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Mileage Fraud!! Odometer was rolled back!!! What to do?



  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Humf...I'm not getting this obviously. How can a car be TMU when you know the true mileage and it's on record?

    Shifty, the reason being is that when an odometer statement is signed it reads "I______________________state that the odometer now reads" Meaning you are signing of on what the odometer says, not what the odometer says+the door sticker. And if the odometer is not the mileage then the box reading "I hearby certify that the odometer reading is NOT the actual mileage. WARNING-ODOMETER DISCREPANCY" must be checked. Which regardless of the documentation you have will scare future buyers
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Despite what the documentation says the car is now TMU...From a dealers standpoint a TMU car is like having a contagious rash...Its hard enough for us to sell a perfect car, forget one with an "odometer issue"...there arent many folks who will give the dealer the benefit of the doubt....unless there is a huge price savings over a car without any stories.
  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    I also see the TMU horror stories over at a few GM truck sites. Many guys like to change out their Chevy/GMC
    speedo/odo clusters for the flashy white faced Caddy
    clusters. They have the vehicles existing odo reading
    programmed to the new cluster at a speedo shop or some
    say the GM dealer uses the Tech 2 machine to do it.
    It can be done on the GMs but unsure about others.........

    But then again I post about TMU and they think I am crazy!

    Then 6 months down the road some of them are posting
    about a "crooked" dealer trying to rip them off by
    either lowballing their trade or not wanting it because
    of the odo change or other screwy mods they did !
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    You also run into TMU problems when you change the tires on a vehichle. For instance if a car/truck is calibrated for 16" tires from the factory and you throw 20"'s on there you are not getting a true speedometer or odometer reading unless you have it re-calibrated.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Correct on the tires, but you can always swap the tires back and there is now TMU sticker or question, also 16" v. 20" doesn't matter, it's the overall circumference of the tire that effects the speedo. So a 20" with rubberbands could actually be smaller than 16" with normal sidewall.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Okay, let's back up here.

    How can a car be branded TMU when there's a sticker on it that says the true mileage?

    If you're going to tell me that the dealer who put the sticker on now tells the owner that the sticker might be falsified, I'm going to fall down laughing and call a lawyer.

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  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    GUYS....I hear ya about changing the tire size as
    well as lift kit mods on vehicles altering the speedo/odo readings and TMU.

    Most of the guys on the GM truck forums report that the
    speedo AND odos read lower with larger diameter tire/rim
    But also there are other problems like SES and ABS
    lights aglowing and related issues................

    Then the problems down the road with state inspections
    (like NY that fails your vehicle if ANY SES-ABS light
    is on) and emissions test at inspection time.

    Not to mention many dealers are getting gunshy of
    reprogramming new tire sizes or doing a CPS (crank
    position sensor) relearn (when the PCM is changed or
    "burned" for a performance tune) for a fee.........
    Prob. because of liability !!!!!!!!!!

    But yet again if the dealer sells/installs that mod
    then its usually a NO problem deal.........

    This applies to my GM experience with mods and dealers
    use of the Tech 2 machine.....YMMV !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    How can a car be branded TMU when there's a sticker on it that says the true mileage?

    Hold up there deputy dog....
    The cars odometer never stops working while its in the shop. It breaks and the customer proceeds to drive around until they discover the odometer isnt working, then they drive to the dealership to get it fixed. meanwhile nobody knows how many miles it wasnt working or how many miles it was driven...Thus TMU. I bet the majority of folks would have no idea their odometer stopped working...its just not something that many folks monitor like the gas gauge.

    how trusting are you? This is car sales and not girl scout cookie sales. :P If a salesperson told you don't worry, there is a sticker on the door with the "real" mileage... would you believe him?? Remember, there isnt anything official to prove anything other than a hand written sticker and what the guy tells you....also would you pay the same as a car that doesn't have any odometer issues?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Why would you get an ABS light with different size tires? I've ran lots of lifted/locked trucks with ABS (Toyota, Isuzu, Nissan, Jeep) none of them ever have a problem with ABS lights.

