No, is the short answer to this question. The mileage on your car is shown by the odometer, which shows a lot more than just the wear on the engine.
But what does the odometer mean, and why can’t it be changed? We’ll answer all of these and more questions here.
Why Replacing an Engine Won’t Reset Mileage
As we’ve already said, your car’s odometer shows more than just how many miles the engine has been driven. There is no question that the engine is one of the most important parts, but it is not the only part.
For instance, the transmission, suspension, and steering are all important parts of your car that have nothing to do with the engine.
Also, all of these parts and more need to be serviced and maintained, and they wear out over time, so you’ll have to replace them. But if the odometer showed the wrong number, a new driver wouldn’t know to do those maintenance tasks or keep an eye on the different parts to see if they are wearing out.
This could lead to a dangerous situation if the car’s new owner doesn’t do the maintenance work needed to keep the car road-worthy.
Resetting the Odometer
Now that we know that changing the engine doesn’t reset the mileage, let’s talk about what can happen if the odometer is reset. But first, let’s agree on one thing: it’s not easy to reset the odometer.
It’s not like in “Matilda,” where the dad hooks up a drill in reverse to turn back the odometer. The truth is that you need to know how to code to get into the ECM of a modern car and change the data. Even on older cars, you have to take the dashboard all the way apart and hope you don’t mess up any of the circuits.
Since manufacturers didn’t make these parts to be taken apart, it’s not an easy job. In fact, the easiest way to do it is to swap out the whole dashboard for one from a car with fewer miles on it.
But if you change the dashboard or even replace it in order to sell the car, you could be setting yourself up for legal trouble. In fact, the least you can be fined by the federal government for tampering with your odometer is $1,500, but it can cost you even more.
But if you have a good reason to replace the dash, there are a few steps you need to take. First, you’ll need to find a dealership to see if they can match the new reading. You can only replace the dashboard and make it show the wrong mileage if they can’t.
Even then, you’ll need to tell any potential buyers the correct mileage, and you should do it in writing to protect yourself.
How To Tell the Mileage of the Current Engine
But if you replace the odometer and it doesn’t change the mileage, how do you know it has a new engine? Even though it might take a little more work, it is possible to figure out how far the engine has been driven without an odometer.
If a dealership or other authorised repair shop replaced the engine, they must report the work. When you look at a car’s service records, these repairs will show up. This is taken care of by the Department of Transportation, so you don’t have to find a specific dealership to get correct information.
All you have to do is compare the number on the odometer when the engine was replaced to the number on the odometer now. This will tell you how many miles the engine has been driven.
What if you do the work yourself, though? In that case, there’s no way to know how old the engine is right now. You might be able to tell by looking at it that it has a new engine, but that’s not always the case. Changing the engine yourself is not a good idea for this reason. Even though you’ll know when it was replaced, a buyer will have to take your word for it.
But this isn’t just a problem with engine swaps. Whenever you do maintenance work on your car, this is not recorded. A buyer has no way of knowing when you finished the work, whether it was something simple like changing the oil or something complicated like installing a new engine.
The first thing you need to do to figure out what maintenance your car needs is to look at its mileage.
Because replacing the engine resets that part of the maintenance schedule, but it doesn’t reset the whole schedule. So, no matter what you do, the reading on the car’s odometer won’t change.