How To Tell If A 5 Digit Odometer Has Rolled Over?

There’s no doubt that you already know how important an odometer is for an automobile. And these tell you about the distance the car has covered so far. 

But an odometer with 5 digits rolls over after a certain period. And people do not have an idea to reckon it.

So, how to tell if a 5-digit odometer has rolled over?

You can identify if the odometer has rolled over by following these 4 simple steps. First, locate the odometer and digits properly. Then note down the number on fresh paper.

After that, you need to inspect the mechanical limit. And finally, you can find out if the odometer has rolled over or not.

Do not stop reading at this moment. Because you need to get this brief to a detail that I have got here.

What is the Purpose of a 5 Digit Odometer?

The purpose of a 5-digit odometer is similar to a 6-digit odometer. An odometer in a car helps you to recognize the mileage it crossed so far.


Check out this all-in-one odometer and speedometer for a better understanding:

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The less mileage it crossed, the better for you. Because more mileage crossed basically means the car has run more. In that case, there are more chances of damages and other depreciation of the car. Thus, the odometer helps you identify this.

How Do I Understand if A 5 Digit Odometer Rolls Over?

Reading an odometer is quite important for automobile users. Whether it is a 5-digit or 6-digit odometer, the method is similar.

This is something impossible for the ones who do not know how to do it properly. But it is actually easier than you thought if you wonder.

We have got here a few steps for you to segregate the method easily. The steps are broken down so that you understand them easily. Take a look.

Step 1: Locate the Odometer

The first step for you is to locate the odometer. Although you must have already known about it you still need to make sure.

Go through the manual’s instructions and check that out properly. Usually, the odometer stays behind the steering wheels. Once you find it, get started now. 

Remember that locating the odometer properly is important for reasons. Because there are a few other similar things around the speedometer.

So, you might get confused with any of that. Thus, locate the odometer according to the manual’s instructions.

Source: Pacific Standard

Also, check for the huge 5 or 6-digit number on the total HUD display. And a miles or km unit beside the display. That is probably your best bet to the odometer

Step 2: Note Down the Number

Now, you would see a few digits in the rectangular boxes. So, take a notepad or a normal piece of paper to write down the numbers. And that’s how you read an odometer.

This would be even the same if it is a 7-digit odometer. That is how you read a 7-digit odometer too.

The color of the digits may vary from white to yellow or other different colors. But this does not have any significance actually. So, there is nothing to think about it.

Remember one thing. Before you note down the number, consider giving the glass a quick clean. The Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner is a great pick to clean your car’s interior:

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This is important because sometimes the glass keeps dust and debris over it. And that may confuse you with the digits while recording. Thus, it’s better to give it a clean.

You can use the aforementioned cleaner for this and that would be good actually. Now, do not use any cleaner that you are not well aware of.

But it’s not like you must use that one only. There are a lot of interior cleaners in the market.

Step 3: Inspect the Mechanical Limit

At this moment, take out the instrument panel that you have with your car. Look over the car’s license and look for the mileage indicated on it. 

The mileage number on the label might include the phrase “Exceeds Mechanical Limits.” 

In that situation, get a copy of the car’s registration history report. This can be obtained at your regional DMV. Sometimes an ECU reset may also cause you to lose the odometer data.

Step 4: Finalize the Operation

Analyze the data on the title’s background. Then look for the previously revealed odometer values from each previous owner.

Assess the vehicle’s real mileage. Calculate the relevant rollover number. Combine the present odometer data with the applicable rollover rate. 

For instance, say the true mileage could be 104,800 miles. So, the odometer shows 4,800 miles. 

And the title record search indicates the car had 70,000 miles. This can be reported by the last owner. So, clearly in a 5-digit odometer 104,800 or 6-digit won’t show.

Thus it shows 4,800 miles, which is a big understatement!

So, this is how you can tell whether the odometer has rolled over or not. And this way, you can identify if the car has run over 100,000 miles.

If you think, your odometer seems faulty, take professional help. They can also find the true odometer reading.

The professionals can identify if there is any reason. In addition to that, they can also let you know about the culprits too. 

But remember, this can happen for issues like pouring transmission fluid in the oil.

What Happens When the Odometer Rolls Over?

The odometer generally consists of either 5 or digits as you already know. And the odometer tends to run over once it hits its maximum place value.

You can get an example here. Say, your car has an odometer of 5 digits. So, once the mileage is about to hit 100 thousand, the odometer rolls over.

And in the same way, the odometer rolls over if it is a 6-digit one. But it rolls over when the mileage is about to hit 10 million. 

When this rolls over, there is no other significance other than the mileage. The only thing it indicates is the distance covered by the car so far.

So, there are particularly no issues with the car odometer rolling over. 

However, when the odometer rolls over, the car’s value decreases. Because the more the distance covered, the less the value of the car. 

For this, a few frauds try rolling back the odometer before it reaches the max. Thus, it is important to know how to tell if it is rolled over.

And you already know how to identify it as we have covered here above. So, this is what happens when the odometer of a car rolls over.


Is it hard to read an odometer?

No, it is not that hard for you to read an odometer. You must know how to do that properly. There are 5 to 6 rectangular boxes beneath the steering panel. For the latest vehicles, odometers are digital. For cars of old models, you need to find it and the numbers are the distance covered.

Is it normal to have 5-digit or 6-digit odometers?

Well, it is not a problem with the digits of an odometer. The model of the cars got upgraded. Along with that, all the internal and external parts did too. As a result, the odometer’s digits changed from 5 to 6. And this has happened from the year 1991 and has continued.

Can my odometer readings be wrong?

Yes, definitely, your odometer readings may be wrong. Unfortunately, it may happen for multiple reasons. However, the main driving factor behind this issue can be internal issues. If you can understand that there are certain issues, get help. And a professional can help you resolve this.

Final Words

Now you know how to tell if a 5-digit odometer has rolled over! We believe the information and instructions we have covered here for you come in handy.

Remember that an expert automobile mechanic may identify the problem even quicker. But they can still not let you not know the actual one for reasons. And they may charge you for this. 

So, better you do it yourself!

Robert Lozano

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