As you know, there are 20 unique features in the Pedal system that not only deliver you great insight into the health of your vehicle, but also help save you money and even maintain its resale value. In today’s blog, we’re sharing information on one of the most interesting features in the 20: The Odometer Tamper Check.
You might have heard of the old-school practice of turning back analogue odometers to make the car seem younger. There were many innovative methods that people developed over the years to make their car clock go backwards, but then the digital age came along. With the digital odometer, people expected an end to the age of odometer tampering as the computer would never lie.
As we all now know, that was a complete fantasy, and the truth is that odometer tampering is actually on the rise and we are discovering that digital doesn’t always beat analogue when it comes to security.
The Pedal Odometer Tamper Check feature will help to ensure that you never fall into this trap. We’ll explain in more detail how that works below:
Pedal Odometer Tamper Check
How Does it Work?
Amazing at it may seem to some people, it’s actually an easier proposition for the right dastardly expert to alter the mileage on a digital odometer than it is on an older analogue one. The feature on Pedal is able to detect such tampering and feed it to your Pedal® dashboard in the form of a “Mileage Anomaly.”
How does it know? It is quite a simple process, in fact. The key to this feature is in good record keeping. Every time your car goes for its MOT test --- which Pedal will also remind you about --- the correct current mileage is recorded. Since odometer tampering typically happens only after mileage readings have reached well into the several tens of thousands, the car has likely had at least one MOT test by then and thus the correct mileage has been logged once.
After that has happened, and Pedal is plugged in to the car’s entire history, there’s no way that you could slip a tampered odometer past the system. Pedal would detect that the mileage currently showing on the car is not in line with the car’s MOT history, and thus a Mileage Anomaly warning is sent.
On that Mileage Anomaly, there is a link to provide you with information allowing you to contact the MOT test centre and make inquiries to confirm the information.
Why is Odometer Tamper Check a Useful Feature?
When odometer tampering is going on, it is typically done for reasons of fraud or other deceit. First of all, someone might try to reduce the reading on the odometer when the car is in need of repairs but just out of warranty range. Imagine the car in question has a 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, but then a covered component conks out at 55,000 miles. If you were able to reduce the odometer reading back to 48,000 or 49,000, then the manufacturer’s warranty would magically come back into effect.
The second reason that people tamper with their odometer is to artificially inflate the value of their vehicle for resale. A car with lower mileage can be justified at a higher selling price. The dodgy seller can claim that they only used the car on occasion and that reason is legitimate-sounding enough to be believed. When you have Pedal®, however, it becomes a near impossibility.
Understanding the correct mileage of a car is an important thing. There are many things about the car that are entirely or partially determined by the correct mileage. Two of those things we have just mentioned, the validity of the car’s warrants and the appropriate resale value of the vehicle. More than that, car mileage is also linked to critical maintenance. To be given a car with a tampered odometer isn’t just unfair, but downright dangerous.
Here are some examples of what we mean:
- Oil changes need to happen every 3,000-10,000 miles depending on the type of engine oil. Some last as long as 15,000 miles. When you have a tampered odometer, it becomes hard to know where the right boundaries lie and you can do damage to the engine and its components.
- Brake pads need to be changed every 20,000 miles. Once again, when you have a doctored meter, your estimates on this can go way off. If you leave a brake pad change until too late, you can end up doing damage to the rotors.
- The timing bel and water pump should be changed around every 70,000 miles. When we get into the higher tens of thousands of miles, we start to get to the times when odometer tampering really affects maintenance. Imagine thinking your timing belt had another 10,000-20,000 miles of life according to the odometer reading but, in reality, it needed changing immediately.
Odometer Tampering: A Crime on the Rise
As we mentioned above, the arrival of digital odometers led many to believe that the age of shifty workshops using intricate setups of drills, cables and other equipment to slowly (and carefully) turn back the car clock were behind us. These mechanical crooks wouldn’t be able to fool the computerized odometer, or so we thought.
Around the world, news reports in 2021 are reporting a growing wave of odometer tampering happening, and it’s now an even bigger problem than it was in the analogue days. US-based car background checking organization CARAX reported 2020 data that suggested even with everything else going on in the world, a certain breed of criminals was pushing up odometer roll-back crime by 13 percent compared to 2019.
Emilie Voss, PR director at CARFAX warned used-car buyers, “If you are shopping for a used car, this should be on your list of things that you are looking at.” Stark words, and a reminder that we have to be vigilant. The trouble until now has been how to check for odometer tampering. You might have been able to take the car to a technician and have them figure it out after you’d bought the vehicle, but it could be a long time after purchase until the truth revealed itself. By then, all sorts of bad results could happen.
Enter Pedal - Ending the Odometer Tamper Reign of Error
When you have plugged in the Pedal OBD-II smart sensor and set up your dashboard, the system has access to the car’s records and history and will report a constant stream of real-time data back to you. Imagine being able to know whether used cars had been tampered with or not but without having to just speculate or consult a technician. Pedal® and its Odometer Tamper Check feature can deliver that to you.
All you have to do to start benefiting from this feature is to purchase the Pedal® sensor and register on pedalapp.com. While connected, you’ll be informed of much crucial information about your car via the system’s 20 unique features. Before long, you’ll also be able to sync these through your smartphone and get up to the minute notifications on your own car and that of any other car in your household. Sign up today to learn more.