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      01-03-2017, 01:22 AM   #1
nicklockard
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Huge odometer discrepancy--how to recalibrate?

Hello diesel people,

I recently completed a 1647 mile cross country trip. About 300 miles into our journey, we had to replace rear tires with 2 new ones. The old tires were 265/30R19 and the new are the same. The old tires were very bald (almost showing cords).

The odometer reading at the end of the trip only indicates 1303 miles traveled.

Our odometer is reading 21% low, which astonishes me. I've never known an odometer to be so grossly off before.

What are the remedies?
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      01-03-2017, 01:49 AM   #2
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Sounds to me like the tire shop disconnected the battery or reset the meter when they installed new tires. That would account for the approx. 300 mile discrepancy.
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      01-03-2017, 02:17 AM   #3
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What meter?
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      01-03-2017, 03:55 AM   #4
Torqu3
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He keeps saying odometer, but I think he means trip meter. I don't see how an odometer would be so far off.
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      01-03-2017, 09:13 AM   #5
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If you have a second vehicle, do another test of an exact mileage on both and measure the differences, if any. I wouldn't go changing the odometer calibration just yet.

Even if you swapped to a 275 wide tire, and kept the same aspect ratio, that's still only a 3% difference.
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      01-03-2017, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqu3 View Post
Sounds to me like the tire shop disconnected the battery or reset the meter when they installed new tires. That would account for the approx. 300 mile discrepancy.
+1

I am sure the OP is referring to the trip odometer and not the actual odometer. The shop disconnected the battery and the trip info (mileage, MPG, average speed, etc) all got reset.
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      01-03-2017, 12:05 PM   #7
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I'm referring to the actual odometer, not the trip meter.

DETAILS:

Ending odometer reading 132, 758 miles
Beginning odometer reading 131,455 miles

Trip length according to odometer 1303 miles

Actual miles traveled:

Leg 1: Cleveland, MS to Memphis, TN to Alma, AR including trips around Memphis 413+ miles
Leg 2: after being towed to Muskogee, OK from Alma, AR we departed Muskogee, OK for Santa Fe with a brief stop in OKC for lunch (few extra miles in town there) 672+ miles
Leg 3: Santa Fe, NM to Phoenix, AZ via Payson, AZ 481+ miles

Our around-town trips in Memphis, OKC, and Santa Fe maybe added the other 81 miles. Even discounting these trips entirely still gets 1566 miles or a 17% odometer discrepancy. I intend to check this out on another trip of course, but any ideas? What's a good GPS logging app?

Last edited by nicklockard; 01-03-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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      01-03-2017, 02:01 PM   #8
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Damn...you don't need a good gps app if you are off 17%, even a relatively short trip will show that kind of discrepancy. No offense, I assumed like others it had to be the trip computer. I have never heard of an odometer being off by that much. Hope some of the smarter guys on here can help solve for ya. On the plus side, at least it shows less!! If it's consistently off and they can't fix it, you can still manage the use based wear items with a simple correction factor.

Like you said, I would repeat a test with a fixed distance, even a 20 mile trip would be off by 3.4, and google maps or Waze is more precise than that.
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      01-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayNC335d View Post
On the plus side, at least it shows less!! If it's consistently off and they can't fix it, you can still manage the use based wear items with a simple correction factor.
I was thinking the same until I realized this is a recently acquired vehicle, like mine, so if ODO is really off 30% then 130K on the clock is more like 185K in reality.

My speedo is off by roughly 7% vs waze, but will now have to check the odometer using a gps app
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      01-03-2017, 06:52 PM   #10
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I know. I'm completely dumbfounded and thinking I had to have screwed up something, but I rechecked beginning and ending odometer, took copious notes on the trip at every fuel fill up, and rechecked google maps like 3 times. There's just no way my potential omissions can conjure up a missing 344 miles!

I would not presume the odometer error has always been with the car. Who knows? I've only owned and driven it since August for about 7K (apparent) miles.

My intent with further checking against GPS is to see if it's consistent bias or if it's inconsistent.

