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is there a way of telling if my car has been clocked?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Phate, 3 Mar 2006.

  1. Phate

    Caporegime

    Joined: 1 Nov 2003

    Posts: 35,684

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Hey people

    i got my car second hand in november with 39k miles on the clock and ive just done a rac thingy on it and its told me its had 8 previous owners :eek: now its only 1999 so in 6 years with 8 owners im in doubts whether it has actually done only 39k miles cos in the few months ive been driving its already upto 43k - 44k

    so is there a way of telling if my car has been clocked or the mile counter on it reset?

    thanks peeps :)
     
  2. L0rdMike

    Capodecina

    Joined: 3 Nov 2003

    Posts: 10,586

    Location: Southampton

    What is the interior of the car like. Does it look like a car thats done 39k?

    Of course the interor like seats can be replaced.

    Do you have any MOT certificates?

    With 8 owners I would be worried that something is seriously wrong with it.
     
  3. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,298

    Location: Chingford

    As said, at that mileage the interior should look more or less like new.

    If theres any wear apart from very minor to the pedals, steering wheel, gear lever and/or seats then it will likely be clocked. Are there any MOT certificates or service history? Even though these can be faked, its usually not bothered with. Also, is the odometer an electronic type or is it mechanical? The electronic ones can be made to read whatever you want quite easily and it is hard to tell that this has been done. However, the mechanical type with the rolling tumblers almost always leaves evidence behind, be it worn screws where the instrument cluster has been removed, or scratches to the tumblers where they have been forced with a screwdriver. If its cable driven though, a fraudster could have removed the cable from the gearbox and would it back with a black & decker and a lot of patience, leaving no evidence behind.

    But hey, if you've had it since November and its been running fine then don't worry too much about it.
     
  4. tb2000

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Jul 2003

    Posts: 1,636

    Location: West Country, England

    The RAC thing could be wrong (although it's probably not). You can easily check the amount of previous owners by looking at your log book (V5).
    The only reasonable explanation I can think of right now is perhaps all the previous owners have been in the practice of not driving it much - perhaps it's spent a lot of time parked in peoples garages? Elderly owners? :confused:
    Or as you say, it could indeed have been clocked.
     
  5. tb2000

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Jul 2003

    Posts: 1,636

    Location: West Country, England

    I don't think speedos work in reverse, so you can't take miles off. I think you'd have to wind it forward (could take a while if it's a million mile speedo). Unless that's what you meant anyway :p
     
  6. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,117

    What car is it? If it's a 1 litre Nissan Micra, 39k despite 8 owners is more beleivable than if its a BMW 530d.
     
  7. Usher

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,356

    A dead giveaway with clocking is that the digits rarely finish up all dead level & one or two will be a fraction out of alignment with the others
     
  8. minidan

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 747

    Location: leeds/bradford

    yeah they dont og backwards i tried out of curiosity when i had my mini speedo out. but it coudl have meybe done 140k? or is it one of them other ones. lol
    as said i would bemore worried about 8 owners than the milage.

    Dan
     
  9. v0n

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,085

    Location: The Great Lines Of Defence

    That depends how it's done - lame screwdriver clocking leave digits out of line, but screwdriver or million mile clockovers are pointless if speedo is already out of dashboard - most clocking dealers go to friendly scrappy, pick up speedo with as low mileage as pos and just fit it in or if it's electronic tacho in popular brand, just reprogram it to their taste. Call main dealers to see if car's been serviced and what was the last registered mileage on it, don't trust service books stamped in the same area or town if V5 shows more than two owners, check the car for extensive wear inside, rust on filers if service book shows recent service, stuff like that...
     
  10. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,298

    Location: Chingford

    True, I only remembered now you mentioned it, very few cars do, but there are some that can go backwards, for example my parents used to have a Fiat Uno many years ago, I remember the speedo needle would sit at 10mph even when stopped, and when reversing would dip below 10mph, so I presume the odometer would go backwards too.

    Winding a six digit odometer forwards to reset to zero and round to the desired mileage would be pointless as the car would depreciate due to age by the time you're done :)
     
  11. timbob

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,097

    Another give-away for clocked cars is an unevenly backlit dash.

    There's usually a few separate bulbs that illuminate your speedo and guages from behind. They're pretty much impossible to get all in the right place when the dash goes back in after being removed for clocking, so often at least one is out of place - meaning that one area of the speedo/guages area might be a bit duller than the rest.
     
  12. Metalface Mark

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2005

    Posts: 15,351

    Location: Paisley

    I bought my car in december, im the 5th owner and its a 2002. I was worried till after seeing the petrol consumption, its quite obvious why everyone gets rid of it :D (14-16mpg around town, 30 on the motorways).

    Its a vectra 2.6 V6 Sri.
     
  13. L0rdMike

    Capodecina

    Joined: 3 Nov 2003

    Posts: 10,586

    Location: Southampton

    I think you will find they got rid of it cause it was a Vectra more than anything. :p
     
  14. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,117

    Yea they probably all buy it, realise what a mistake they made to buy a Vectra, then trade it in for a Mondeo :p
     
  15. Phate

    Caporegime

    Joined: 1 Nov 2003

    Posts: 35,684

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    its an Astra 1.6 and its an electronic dashboard. and ive just checked and the logbook says 8 previous owners. the interior on it was decent when i got the car tbh, the other week i had it serviced and a new cam belt put on it and its been running alot better since also i had the alternator replaced as the whining on it was doing my head in
     
  16. moss

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 6,487

    Location: South Shields

    Sure the electronic dash isnt knackered and its meant to say 89000 not 39000 :p
     
  17. Clarkey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,145

    dunno about most cars, but the milometer in a 300zx can be easily wound backwards and theres no way you would be able to tell. Obviously im not going to go into detail here though.
     
  18. moss

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 6,487

    Location: South Shields

    Certain cars with electronic dashes, you could fit a dash pod with a lower millage from another car. This doesnt work with all/newer cars though, as many are now linked to the ECU and need to programmed in.
     
  19. Clarkey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,145

    yep digital ones are a waste of time, MUCH easier to adjust than a regular one, just need to plug in your laptop fitted out with highly dubious software and press a button or two.