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Discussion Starter #1
How does Ford know how many miles are on my dad's new truck? They mail letters saying the truck has so many miles and it would be wise to add an extended warranty soon. The mileage readings in the letter are real since they are very close to actual odometer readings. I am beginning to wonder if the vehicle isn't somehow transmitting information regarding odometer readings among other things. Does anyone know more about this? What modules are part of this? How does it communicate? Thanks in advance.
 

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Its the Ford SYNC system .. not only is it cool for Blue tooth and Wireless, but it reports your information back to Ford. :tongue:

Microsoft owns your Ford also.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well his truck is the base model and doesnt have sync, just the stock AMFM radio which we swapped a Ford 500 stereo for. What I am gathering from the link is that there has to be a cell phone "linked" to the car via bluetooth, which there has never been. So how did it transmit this information?
 

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Then it's just an estimate based on his last in-service date and you are over thinking things.
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He has never had it serviced at the dealer. All we did was pick it up there. We do all of the work ourselves. The letter was within 200 miles of his odometer reading, so I will put money on it that its real. I just want to find out how it does this.
 

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It's a calculated guess. I used to get those letters a lot too because I bought my Bird at a dealership and they were always close to the actual mileage.
 

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I still get emails and voicemails from the dealer where I used to take the Mustang when I had it, saying it's time for my regular maintenance. The system can't be that good, since I ditched it almost 4 months ago.
 

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Ford knows VIN = owner's name and address.

I bet Ford can get the same VIN-keyed data available from other data sources like Car Fax
http://www.carfax.com/about/data_sources.cfx

If I was the data mining analyst for Ford, I would probably pull the information the DMV information from all 50 states b/c the information should at least be reported annually. You can then calculate a decent guess based on that data.

Although this doesn't apply to you, ADP has an entire subsidiary called Digital Motorworks that specializes in pulling dealership service records out of their old mini-computers specifically for things like this callback letter. Why? Because it works. Since you are on an enthusiast website for a 15-20 year old car, you probably aren't the target market for such services but I'd say the majority of Americans are like my mother-in-law: I asked her when she last took the car in for an oil change? When they send me a letter was her reply.

Bottom Line: you now have a technical answer and a logical/business process based answer. What more possible options do you need? Did you expect to hear that Ford hires the USPS to walk by every newish FORD, capture it's VIN, and report back it's mileage? If so, that's your "tinfoil hat" answer.

-g

PS. I find it fascinating that this information is valuable enough to Ford that they would build such a system into their Ford SYNC product. Before this thread, I thought it was just a fancy MP3 playing interface.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I want a real answer, not just what you think is happening. The readings arent rounded to the nearest thousand, they are odd numbers and just a couple hundred miles from what the reading was when the letter was actually received. That means their guess was VERY accurate more than 2 times, if it was a guess. If it was a calculated guess, eventually someone somewhere should get a letter showing that the mileage is greater than what the odometer says. Although, we would never hear about it.

The only time the mileage has been reported to anyone is when it was inspected by me. It just got it's first inspection a couple of months ago.
 

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Well then you have 2 options: They put a secret chip in the truck that is transmitting the data on wireless or some Ford employee is sneaking onto your property and datalogging everything from the PCM.

If you don't consider these "real" answers then you should get a hold of Ford and ask them how they are doing it. I think you're way overthinking this.

The letters I received weren't rounded off either. Check the date the letter was issued and the postmark date, not the date you received it then see how close it really is.
 

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Why don't you ask Ford? ... Call the number on the card and ask how they knew the mileage within 200 miles ... ask at the local dealership ... or ask the guy who sold you the truck.

If they know the mileage I bet they know where the truck's been, how long it was there and how it got there. I bet there's a GPS tracking device installed somewhere on it. Have you looked for a little magnetic box on the undercarriage? It might look something like this ....

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/10/fbi-tracking-device/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why don't you ask Ford? ... Call the number on the card and ask how they knew the mileage within 200 miles
I think this is probably the best next step just to see what they tell me. Perhaps they could shine some light on what variables they may use if they do calculate it.