  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    PAISAN.............It seems to be a issue with GM full
    size trucks (not sure about the others).
    Some deal with the ABS sensor that imbedded in the front
    wheel hubs and the revolutions of the wheel don't jive
    with the parameters in the PCM or ABS computers ??????
    Then it throws a ABS malfunction light and PCM code.
    But I am posting of NEW 04-07 GM full size trucks.

    GMs ABS system (and other brands that use it)can be a
    PIA and the brain is a issue
    that costs $1000 bucks when it fails (often!)
    But there are a few rebuilders out there that will take
    care of your failed unit for less than $200 bucks!
    (search fleabay for them)

    Check out

    What kills me is most of these guys don't care anyhoo!
    ABS unit failed (and when it does it makes all kinds of
    crazy noises) Pull the ABS fuse ignore the light!
    Larger tire size throws a SRS light......Ignore it and
    put a piece of black tape over it !
    Gee ya mean the speedo/odo reads lower?
    Cool...........ignore it!
    Among other things.................LOL!!!!!!!! :P
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Interesting. Glad I don't have a GM then!

  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    Another thing I read at those sites...........
    The mileage is stored in the cluster memory not the
    PCM. There WAS a few posts on this and how to disconnect
    the odo on the GMT-800 trucks by simply unhooking a
    wire off the underhood bulkhead connector.

    Yet again other posts (also removed) of a 'puter head
    had a homebrew program in his laptop to simply plug in
    his laptop and alter odo readings with no trace in the
    cluster or PCM......................

    I assume it CAN be done to ANY of these newer vehicles
    with a digital odo reading. The good old days of disassembling the dash and rolling back the mile scroll
    is almost long gone............

    I guess the best way to protect yourself is Carfax,
    state inspection records, dealer warranty reports etc.
    But NO method is foolproof nowadaze !!!!!!!!!! :sick:
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,209
    Many years ago the odometer on my one year old Dodge stopped working at 13K. It was fixed under warranty. The new unit was set at zero. The only difference was that the tenth mile number was red instead of black like the original.

    I sold the car years later with 120K actual miles (107K on the dial) for $350. I told the kid about the difference but he didn't care.

    My question: Did I commit a crime by not having a sticker on the door? I don't remember if there were mileage statements you had to sign way back then. Will the police, FBI, CIA and George Bush be coming after me now?

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    Are you hearing that LOUD pounding on your door ??????

    The men with the badges and guns want to talk to you
    and slip a nice pair of silver bracelets on your wrists
    and take you for a ride in a new full size Ford to see
    you local courthouse and see judge Hangemhigh !

    Have FUN and argue and struggle with them ! They would LOVE
    to try out their new nightsticks on your head......... :sick:

    Not to worry..... the statue (spl) of limitations has expired! :P j/k

    NO wait.........odo tampering is a FED rap ! Them folks
    in the nice suits aren't siding salesmen..........
    Agents Mulder and Scully got a new job assignment.
    The X-files of odo tampering !

    You are about to enter a new dimension of sight and sounds.........(regrets to Rod Serling) !!!!!!!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591 he has his service records which says "September '05, 25,000 mile service" and then another one "October '06, 35,000 mile service", and a dealer sticker that says "Nov. '06 odometer changed at 36,000, now reads zero" and he's selling you the car in April '07 with 5,000 miles on it.

    So given he monthly mileage rate, chances are pretty good the mileage on this car is right around 41,000.

    Do we know "exactly"?


    But do we really "know"?

    Yes we do.

    I suppose he could have driven to Guatemala and back with a broken odometer during late October, early November, but.....not likely....

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  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    In Indiana, if a vehicle is over 10 years old, you can just write the words EXEMPT in the mileage statement. We just financed (for our son who is paying us back) a 1994 Chrysler LHS (one owner, great condition, 99K miles) with this exempt situation. It was a new car trade-in that was auctioned by a large dealer and picked up by a small dealer and then bought by us.

    Back in my college days I belonged to this recreational type club that would rent university car pool vans for club trips. I had recently joined and happened to be at the club leader's house one day when I see the president and vice president on the dash of a university van with an electric drill. I was naive/unaware of what they were doing until I became club president a few years later. It turns out our student body funded/budgeted 2,000 mile club tips were only billed by car pool for 400 miles and the extra funds were being used instead for recreational equipment purchases! Our crafty/law bending club leaders were also budgeting new recreation equipment (all that was allowed) and buying two used pieces instead.

