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How A Car’s Mileage (Odometer) Is Rolled-Back





I have often heard people say, the digital meter on the instrument panel, can never be rolled back. The myth had been that its only the analogue mileages that could be adjusted.

These days, there are tools available, especially online in China, that can be used to carry out such a “crime”.

In the developed world, rolling a car’s mileage backwards is a terrible crime. It could an auto shop, millions of dollars in lawsuits, and a jail term also. But in the third world, there aren’t regulations or laws, prohibiting such practices.

Dealerships, or individuals, could easily manipulate a car’s true mileage readings just for the financial benefits that would accrue them.


  1. Because of greed. It’s a commonly held norm that used cars with lower mileages are more expensive than ones with higher mileages. That would be a discussion for some other time.
  2. Following an accident, a car’s dashboard, including the speedometer could be damaged, requiring a replacement.



1. Removing the speedometer (higher mileage), and replacing it with a lesser mileage from a donor vehicle.

In this method, an accidental car, with a lower mileage is transplanted into the car with a higher mileage. This does not erase the mileage of the acceptor vehicle, but instead, conceals it. That’s what SOME car dealers and individuals do.

For instance, if your car’s mileage reads 300,437 miles, and as a dealer, you’d want to sake that car to an unsuspecting client, what he only needs to do is to get a donor vehicle with a lower mileage of say, 57,122miles, and transfers it to the acceptor vehicle. The vehicle would now read, 57,122mikes, instead if the original 300,437miles.

Note, this technique is applicable to digital speedometer types, and not the analogue type.


2. Memory chip transplant. Its a smart technique, that requires complex skills in electronics.

This technique involves dismantling the speedometer unit completely as seen in the photos below. This exposes the electronic circuitry of the circuit board, where the memory chip is located.

The memory chip is what stores all the distances travelled through out the lifespan of the vehicle.

Special specialized equipment are required to perfect a job like this.

Applicable to digital speedometers.


3. Readjusting an analogue mileage display (odometer).

Analogue ones are a little bit difficult to adjust. The mileages are removed and adjusted without using specialized equipment.


4. Jack up rear method.

In this method, the rear wheels are jacked up, and properly positioned on a safety stands. The wheels are then turned in a reversed manner, to reset the odometer reading to a much lesser one.

This method is applicable only to analogue odometers.


5. Odometer switch method.

A switch is incorporated into an odometer current feed circuit, offering a car owner to switch off and on the odometer readings, anytime he/she desires.

Let’s take for instance, a driver wants to achieve say, an odometer reading of 79,000miles, and doesn’t want to go through the methods explained above.

The driver, with aid of the odometer reading control switch, would toggle off the reading, while driving the car, but would switch it on back, to check if the mileage has exceeded, or not.

This is a very complex kind of manipulation, and a tedious exercise. You’d have to be vast in some sort of electronics.


I hope this short piece helps you guys understand more how your car’s mileage readings are adjusted.

By Joseph



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