What Does TMU Mean For Cars? The Answer You Need Is Here

One of the most significant needles of a vehicle’s mileage is the reading on the odometer. A car with a high mileage is less valuable than one with a low mileage.

The mileage of a used car is one of the key factors that decide how much a dealership chooses to sell it for.

The dealer may sometimes issue a TMU even when unsure of the car’s mileage. What does TMU mean for cars? Find out in our article!

What Does TMU Mean For Cars?

what does tmu mean for cars

Short answer: Many odometer designations may be found on the back of a used car’s title, one of which is “True Mileage Unknown.”

The True Mileage Unknown (TMU) classification, occasionally written as TMU, signifies that the vehicle’s precise mileage is unknown and that the odometer reading can be inaccurate. 

For instance, it was registered with 36501 miles on the odometer in a new state that wasn’t the place of initial purchase.

It had 35601 miles on it when it was involved in an accident one year later. 

Despite the legality of the TMU miles, the automobile may have further problems that are not being reported.

The highest mileage may not be known because the car was involved in an accident that damaged the dashboard or counting system or because the odometer broke, maxed out, reset to zero, and was broken for a while.

The owner may be able to sue the dealership if that accident wasn’t disclosed in the same way as the TMU on title.

The situation does not qualify as odometer fraud if the TMU status was made public.

Odometer fraud manipulates the vehicle’s real mileage gauge, which appears the car has fewer miles than it does. 

There isn’t a cure for that. The odometer reading for that vehicle’s total miles was found to be wrong at some point, and the clean title was issued as not actual mileage.

As a result, the DMV will no longer say that the actual mileage odometer reading is accurate for that vehicle sale.

Once a vehicle’s actual mileage is unknown and has been proven, you cannot get that information removed from the branded title.

Should I Buy A TMU Car?

A “true miles unknown” brand typically lowers the value of a car. However, you can still choose whether to buy the item by using other methods.

It’s crucial to reduce the risks involved with purchasing a vehicle with erroneous mileage because buying a secondhand car is always a bit of a gamble.

Many folks declared they would avoid that one. You can wind up causing yourself a lot of issues. When a person signs the title to a car, they might be hiding something.

You can determine the current mileage by running a carfax on this one. Once this flag is placed on a car title, it cannot be removed.

Consider the source while purchasing a True Miles Unknown vehicle.

You’re better off purchasing it at an auction from a bank, a government body, or a non-dealer who has no reason to deactivate the odometer reading purposefully. 

TMU Cars: Some Notes Before Buying

true mileage unknown

Get A Carfax

A great deal may be found when buying a TMU automobile from an individual.

However, get a Carfax before you purchase it and try to estimate the miles by calculating the annual mileage accumulated from the odometer problem. 

To see what inputs/outputs the antitheft module recognizes, you can also view the data in the module.

It will reveal whether the key, receiver, module, or any other system component is the issue. 

Many websites sell used carfax reports for between $4.99 and $11.99. It is a significant discount from the original pricing.

It is assumed that these websites do not have the right to sell carfax records but do so through company or dealer accounts to supplement their income. 

Pre-Purchase Inspection

No matter the mileage, age, or person selling the used automobile, you should always find a qualified, dependable mechanic who is experienced with the particular model to evaluate the vehicle and supply you with an estimation for any necessary repairs.

Because not everyone is as trustworthy as you are, the car’s owner or the dealer might try to conceal any significant issues with the vehicle. 

You’ll be better able to negotiate with the seller using that knowledge.

Even though the automobile may cost $5,000, investing roughly $100 in a pre-purchase examination might save you thousands of dollars in repairs, give you the power to haggle a lower price, or even let you walk away from the deal altogether.

For this reason, a pre-purchase vehicle examination is advised.

Find Hassle-Free Car Insurance 

It will be challenging to win your court case if you purchase a car you feel the seller misrepresented.

It’s difficult to demonstrate that a selling dealer purposefully misled you because most states only pay damages you can show. 

Even if you feel comfortable driving the car as is, getting insurance or financing the car may present other difficulties.

The insurance purchasing choices for a pre-owned vehicle are identical to those for a new car.


what does tmu mean

How Do I Know If My Odometer Is Correct?

Although not exact, vehicle measurements of the odometer are close to the distance traveled. You can request a vehicle mileage history report to check for odometer anomalies in the car’s history.

Use the car’s VIN to order a vehicle history report online if the seller does not have one.

What Does Mileage Stand For Car?

The first factor is the distance the car will travel on a single liter of petrol. It also shows how many miles or kilometers the vehicle has traveled during its lifetime.

The two official definitions of mileage are as follows.

How Many Miles Do You Not Want On A Car?

Significantly more or fewer kilometers could be a sign of future danger. I wouldn’t drive these for over 200k miles.

These can all go well above this, but repairs become a daily occurrence when slow-wearing parts fail. 


After reading this article, you are now in a position to determine, “What does TMU mean for cars?“. Therefore, always dig a little more and research the odometer history.

Additionally, have a mechanic who has more experience than you do check the vehicle’s general condition.

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