Can You Reset Car Mileage? Unlocking the Truth

tl;dr: No, you cannot reset car mileage

When it comes to car mileage, there is a common question that arises: can you reset car mileage? The short answer is no. Resetting car mileage is not only illegal but also unethical. In this article, we will explore why someone would want to reset car mileage, the legality of doing so, how car mileage is recorded, the methods used to reset car mileage, the consequences of doing so, and how to protect yourself when buying a used car.

Why would someone want to reset car mileage?

There are various reasons why someone might want to reset car mileage. One common motivation is to increase the resale value of a vehicle. A lower mileage can make a car more appealing to potential buyers and potentially fetch a higher price.

Additionally, resetting car mileage can hide the true wear and tear of a vehicle, making it appear newer and in better condition than it actually is.

The legality of resetting car mileage

Resetting car mileage is illegal in most countries. It is considered fraud and can lead to severe penalties. The act of tampering with an odometer to misrepresent a vehicle’s mileage is a criminal offense.

It is important to note that even attempting to reset car mileage is against the law, regardless of whether the attempt is successful or not.

How car mileage is recorded

Can You Reset Car Mileage

Car mileage is primarily recorded through two main methods: the odometer and vehicle history reports.


The odometer is a device located on the dashboard of a car that measures the distance the vehicle has traveled. It is the most common and widely recognized method of recording car mileage. Odometers are designed to be tamper-proof, with various security measures in place to prevent unauthorized adjustments.

Vehicle history reports

Vehicle history reports, such as those provided by services like Carfax, also play a crucial role in recording car mileage. These reports gather information from various sources, including maintenance records, inspections, and previous owners. They provide a comprehensive overview of a vehicle’s history, including its mileage at different points in time.

Methods used to reset car mileage

Despite the legal and ethical implications, some individuals still attempt to reset car mileage. There are two main methods used to achieve this: odometer tampering and using software or devices.

Odometer tampering

Odometer tampering involves physically altering the odometer to display a lower mileage. This can be done by manually rolling back the numbers or using electronic devices to manipulate the readings. However, as mentioned earlier, modern odometers have built-in security measures that make tampering difficult and detectable.

Using software or devices

Advancements in technology have made it possible to manipulate car mileage using software or devices. These methods involve connecting to the vehicle’s electronic systems and altering the recorded mileage.

However, these techniques are highly sophisticated and often require specialized knowledge and equipment.

The consequences of resetting car mileage

Can You Reset Car Mileage

Resetting car mileage can have serious consequences, both legally and financially.

Fraudulent sale

Resetting car mileage with the intention of selling the vehicle can be considered fraud. If the buyer discovers the discrepancy in mileage, they may take legal action against the seller for misrepresentation. This can lead to financial losses, damage to reputation, and potential legal penalties.

Voided warranties

Resetting car mileage can also void any warranties that may be in place. Many warranties are based on the mileage of a vehicle, and altering the mileage can render the warranty null and void. This means that any repairs or maintenance that would have been covered by the warranty will now have to be paid for out of pocket.

Legal penalties

As mentioned earlier, resetting car mileage is illegal in most countries. Engaging in odometer tampering or using software or devices to alter mileage can result in criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment. The severity of the penalties varies depending on the jurisdiction and the extent of the fraud.

How to protect yourself when buying a used car

When buying a used car, it is essential to protect yourself from potential fraud. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Obtain a vehicle history report to verify the mileage and check for any discrepancies.
  • Inspect the car thoroughly, looking for signs of wear and tear that may not match the reported mileage.
  • Ask for maintenance records and receipts to validate the mileage and ensure regular servicing.
  • Consider getting a professional inspection from a trusted mechanic.
  • Buy from reputable dealers or individuals with a good track record.


In conclusion, resetting car mileage is not only illegal but also unethical. It is important to understand that tampering with an odometer or using software to alter mileage is a fraudulent act with severe consequences.

When buying a used car, it is crucial to protect yourself by conducting thorough research, obtaining vehicle history reports, and inspecting the vehicle carefully. Remember, honesty and transparency are key when it comes to car mileage.


  • Is resetting odometer illegal?

    Yes, resetting an odometer with the intent to deceive is illegal in many jurisdictions.

  • Can an odometer reset after passing 999999 miles?

    In most vehicles, the odometer will reset to zero after reaching 999999 miles.

  • Can you reset mileage with a new engine?

    Resetting mileage with a new engine is not recommended and may be illegal in some jurisdictions. It is important to maintain accurate mileage records for the vehicle’s history and potential resale value.

Originally posted 2023-02-14 23:52:01.

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