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Old 08-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
Honey Badger
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Default Odometer Question

An acquaintance told me that it is possible to turn back a digital LED odometer. He told me that he has turned back leased cars with the odometer reading 35,000 miles when they had closer to 70,000 miles.

Years ago I know it was relatively easy to turn back an analog odometer (the kind with each digit being on a black and white wheel), but I thought the digital LED odometers, which have been in use for the last fifteen or twenty years were tamper-proof. Iím I just naÔve or is this ?
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
Vivid1
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you mean the 1980's dot matrix display?
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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I'm not sure whether it is possible to do. However, it is a federal crime and some in our area are now guests of the prison system for having done it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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I believe nothing is tamper-proof, and that crooks will find a way to beat any system. If your acquaintance has done that.... Well, he is what he is.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:34 PM   #5
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Actually, the first thing that I thought of was if I were to purchase a used (sorry, previously owned) car (as I did for the three Corvettes I have owed) how could I be sure that I didn't buy a car with double the mileage that's showing on the odometer? On my 2008 Corvette, the dealer gave me a Carfax, but I'm sure they can be incorrect, especially if repairs were performed without insurance.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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Not sure about the vette but truth be known it probably could be done by a service tech. I remember the issue Lexus had with some clusters a few years back. You could order a new one but then you had to have the dealership program it to the car or I believe it would start back at zero. It's been a long time ago and I really don't remember.

On the other hand, anyone that would do that deserves to spend some time in the big house if you ask me. I sure would not want to find out my 35k mile car had 70k + miles on it. That is basically the same as stealing if you ask me!
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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On 1990-1996 C4's, C5 and C6 Corvettes the mileage is stored in the Body Control Module not the cluster. A GM dealer has the programing in their Tech tool to put the miles back into the BCM.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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5minutes on google and ebay -
looks like 2200$ tool and a criminal could do it

Digimaster III 3 Original Odometer Correction Master
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoB View Post
5minutes on google and ebay -
looks like 2200$ tool and a criminal could do it

Digimaster III 3 Original Odometer Correction Master
Looks like I will be very careful should I ever buy another used car. My C6 came from a dealer I trust after years of doing business with them. I have no reason to feel the odometer was altered.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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You are not too likely to find this problem with a dealer or private seller. Used car lots however would be a different story.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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I am not sure about this.....
only a 98 Corvette is on their list.....
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDinPA View Post
You are not too likely to find this problem with a dealer or private seller. Used car lots however would be a different story.
It is very hard to get away with rolling odometers today. Any cars sold at auctions the miles pop up on Carfax and Auto Check the next day. Also just about every new car dealership lets Carfax have access to their service records and warranty claims. Most states that have either state inspection or emission inspections report to both Carfax and Auto Check. Computers have put the biggest dent in odometer fraud.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:03 PM   #13
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Bought my daughter a Civic a while back with the agreement that they fix the turn signal indicator, they had to replace the entire gauge cluster so it went back to 0 miles. They said they could not set to anything else!
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #14
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If the car has onstar "activated" you might be able to get a history report from them. I get a monthly report and it shows my mileage.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Bought my daughter a Civic a while back with the agreement that they fix the turn signal indicator, they had to replace the entire gauge cluster so it went back to 0 miles. They said they could not set to anything else!
I don't agree with your Honda dealer and here's why: back in 1995 I bought a 1992 BMW 325i with 39K miles. After I had the car a couple of thousand miles, the dash lights went out. During the repair, somehow the mechanic must have shorted something and set the odometer back to zero miles. Ironically the car I traded in, a 1990 Nissan Maxima had a replacement odometer that necessitated (so I was told) a new instrument cluster with a zeroed odometer. The BMW sales manager explained to me that when an incorrect odometer, with a sticker with the additional mileage placed on the door jamb is put up for sale, there is always some mistrust and therefore the trade in value is reduced. So I reasoned with the BMW dealer sales manager (not the same manager as when bought the BMW) that I lost value as a result of their service department and therefore they should make me whole either by correcting the odometer, paying me for the diminished value of the car or giving me top dollar for my BMW in trade for another BMW. He refused to do anything and was just as arrogant as the service manager. I reported this to the regional BMW office. They were very helpful. I was told to return the car to the dealer and they would remove the dash panel, overnight it to the location that would correct the odometer and loan me a vehicle for as long as it took to repair. Within a two or three days, I had my car back with the exact mileage it should have on the odometer. I never returned to that dealer, which BTW is Princeton BMW of Princeton, NJ.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvette ED View Post
On 1990-1996 C4's, C5 and C6 Corvettes the mileage is stored in the Body Control Module not the cluster. A GM dealer has the programing in their Tech tool to put the miles back into the BCM.
I cannot speak about the C4's as I don't know but the C5's and C6's, the odometer is stored in the IPC. When a new or replacement IPC is installed, the odometer is required to be matched to the old one. I think the dealer can update a "new" one to reflect the old one's mileage. As for used IPC's, I think the dealer is prohibited from altering it and a formal speedometer repair shop must do the work with whatever documentation is required.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvette ED View Post
It is very hard to get away with rolling odometers today. Any cars sold at auctions the miles pop up on Carfax and Auto Check the next day. Also just about every new car dealership lets Carfax have access to their service records and warranty claims. Most states that have either state inspection or emission inspections report to both Carfax and Auto Check. Computers have put the biggest dent in odometer fraud.

Location: Pottsville, PA. USA Home Of America's Oldest Brewery Yuengling


Every time you post, I have to go out and buy a case of beer.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDinPA View Post
Location: Pottsville, PA. USA Home Of America's Oldest Brewery Yuengling


Every time you post, I have to go out and buy a case of beer.
My favorite beers! I love their lager and the porter.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torch red ryder View Post
I was told to return the car to the dealer and they would remove the dash panel, overnight it to the location that would correct the odometer and loan me a vehicle for as long as it took to repair. Within a two or three days, I had my car back with the exact mileage it should have on the odometer.
I don't have any specific knowledge of how carmakers handle digital odometers, but it could very well be as simple as a few bytes stored in an EEPROM or FLASH chip somewhere in the instrument panel. The security of the system may lie in obscurity, i.e. by keeping the memory locations and encoding method secret they hope to prevent tampering by unauthorized parties. Of course, anyone who has ripped a DVD knows how well such schemes work in the real world. Someone with a JTAG and the right information could basically write any value they want into those memory locations, as BMW did for your cluster. Bottom line if it's possible to do legitimately, then it's also possible to do illegitimately.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:10 PM
 
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