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Mad Scientist
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# 98585 2-Mar-2012 08:16
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Looking at some 2nd hand cars and when you go to and type in the rego it gives you rather detailed wof odometer readings in the past ...

how can you get lower readings? is it because someone keyed in the wrong reading at a previous wof???

there was a car in feb 2010 say 80006 and in aug 2010 it goes 80001

then there was a car in say feb 1998 reads 164000 and in aug 1998 it reads 38000

i know i can ask the owner but they say no idea as it was before they owned it ...

I know to stay away if in doubt but was wondering if anyone could have some explanation         

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

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  # 589180 2-Mar-2012 08:26
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Could be-
wound back intentionally,
Entry error by of provider
Dash or gauge cluster has been changed

When its a small discrepancy between records which are close in time, I assume it to be that one operator rounds down or forgets the exact reading they just looked at, also look to see if there was an unusual spike upwards before coming down because that would imply an erroneous entry.

If it goes up at regular intervals, then drops down significantly and continues up in the same pattern you can assume the cluster was wound back or replaced.

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  # 589181 2-Mar-2012 08:31
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Potentially could be a typo If it obviusly is a typo (like it says the car has done 1m kms or something ridiculous) then you can probably ignore it.

If it has the potential to not be a typo, then I would avoid it. Plenty more second hand cars out there.



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  # 589184 2-Mar-2012 08:43
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Ive seen couple thousand K out here and there, but if its dropped 10's of thousands, alarm bells start ringing.

I believe it is possible to have an engine replacement and get the clock replaced/wound back to match the engine, but dont see/hear of it done often.

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Ultimate Geek

  # 589185 2-Mar-2012 08:43
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I had a car that was keyed in wrong at a WOF, but subsequent WOF's after that showed the correct mileage so the line graph does take a sharp nosedive but then shoots right back up at next reading. Easy to explain. If the graph shows a dip then the progression after that is consistent with approx mileage then it's been wound back.

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  # 589189 2-Mar-2012 08:49
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Yeah, probably just a typo. When I last got a wof for my 4wd I needed a recheck. 3 days later and I had supposedly done over 10000km's more. I ended up getting them to fix the reading as they came after me for RUC that I hadn't used. With old readings, see what pattern there is before and after, this can often show where the reading is wrong.

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  # 589198 2-Mar-2012 09:06
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Easily a typo. I sort of work in this area and it happens all the time unfortunately. As intimated by other posters the key is to have a look at the 'pattern' of readings to determine if one is just an error. At the end of the day you can't trust the readings, especially on older cars. New speedo/odo, wound back (less common now days) or replaced with another from a wreckers (possibly legit reason) are just some possible explanations. If its a diesel then its common for the odo to be disconnected at least for periods of time to avoid road user charges.

Always get the car checked out by someone you trust and come to your own conclusions.

Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman

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  # 589203 2-Mar-2012 09:12
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I just had to look at my car details after reading this.

Apparently I don't have a WOF.

  • Subject to WOF inspection?: Yes
  • WOF expiry: expired 2011, April 20th (10 months 2 weeks ago)
  • Last inspection: 2010, October 18th (Pass)
Funny, as it has a current WOF

Edit: I should read properly. Missed the bit about ignoring the expiry dates at the top of the page


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  # 589204 2-Mar-2012 09:14
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From memory Car Jam results are delayed now? Check near the top of the page.

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  # 589212 2-Mar-2012 09:31
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Another couple of common issues are:

1) if the vehicle has a tenths (of km) digit this can sometimes be just read as another digit - result is a reading ten times higher than actual.

2) Vehicle odometer only reads to 99,999 (km or M), meaning it goes round the clock back to zero every 100,000.

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  # 589288 2-Mar-2012 11:25
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The wof report for my car has an impressive drop of 140,000 k's, this is because I had to replace the odometer cluster with a 2nd hand one after the speedo stopped working. It was going to cost several hundred dollars to have the odometer amended to the correct figure which just wasn't in the budget at the time.

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  # 589326 2-Mar-2012 12:04
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RunningMan: Another couple of common issues are:

1) if the vehicle has a tenths (of km) digit this can sometimes be just read as another digit - result is a reading ten times higher than actual.

Our '71 Super Beetle suffered this exact same issue:

The last reading is 335,242 (Kms?) when the odometer is in Miles and actually read 33,524miles.

Also, when we purchased the bug, it came with spare parts, including a odometer that had a different mileage reading on it.

If you are unsure about a car, don't buy it.  And always get second/third opinions.  I know what i am looking for when finding issues when purchasing a car, but always either get an AA or MTA check, or one of my mates to look at it. 

The AA and MTA checks are well worth the $100 to make sure you dont get stung.  One check saved me from spending $5K on a car that was not worth it (car was located in south island, so i was not able to get to it myself)

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  # 589492 2-Mar-2012 16:40
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xpd: Ive seen couple thousand K out here and there, but if its dropped 10's of thousands, alarm bells start ringing.

I believe it is possible to have an engine replacement and get the clock replaced/wound back to match the engine, but dont see/hear of it done often.

Think it's possible to contact the ltsa if you do a dash replacement, but why you would do it for an engine swap I don't know, hardly the only part of the car affected by whats on the clock.

To the OP, in most cases I've seen its where the WOF inspector has incorrectly entered the information.  

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