When buying a used car, you will always find one which is ‘accident free’ with ‘low mileage’. While we have elaborated on what accident free means, low mileage might be another challenge.
When inspecting the used car, make sure you check if there has been any tempering on the meters. Cars that have been involved in accidents will have signs that you can see such as uneven color on the body and such. Mileage meanwhile is a totally different aspect. So is there such a thing called ‘meter tempering’ which means reducing the total mileage of the car to create the impression that it has not been overly used?
The answer is yes. How then can you check them?
Logic – First, depend on common sense. A car which is 8 years old would not be extremely low mileage. The rule of thumb is that a car will record an average of 10,000 kilometers per year. That is the bare minimum.
Service booklet – Check the service booklet. While the physical meter might show 56,000, the booklet might record more. Some sellers actually forgot about removing these logs.
Wear and tear – This is where your personal judgment comes into play. If the car was rarely used, the pedals, steering wheel should be quite new. If there are major wear and tear, then the record might have been tampered with.
Timing belt – Unlike lubricants, there is no place to record the next timing belt change. Check this in the engine. Timing belts need to be change every 80 to 100 thousand kilometers. The mechanic might have put the record there.
Meter on the dashboard – Look around the dashboard. It is not easy to open the panel. Look for clean screw heads or any chips or cuts around the meter.