There is no doubt that your car’s odometer is one of the most important instruments that it has especially when you are thinking of selling your vehicle in the future.
That’s because a good part of your car’s value is based on its odometer reading as that is what will tell its mileage.
However, there will be times when the odometer would actually not do what it is supposed to do such as when it is going crazy.
So, why is your odometer going crazy?
Odometers that are going crazy are most likely to be moving fast enough or are not actually moving. Most of the time, odometers that are going crazy may also reset and make you lose your odometer reading. And the most likely reason why an odometer is going crazy is due to a damaged Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
When you have an odometer that is going crazy, that could be a huge problem for you because of the fact that you could run into some issues later when you attempt to sell your car.
As such, it is important for you to make sure that your odometer is performing at its best and that there are no issues with it so that you won’t have any troubles with your car’s mileage.
What happens when your odometer is going crazy?
When it comes to the many different instruments found on your dashboard, the odometer is one of those that people don’t always look at on a regular basis because it only becomes important whenever you want to know your car’s mileage for one reason or another.
That’s why it isn’t rare for people to belatedly notice that the odometer in their vehicles are actually going crazy. But what exactly does it mean when the odometer is going crazy?
As you know, the purpose of the odometer is to continue to keep track of the miles or the distance that your car has driven.
Every single mile the car has driven will be recorded on the odometer, and this record persists from the very first day you drove your car until you part with it.
As such, the odometer is the only instrument that doesn’t really “reset” and will always move forward just as the distance you have driven your car will always move forward as well.
So, when your odometer is going crazy, that means that it is doing anything other than properly keeping track of the car’s mileage.
This means that the numbers may be going haywire as the odometer might continue to have fluctuating values that are anything but close to the actual value of your car’s mileage.
It could be that the odometer is moving so fast that it seems to be wrong for your car to have such high mileage.
In some cases, the odometer might be showing random numbers that are far from your actual mileage.
There are even some instances where the odometer would go in reverse and may even reset all the way to zero.
As such, when we say that the odometer is going crazy, it simply means that the odometer is doing things that are outside of what is normal.
And we know that the odometer only does one thing that is normal, and that is to keep track of the vehicle’s total mileage while continuing to move upwards in terms of the reading that it is showing.
What is the reason for an odometer to go crazy?
Now that you have a quick idea of what is happening when an odometer is going crazy, you might be looking at your odometer right now to see if it is actually performing normally.
So, if your odometer is going crazy, what is the possible reason why that is happening?
It could depend on what kind of odometer you have because there are different types of odometers that function differently.
As such, certain defects in the odometer can vary depending on how your odometer is constructed.
Mechanical odometers rely on moving wires and gears to move your odometer.
So, whenever your odometer is going crazy such as when the reading is going faster or slower than it should, then the reason could be traced back to broken gears that may be missing a tooth or two.
It could be due to how the odometer was calibrated the wrong way – read this article on the odometer correction.
Meanwhile, an electric or digital odometer relies on electric signals to keep track of your mileage.
The signals are sent to the vehicle’s engine control unit or ECU, which is basically the Electronic Control Unit that controls all of the instruments on your car’s dashboard.
So, when an electric or digital odometer is going crazy or isn’t functioning as it should, it could be due to how the ECU is damaged.
Most electric or digital dashboards don’t have instruments that function independently as they all rely on the ECU.
As such, if your odometer is damaged, then some of the other instruments may be going crazy as well.
Try to see if your speedometer or your trip meter are working properly because these instruments are also related to your odometer.
How to fix an odometer that is going crazy?
At this point, you probably already know the reason why your odometer is going crazy.
So, let’s get to the point where you need to fix your odometer depending on what’s wrong with it.
If you are talking about a mechanical odometer, this is easier to fix because mechanical odometers work independently of the other instruments.
So, you can either replace the odometer itself or replace one of the gears that may be broken.
You can simply open up your instrument cluster using screwdrivers and then replace the odometer or its gears.
However, electronic or digital odometers are trickier because of how they rely on the ECU, which is something that most people are not equipped to know how to fix.
That said, it is best to take your vehicle to the shop to have the ECU checked if it is the cause of your problems.
The shop will either repair or replace the ECU depending on how damaged it is.