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Broken Odometer - Legal To Drive/Sell Car?

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Old 06-02-2005, 12:02 PM   #1
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Broken Odometer - Legal To Drive/Sell Car?

My buddy's car's odometer stopped working. The speedometer still works but the odometer got slower and slower and finally stopped. I'm assuming it's something with the gearing of the number wheel inside the dash since the speedo is still indicating properly.

This is an old beater Nissan and he's not wanting to put a lot of money into the car. However I'm hearing that here in California it's illegal to operate a vehicle with a broken odometer. I figured when he traded it in or sold it he could just state the odometer was not accurate. Does anybody know if by law it has to be fixed or replaced? Anybody have experience with odometer issues and the DMV?
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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It depends on the state you are in. When I lived in Florida there was an odo exemption for cars over 10 years old. California may be more strict. I'd start by looking at the California DMV's web site. Maybe call 'em if that doesn't turn up anything useful...
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:39 PM   #3
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Its legal, you both need to sign an odometer reading statement which you can get at the DMV. There is a box that says something to the affect that both parties acknowledge that the Odometer reading is not accurate.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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They probably will arrest you and make you pay $2000 bond for such an infraction in the Republik of Kalifornia. Budget shortfalls...

In Colorado I think its 7 years before used vehicle sales are exempt from odometer scrutiny. The titles for all of my vehicles have a zero in the Odometer box.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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I should think it is not illegal as long as your friend discloses the defect to the buyer. It's the attempt to defraud part that is illegal.
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:39 PM   #6
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I read the California Vehicle Code books and apparently as long as you're not trying to defraud someone by purposefully changing the mileage it is OK that the odometer does not work. When you sell the vehicle you just have to note on the title that the mileage is not accurate. Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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Is it the seller's responsibility, legally, to ensure that the speedometer is working in a vehicle before selling it in the state of Virginia? Have paid to have the vehicle calibrated ($55) and had to purchase a GPS system (Garmin Nuvia: $93) to ensure speed of car was accurate. This will save $300 to $400 in having a speedometer put in, but I'm out the $148 unless it's the seller's responsibility for a working speedometer when the car is sold.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by emmett71755 View Post
Is it the seller's responsibility, legally, to ensure that the speedometer is working in a vehicle before selling it in the state of Virginia? Have paid to have the vehicle calibrated ($55) and had to purchase a GPS system (Garmin Nuvia: $93) to ensure speed of car was accurate. This will save $300 to $400 in having a speedometer put in, but I'm out the $148 unless it's the seller's responsibility for a working speedometer when the car is sold.
Sweet mother of thread bumps....5 years really?
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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when i sold my 92 se-r mine wasnt working, so i dont think washington state cares because of its age and miles.

haha wow i just noticed the 5 year old bump too
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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Those Nissan speedometer and odometers are junk, I actually bought a Pathfinder w/ both broken and had no problems registering them in Cali. The mileage was exempt anyways so it didn't matter.

why am I responding to this old thread anyways???

Last edited by se7enine; 02-21-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
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Sweet mother of thread bumps....5 years really?
I've been noticing a bunch of first post responders digging up old threads here lately?
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:06 PM   #12
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I've been noticing a bunch of first post responders digging up old threads here lately?
I just noticed mine stopped working
Good info here though, idk what the dictatorship of new jersey will do to me if I don't fix this but here's to a 3 year bump!
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