The latest issue of AutoWeek magazine, which arrived today, has a new column written by Jay Leno. It’s slanted to the DIY crowd. Please understand that I have always been a Jay Leno fan. OTHER than his money, he and I have a lot in common. We’re about the same age. We’re both car guys. We’re both fans of Denise McCluggage (also of AutoWeek). We both like the Tonite Show. Well, at least he DID.
One of the statements that Mr. Leno makes is that he once worked for a car dealership in the “odometer recalibration department”. Granted at the time he says he worked there, rolling back the mileage was not illegal. We’re talking the '60s. Unscrupulous, yes. Illegal, no. He stated that they had a customer who brought a car in for a possible trade. While the customer was trying to make a good deal, the “recalibration department” took his car and clocked it back (or possibly forward in those days) from 88K to 15K. Sounds like a scene out of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Leno claims this was done with an electric drill. I contend that the electric drill is not the weapon of choice on an old fashioned spool type odometer. I THINK they were usually altered with some kind of hook or wire that could latch onto the odometer’s mechanism and move the dials one way or another. Of course I’ve never done it myself.
I know that over the course of one mile, the speedometer cable will turn 1000 revolutions at 60 miles per hour. I googled it. Old geared odometers would remove miles if a car was backed up. Electric speedometers won’t. Consider how long it would take to remove even 100 miles if you had a drill that turned 2000 RPM. Most drills run 500 to 750 RPM as any faster will cause too much heat, dull your bit, and not cut any faster. 73,000 miles? @ 120 MPH, I think it’s 608+ hours, but I’m no math whiz.
Supposedly the customer took his old car away, but came back shortly, once he realized what had happened. He supposedly got the deal he wanted. Probably would have ratted them out if he hadn’t.
I know Mr Leno is a comedian by trade, and maybe he thought he was telling a joke. It’s different when things are set in print. As far as I’m concerned, his car credibility is shot.