What Does ODO Mean On A Car: Don’t Miss It!

What does ODO mean on a car

Sometimes, this detail is often overlooked in your vehicle because its symbol is quite small, next to a series of numbers.

Although very popular, not everyone knows what it means. What is ODO in car?

I’m here to help you! Learn more about its meaning, how it works, and how to reset the numbers involved. Scrolling down for more helpful information!

What Does ODO Mean On A Car? 

what does odo mean on a car

What does ODO stand for

In short, ODO in car means Odometer. It is a tool used to count the distance in miles that a car traveled.

Two Greek words that signify “path” and “measure” are the origin of the word “odometer.”

What Is It?

People define Odometer as the initials “ODO.” The word is derived from the Greek word “hodos,” which roughly translates to “way.” This leads one to believe that it is a synonym for “odometer.” 

It is a counter that measures the distance the car has driven. And the number you see on the dashboard is mileage reading which further explains the ODO meaning in a car.

How Does It Work?

What is the ODOmeter in a car? Now, you know the answer, but how does this tool work?

This tool operates in two different ways: mechanically and electronically which I will dive deeper in the next part.

It would help if you first comprehended how the two work before purchasing a secondhand car. Once you understand, you can buy a high-quality secondary vehicle.

Common Types Of Odometers

Mechanical Odometer

Transmission-based mechanical odometers are the first type to name. Older vehicles are more likely to have mechanical devices.

A little gear in the transmission system tracks its progress. The speedometer driving cable is attached to this little gear. The instrument cluster is linked to the other end of this cable.

Once the engine is running and the automobile is moving, the internal transmission gear will turn.

The associated drive cable transmits the motion of this internal transmission gear to a different set of gears connected to changeable numbers.

As a result, the counting starts on the right side of the numbers (the unit).

Mechanical odometers will typically be resetted to zero miles when the counted number reaches its peak. But this type of odometer is not dead-on accurate.

Electrical Odometer

As you might guess, a computerized system controls the electronic Odometer.

The distance traveled from an automobile will be added by the computer, which will also automatically display the real-time mileage.

There is a unique magnet placed on one of the car’s wheel frames. A magnet fixed to the wheel serves as a signal to determine how far the car has traveled.

The benefit of using a digital odometer over a mechanical one is that they are more accurate.

My car uses an electrical one, and I hardly face any issue, such as the digital odometer display not working.

How To Reset The Odometer? 

odo trip meaning

What does the Odometer show? I’m sure  you’re now clear about this. Can we reset it?

There are 2 typical causes for resetting your vehicle’s Odometer. For one, you should reset it since the mileage occasionally resets on its own.

People also do this to evaluate fuel consumption and its fuel efficiency

I have to remind you that doing so is against the law. I only turn to this as a last resort when the odometer happens to fail.

Some baddies consider resetting as a trick when they want to sell their old car, but I would never advise you to do so!

  • Replace the instrument cluster: Most of the time, the car’s mileage will be displayed on the car’s instrument panel instead of the computer. The Odometer will reset to zero miles when you install a new instrument cluster.
  • Manually press the knob: Here comes the simplest resetting approach. The instrument cluster contains a knob, which displays the percentage of the remaining fuel as well as temperature readings.

Press that knob down and keep it for some seconds to reset the miles; the number will return back to zero as the fuel economy increases.

  • Reassemble the tool: It’s more straightforward to reset the mileage on older cars.

You must disassemble the instrument cluster using standard mechanical tools like pliers and screwdrivers to reset the mileage manually. Then put the cluster back together.

Tread with caution at this step since you might break some vulnerable part, like the instrument cluster fuse.


odo in car means


Is It Legal To Reset The Odometer?

No, as stated.

The US federal government forbids altering any car’s Odometer to modify the mileage shown on the dashboard and deems it as odometer fraud.

Whether or not you do this to trick potential buyers into thinking your vehicle is newer and worth more money, don’t do that!

This is an extremely sensitive issue. Therefore, if there is any need for repair, change, or sale, you must study the law carefully to ensure you do not break the rule.

Why Do You Need The Odometer In A Car?

What does ODO mean? Besides this question, what makes many people wonder is why we need an odometer on our vehicles.

The purpose of an odometer is to record the distance a vehicle has gone. You can determine the extent of a vehicle’s work by knowing the distance it has driven.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it is crucial to check the Odometer as a reference.

Why Is My Car ODO Not Working?

As usual, the odometer mechanism and the speedometer mechanism have a relation. 

Your speed sensor probably needs to be changed if both stop working. These are close to the rear part of the transmission and are simple to install.

If only your Odometer is malfunctioning, the gears that turn it are probably broken.

To access those gears, you must detach the instrument cluster, but if you get the know-how, repair work shouldn’t be too difficult.


What does ODO mean on a car? It stands for Odometer – a distance measuring tool on your vehicle.

The number displayed on the dashboard will show the distance traveled by the vehicle.

Keep in mind that resetting and adjusting data for trading purposes will be considered fraud, and you may be punished by law.

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