Car fraud is very common everywhere in the world, especially when purchasing a used vehicle. One of the most popular car scams is odometer rollback since it’s easy to hide it from consumers.
In the United States alone, approximately 450,000 used vehicles are sold per year with a fake mileage count. However, nowadays, you can easily detect odometer fraud in seconds and avoid this kind of scam!
There are many tools that can help you with this, some of which can cost up to $1,000. But there is an affordable and easy way to detect mileage tampering with your own OBD2 scanner and smartphone!
For around $150 you can get a great OBD2 scanner and mobile app that will let you do more than just an odometer rollback check.
Below, we will show you how you can detect odometer rollback extremely quickly with the Carly OBD2 scanner! All you will need is:
- The Carly OBD2 scanner
- Your phone
- The Carly mobile app
We will show you how to run a used car check and instantly find out if the used car is worth purchasing, or if you can negotiate a better price!
What is odometer rollback?
After ensuring through the vehicle identification number that you’re not buying a stolen vehicle, the next most important step is to determine if the used car has been illegally manipulated. This is important because car sellers will often charge a higher price for lower mileage!
Odometer rollback fraud is one of the most common ways of pricing used cars higher than their actual value. It is the manipulation of the car’s mileage in order to lower or roll back the number of miles indicated.
Since odometer mileage is one of the indicators to determine the conditions of a vehicle, low mileage means that the vehicle has not been driven a lot. Therefore, it has a longer lifespan and is usually more expensive.
If car scammers manage to reverse a used car’s mileage they can increase the price by up to $5,000. Through fake vehicle history reports or false odometer readings, you can easily become a victim of odometer fraud.
So checking for odometer manipulation yourself can save you a lot of money!
2 steps to detect odometer rollback fraud
If you have the Carly OBD2 scanner and app, you can immediately find out if the car’s odometer mileage has been manipulated.
Setting up the Carly OBD2 scanner and app is fairly easy and will only take you a couple of minutes! All you have to do is plug the scanner into the car’s OBD2 port. Next, open the Carly app and pair it to the car! Below, we have detailed instructions to guide you through it.
Step 1: Perform a Used Car Check
After setting up your Carly equipment, performing the used car check is quick! Just go to your dashboard, click over “used car check” and run the test.
Once you run the used car test, we can start checking out all the information about the vehicle! Your screen will look like the image below.
Step 2: Compare the Mileages
Since the mileage of a vehicle is not only stored in the odometer but also in its engine control units, we can learn the car’s real mileage and detect odometer discrepancies. This is regardless of whether the car has a digital odometer or a mechanical odometer.
To find out the real actual mileage, click on “Mileages (Carly Check)” after running the used car check. On your screen, you will see similar information to the image below.
Carly compares the mileages that are stored in the different ECUs. There should be no ECU with more miles than the dashboard’s mileage.
The “current mileage” and the highest mileage on “Span from lowest to highest mileage” should be the same as the mileage displayed on the car’s dashboard.
However, it can happen that the mileage differs by a few kilometers. For example, the current mileage” or “the highest mileage” shown in the Carly app can be slightly lower than the dashboard mileage. This is because the mileage stored in the car’s ECUs is not always synchronized in real-time with the car’s tachometer mileage.
Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, when the mileage differs slightly, the mileage displayed on the dashboard should always be higher than the mileage stored in the car’s ECUs.
If the car’s dashboard has lower km recorded than the mileage shown in the Carly app, this immediately shows that the car has been illegally manipulated and you should stay away from that car.
Why use the Carly OBD2 scanner to detect odometer rollback?
The most affordable and convenient solution for having in-depth insights about a used car is to have your own OBD2 scanner!
However, you need to be aware that most scanners on the market do not offer advanced features such as a used car check.
Most only offer OBD-level diagnostics. This means that they can only show you generic OBD fault codes from the engine and in some cases transmission ECUs.
Carly OBD2 Scanner and App
With an OBD2 scanner and app that also offers a “used car check” function, such as Carly, you will be able to get the FULL picture of the internal state of the car plus other hidden information.
With the Carly app you can see the car’s information from your phone, and if you get a Carly license you will have full access to all of the advanced features.
Depending on your car model, with the Carly app you can:
- Conduct OBD and manufacturer-level diagnostics
- Read and clear fault codes
- Code your car
- Conduct a used car check
- See real-time parameters
- Do basic maintenance
Additionally, with the same Carly scanner, you can conduct as many “used car checks” as you want, and on as many cars that you want. Every check will only take a few minutes and you will instantly know if you are purchasing a good used car or a lemon.
Setting up your Carly OBD2 scanner and app!
The Carly OBD2 scanner can be used with any car brand in the world that has an OBD2 port. Usually, most cars manufactured after 1996 (in the USA) have an OBD2 port installed.
However, since every car’s electronics are unique, which specific Carly features you’ll be able to access will depend on your car model. Here you can check what features are available for a specific car model!
Once you have your Carly OBD2 scanner and app license you are ready to perform in-depth inspections.
Before performing a used car check you must first set up the Carly equipment. And luckily this is very easy!
STEP 1) First, open the Carly app on your phone.
STEP 2) Next, plug the Carly scanner into the car’s OBD port and turn on the engine. The car’s OBD port can usually be found under the steering wheel on the left side.
Here you can find videos that will help you find the location of the OBD port for your car model. Otherwise, you can also ask the car seller where the OBD port is located or find it in the car’s manual.
STEP 3) Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and click the orange button that says “connect” in the Carly app.
As seen in the image below, Carly will establish a connection between your phone and the OBD scanner. Afterward, you will immediately have full access to the car’s information in the Carly app.
Keep saving money even after purchasing a good used car!
In addition to using the Carly scanner and app to detect odometer fraud and save thousands of dollars on car scams, you can use it to save money on future car maintenance!
By conducting a “car health check” every month with the Carly app, you can save up to $500 on repairs fees per year. The car health checks will tell you if your car needs immediate repair, or if the warning sign that turned up on your dashboard is something that doesn’t require a car technician to fix.
Additionally, you will be able to avoid unexpected costly repairs at the mechanic since you can always know your car’s health. Conducting consistent checks can also help you budget for future repairs, and take action as soon as your car requires it.
Lastly, if you are a car enthusiast like us you can also use the same Carly OBD2 scanner to customize your car through car coding or see the real-time parameters from your car!
Now that you know how to detect a rolled-back odometer, you are fully equipped to start your car hunt! Are you ready?