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Unread 03-27-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
variable
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Mileage fraud...?

So, I recently bought my 93 ZJ (like 3-4 weeks ago). At the time, the odomoter read something in the 165k range. I just did one of those car-fax things on it for giggles, figuring it probably had a colorful history, and according to them, in 2010, the registered mileage during a routine smog check, was 186,950... Its now 2015...

According to the person I bought it from, it was last purchased from a police lien auction (I don't even have license plates yet - have to get it smogged first). If I estimate somewhere between 10-12k miles/year, that puts it well over 200k miles... To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what to do with this information. The guy I bought it from failed to disclose a few things about the condition (thats what I get for buying a car on craigslist).

In truth, given this info, I have no idea how many miles are on the car. For all I know, someone replaced the gauge cluster with the lower odometer reading (its not digital). I suppose that its entirely possible that the gauge cluster actually failed and it was replaced do to this malfunction... but... now I feel like I've committed some sort of fraud or something... Or maybe at this point in its age - from a legal standpoint - it doesn't really matter? I mean, I'm pissed that I was lied to, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I registered it already, though its not complete till I do the smog, but I find it curious that the DMV didn't say anything when I told them the mileage at 165k given that its clearly not the actual mileage - I'd imagine they have more access to information than I do...

Does the PCM record mileage as well? I mean, can I get data from another source in the vehicle? I mean, this could be straight up fraud...

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Unread 03-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #2
MrRoundel
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I wouldn't be surprised if this happened a lot more than most people think. I don't know the methods used, but I do know that the criminal mind is always working on rigging their game through such things. Sometimes I'll see a ZJ ad that claims a low mileage. Then I look at the steering-wheel grip, and it's totally chewed up, and I wonder. In addition, the seats are all really worn, etc., making it look like it's double the mileage. Then there are the guys that say they're selling a 4x4, but the ZJ has no transfer case, nor a front diff. But it does have "4x4" medallions all over it. In the 4x4 vs. 2WD, it's like an old friend used to say, "Don't believe anything that you hear, and only half of what you see."

In your case, there's little, or no, question that somebody changed the mileage, and it "SOMEHOW" worked out to their benefit. In other words, they didn't change the odometer to show more miles than the Jeep had on it. Isn't always just like that, lucky thieves? Probably fraudulent by someone, but I doubt there's much that can be done about it. Small claims court maybe? Depending on how many PO's are in the chain, it might be hard to prove, and might be time-intensive as well. Good luck, whatever you do.

It's hard to say what the DMV would do about it, perhaps they'd pursue it. One lesson learned might be to get the Carfax before you buy the car, right? I'm sure you're kicking yourself for that one. Live and learn. I hope that the ZJ ends up being a good one, regardless of the questionable mileage situation.
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Unread 03-27-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
tgr1957
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mileage

if over 10 yr old most dmvs don't care about mileage I have had various discrepencys when like oil change places input wrong info as to mileage and so on I know on later obd2 that the main brain did record mileage and hours on some makes if this helps
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Unread 03-27-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
Uniblurb
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I've heard the PCM, BCM and instrument cluster can all store mileage but not sure about your 93 OBD1 setup?

Have also read the DMV/BMV's are likely to ignore mileage differences on 10+ year old vehicles. Hate to say it but if you press the false mileage with the DMV you could end up with some licensing problems. I'm sure the CA DMV would be happy your 22 year old ZJ wasn't on the road anymore.

Sucks you were hood-winked by the seller but you may have no recourse at this point. Even if you did go after the seller you may have more time/fees in going through the legal system than your ZJ is actually worth. Sorry and good luck!
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Unread 03-27-2015, 12:02 PM   #5
Montreal300
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As stated, not that rare an occurance on the early mechanical clusters. I used to know a guy that made a living off this going from used car dealer to dealer. (Until he was arrested for other bad behaviour)
Even the newer digital versions are "fixable" but it's more difficult and you need to have a scan-tool or similar.
Talk to the guy you bought it from and ask him for the "police" bill of sale. If he can't produce it, demand to have the car returned. He could just blow you off in which case it's expensive lawyer time. If it were me I'd just chalk it up to experience and get on with life.
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Unread 03-27-2015, 12:07 PM   #6
variable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal300 View Post
As stated, not that rare an occurance on the early mechanical clusters. I used to know a guy that made a living off this going from used car dealer to dealer. (Until he was arrested for other bad behaviour)
Even the newer digital versions are "fixable" but it's more difficult and you need to have a scan-tool or similar.
Talk to the guy you bought it from and ask him for the "police" bill of sale. If he can't produce it, demand to have the car returned. He could just blow you off in which case it's expensive lawyer time. If it were me I'd just chalk it up to experience and get on with life.
I'm inclined to agree. I've already done a bunch of work and probably spent more than I paid for it, an if the best I can get is to be able to return it (and then give all that money to the lawyers...) then its clearly not worth the trouble. I guess if the DMV doesn't care, then I don't really care - just annoying. Whats even more annoying is the ad said it was a 94... but its a 93 that according to records was first purchased in late 92 (93 model.. whatever). Oh well.

Thanks for the input guys!
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Unread 03-27-2015, 12:10 PM   #7
HighLonesome
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Must be stored in the cluster somewhere. Not the PCM, and there is no BCM.

I had a friend back in the day that removed his mechanical counter and connected an electric motor to it and ran it in reverse.
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Unread 03-27-2015, 12:44 PM   #8
zjosh93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by variable View Post
Whats even more annoying is the ad said it was a 94... but its a 93
Back when I sold parts it was pretty common for people not to know what year there new car was. Once had a guy come in to get the codes pulled because his "check engine" was on his brand new, used 98 Grand Am. According to the door it was a 93... He was a trifle upset.
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Unread 03-27-2015, 01:25 PM   #9
Uniblurb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLonesome View Post
Must be stored in the cluster somewhere. Not the PCM, and there is no BCM.

I had a friend back in the day that removed his mechanical counter and connected an electric motor to it and ran it in reverse.
Oh yeah, remember those good ole daze too! You'd just take an electrical drill, disconnect the speedo cable, insert the end in the drill chuck, and run the drill in reverse rolling the miles back!

We did that when my older brother and I would steal/borrow my mom's big ole Pontiac Catalina out of our garage. Then we figured out why not just disconnect the speedo to begin with? We even found a way to mark where the pencils were she laid under the tires to try and set us up while we'd put them right back in the exact same place! Lol.
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96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 93 4.0 XJ (spare), 96 4.0 XJ (son's)

-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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Unread 03-27-2015, 02:46 PM   #10
zwoobah
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Carfax is not the bible. It can also have errors and is subject to the input given to it by whoever entered the mileage at the smog check. If it has many other mileage records that show normal progression from year to year, and then a jump from 155k to 185k then back to 165k - the guy at the smog station probably made a typo. Carfax used to have a data correction button where you could send them an email and have them check into it.
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