Odometer Reset: Legalities and How to Do It Properly

There is an odometer in every vehicle on the road. In your instrument cluster, you’ll find the odometer, which measures the miles you’ve driven. It is usually represented numerically or by mileage. In order to change the oil, replace the tires, or keep track of the mileage driven, an odometer is required.

What if the odometer on your car resets itself? This is going to cause a lot of worry. Thus, we will go into great detail on how to reset the odometer in this piece.

But before we get into that, I want you to know that this post is meant to teach you something and not trick you into doing anything fraudulent, so you may reset your odometer legally. Imagine for a second that your odometer resets itself; I wrote this post specifically to spare you that nightmare.

Can I reset the odometer legally?

Oh, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “odometer fraud”—the practice of resetting your vehicle’s mileage for whatever reason without the proper paperwork from the authorities. Can I reset the odometer legally? It is against the law, therefore of course not.

The United States government considers odometer fraud a federal felony with severe penalties for those who do it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that it has cost consumers between $4 billion and $10 billion.

Both federal and state laws consider it a serious felony. It is against the law in the United States to falsify, reset, or otherwise alter the odometer reading on a vehicle. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to make your car look newer and sell it for more money; doing so can get you jail time either way.

Also Read:  GDI Explained: The Role of Gasoline Direct Injection in Vehicle

A documented statement of the covered miles should be provided to the buyer when selling a car. Assuming the mileage has been altered, the purchaser is obligated by law to document this fact. That being said, let’s pretend the car in issue is more than ten years old. Under such circumstances, the vendor is free to sell the car without disclosing its mileage in writing.

It is possible to commit odometer fraud in multiple ways. Scammers mainly do it because they want to make more money by passing off old cars as brand new ones. In this article, we will examine odometer fraud, how con artists do it, and methods for resetting the odometer on older cars.

Setting the odometer to zero

Resetting your vehicle’s odometer is useful for two main situations. The first thing you should do is reset the odometer. Either the mileage resets itself (which happens very seldom) or you’re trying to cheat the system.

Resetting the odometer makes a car look newer and increases its worth when you want to sell it. Nonetheless, keep in mind that such a false behavior can result in consequences. To learn how to reset the odometer on any car, not only Toyotas, follow these steps.

Replacing the instrument cluster

Instead of the auto computer, most Japanese manufacturers display the mileage on the instrument cluster. The odometer will display 0 miles when you replace the instrument cluster with a new one. If you opt to swap out your current instrument cluster for a secondhand one, the secondhand cluster will display the original vehicle’s mileage.

Also Read:  How to Check if Your Brake Master Cylinder is Working

Manipulating the knob

seconds.o reset the odometer, this is the easiest method. On the instrument cluster, you should see a knob. This knob has multiple purposes, such as displaying the percentage of fuel remaining and temperature readings. Interestingly, this knob can reset the travel miles on an automobile.

When the fuel efficiency light comes on, you can reset the odometer to zero by pressing and holding down this knob for a few 

Reassemble the Odometer

Older automobiles’ odometer resets are simple and uncomplicated if you’re a gearhead like myself who loves learning about the inner workings of cars. Using standard mechanic tools such as pliers and screwdrivers, just take the instrument cluster apart, manually reset the mileage figures, and then put it back together.

Anyway, some automakers are on to these methods, so they included a tamper-proof seal. Having a tamper-proof seal on your vehicle will make it more difficult to reset the odometer covertly.


You should have no trouble spotting odometer fraud now that you know how to reset the odometer. Because of the natural wear and tear that occurs in every car part, it is recommended that you use an old odometer.

Make sure you understand the charges against odometer fraud by reading the first few lines of this article before you reset your odometer.

Leave a Comment