Back in 2004 a lawyer in Arkansas found out that his odometer wasn't calculating mileage correctly on his Honda minivan. His tests found out that the odometer was off by 5%, so for every 100 miles his minivan would rack up 105 miles. This may seem like small change, but as Bankrate.com points out, even a 5% error can end your new car's warranty up 1000 miles early! The problem only gets worse when you have a car with a 100,000 mile warranty.
The last time you want to be without a warranty is when your vehicle rolls over 100,000, especially not when you really have 5,000 miles left on your warranty. At this point in your car's life it is much more likely to need expensive repairs which would have normally been covered under warranty. You'll appreciate having checked out the calibration of your odometer when your engine or transmission goes out at 100,007 miles.
Finding out if your odometer is quietly eating away at your warranty is really easy, just grab a friend and head to your closest federal highway. All you need to do is measure your odometer against the mile markers, use some of your mathematical skills and viola, you know how far off your odometer is. Bankrate has several steps to take in the event your odometer is skimming cash from your wallet. Thankfully most odometers are computer controlled, and can be fixed at your local dealer.
When we bought our most recent car we made sure that the car didn't have any odometer fraud, but we didn't even think to check that it was recording correctly. It looks like we have a project for our next road trip, especially since we purchased a power-train warranty with the vehicle.
Is your odometer cheating you?