My Odometer Is Going Too Fast (Fixed!)

It is important for you to make sure that your odometer is running well because of how vital it is when it comes to knowing your car’s mileage.

While most people think that the mileage is only important if you are planning on selling your car, it also comes in handy when it comes to knowing when you need to bring in your car for maintenance.

But, what if your odometer is going too fast that it doesn’t seem like it’s showing the right mileage? Why is this happening?

If your odometer is going too fast, it could be since your odometer is not calibrated for the tires you are using or maybe because the odometer is actually in kilometers and not in miles. Of course, there is also the chance that your odometer might actually be broken and needs replacement.

It is quite rare to see an odometer that isn’t showing the right mileage, especially when you did not touch anything in your car and everything is all stock.

However, this problem does happen from time to time, and there seems to be no direct cause as to why the odometer is going too fast.

That’s why we are here to present you with the possible reasons and solutions why this is happening.

Why is your odometer going too fast?

One of the most important instruments on your instrument cluster is the odometer because of how it plays a huge role in determining how old your car really is.

The car’s mileage is the single best determinant for telling the car’s true age because there might be cars that may only be a few years old but have been driven for tens of thousands of miles already compared to a car that has been around for a decade but has comparatively lower mileage.

That said, the mileage also plays a role in determining whether or not you need to bring your car in for maintenance.

But the most important role played by your car’s mileage is when it is time to sell it, read this article to find out about the Odometer brand required when selling your car.

That’s because buyers will almost always look at the car’s odometer first to know its mileage.

And the law is very strict when it comes to your odometer showing the right mileage because of how there have been some people who actually roll their odometers back to reflect a different mileage just to have a higher asking price for their car.

But what if something entirely different happens to your odometer in such a case that it is actually going faster than it’s supposed to be.

For example, when you drive on a clear road with a set distance of about three miles, you noticed that the odometer reflected five miles instead.

This can be problematic because, for one, if you are looking to sell your car in the future, you won’t be able to ask for a higher price when the odometer is showing a higher mileage.

So, why is it that this is happening to the odometer?

There can be several reasons why this is happening, and we cannot really pinpoint one exact reason why your odometer may be going too fast.

If this is happening to you, you can look at the following possible causes to determine if those are the ones that are plaguing your odometer:

The odometer is calibrated for the wrong tire size

For those who have changed their tires with tires that have a size that’s different from the stock tires, this is probably the most common reason for odometers that may be going too fast.

So, for you to understand why this will matter, let us go over how odometers work.

An odometer basically works by taking into account the car’s tire size with respect to the number of times it revolves.

So, basically, the odometer uses the car’s diameter to compute how many miles the car has driven with respect to how many revolutions it has made. As such, the car’s tire size is very important when it comes to how an odometer works.

And when the cars are sold, their odometers come calibrated with respect to the car’s tire size.

So, if you changed your tires to a tire size that is smaller than that of the stock tires without having the odometer recalibrated to account for the change, what happens now is that the odometer will still be counting the mileage based on the old tire size.

Because it will be using a larger diameter to compute for the mileage, the odometer will look like it is going too fast even though it is actually working properly.

The odometer is showing kilometers instead of miles

This may be too simple of a reason why your odometer may be going too fast but it can actually happen. If you bought your car in a place that uses the metric system instead of the imperial system for their measurements, there is a good chance that the odometers in the car are calibrated to reflect kilometers instead of miles.

In case you didn’t know, one mile is equal to about 1.6 kilometers. As such, a kilometer is less than one mile.

And if an odometer is counting in kilometers instead of in miles, what happens is that it will appear to be counting faster especially if you have been basing the distance you have driven on miles instead of kilometers.

So, if this is your problem, how would you know if your car is showing miles or kilometers? There are a few possible ways for you to do so.

  • First, if the car was bought in a country that uses kilometers instead of miles, the odometer was calibrated to show kilometers instead of miles.
  • Second, you can also check the speedometer to see which one is on the outer ring as those that have km/h instead of mph on the outer ring also have odometers that use kilometers instead of miles.
  • And third, you can always have it checked by a professional to see whether it is in miles or in kilometers.

Read this article to find out more about if an odometer is measured in miles or kilometers.

The odometer is busted

Finally, the most obvious reason why your odometer is going too fast if neither of the above is the issue at hand is that it is simply broken.

This means that there is something wrong with your odometer and that it needs to get replaced. There are now two ways about it. 

So, that means that what you need to do is to determine whether or not your odometer is working fine or if it is accurate.

If it isn’t, then the most logical reason is that your odometer is not working well and may need to be fixed or replaced.

How to tell if your odometer is accurate

The best way for you to tell whether or not your odometer is accurate is by looking at the engine control unit or the ECU. Your car’s ECU is the one responsible for counting all of the magnetic or optical pulses that will allow the odometer to count the car’s mileage.

It is basically the one holding the “memory” of your car’s computer so that you can tell the car’s actual mileage.

Most dealerships have a diagnostic tool that you can use to read the value of the pulses recorded by the ECU.

So, in that case, you can tell if your odometer is accurate by cross-referencing it with the value that has been recorded in the ECU. If the odometer’s value is comparatively a lot higher, then there is a chance that it isn’t working properly.

How to fix odometer going too fast

Wrong tire size

What you need to do to fix this problem is to have your odometer recalibrated to account for the change in tire size.

It’s really that simple as your odometer will now count your car’s mileage based on the new tires.

Or, better yet, buy new tires that are of the same size as the stock tires.

The odometer is in kilometers

If this is the case for you, then there is nothing wrong with your odometer except that it is just using a different unit of measurement.

In some cars, you can change the unit of measurement on your speedometer to also change the unit used by your odometer.

However, if you don’t want to spend money or take time to get your odometer “fixed”, you can simply multiply the kilometrage by 1.6 to show the mileage.

Odometer is busted

So, finally, if the reason why the odometer is going too fast is that it is busted, then what you need to do is to have a professional check it to see if it can still be fixed.

If not, then your best bet is to have it replaced with a new one.

And while you’re at it, you may want to have the entire instrument cluster overhauled too because there is a chance that all of the interconnected instruments are also faulty.

Sources

YourMechanic.com: Odometer is registering too many miles

Speedometer ok but miles pilling up faster 🙁

Odometer spinning too fast!

Misleading Mileage: Is your car’s odometer working properly?