's sincerity.

A manipulated tachometer can become a threat

The odometer manipulation means that as a buyer you pay significantly too much. But the manipulation can also, at least indirectly, cause engine damage that goes unnoticed for too long due to lack of maintenance. Pending maintenance or required component changes are based not only on the time span but also on the mileage of the vehicle. For example, the oil change must be made after a certain number of kilometers. Motors with toothed belts also need a new belt after a certain time and mileage. If such maintenance is not carried out properly, this can be dangerous for the driver. Therefore, the Speedometer manipulation in Germany also as a criminal offense.

Check the seller's details

Check the interior carefully

Often the fraudsters try to upgrade the interior. However, if you look closely, there may be discrepancies. So you should check the radio and ventilation switches in addition to the shift bag and the pedal rubbers. Too much wear and tear is just as suspicious as the possible new condition of the everyday objects. Other options to test the seller's information are the driver's seat and the steering wheel. Because neither the driver's seat nor the steering wheel can be replaced as easily as, for example, the pedal rubbers. If the steering wheel is heavily worn, for example, then this is a clear indication of the frequent use of the car.

The checkbook can be revealing

The checkbook should be checked every time you buy a car. Because the checkbook usually contains information that either confirms or even disproves the seller's information. One of the things you should pay attention to is whether there is a break in the check book that is difficult to explain logically. Such a break could be, for example, the fact that the used car has traveled approximately 15.000 kilometers a year and suddenly only 4.000 kilometers were driven in one year. While this is not yet evidence of fraud. You should still ask the seller about it.
Old test reports, maintenance orders and invoices can also be very informative.
If the checkbook looks too new and all the information has been provided with the same handwriting and the same pen, then this is a clear indication of a fake checkbook. Presumably, the fraudster has just made very little effort here.

Specialist workshops help

Are the doubts too big and is the offer too good to simply let the opportunity pass?
Then the support of a specialist workshop is the right decision. Because the specialist workshop can usually determine the real mileage. For example, some manufacturers also store the data in the ignition key. The ignition keys are more difficult to manipulate and are therefore usually spared by the fraudsters for reasons of time.
The authorized workshop can also determine the production period of the control units and the speedometer, thus revealing possible discrepancies.

Are there doubts? Then look for another car!

If there are simply too many discrepancies, it is better not to take risks. Because the range of used cars is very high. And if there are too many doubts, then you should take a closer look. After all, two out of three used cars are not manipulated!