    It was all up-and-up the two years I ran the club.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    I've noticed in research that a number of states don't require mileage statements after the car is ten years old. This sort of make sense, since the number of miles on an old used car that isn't a "classic" is only marginally relevant to value. If your 1997 Honda has 88K or 108K nobody cares. Maybe the lower miles are worth a few hundred dollars.

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  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    And sometimes, when the car has over 100k miles ...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    A TMU car is forever branded as TMU.

    If your odometer needs to be replaced it's just your tough luck. You can't order a guage cluster with a certain number of miles on the odometer. Even if you could, how would a person know how many miles the car was driven with a non-working odometer?

    Oh, some potential buyers wouldnt' be bothered. Tehy would look at the door sticker and be comfortable with that.

    But a lot of others wouldn't touch that car and on a trade in it would be hit hard. The newer and more expensive car, the worse the effect. On a ten year old car, most people wouldn't care.

    Years ago, I heard they had "clock guys" who would work the car lots just like the paintless dent guys and other vendors do now. For ten dollars, they would "clock" the cars and roll them back. I guess it was pretty commonplace back in the 50's and 60's.

    Years ago, I had a 1964 VW bug that developed a noisy speedo head. For 5.00, I was allowed to root through a large box of VW speedometers and pick the one I liked.

    I remember, at the time I was more concerned over the condition of it then the miles it displayed.

    Replacing it was a ten minute job.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You can purchase an ECU computer that will allow you to set the miles to anything you want for certain cars. Others you need to replace the cluster itself from a junk yard.

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    We have traded for cars before with broken odometers and not know it till well after the fact. Normally they are old sleds anyhow so we don't pursue it even though you sign two different forms stating it is accurate, but hey a $1500 car is a $1500 car, it is destined for a note lot regardless.

    Though we have had occasions where it made a huge difference on 30K mile cars. Talking $3K-$4K difference and the only way we were able to satisfy it was by going to the point of telling the customer that falsifying a Federal Odometer Statement is against the law.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    I've heard of this but, given the harsh penalities, I'm surprised that anyone wold take the risk!

    We don't even kid about this.
  • Recently, I bought a used instrument cluster from a parts supplier. My original wasn't working properly, including the odometer. The whole thing was pretty well shot. The odometer reading on the original was a little over 90,000 miles before it quit working, which was just recently. The reading on the one that replaced it is over 161,000. I realize I should have asked about this before buying a used cluster.
    Anyway, is there anything I can do? Or am I screwed?
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,209
    " there anything I can do?..."

    I supose it depends on where you got it and what the terms were. If you pulled it out of a junkyard car I would say you are screwed unless the salvage guy has a big heart. Usually they will only refund your money if the part is defective.

    If I was buying a car from a private party and the guy told me your story, I would walk as I would assume the car really had 161,000 miles. Unless, of course, you could prove what you say with paperwork of some sort.

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Well what kind of car are we talking about here? If it's an older domestic, for instance, chances are you haven't actually been harmed financially. Maybe you could call DMV and see if they issue a correction sticker in your state. Also records like CARFAX would show the correct mileage of your car.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    i had a car with a digital odometer readout inthe dash. the odometer was ok, but the trip odometer stopped working.
    the dealer asked me how many miles i thought i would have on the car in 3-4 days, so i gave them an estimate.
    turns out i drove about 30 miles further, but the new cluster had the number i told them i thought it would have, when i got it back.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • The car is a 99 Chevy Blazer? Can the mileage on the replacement odometer be set back?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    You know, the resale value is very low on that truck anyway, so it really doesn't matter except, I realize, that it is annoying to you. I think the odometer can be rebuilt and reset by specialists like:


    I don't know those people so I'm NOT recommending them.

    But if you are worried that this error makes your truck worth less, no it doesn't IMO. Also, I hardly think you could get into trouble for selling a truck with fewer miles on it than registered on the odom.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    The trouble is your car is now a TMU car and it's value will be forever hurt by this.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    traded it last year. got average trade for it.
    the dealer i traded in at, not selling dealer, posted a carfax report on their website.
    that repair was listed as check instruments, check dash gauges, or something like that.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
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