How to Tell if Odometer Has Been Rolled Back?

Hey everyone,

I've recently purchased a used car (2006 V6 Honda Accord lux automatic) for a fairly cheap price at $2500. Body and interior is in really good condition considering its age and mileage. The odometer is currently showing 253,000kms.

The seller had purchased the car new back in 2006 and I've confirmed it with the logbook. The only issue is that there is full service history up until 200,000kms (timing belt and water pump was done during this service, have confirmed it with the receipt) which was performed in 2018. There are no other entries in the logbook after this service, as there's no room in the logbook to make additional service entries.

One thing that caught my eye last night was that there was a service sticker reminder on the windscreen and pretty much it says next service due in Feb 21 or 357,000kms. This got me thinking whether the odometer was rolled back.

Just wanted to know if there's any way I can or my local mechanic can check if it was actually rolled back or not?

Thanks

Comments

  • +11 votes

    At 357,000km, the vehicle would have to have done an average of about 25,000km per year, every year for the last 14 years. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.

    My guess is that the sticker on the windscreen just had an error when writing it out and should have read 257,000km… (because that’s reasonable from 253,000km its’s at now)

    And at the end of the day, who cares? It’s a 14 yo car for $2,500. You are not buying a 4 year old ex-taxi with 1.2 million km on it that was wound back to 68,000km.

    • +5 votes

      Just to repeat: it isn’t important at this age and price point.
      But do you really think it is likely the car travelled 157000km since 2018? Or was there a error on the sticker?

      •  

        do you really think it is likely the car travelled 157000km since 2018?

        This.

    • +4 votes

      It had done 200,000 in 2018 according to the log book so it would have done 75k a year for the last 2 years, during a pandemic. I'm with you on the 2/3 mistake if OP is that concerned you could always chase it up with the guys that placed the sticker.

  •  

    Ask them on the spot wtf does the sticker mean and see from their face the response

    Although you sure you read it correct, why not ring the mechanic up.

  • +1 vote

    A car with 357,000 kms would typically exhibit:
    * a very worn steering wheel
    * worn trim or sagging foam on drivers seat
    * wear patches from arm resting points

    If your luxury Honda does not have these then I'm guessing it was an error on the SR sticker.

    •  

      My 180,000km car exhibits all these… Previous owner was a grubby fat guy. :(

  • +1 vote

    but just out of interest, how could you tell if a car has been wound back? Is it even possible? If the instrument panel is replaced that would include the odometer so that would give a different count anyway, wouldn't it?
    (genuinely interested and I'm not a car person)

    • +2 votes

      At 2006 I'm pretty sure it would be a digital and not mechanical counter. I guess there would be ways to reset it using a computer?

      Looks like there are ways to do it ( https://sanedriver.com/change-odometer-reading/ ) but for a car that old it seems like a LOT of hassle for no monetary gain..and it's illegal as well. I'm going with a sticker error like the other posters.

      •  

        The easiest thing would be to swap the spedo module with one that has lower kms.

    •  

      Discrepancies with service records or repair receipts.

      The overall condition of a car isn't the best indication of km's traveled. For example, I live in a very small coastal town with lots of gravel roads, and pretty much all older cars have extremely low km's but can be very worn out and rusty.

      If you want to get very technical, you could remove the cluster and look for signs of tampering. From my experience, they are very hard to dismantle without leaving some evidence..

      Buy cars by their condition, not kms.

  •  

    The sticker is a typo.

    2 years and 50k is perfectly reasonable for a 14yo car, as is not fillinng in a log book and using the sticker on the windscreen as a service reminder.

    You have purchased the car for not many $. Move on with it assuming the odo is correct.

  •  

    Tbh people don't roll back odometers these days they just find a lower km dash cluster.

    • +1 vote

      Except most modern cars the odo is in the ecu.

      •  

        I give up trying to tell them. Every thread where "odometer wound back/rolled back/rewind" there is always the same "JusT cHaNgE ThE cLuStEr!!1!!!1" comments.

        Almost all cars have the odometer reading stored in the cluster and the main body ECU. If you change either, the odometer usually flashes until it is corrected, and correction is usually done with a very expensive scan tool (InB4: "eLm327 $28 off eBay!!!1!!1!"), and not every car is supported. Or the other things car ECU's do is overwrite the higher km reading to the lower km stored device.

        •  

          I may have, in the past, replaced a speedo with a lower km model, but it was analog. One of the ‘row of little number wheels’ ones.

          It’s beyond me how to do it now - I can driver spanners and screwdrivers, but electrickery is just easier to let it be.

      •  

        2006 is modern car ok lol

        •  

          "modern" in this context is referring to the shift between analog and digital which happened around this time.

          •  

            @1st-Amendment: Well "modern" means present day, so using it in that "context" is inane.

