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Author Topic: Reverse rewinds the odometer?
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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quote:

http://www.lidrock.com/odometer1.htm

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You can also see that mechanical odometers like this one are rewindable. When you run the car in reverse, the odometer actually can go backwards ... In real life, the odometer would've turned back.

Can this actually be done in the past? Putting your car up on cylinder blocks, rigging the car to reverse, and walking away and returning with the odometer running backwards?

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Joseph Z

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Doesn't work on vintage Ferraris....

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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God Bless you Jay Tea. That was my FIRST thought!! [lol]

Nope, it doesn't work. My mother tried it and just wasted a half a tank of gas with no results. But then it was back in '72 or so...

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
Happy Holly Days


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Wasn't that the subject of a commercial for CarFax, or some sort of vehicle researching company?

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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When your car is in reverse, your whole engine doesn't run backward, wouldn't the odo be attached to a part that always runs the same way?

ETA: Guess not!
quote:
You can also see that mechanical odometers like this one are rewindable. When you run the car in reverse, the odometer actually can go backwards -- it's just a gear train. In the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," in the scene where they have the car up on blocks with the wheels spinning in reverse -- that should've worked! In real life, the odometer would've turned back. Another trick is to hook the odometer's cable up to a drill and run it backwards to rewind the miles.
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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
When your car is in reverse, your whole engine doesn't run backward, wouldn't the odo be attached to a part that always runs the same way?

The odometer has to be hooked up to the output of the transmission, otherwise it would turn at different speeds depending on which gear you were in (or worse, turn when the transmission was in neutral).

However, AFAIK, most odometers made after the '70s (in the US, at least) have a one-way connection. This keeps the odometer from spinning backwards in reverse, and also keeps the speedometer from damaging itself against the stop. The input from the transmission can drive it when spinning one way (in a forward gear), but not when spinning the other way. This connection is sometimes inside the transmission, making it possible to pull the cable out and run it backwards with a drill. You can use the same method to set a replacement odometer to the correct mileage. Incidentally, falsifying the odometer reading is a felony.

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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And in today's age, digital odometers were born to prevent the old fashioned way hacking. Now you have to break under the hood and reprogram the computerized odometer.

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Joseph Z

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kendor
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I know it worked on a friend's mom's '79 Monte Carlo.

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Casey, making hot chocolate
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I've seen it done on a '54 Chevy. Thing was beat to death, so the guy tried all sorts of ULs on it. That was one of the true ones.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I remember in the 1980's hearing that a new invention made it difficult to tamper with an odometer. If you tried to turn it back, these bars would pop out between the numbers.

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2ys4u
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my ex bf tried turning the odometer back with a power drill. It worked, but when he drove it, every time a new mile would turn over it would make this annoying clicking sound.

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lawguy
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadshochet:
I remember in the 1980's hearing that a new invention made it difficult to tamper with an odometer. If you tried to turn it back, these bars would pop out between the numbers.

You are correct.

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
Can this actually be done in the past? Putting your car up on cylinder blocks, rigging the car to reverse, and walking away and returning with the odometer running backwards?
Even if it did, what would be the point? Would it really be worth all the time, expense, and additional wear & tear to run a car backwards long enough to reverse the odometer by an appreciable amount?

- snopes

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Eanar
I Saw Three Shipments


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My mom's fave story about when she was young is that her dad gave her exactly 40 miles to drive one night. That was 5 miles more than to the movie and back. Well, her and her friend decided to not go to the movie and drove around instead. When she hit the 40 mark she was still 20 miles from home (in the country) so she drove the rest of the way in reverse. It didn't turn the odometer back but it didn't move it forward either. I believe it was a GTO.
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Geeto67
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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My 1967 GTO odometer won't record in reverse (foward or backward) but I imagine it must have taken several hours to go 20 miles backward in a GTO (reverse top speed is a, tested by me 15 mph, before the car becomes too unstable to drive, but it will hit 25 (at 6000 rpm) backward before you spin out).

