Can parts verify truck mileage?


#1

I got some funny looks at a repair shop where I was getting some routine maintenance done on the '91 Ford Ranger truck I inherited from my grandfather.



The truck genuinely has only 61k on it, but when I was telling them all this (prior to the truck being worked on), they seemed a little bit in disbelief. The truck only features 5 digits for an odometer reading (plus 1 for tenths of a mile).



It occured to me that if I were to try to sell the truck down the road in the distant future, that missing 6th digit will make it hard for people to believe the truck’s actual mileage.



Is one able to verify a vehicle’s age/mileage by the parts viewable in the truck? If so, what would one look for?


#2

In a case like this, if I were considering buying this truck, I would look at it for indications that something was more worn than the 61,000 miles would account for.

I’d look for things like worn fabric in the seats, worn pads on the throttle and brake pedals and the condition of the carpets. I’d also get a general feel for how the truck rides and steers, and I’d look over the bodywork in general.

All of these things can show far less wear than the truck actually has on it if the truck has been meticulously cared for. If it was cared for that well, though, the mileage probably wouldn’t much matter.


#3

A trained eye should be able to make a reasonable guess based on the wear on the interior, such as the pedals and the seats. Unfortunately, most of what wears eventually gets replaced, so there’s not really any one part that can clue you in. On a '91, though, it will probably be a moot point. As cars get older, the mileage affects the selling price less. If your truck’s in nice shape, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing someone it’s less than 261k and the difference in what you’ll get for a 61k truck and a 161k truck isn’t actually that much.

I personally wouldn’t waste the money just for curiosity, but if you do go to sell it or if someone you know buys the unlimited service, you could get a CarFax report on your truck. Depending on what title transactions have taken place and where you and your grandfather took it for service, there might be a nice believeable trajectory of recorded mileages that might convince a prospective buyer.


#4
In addition to things like wear on the drivers seat and the peddles, consider that not only miles but age must be considered when evaluating a used car.  Frankly a car with more miles than usual for its age may be a better deal than one with less.  More miles generally means highway miles and they are easy on a car.  Often a car that has very low miles was left to sit for long periods and driven in city only which is hard on a car.

#5

The truth is the mileage will not make the value substantially more if you sell given the vehicle is already 17years old.


#6

When I bought used vehicles, the last thing I looked at was the odometer. In earlier days, it wasn’t too difficult to reset them anyway. If you want to sell your low mileage truck, a smooth running engine, a transmission that shifts as it should, a body that is not rusted out, and a suspension and steering gear in good shape are the important factors. This is what I would look at if I were interested in your truck–whether it has 61,000 miles or 261,000 miles is not the issue, particularly on a truck that is 17 years old.

If this were my truck, I wouldn’t even consider selling it.


#7

The other posts are good things to look for but you could take look at the odometer itself. This is not a perfect way to tell but if the numbers are lined up fairly straight it could be actual. If the numbers are crooked it most likely has rolled once or twice.


#8

Nobody really car about the mileage of an old truck but they should be able to see what shape it’s in. Maintenance records show dates and mileage at time of work.