Why have 2000 miles disappeared from my odometer?
April 10, 2009 8:23 PM   Subscribe

My odometer has gone backwards by about 2000 miles. What caused this and should I be worried?

I drive a 2000 Pontiac Firebird, 6 cylinder automatic with a digital odometer. As of Thursday morning, my car had a bit more than 65000 miles on it. I can't remember exactly how much, but between 65000-65500. Today, I started my car to go to work, and my car now has 63027 miles on it. The miles seem to be going up as normal now. What caused this? Should I be worried? Is this something I need to have corrected or fixed, or could it be a one time thing? Thanks for any help, and I'll supply any other info if you need it.
posted by srrh to Technology (11 answers total)
Not to second guess you, but are you sure the mileage you recall was from your odometer? From personal experience, I can tell you the mileage on my oil change reminder sticker but not what the exact mileage on my car is at the moment.
posted by ellenaim at 8:32 PM on April 10, 2009

Yeah, it is kind of surprising that a digital odometer would do this. I'd suggest human error is a possibility - especially if you weren't sure of the mileage so much. Is there any way your memory is playing tricks on you? Like convincing yourself a '2' was a '5'?

Either way, even if it did it is absolutely nothing to worry about. It doesn't affect anything at all in the rest of your car other than the mileage count. Just make sure you keep an eye on it and be sure for a while, and look for any other oddness - although bear in mind that there may be somethings you didn't expect that you will suddenly notice for paying double attention to your dash.

Otherwise? Ignore it. Totally.
posted by Brockles at 8:39 PM on April 10, 2009

It affects your resale value -- in a good way.
posted by nitsuj at 8:47 PM on April 10, 2009

I had a car with a digital odometer (New Beetle) and when I had to have a part replaced in the dashboard (some dash light would not go out; it was a common problem), I got the car back with about 2000 miles MORE on it than it should have had. It hadn't been a case of human error; I'd recently figured out about how many miles I'd driven in a year and this new number threw off my calculation completely.

When I took the car back, they said something to the effect of "something got garbled in the upload from the car's internal odometer to the odometer of the part" when they were reprogramming the part that had to be replaced.

So they tried it again, and this time the car came back with about 1500 FEWER miles on it than it should have had.

At that point I said "I'm not bringing the car in again" and drove it with 1500 fewer miles on the odometer until we sold it.
posted by Lucinda at 8:56 PM on April 10, 2009

Man, if you do figure out how it happened, be sure to tell Cameron Frye.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:20 PM on April 10, 2009 [17 favorites]

Lots of reports of sleepwalking behaviors while taking Ambien...
hope you haven't been driving backwards in your sleep, other than that enjoy those "free miles"
posted by dougiedd at 1:05 AM on April 11, 2009

I would enjoy the free miles, but keep them in mind when you are working out when to replace your timing belt. You don't want to miss that.
posted by Frasermoo at 4:43 AM on April 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Are you absolutely sure you haven't traveled back in time?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:33 AM on April 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Are you absolutely sure you haven't accidently stolen someone else's car?
posted by public at 3:44 PM on April 11, 2009

My friend bought a new Honda CR-V a few months ago. She turned it on one day and the odometer read 6 miles. She actually had about 10,000 miles on it at the time. She took it to the dealer and they diagnosed it as the computer, replaced it, and everything was fine.
posted by LightMayo at 7:40 PM on April 11, 2009

Are you sure you are not looking at perhaps a trip odometer that was never depressed to reset, can you jog the digital odometer to say Trip A or Trip B by pressing the reset button located somewhere around the odometer itself?
posted by bkeene12 at 8:51 PM on April 11, 2009

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