Can I Drive My Car if My Odometer Stopped Working?

by Racquel Ricci

Although odometers are very important gauges in your vehicle, for mileage tracking and reference, they are not essential to operating the vehicle. Car engines and necessary parts are not affected if the odometer stops working, although the legalities of driving with a broken odometer vary state by state.

Effects on Other Gauges

When a car's odometer stops working, or slows down, the vehicle owner may have a difficult time knowing how many miles the car is traveling. A broken odometer, however, does not affect other vehicular parts.

Legality

Depending on which state the vehicle is registered in, there may be different laws regarding driving with a broken odometer. You are still able to drive the car, but it may not be legal to drive it if the odometer is broken. For example, in the state of California, as long as the car is 10 years or older, it is legal to drive with a broken odometer.

Significance

Odometers are significant because when you purchase or sell a vehicle, a large portion of the vehicle's value is based upon the vehicle mileage, which is read off the odometer. Driving without a fully functioning odometer is perfectly safe, but if you plan to sell the vehicle any time soon, have the odometer fixed.

About the Author

Racquel Ricci began writing in 1999, and has since worked as a grant writer for non-profit organizations and public school systems. She runs competetively and writes often about exercise and fitness. Ricci has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Speedometer image by Sirena Designs from Fotolia.com