I dont have any crackpot conspiracy ideas about this if that's what people are implying. I would just like to know how they get such an accurate odometer reading, not knowing anything about our driving habits or ever receiving mileage data from us. I don't really think location is being tracked, but what do I know? I do think it is plausible that a vehicle could connect to wireless internet connections and transmit data. It would be great for sending maintenance alerts, gathering driving habit information and doing some CYA on their part if there were any "problems" like the Toyota electronic throttle control fiasco. Thanks for the replies. If anyone has any good insight on this other than "You're over-thinking this," please chime in. Thanks :)
 

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I think this is probably the best next step just to see what they tell me. Perhaps they could shine some light on what variables they may use if they do calculate it.

I don't have any crackpot conspiracy ideas about this if that's what people are implying. I would just like to know how they get such an accurate odometer reading, not knowing anything about our driving habits or ever receiving mileage data from us. I don't really think location is being tracked, but what do I know? I do think it is plausible that a vehicle could connect to wireless internet connections and transmit data. It would be great for sending maintenance alerts, gathering driving habit information and doing some CYA on their part if there were any "problems" like the Toyota electronic throttle control fiasco. Thanks for the replies. If anyone has any good insight on this other than "You're over-thinking this," please chime in. Thanks :)
Oh, you're right. There's a lot of that going on now. From cops grabbing computer data at crash scenes to attorneys grabbing data in divorce cases. Just look at ONSTAR tracking people even when their accounts have been canceled! They have the FACTORY built in capability to eaves drop on any conversation in the vehicle at any time. I'm as wary of this new technology as the next guy. That's why I'm so happy to keep my old MN12. The ONLY reason I'd want tracking on my car is to find it if it's stolen.

Here's just a few other links for your reading enjoyment ...

http://www.citizenscommitteeforconstitutionalprotection.com/cccp_002.htm

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/onstar-tracks-you/

http://www.scpr.org/programs/patt-morrison/2011/10/04/20915/bigbrothergpstrackingprivacysupremecourtbillbratto
 

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Thanks for the replies. If anyone has any good insight on this other than "You're over-thinking this," please chime in. Thanks :)
... how should we know ? Search is your friend !

Its either Alien technology, Area 51 .. top secret stuff.

or .... a lot of E-series and F-series trucks from 2008 and up have this or some type of tracking system.

Plenty of information available on the internet.

We dont know what options your truck came with ... does it have a computer in the dash ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have attempted to do some searching, but haven't had much luck. I still think its a possibility that it could be calculated using some type of formula, but if so, I just want to know how it is so accurate. Who knows what people on this forum may actually know? From all the dirty mechanics, to the guy with the office job, to the guy with no job, almost all of us have MN12s. The combined knowledge of all the people is really great, it's no wikipedia I am sure, but it is a group of car-oriented people that I felt like I could ask a question to. All I did was ask a question. I don't ask many questions around here either, I guess there's a good reason why.

It's an 09 F-150 base model without SYNC, no power locks or power windows. 3v 4.6l, which I really like :) The coyote would be better though. It has no add-on accessories other than stock except for the stereo we replaced with one from a 06 Ford 500 so he could have a cd player and still look stock (has green illumination though, oh well).

Thanks Trunkmonkey for the info on Onstar. It's amazing they sell Onstar as a helpful device, and while it may be helpful from time to time, they reserve the right to use it however they see fit.
 

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Rob - there's always the chance it was just lucky it was that accurate.

I've gotten a couple of notices from Advance Auto on my cars - one was within 50 miles that morning, the other was over 2,000 miles off. And I KNOW they don't have any way to monitor my car!

RwP
 

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TM is right, OnStar has been selling/trading info for years. They sell it to the manufacturers, insurance companies and have provided info to law enforcement whether they admit it or not.

Who knows, SYNC could have more capabilities than what they are letting on but IMO the mileage was a lucky guess. The only way to know is contact the place the sent you the letter.
 

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OnStar is a great feature / service. I have used this on more than one occasion and still currently have the service on my family vehicle.

Am I worried about anybody listening to my kids screaming in the back seat ??? LOL :tongue:
 

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For me I think it's a great idea and have checked into FMV (for my vehicle), they don't make them for Thunderbirds though, they will need to develop a more universal design for older cars with a transmitter module. One that is more for getting emergency help than monitoring your cars system. If they want to track me for marketing spam then they can go for it. I have nothing to hide.
 
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