WEB EXTRA: Tips to Detect Odometer Fraud

Updated: 01/03/2013 10:51 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

Odometer fraud can be pretty difficult, but not impossible, to detect.

The following is a list of tips from the National Highway Transportation Safety administration to help detect if an odometer has been tampered with:

ASK: Check out the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle’s odometer. Be sure to examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is not easy to read.

COMPARE: Check the mileage on the odometer with the mileage indicated on the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records. Also, search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box or under the hood.

CHECK: Be sure the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned correctly. If they’re crooked, contain gaps or jiggle when you bang on the dash with your hand, walk away from the purchase.

EXAMINE: Inspect the tires. If the odometer on your car shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires.

LOOK:  Check out the wear and tear on the vehicle — especially the gas, brake and clutch pedals — to be sure it seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles displayed on the odometer.

REQUEST A CARFAX: A Vehicle History Report should be obtained to check for odometer discrepancies in the vehicle’s history. If the seller does not have a vehicle history report, use the car’s VIN to order a CARFAX vehicle history report online.

Click here for more tips from the NHTSA.