MY buddys 1988 toyota 4 runner odometer will count backward if you back the car up. He bought the car used so who knows if it has been tampered with. It is the only car I have ever seen do that. I remember him telling me this was a common problem with the 4 runner when the gauge broke.

edit:

quote:
Even if it did, what would be the point? Would it really be worth all the time, expense, and additional wear & tear to run a car backwards long enough to reverse the odometer by an appreciable amount?
To a dealer this means a lot when frauduently winding back the miles. If it doesn't do this then he has to go foward (with the speedo out of the car and a power drill attached to the speedo cable) till it comes around again to the desired mileage. If it is an old speedo then it rarely survives this abuse. IF ti winds backwards then it takes less time and puts less wear on the speedo so it looks more authentic (let me put it this way are you gonna buy a 180K battered and trashed 1970 nova SS with 14K on the non working clock? - no way, but you might buy a 70K trashed 1970 nova SS with a working speedo, if you were a collector or a hot rodder, because it is more believeable). This becomes important as collector car prices rise and more and more states go to mileage exempt registration for older cars. A 1969 Camaro SS 396 with 75K original miles is worth a heck of a lot more than a 1969 Camaro SS 396 with 140K.
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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My odometer broke about four years ago, so it's been stuck at ~112,550 since then. I asked my dad about having it fixed, and he said it would be too expensive. It's a ten-year-old car and I've probably put several thousand more miles on it in the last four years, but nobody will ever know. [Wink]

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bruce in france
Deck the Malls


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Also true for my (may she rest in peace) '79 VW Rabbit that got rear ended one day, and got towed to the repair shop with the front wheels rotating in reverse. When I compared the odometer reading on the repair receipt to the odometer reading on the accident report, I noticed that the odometer had in fact lost 20 miles.

OT: that car (a diesel, admittedly) consistently got me 50+ MPG 25 years ago. What's so hard about doing it today?

ETA: Just to avoid any confusion, I lived in the US (Ohio) at the time.

-b

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ilwrath
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
OT: that car (a diesel, admittedly) consistently got me 50+ MPG 25 years ago. What's so hard about doing it today?
I can answer that in one word: REGULATIONS

Back then the cars ran "lean." (Fuel was the limiting reagent in the combustion.) That saves a lot of fuel, but also creates a ton of dangerous NOx emissions. What happens is that part of your combustion is actually the reacting of oxygen and nitrogen in the air.

In the mid-to-late 80's NOx emissions were severely limited. This is a good thing, as NOx emissions are not at all good to have around.

But to lower your the NOx emissions, you have to greatly increase the amount of fuel used in your combustion. (In other words, you have to use air as your limiting reagent. A "rich" burn.) That means you lose overall efficiency in order to reduce the hazardous emissions. This is a good trade-off, though. I'd much rather have higher CO2 levels than higher NOx levels, that's for sure!

Also, nowadays, due to increased safety regulations, most cars are a lot heavier than your '79 golf was. Heavier vehicles are less fuel efficient.

And, of course, it's obvious, but the current trend of buying large SUVs and high horsepower engines hasn't really helped, either. [Wink]

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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by bruce in france:

OT: that car (a diesel, admittedly) consistently got me 50+ MPG 25 years ago. What's so hard about doing it today?

VW is still doing it. My 2001 New Beetle TDI (diesel) gets 48-52 mpg on standard diesel fuel after 86,000 miles. Not to mention spitting out lower emissions than its predessors.
If I use biodiesel (made from waste vegetable oil), I only get 43-48 mpg, but my tailpipe smells like french fries!

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
It's a ten-year-old car and I've probably put several thousand more miles on it in the last four years, but nobody will ever know. [Wink]

Well, at least as long as you don't try to sell it or trade it in. You're required to disclose actual mileage or that the odometer is broken at that time. Of course, if you just drive it until it dies, then you're good to go.

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
let me put it this way are you gonna buy a 180K battered and trashed 1970 nova SS with 14K on the non working clock? - no way, but you might buy a 70K trashed 1970 nova SS with a working speedo, if you were a collector or a hot rodder, because it is more believeable.
Sure, but my point is, how much is it going to cost a dealer in time and expense (somebody has to pay for all the gasoline and stay around to keep an eye on things, not to mention all the additional wear and tear this would put on the engine and other moving parts) to run a car up on blocks in reverse long enough to take 110,000 miles off the odometer?

- snopes

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noftessa
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Furious:
quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
It's a ten-year-old car and I've probably put several thousand more miles on it in the last four years, but nobody will ever know. [Wink]

Well, at least as long as you don't try to sell it or trade it in. You're required to disclose actual mileage or that the odometer is broken at that time. Of course, if you just drive it until it dies, then you're good to go.
I don't know about other states, but in California, you don't have to dislose actual mileage if the car is older than 10 years (I believe). At least, that is how it was in Feb. of 2004.

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