the year was 1996 and I was making driving licence and a beautiful Lancia Kappa white in color. Almost simultaneously, a neighbor “premiered” a Mercedes W124 imported from Germany with 125,000 km, with a book of maintenance in which the last review sealed it was with almost 200,000 miles and a sticker on the driver’s door that indicated that the next review should be done with 240,000 miles, I raised serious doubts about the real mileage of the car could say that this vehicle had the odometer souped-up? Well, it all depended on if you were the new owner or the neighbor bastard…
has always been heard that there are several specialists in shaving miles although all the professionals in the vehicle of occasion it will deny to the death. Even in the last few years, I don’t know why, it has spread the urban legend that the boxes of electronic controls they can not remove miles. Not only I know that it can; furthermore, I have seen it do.
why an odometer souped-up?
The answer can not be more simple: to increase both the visibility of a vehicle of the occasion as to to increase their price in the market.
What is normal when someone wants a car second hand is to look for what’s always called “a bargain”, understood as a vehicle that meets the 3 “B” (good, pretty and cheap) and to be able to have a few kilometres. Moreover, thanks to the websites, and to their multiple filters, you can narrow the search by virtue of the combination of several parameters simultaneously.
As one would expect, if someone is looking for a car is second hand and is located between two candidates seemingly the same, but with one with double the miles than the other, it is logical to show more interest that is less used, isn’t it?
Apparatus for lowering the mileage
long Time ago, when the odometers were analog could be done with a simple drill. Now, with the odometer digital, you require a computer program, but in the end, the result is the same: lowering the kilometers to deceive the customer.
How to detect
again there is a simile between what happened in the past (80’s or 90’s) and what happens in the present.
With the odometer analog souped-up with a drill, to detect this deception was practically impossible: could have certainties, but very rarely the security. Today, thanks to the information shared between the vehicle and machinery diagnosis, at any official dealer can detect it, and I assure you, by experience, that it is extremely uncomfortable having to tell a client that his car has more miles than indicated on the box, especially when you are a lot more…
Logically, a good “professional” can fix an odometer in a blink of an eye, and that this operation will pass unnoticed to any machine diagnosis. In this case, only remains to hope that in any visit to an official repair shop to jump the alarms with the administrative file that many brands carry from their vehicles. For example, if in a workshop official opens a work order to a car that has 75,000 more miles and do the data dump of the server of the mark appears an operation to be performed, by say something, when the car had 150,000 kilometres since we are not before an indication, we are faced with a reality.
How to know if you have tampered with the kilometers of the car?
Is more than demonstrated that lowering the miles on the car to sell it in the market second-hand a maneuver is common among those who call themselves “professionals”. There is No more to get on forums to discover people that has happened to him or simply being attentive to the news.
Before the purchase of a used car, when what we are seeing in a center occasion or even let us try it, it is virtually impossible to determine if the miles that mark the box are real or otherwise someone has made an effort to lower the miles to make more attractive the vehicle. In any case there are a number of indications…
If the vehicle has very few kilometers of agreement with those that would be “logical” and the seller does not give us a convincing reason or an assurance that those miles are real, you should be suspicious.
For example, in my electronic portal reference I just found a Chevrolet Matiz in the year 2010 with only 800km sold for 6,500 euros, which was slightly more expensive than what it costs today a Fiat Panda, that’s all there is to say. Well, this seller offers a warranty of mileage and the absence of structural damage. Besides, the valuation on Google of this dealer is 4’8 on 5. Without the valuations of Google are to be taken as an absolute truth, we can think that we are in front of some good professionals of the market of used vehicles.
I still looking in the same portal and I find a Ford Party of the year 1991 and less than 20,000 kilometres a seller professional sold for 3,000€. It may seem like a bargain but having an eye on the photos we can see the unfortunate state of the upholstery of the driver’s seat, so I would hesitate, though that’s not to say that the car doesn’t have really those miles. I am just speaking of doubt and not of certainty.
With this I want to say how important it is to have a little bit of common sense on our part as to just choose to professional salespeople that guarantee what they sell. For example, did you compraríais an isothermal van registered in the year 2010 and with only 18,000 kilometers? Do you have any professional buy a vehicle of three tons and a half to go two thousand miles a year?
This same common sense should make us doubt that vehicles with a high mileage shows control elements very new. If we’re looking at a car with a mileage close to 100,000 miles and we see that the steering wheel, gear knob, foot pedals, or the upholstery of the seats are very new we must think that something strange is happening, because with that mileage they should be worn, it is true, but do not like to think of the replacement.
The book of maintenance
There is a very important document that we all should demand when buying a used car and that is the book of maintenance properly sealed. And eye, that how knows more the devil for old than for evil, desconfiad of books of maintenance that have seals with the same intensity of ink or in the that give you the sense you’ve used the same pen to fill it out.
Many brands have created networks of distribution of used vehicles that give the client a book of new maintenance, with the brand image and totally empty, where you seal the revisions that you make. This book does not replace in any case the book of maintenance of the original vehicle and is more of a political image than anything else.
Lately, there are cars that do not have a book of maintenance, as happens for example in the b. In this case, look in the menu of the multimedia system and the historical service of the car to see that they have been done correctly and fixes this, unless the client has already had a similar car, is not something that can be found in an intuitive way but yes you can ask the seller to teach you.
At times, the lack of sealing of the book of assurance can be caused by the client, for whatever reason, only to go to the official service when the car was in warranty. In this case you have to do a little mental exercise and imagination. For example, we are faced with a car that only has sealed the reviews of the first year and the second one with 10,000 and 20,000 miles respectively. Now the car is four years old and 25,000 miles. What has happened? How suddenly you have forgotten the owner who had a car?
