How to decode vin numbers

They include things like safety, engine size, body style, and the series that the vehicle is. Fourth: The fourth digit is safety, braking and suspension. So if you have a special option,heavy-duty truck with the eight lug wheels, or a towing package, this is the digit that will tell you "Hey this vehicle has a special suspension and brake package. Fifth: The fifth digit, in this case S, which is the series of the vehicle.

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In the 's for example, General Motors built full size trucks that were C and K series along with and R and V series. The C and R were designations for two wheel drive.

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The K and V were designations for four wheel drive. The letters would be found in the fifth digit of the VIN on these trucks.

In this picture above, we have S series, which happens to be an S10 series truck. There was also a "T" series at the same time. So if the vehicle is a convertible, a two door, four door, or wagon, it is defined in these two digits.

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Eighth: The eighth digit, in this case a Z, is one of my personal favorites. It's the engine size! So if you were to go to a junkyard, this digit is really helpful for vehicles that had two different engines during the same year. An S10 Truck or an S10 Blazer are perfect examples of this. Both of these trucks could have come with a 4.

Both engines were 4. Buying parts for these engines is always interesting and this digit is what makes it that way. Ninth: The ninth digit is called a check digit. It is called a check digit because the purpose of it is to check the rest of the VIN number for legitimacy.

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This is done by putting the VIN digits through some complex math. At the end of the equation, hopefully come out with the number that is in the 9th spot. If it comes out as something other than that, you know that the VIN Number is made up.


Tenth: The tenth digit is the year, which is amazingly helpful if you're in a junkyard or showing off to your friends. You can easily figure out which years match up to which letters and which numbers with the simple handy dandy chart below. Print it out and throw it into your wallet.

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Someday, you will thank us. In today's example, the tenth digit is "M", so you dance over to the handy dandy chart, and see that "M" is Go ahead, try it out and impress your friends. Eleventh: The eleventh digit is the manufacturing plant. As you can guess, that's where the vehicle is made! This doesn't often matter so much, unless you are talking about certain cars that have major followings.

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  • Corvettes are a great example. Many, many Corvettes were made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There is even a museum there! So whenever you talk about Corvettes, Bowling Green inevitably comes up. The 11th digit of the VIN number is the one that confirms the plant at which the vehicle was built.

    Unfortunately, some imported vehicles are without a 17 character VIN. The most common example of this relates to Japanese vehicles which use the chassis number as the identifying serial number. The chassis number is always fewer than 17 characters. Another example includes Chinese trailer manufacturers who cannot provide a VIN due to local jurisdictional issues. This involves expanding the characters in the chassis number and adding a special WMI to the beginning.

    If you go to register your vehicle and the registering authority states that the VIN has not been uploaded, there are three possible scenarios that may have occurred:.

    Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN codes)/Model year

    Every high volume manufacturer in the world is assigned its own WMI; If the third character of the WMI is a 9, then this indicates a low volume manufacturer with positions 12—14 in the VIN indicating the low volume ID. You can also find out if the manufacturer had ever issued a recall of the vehicle and whether those repairs were made. Finally, law enforcement agencies do a VIN check to identify vehicles that have been stolen. The first three characters of every VIN number uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle. Expert level?

    Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN codes)/Model year - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

    Beginner level? Needs improvement? Additional Vehicle Info. Most Recent Recalls. Source: official gov. Most Recent Complaints.