posted 4 years ago

BBC: Car Clocking Has Safety And Financial Implications

BBC One Show & HPI Emphasise Implications Of Clocking

Vehicle clocking is a widespread problem that has a range of financial and safety implications, the BBC's One Show and HPI has emphasised. Clocking is the process of reducing an odometer reading (mileage). This is typically performed by a “mileage correction firm” of which there are countless throughout the UK. Whereas there are legitimate reasons to change a vehicle's mileage – such as to correct a fault with its odometer – the purpose is often to increase its value prior to sale. That, of course, is frowned upon by authorities. More seriously, clocking can cause conflicts within the electronic control unit as modules within the vehicle – such as those relating to the airbag and anti-lock brakes – might not be changed in line with the odometer. This can impede the performance of warning lights and service reminders. Such interference can also invalidate the manufacturer warranty (and fair enough). Clocking can also cause legal issues following a collision. Why? Because a car might record performance/speed data via its engine control unit. Such facts could play an important role in clearing a motorist of blame. However, data of this nature could be disregarded if the vehicle has been tampered with. It might, after all, have been corrupted during the clocking process.

How To Spot A Clocked Vehicle

There are simple steps a motorist can take to minimise the risk of buying a clocked vehicle – although it is difficult to be absolutely safe. Start by cross referencing MOT mileages with the service history/invoices. If the paper certificates are missing alternatives can be viewed via a government website (Google “check MOT history”). The key is to look for consistency and logical progression. If, for example, the MOT mileage on May 1st 2014 is eighty thousand then a service stamp two days earlier at eighty-five thousand is suspicious. The documents should also be free of corrections and significant time gaps Why, after all, would a vehicle – that has paperwork confirming it travelled extensively in the first three years but now has a low mileage reading for its age - have no documents for more recent times? The reason might be honest, but the paperwork might have been binned to hide revealing facts. Furthermore, service history can be faked so contact the garage that has (apparently) maintained the vehicle. Confirm its records match the paperwork. Contacting the previous owner can be beneficial too. It is also wise to find comparisons. Why? Because a Ford Mondeo that has covered ten-thousand miles should feel superior to a high mileage example. Plus, of course, purchase from a reputable source and order a history check from a company such as HPI.