How to Decipher or Decode VIN of Your Car

How to Decipher or Decode VIN of Your Car

This article is going to explain how to read a VIN number. The full form of VIN is the Vehicle Identification Number. The purpose of this number is to basically give a separate identity to every vehicle. The VIN consists of unique numbers, alphabets, and characters with particular importance. It helps in providing information about vehicle. Each VIN is different from the other to avoid confusion. There could be many reasons why one may feel the urge to decode VIN. You may be in search of parts for your vehicle which is the right fit. It may be because you are looking for the origin of a manufacturing house for importing. You may be searching for specifics of a car because you are thinking of buying it.

The steps to decipher are as following:

Look For the 17-Digit String Variables on The Vehicle:

Mostly they can be found on:

 1- Dash of the car near the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side. It can be seen from the outside of the vehicle easily.

 2- There could be a sticker on the side of the door.

 3- Engine block.

 4- Underside of the hood or on the fender.

 5- Insurance cards

 6- Check your registration paperwork or your car title: if you are unable to find VIN in any of these places, you can search on your documents for it. 

Use an Online Decoder:

 1- Search on the website of the manufacturer of your car and see if the offer the service of looking VIN.

 2- Use an online decoder. Many websites provide free online service to look up your vehicle identification number.

 3- To search for it, enter ‘online VIN decoder’ and press search. Proceed to select the top results.

 4- Some online provide basic information for free while others will ask for payment to give extensive research results.

 Understand The Meaning of The VIN Code: 

You can understand how to by learning the meaning of each set of numbers. Decipher the meaning of the first number or letter. The first character in a VIN may be either a letter or number and depicts the geographic area of origin. The set of characters depicting origin of the manufacturer are the following:

A – H means Africa

J – R (except O and Q) means Asia

S – Z means Europe

1 – 5 means North America

6 or 7 means New Zealand or Australia

8 or 9 is for South America

Decipher The Second & Third Digits 

They will show the manufacturer of the car. some examples are:

1 Chevrolet

4 Buick

6 Cadillac

C Chrysler

J Jeep

T Toyota

The third digit is the exact division of the manufacturer. For example in VIN: ‘1GNEK13ZX3R298984,’ the ‘G’ indicates a vehicle manufactured by General Motors. You can find the full list of manufacturer codes online.

Decipher TheVehicle Descriptor Section:

the next five numbers, known as the vehicle descriptor section explain the brand of the car, the size of the engine and what type of vehicle it is.

Each manufacturer has individual codes for these numbers and you must figure out what are the codes of your desired manufacturer to find out what they mean.

The Ninth Digit Number is a Check Digit:

It is used to prove that the vehicle identification number is not fake.

 The check digit involves a complex calculation so it’s not easy to fake. In VIN ‘‘5XXGN4A70CG022862,’ the check digit is ‘0’.

The Tenth Number Indicates The Year The Car Was Made or The Year of Manufacture:

It begins with A for 1980, the first year a standard 17-digit VIN was used. Subsequent years follow the alphabet of “Y” in the year 2000. In 2001, the year changes to the number “1” and ascends to “9” In 2009. In 2010, the alphabet starts again with the letter “A” for the 2010 model years. In the same VIN example “5XXGN4A70CG022862,” the “C” indicates the vehicle was manufactured in 2012.

Ascertain where was the car was manufactured.:

The eleventh digit tells which plant actually assembled the car. This digit is specific to each manufacturer.

 Decipher The Remaining Numbers 

The rest of the numbers depict the production or the serial number of the car and is exactly the reason why VIN unique to that specific car. To search out this manufacturer-specific information, you can check their website for a decoding sheet or ask a service repair shop if you can see one

All this information will explain to you exactly what your VIN means and you will be able to figure out a lot of information about your car.

Share this post


Your Car's VIN Explained in Detail
Your Car's VIN Explained in Detail

Posted on 06 05, 2021

What Are the 5 Best-Kept Secrets On Cutting Back Gas Costs?
What Are the 5 Best-Kept Secrets On Cutting Back Gas Costs?

Posted on 05 17, 2021

How Do Automated Car Washes Work?
How Do Automated Car Washes Work?

Posted on 04 20, 2021

10 Car Care and Maintenance Tips To Minimize Car Shop Visits
10 Car Care and Maintenance Tips To Minimize Car Shop Visits

Posted on 03 09, 2021

How to Prep a Car for Paint: Best Auto Painting Tips
How to Prep a Car for Paint: Best Auto Painting Tips

Posted on 10 31, 2019