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Car Purchase: How to detect a manipulated tachometer?

Info by Ghostrider | 27/03/2018 at 23:15

Insiders say that nowadays every third speedometer of a used car is manipulated. Because the business with a deferred speedometer is worthwhile: On average, dealers earn 3000 euros more if they have manipulated the mileage.

So what can you do if you want to buy a used car? In this info, I would like to give you some tips on how to recognize whether the speedometer was turned.

Signs of Use

Check the car extensively for signs of use and see if the mileage and the signs of use match. If the steering wheel and the shift lever are outworn, the driver's seat is worn through and sagging, the pedals are galled and the speedometer still shows only 15,000 kilometers, this is very suspicious. But beware: Many used car dealers are replacing worn parts before the cars are sold. Therefore, a flawless interior design does not necessarily speak for a fresh car.

Supporting Documents

Let you show all evidences of repairs, main inspections, emissions inspections, oil changes and service checks on purchase. In the inspection booklet, in the reports and in the invoices of repairs, the mileage is noted. If there is no proof or if there are gaps (for example, no evidence from the last five years) you should not rely on the trader's statement and prefer to distance yourself from buying the car. But even with a perfectly managed checkbook you should be suspicious: professionals turn back the mileage before each investigation, so that there is a complete evidence and the mileage is consistent, but it was still driven much more than the evidence shows.

Oil Change and Cambelt Change sticker

Even with the oil change sticker you can conclude to the miles or kilometers driven. Since every 30,000 to 40,000 kilometers an oil change is pending, you can read from the statement "next oil change at 200,000 km" a lot - assuming the sticker was not manipulated. The same applies to the timing belt sticker.

Previous Owners

The vehicle registration certificate can be used to identify the previous owner(s) of the car. Sometimes it can be helpful to contact them and get more information.

Used Car Check

Some repair and assembling shops, car service stations or the one or other garage offer inspections for used cars. The auditors also look at things that the layman can not necessarily judge without difficulty: For example the engine, the transmission, the brakes, the wheels, the axles and the under-body of the car. In most cases, it's worth having a check before buying the car, for example, on a test drive (preferably ask for an appointment before). The money for the check is well invested in most cases, the experts in the workshop can tell relatively reliably whether the condition of the vehicle fits the mileage. This makes it easy to recognize a manipulation of the tachometer.

Of course, even these tips can not give one hundred percent security, real scammers can eventually fake even the most good-looking document. Therefore, you should also use your common sense and not fall for an overly tempting offer. Especially if a car is offered significantly cheaper than comparable cars with similar features and performance you should be very skeptical. Trust and integrity of the dealer are very important here.

If you know any other tips and tricks, just write a comment and expand my list with that.

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