            •  

              @crashloaded: Modern doesn’t necessarily mean present day. It implies that it is the way it is done currently. You could say the modern way to purchase bread is sliced or the modern method of transport is by car - both of which have been around for a long time.

              It’s all relative. Modern compared to ….

              •  

                @Euphemistic: You might want to look at the definition of modern.

                A definition is not up to your interpretation. If it was I could make sentences like 'i recently purchased modern sliced bread 5 years ago'.

                •  

                  @crashloaded:

                  modern: relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.

                  The way I read that, is that the time period is relative to the discussion point. Living in a house is positively modern compared to living in a cave. Using a mobile phone is more modern than a landline. Instagram is more modern than Facebook.

                •  

                  @crashloaded:

                  A definition is not up to your interpretation

                  But it's up to your's lol…

                  •  

                    @1st-Amendment: Explain where I've interpreted the meaning wrong then…. I'll wait.

                    • -1 vote

                      @crashloaded: The modern method of storing the odo reading in the ecu and other electronic components and also displaying it digitally on the dashboard has been around for probably 20 years. Therefore that part of the car is modern. Many of the compnenta are also equivalent to new cars - therefore modern.

                      •  

                        @Euphemistic: The component is modern then. Not the car? Make up your mind.

                        • -1 vote

                          @crashloaded: Absolutely. A 2006 accord is pretty modern compared to a VN commodore, and positively futuristic compared to an FJ Holden. But a 2006 Accord is pretty ancient compared to a Tesla.

  • +2 votes

    Nobody would roll back a car with 350,000 to 250,000.

    Don't stress, it's a Honda, you've got a bargain and it'll treat you right.

    Source: Early 2000s Jazz and Prelude both of which have been almost flawless. Prelude's auto packed in at 350,000 after being otherwise perfect until then. Jazz minor electric issues only at 200,000+ which was an easy fix using wrecker parts.

    •  

      Can Confirm , have a 2003 Jazz (GD) in my possession that has been through a few owners.

      Currently at 226,000km but still almost drives like new due to oil changes every 5000km (yes i know its practically a waste) , and Transmission oil changes every (30,000km)

      Only dealt with electric issues so far to date mostly such as the switch starter block involving the highbeam/lowbeam but that is about it.

      Car still has the factory mechanical issue with the transmission (start clutch) that unfortunately did not get recalled on but drives good with the occasional jerkiness usually on a hill or incline with lots of load , quick change in throttle application usually fixes it but transmission oil replacement in these things ensure longevity.

      The motor does not burn a single drop of oil , even though the catalytic converter is way gone by now no smoke emits from the exhaust either. Oil appears almost new after the drain. The transmission will die LONG before the motor does in this beast and even then i reckon it can last another 50k before she goes …then might go to the wreckers and take a new CVT tranny from the GE models and swap it out. Motor has ALOT more life in it (courtesy of regular service intervals).

      I still get 7.5L/100km fuel economy mixed with the air-con on which to me is pretty fantastic from a 1.5L SOHC Vtec Engine , on the highway i think i have seen as low as 4.7L/100km. bloody little ripper of a car even if they don't go fast. The Jap's sure know how to build engines..

      • +1 vote

        Manual GD here - this one does smash the oil, need a couple L every 5000kms, but tbh the oil changes are few and far between so that's probably on me :)

        •  

          have you tried chucking in some 5w-40 full synth? , i would not go any thicker then that because its already a hog to try to get to speed but i am still using 5w-30 full synth and if i needed to top up or there were any oil leak's i would just use a slightly thicker oil.

          don't bother with those additives like stop leak as they are a bandaid fix.

          •  

            @DisabledUser373341: I'm on 15W-40, usually the Valvoline stuff that you can get on special for $12 a bottle a couple times a year. Only the cheapest for the little buzzbox, lol!

            I service it maybe once a year (it's the 2nd car) but for the topups it gets in that time it's basically getting a full oil change in that time anyway!

  •  

    I doubt it is a odometer wind back.

    When I get my car serviced, I get a new sticker on the windscreen too. It has written on it, a date of when they want your $$ again or km (when ever comes first). The km written, I think it is based on some typical car servicing table relative to the age of the car and not based on actual odometer reading.

  •  

    Do they have receipts from 200,000km to 253,000km? It looks like the owner is good at record keeping (having the 200k receipt), so just look at the dates for the services in between for shady unexplained kms?

    Agreed with the above that someone screwed up the sticker though.

  •  

    Oh god I had a terrible time with my last car with figuring out if the ODO was rolled back - the first giveaway was that the book was dodgy - it had all the service history up to the ODO reading number on the car BUT then you flip through the blank pages and right in the middle there's entries for like 100,000 more k's than what's on the actual ODO. I asked the dealer and he said he had no idea why they were there.

    I began ringing around the service centres that were stamped in there but couldn't get any help - I eventually rang an aircon place which was on a sticker on the car and they said they didn't have any record of my VIN so it was unlikely they serviced my car.