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Tommygunn

Ascertaining the true mileage of a 2nd hand car - possible?

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Is it possible to find out the true mileage of a car by doing a more in-depth analysis of the vehicle? I've been reading that the vehicle ECU can be read and will be more or less accurate to what is displayed on the odometer, or not.
Can this be done at home with an OBDII gadget or would it need to be taken to a specialist with the right equipment to examine the ECU?
 
Cheers,
Tom.

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Depending on the age and make, yes, but with dealer level software.

For instance, I know you can look at the distance run parameter on Ferraris that will identify how many miles have been driven in each gear from data stored in the transmission's control unit.  You can then see if the total matches up with the mileage on the dash.  Spoiler, it probably won't because Ferraris tend to get rolled back as standard...

It's probably best to go comb through paperwork and make sure mileage all matches up.  Then check the car for excessive wear in high traffic/wear places and see if it matches up with what the mileage states. 

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Indeed.  I don't know what it's like in Italy but you can see the MOT history online over here.  The main concern is roll backs before the first MOT.  Lots of lease cars get utterly thrashed and pile on the miles then, bloop, now it's done hardly any miles.  Magic.

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The biggest clocking problem at the moment is private people with a car on a PCP deal. These have a maximum total mileage, after which fees are charged for any excess mileage. Faced with a potential excess charge, some are buying a device over Ebay, for example, that plugs into the OBD socket and enables them to reset the mileage to a more "contract friendly" figure. As there is usually some service history, this results in the car being sold with unwarranted mileage - apparently it is not illegal, so the user gets away with it but the finance company take a kicking on the residual value.

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Go here:

https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/

Feel free to check my car.

SWP468P

You will see it being imported in November 2006.
You will also see the Odometer reading increasing slowly over the last 12 years.

You will also see the odometer reading flip-flopping back and fourth between miles and kilometers as morons test it.

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