So, how do the odometers get their readings? What actual sensors are involved?

Last edited by nicklockard; 01-03-2017 at 07:00 PM.
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      01-03-2017, 08:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmanb2b View Post
I was thinking the same until I realized this is a recently acquired vehicle, like mine, so if ODO is really off 30% then 130K on the clock is more like 185K in reality.

My speedo is off by roughly 7% vs waze, but will now have to check the odometer using a gps app
The speedometers on our cars are off by ~5% to the high side consistently. This is driven by regulations, I believe in Europe. But I recall reading that being off on the top side is fine, downside is no bueno. As a resul, mfg makes it artificially higher to ensure no issues on downside. This can also be adjusted though. When I learned about, I at first thought it was a tuner mod to reinforce your butt dyno(noticed mine after a rentech tune), but not so.

Hadn't thought about how many miles previous owner put on it, very good point. I would still say replicate test to verify though. I don't think it's that easy to adjust the calculations for the odometer reading. There is obviously a factor based on the transmission and the one for the speedometer is different from the odometer. I imagine the smart guys on here will know where that is, but again, can't imagine it being that easy to manipulate
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      01-03-2017, 11:23 PM   #12
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Mileage is stored on the key fob and numerous modules:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...2&postcount=13

So it seems that perhaps one or more of those values became corrupted. A bit baffling. Good luck.
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      01-08-2017, 07:56 PM   #13
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similar odometer error

I am having a similar problem but not as bad. I drive 140 miles round trip to work and work 10 hours per day with a 4 day work week. My commute is 560 miles per week. I have been making this commute for 10 years and to no surprise the distance is the same each week. I have not changed tires or made any other changes. My trip meter and odometer suddenly started registering 584 miles per week instead of 560 miles. I don't drive anywhere for lunch and don't drive anywhere except straight to work and home. This error has gone on for eight weeks now with no change. The error is consistent. Does anyone know of a way to correct the odometer reading and/or speedometer? I have not checked the speedometer. But, I bet it is reading correspondingly high also.
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      01-10-2017, 10:03 PM   #14
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24 miles higher so you have went up 4.29% (24/560=.0429). It all of a sudden jumped 8 weeks ago. Does 8 weeks ago coincide with a battery install or some other coding or something? You gotta think something happened
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      01-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB_cuda View Post
24 miles higher so you have went up 4.29% (24/560=.0429). It all of a sudden jumped 8 weeks ago. Does 8 weeks ago coincide with a battery install or some other coding or something? You gotta think something happened
Tire pressure. Winter temps lower the pressure, reducing tire diameter. More revs per mile drive the error higher since odometer counts tire rotation.
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      01-17-2017, 12:20 AM   #16
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Trip to Tucson and back was 290 miles by GPS.. Odometer says 271.

6% discrepancy. Will keep measuring. This is way beyond what slight differences in tire diameters could cause (any annoyingly inconsistent).

Can other people start tracking their odometer accuracies please? This might not be isolated to my car?
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      01-17-2017, 12:53 AM   #17
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I will. Out of curiosity, what size tires are you running?
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      01-17-2017, 06:27 AM   #18
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Normally one would expect the opposite, i.e., odometer number is higher than GPS since you change lanes, get off on the occasional exit for gas etc. Not sure about your GPS but mine gives a point-to-point measurement that presumes you are following the road.
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      01-17-2017, 01:47 PM   #19
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Have you factored in your non-OE size tires? This would be the first place I'd check. Based on what you've shared, you're non-OE size tires have a larger diameter and circumference than OE. This could be a leading contributor to the discrepancy you're seeing.


Tire Size Comparison
Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference
OE - 255/35-18 3.5in 12.5in 25.0in 78.6in 806 0.0%
YOU - 265/30-19 3.1in 12.6in 25.3in 79.4in 798 0.9%
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      01-18-2017, 01:57 AM   #20
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Sounds like his tire size is only off by a couple percent at most, not 21/17% as he has recorded:




After a quick google I found a post with a process for checking your speed sensors without getting under the car. Post #11 HERE

I would give that a go first?
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