The problems with clocking

BBC and HPI identify safety issues

Published:  04 September, 2014

The BBC and HPI have released the results of an investigation into vehicle clocking, showing the problems range far beyond paying too much for a vehicle.

HPI warns that the techniques used by modern clockers can affect crucial readings within the ECU, leading to legal and safety issues. Around 10% of all the modules in a modern car, such as the airbag, ABS and ignition, feed information into the central ECU system, and each time an event occurs - such as a faulty airbag warning - a 'snapshot' of the vehicle's mileage will be recorded on these modules. Therefore, unless a vehicle's mileage is wound back by a particularly 'diligent' and skilled clocker who alters the mileage readings on all potentially affected modules in addition to the odometer, these will be out of sync, leading to issues with safety warnings - and potentially legal cases in the event of an accident.

"Firstly, there is the potential to miss important servicing and warning light indicators, as the car's various different components will be reading different mileages. By changing the mileage, a clocker will actually be causing conflicts within the cars electronics and interfering with the normal routines for servicing and repair. In addition, a manufacturer's warranty is likely to be void if the car is discovered to have been clocked.

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