, Salem, MA


March 22, 2014

Auto Scanner: ’97 Mercury sounds like a jet engine


So, here is the question. I think that the car had many more miles on it than the 30,000 on the odometer when I purchased it. Is there any way to tell the real mileage? Is there some EPROM that mileage is kept in that cannot be changed? I recently saw in a British TV car show where a person changed the mileage on an MB E320 from 90,000 to 30,000 miles in under two minutes.

A: As I read through the list of repairs, I don’t really see anything out of the normal. However, to relieve your own mind, there are a few things you can do. If the car was registered in Massachusetts the entire life of the vehicle, the Registry can trace the mileage of all the state inspection stickers, and you can see if the mileage is consistent. The other thing you can do would be to find out who the original owner was, make contact with that person and find out the mileage at the time of the sale.

Car Care Tip: Some car washes are open year-round. If you have the chance to wash the salt off the bottom of your vehicle, your car body may last longer and not rust out so soon.


Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to

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