Turning off the odometer before selling a car – Crazy story from a dealership employee – TopAuto
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Wednesday / 8 December 2021
HomeFeaturesTurning off the odometer before selling a car – Crazy story from a dealership employee

Turning off the odometer before selling a car – Crazy story from a dealership employee

Have you ever wondered if a car dealership would “turn off” a vehicle’s odometer to prevent it showing delivery mileage?

This was the first questions we asked *Mike, a former employee of a car dealership in the Durban area.

Mike worked at the car dealership in question in the sales department, and spoke to TopAuto about his experiences on the condition that his identity – and that of his former employer – was not revealed.

The delivery

Mike said he knew of three occasions where his dealership delivered a vehicle from one branch to another and “turned off” the vehicle’s odometer before driving it.

In one of these instances, he was asked to drive a vehicle which needed to be brought to a customer in Durban.

“The car was situated at a dealership in Newcastle that was within the same dealer network as our own,” said Mike.

The vehicle needed to be transported to Durban for a client – a journey of 340km.

“The urgency of securing the vehicle from such a distance was necessary to not lose the sale. They therefore made the the arrangements with the help of the dealer principal,” he said.

Mike said before he left Newcastle with the car, the odometer was turned off to hide the mileage that was to be put onto the vehicle.

“The odometer was turned off by removing specific fuses from the vehicle’s ECU. There were three in total from what I recall,” he said.

Side effects

When removing the fuses from the ECU, however, there were several side effects.

Mike said the speedometer was simultaneously disabled, as well as the car’s ABS system.

“The journey itself was quite stressful. Due to the urgency of the car being handed over to the customer the following day, the necessary inspections had to be completed as quickly as possible the next morning.”

“The majority of the roads were in very poor condition and it was raining heavily for around 60% of the return journey,” he said.

Mike stated that he knew of two other occasions where turning off the odometer took place.

“These deliveries were carried out in similar fashion in order to secure sales,” he said.

*Not his real name

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