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Clocking is the illegal practice of winding back the odometer on a high–mileage car to increase its apparent value and asking price. Every 1,000 miles removed increases the value substantially.

Digital odometers on modern cars are unfortunately still vulnerable and can be tampered with using a laptop and some specialised software leaving no visible evidence of interference.

Most cars average around 10,000 miles per year. Check that the mileage on the clock roughly ties in with the age and appearance of the car.

There are some things you can look for that might raise suspicions about a car’s mileage:

  • Chips made by stones across the front of the bonnet, grille and bumper can be an indication of lots of motorway journeys.
  • Worn pedal rubbers or a shiny, worn steering wheel would be more likely to be seen on a high mileage vehicle – as would wear on seats or seatbelt webbing.
  • An older vehicle with virtually new pedals/gearstick and/or upholstery may also indicate that something is being hidden.

The vehicle documents should help confirm the mileage. Check the mileages on the service records and MOT certificates. You can also contact the garages that performed the work and ask them to confirm the mileage they recorded at the time of the service/MOT.

The AA Car Data Check includes a mileage check that will compare the current mileage of the vehicle to mileages recorded during the life of the vehicle – any mileages that don’t fit the pattern should be investigated.

You can also contact the previous keeper on the V5C/logbook and ask them what the mileage was on the vehicle when they bought and sold it.

If, after all these checks, you still have any doubts, walk away.

This article is courtesy of

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If you hear a continuous squealing noise as soon as the engine is started it is a sure sign that the water pump is frozen.

Stop the engine immediately and allow it to thaw out. Unfortunately dependant on the weather conditions this may take several days unless the car can be moved to a heated garage.

If the car begins to overheat a few miles from home it’s likely that the radiator has frozen preventing coolant from circulating. Stop straight away to avoid serious damage and allow the radiator to thaw.

Some tips to take into consideration

  • A cracked engine block will cost hundreds of pounds to repair but you can avoid this buy buying Antifreeze which will only cost a few pounds.
  • Don’t mix types of Antifreeze, it is important to use the right type.  Check your handbook or even a dealer for the correct type.
  • Some types of antifreeze may need to be changed after only two years.  Check the manufacturer’s service schedule.
  • You need a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system for winter. This gives maximum protection down to -34° centigrade, and without it, severe engine damage costing hundreds of pounds can occur.

Motoring Advice & Tips