5 Steps to Avoid Odometer Fraud When Buying a Salvage Car


Investing in a salvage car is an affordable alternative to buying a brand new vehicle. Salvage Bid deals in a variety of models, makes and variants. We can help you find a car according to your needs and preferences. Online car auctions are popular across the globe, and there is no dearth of takers for pre-owned vehicles. That said, many buyers still view these vehicles with suspicion as it is not rare for owners to adopt unscrupulous tactics to present their vehicle in good light to impress potential buyers. One such method involves rolling back the vehicle’s odometer to tamper with the car’s mileage. Through this blog, we enumerate five steps you can take to avoid this scam when buying a salvage car.

1. Check the odometer

First and foremost, you need to inspect the car in-person with a mechanic/auto enthusiast friend who can inspect the vehicle and look for elements that can be deal breakers. During your visit, check the odometer readings to ensure it indicates 60,000 miles or more (if the vehicle is five years old) as a car under normal circumstances averages about 12,000 miles a year. A lower figure is a possible indicator of odometer rollback. Additionally, odometers of some models display an asterisk mark if someone tampers with the system.

2. Examine inspection stickers

Look for inspection stickers/decals on the vehicle’s windshield or registration plate. In some cases, the regulatory bodies affix these stickers on door frames and windows. The stickers include information on the car’s mileage, which you can tally with the odometer readings to ensure that you get a fair deal.

3. Go through the car’s history report

One of the commandments of buying a pre-owned vehicles is opting for a car history report that includes information on the vehicle’s mileage and maintenance. Different providers such as Carfax and AutoCheck offer comprehensive vehicle history reports. All you need to do is enter the car’s VIN to get relevant data. Cross check the odometer readings with the figures in the report to avoid scams.

4. Check the tires

Tires on new vehicles usually have a useful life of between 25,000 and 50,000 miles. You, therefore, need to be cautious and ask questions if the vehicle of your choice has new tires with less than 25,000 miles. Additionally, ask your expert helper to check the tread depth (should not be more than 2/32 of an inch) using a depth gauge to ensure it has worn out evenly (an indicator that the vehicle has original tires).

5. Examine the vehicle’s interiors

Slip inside the car to check the armrests, carpets, brake pedals, and steering wheel. Do they look worn out with respect to the mileage indicated by the odometer? If yes, then there’s a high probability that you have a case of odometer rollback. You also need to be suspicious if your mechanic finds new parts whose effective life does not correspond to the odometer readings. For example, gaskets and fuel pumps last about 60,000 miles; therefore, suspect a scam if the vehicle has new gaskets and fuel pumps with less than 60,000 miles under their belt.

Final few words

Examining the odometer is imperative to avoid losses due to scams when investing in a damaged Buick Park Avenue For Sale, or a Chrysler Imperial Salvage car or any other vehicle. Apart from following these steps, it is always good to ascertain how much it will cost to conduct any necessary repairs/restoration. Salvagebid deals in a range of vehicles, including pickup trucks, SUVs, convertibles, and sedans. Contact us today at +1 (360) 347-1300 to find your perfect vehicle and start bidding.

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