I Put the example in this case with four years because as you all know, some years ago, records the mileage you have vehicles when they pass the technical inspections, the ITV, which makes it more difficult to remove kilometres to a vehicle. On the negative side of the scale is the fact that this measure is not taken in the whole of Europe, so you will have to take special care of the vehicles imported.
When you are looking for information on the internet about the points to keep in mind to prevent us from selling a car that you have lowered the miles there is someone who recommend to review mechanical parts as the cushioning, the moving parts of the steering, the exhaust… in short a number of parts of the vehicle, while it is true that exhibit wear and tear with the use are a issues basic, and is thatalthough wear is proportional to use, this is true, not what is in a proportion measurable and will depend to a greater extent quality of the amount of use. For example, the bellows of the management will be more worn on a small all terrain that circulates through the countryside than in a big saloon that has circulated always on motorways even if you have the double miles.
A little bit of common sense
What can make us think that a vehicle of our interest can have the odometer souped-up is if we see an excessive number of parts very new in relation to what could be considered usual. We should not be alarmed if we are interested in a vehicle with 50,000 miles with a sleeve of cooling again, because in the end, could be due to a breakdown of last and need not be repeated, but if what we find is a car, for example, with a five-year, 50,000 kilometers, the cylinder head repaired, the sleeves of admission stiff, the rubber door seals whitish, and the driver seat is worn out then yeah, we should be alarmed.
With this I ask that you please do not panic because all the cars have had throughout your life for any intervention and not because of that are going to be vehicles of poor quality, or you will break little by little. The only thing I want is to ask for a little common sense when buying a car second-hand.
I go back to my search reference internet of used vehicles to find a model that serves me as example and I find a Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI of the year 2004 and with 400,000 miles at a price of € 5,500, so let’s go by parts.
For a start, the price is a robbery every rule. More or less I want to think that the owner seeks to recover the 25% of the price of the new car, but with 13 years and 400,000 miles I should, perhaps, think a little about modifying your offer. In any case, if this car finds a potential buyer, what should you look at? Since I don’t really know, because in this case, being a bit cruel and although we are before a car of legendary reliability, it is logical to think and accept that you will have many engine parts already replaced, on everything that relates to hoses and/or gaskets. In addition, with more than 400,000 miles, I don’t think you have the odometer shaving.
What to do if they sell us a car with the odometer souped-up
, Therefore, really little thing. Although it is an offence, unless we are at a “professional” to do it repetitively and it can be demonstrated with clear evidence and objective, we are left with only the right to footfall.
The first thing we need to do is inform us and advise us on a office of care to the consumer and leave it to the police or to the Guardia Civil, quiet for the moment. This may seem like a joke, it is very important to respect the order established for the prosecution of a process. We already know that in Spain, a “defect of form” you can send to hell a legal claim, for very well documented it is, which leads to losing the judgment, the time, the patience and the money, because in addition we will have to pay the costs.
In the office of attention to the consumer of our town hall we will be asked to any objective test on which to base the claim and ask for the price that we paid for the car. This appears to be another nonsense can be the beginning or the end of the process. The importance of the price paid for the vehicle is vital to determine the viability or not of the process. If we have paid for the car what could be termed “market price” we can have any chance of moving forward. If, on the contrary, the price paid for the car is substantially low in relation to the price of the market we will not have any hope, so that attention to the “chollos”.
And let’s not kid ourselves nor let us be deceived, that to calculate the market price does not need to be an expert. In the office of attention to the consumer they will look on the internet for a certain number of cars age, mileage and condition similar to the one that we have purchased and calculate a weighted average, something which, by the way, you can make anyone who is interested in the purchase of a used car.
The mediation or arbitral process
If in the office of attention to the consumer consider that we have reason, the next step will be to wait for the seller to accept a mediation or arbitration proceeding, which really only serves to negotiate an agreed solution without going to court.
If this arbitral process does not get anything, either because the other party is not present or because the solution that we proposed is insufficient to compensate for the damage caused, there is no other solution than to go to court and have a lot, a lot, a lot of faith in the Spanish justice.
Tips for finding a good used car
Unless you really know the life that has brought a car, I I disagree totally with the buying and selling between individuals. Yes we can buy, and with reservations, the car to a friend or a family member, yes we are confident that your car has always lived in the body of king, but if the matter is not so, better to avoid it.
The best option is always to look first on the internet the type of car you are looking for to locate a few that allow the physical visit. We must always prefer those that sell to large companies, specialists of the vehicles used, that we certify the miles and the state, and we give warranty of at least twelve months.
with Respect to this last point, it strikes me that there are many ads in which it is put that the warranty has an extra cost. On the basis of which the Law of Warranties in the Sale of Consumer Goods determined that they have the obligation to offer a warranty of 12 months, on a personal level I can say that I would avoid those “professionals” that I require an additional expenditure by the warranty.
lastly, and this is valid for the purchase of a used car, a new car, or even a washing machine, is to use common sense. We must to be critical, which is not heavy, the time to make a large payment of money and think hard about the car that we need and the use that we will give. For example, I would not recommend a car with 200,000 miles to someone who will use it daily. You may have no a breakdown in his entire life, but by a simple statistical calculation is likely.
Another example that has gained much importance lately: would it be logical that someone who lives in the city of Madrid or Barcelona will buy a car without stickers green knowing that in 18 months, won’t be able to use?
With all of this I want to say that once you have purchased a vehicle second hand it is relatively easy to determine if the miles are real if you have a friend that is good mechanic, but do it before you have it in property, it is very difficult, because in addition to the business that sells it will hide the evidence.