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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy, Car Gurus!!

My son is looking to buy a 1998 Volksagen Jetta - private sale (as opposed to a dealer's sale). The seller says he just replaced the entire instrument cluster, and as such, the odometer now reads 13 (yes, 13). The seller says the original reading was 94K before he replaced it. I ran a Carfax on the car and the last reported odometer reading was 74.9K in June of 2004, so 94K is, although a bit high for one year, not unreasonable and is believable.

But my question is (what is your question, anyways?! :rolleyes: ), does replacing an instrument cluster really reset an odometer? And is this legal? Like if I ever go to resell it, it's only going to read 20K or 25K or something... it'll be obvious just from the age of the car that this isn't the case.

Just need some opinions from the rest of the world. Thanks.
 

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It would be fraud if the car is represented as having the lower miles.

I don't think I'd buy that car with that many miles. I've heard VW had some problems with the Jetta. I'd Google around and see what info can be found on Jetta quality issues.
 

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BirdieKate said:
Howdy, Car Gurus!!

My son is looking to buy a 1998 Volksagen Jetta - private sale (as opposed to a dealer's sale). The seller says he just replaced the entire instrument cluster, and as such, the odometer now reads 13 (yes, 13). The seller says the original reading was 94K before he replaced it. I ran a Carfax on the car and the last reported odometer reading was 74.9K in June of 2004, so 94K is, although a bit high for one year, not unreasonable and is believable.

But my question is (what is your question, anyways?! :rolleyes: ), does replacing an instrument cluster really reset an odometer? And is this legal? Like if I ever go to resell it, it's only going to read 20K or 25K or something... it'll be obvious just from the age of the car that this isn't the case.

Just need some opinions from the rest of the world. Thanks.
1. Yes replacing the inst cluster will reset the odometer because it is a new one. As long as it is disclosed at sale and reported to the stste DOL yes it is leagle. Some states require an affidavit. Or has it listed on the title.
2. I put 25K a year on my van it's a lot of miles yes, but to rack up that kind of miles you are usualy running on the feeways. (35 miles one way to work)
 

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If the odometer display is digital, then it should have been installed at the dealer with "Programmable module installation" to make everything read accurate.

If some hack just slapped one in, then you are pretty much out of luck on reporting proper mileage.

If the odometer is not digital, then you could remove the cluster, hook a cordless drill up to the speedometer cable hook-up and spin that baby at high speed for a long time :4-dontkno
 

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Mullet Man said:
If the odometer display is digital, then it should have been installed at the dealer with "Programmable module installation" to make everything read accurate.

If some hack just slapped one in, then you are pretty much out of luck on reporting proper mileage.

If the odometer is not digital, then you could remove the cluster, hook a cordless drill up to the speedometer cable hook-up and spin that baby at high speed for a long time :4-dontkno
For 96K :SHOCKED: that's a lot of drills. And then you have a new speedometer that has 96K highspeed miles on it. :grin: Best to check with your local spedometer shop and see what is required or can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great info, thanks... you all seem a bit hesitant about the issue, which I am as well.

I had a thought today ( :exclaim: ) -- and bear with me, it's been a while since I was in a car transaction -- but isn't the odometer reading listed on the title when it changes hands? The seller says he bought it from a dealer in Florida and had it shipped up here. The dealer said it had 122K miles on it but somehow the local seller says he thinks it was only 94K. (He did also say that the mechanics who worked on it thought it couldn't possibly have that high a mileage. How would they know?) And now that the new instrument cluster is in it, I can't verify either number. But it would be on the title to the seller from the dealer, wouldn't it? And why in the world would any dealer say the mileage was that much higher, when it wasn't? That would mean in 6/2004 it showed 75K miles on it and one year later it was 122K. Hmmm. That's a whole bunch o' miles, highway or not.

Thanks for the tidbit about Googling the Jetta. I will do that too. Hopefully the son will find something else for sale that feels more legit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got the VIN, ran the Carfax, and it shows the 74.9K at 6/2004. That's it so far, the transfer of title to this seller is too new to show up yet (I guess?).
 
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