When we did a search for the VIN of another former test vehicle, a Chevrolet Volt, there was a hidden bit of trivia in the fuel type. It erroneously says that the Volt can run on E85 ethanol in addition to gasoline. General Motors originally intended to launch the Volt with a flex-fuel variant, but the emissions package was not ready for the car's introduction, according to the automaker.
The E85 compatibility apparently was incorporated into the VIN data before GM decided a flex-fuel version wouldn't be ready in time for No flex-fuel version of the Volt ever surfaced. The Fiat is a reminder of just how globalized automakers have become.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is an Italian-American multinational carmaker that manufactured the at Chrysler's plant in Toluca, Mexico. Notice that the 10th character in the VIN is "C.
Because the year is represented by one character letter or number and the VIN can only contain 17 characters, the code for a car's year has to be recycled every 30 years. So while one letter can represent more than one year, it should be pretty obvious whether you've got a or a — or , for that matter. Finally, here's a bit of vehicle history on a Ford Mustang GT. Notice that the manufacturer isn't listed as "Ford Motor Co. Newer Mustangs list Ford as the automaker.
Under NHTSA requirements , many of those letters and numbers are assigned values with which each manufacturer must comply; other portions of the VIN are available for each manufacturer to code as it wishes. Prior to , manufacturers defined their own VIN in its entirety, so the length and formatting of VINs on vehicles made before varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, the VIN is stamped into a plate or printed on a sticker and affixed to the vehicle in several different places, including inside the engine bay and on the driver's side door jamb.
Modern, digit VINs can be used to access many records relating to a vehicle, including ownership, accident and repair histories. Please note that most vendors do not offer vehicle history reports for model years prior to , when the digit VIN became standard. A simple VIN decode will help you learn an automotive pedigree and some key specifications, but those digits are also useful for less entertaining but more important reasons involving its title, registration and insurance. Make sure to check the VIN when purchasing replacement parts for your vehicle.
Vehicle parts are often specific to certain VINs and may not fit your car if you only go by its year, make and model. As a senior consumer advice editor, Ron helps shoppers navigate car buying. He has plenty of firsthand knowledge since he buys and sells the cars in the Edmunds long-term test fleet. Popular searches. My Account. The next six digits to check positions are the vehicle descriptor section.
The following group of eight elements is the vehicle identifier section. Yes, but it will only give you some basic information on the vehicle, such as the engine size, assembly plant or fuel type.
If you're looking for a detailed vehicle history report , you'll have to pay for either a Carfax or AutoCheck report. Learn more. If you're interested in buying a vehicle from a franchised dealership, there will usually be a free vehicle history report on its website. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System web page has a list of third-party companies that provide history reports.
It is a less expensive alternative, but based on our experience, you get what you pay for. Yes, as long as you go to the right page.
The VinDecoder. You may have to deal with a few ads that surround the information you get from the VIN decoder, but what you get is accurate and worth a look. It depends on what information you're looking for. If you're interested to learn about where your vehicle was made and entertaining trivia, try a site such as Decode the VIN.
If you're shopping for a used car and want to know more about its history before buying, we recommend running a Carfax report. All over-the-road-vehicles sold must contain a character VIN in a fixed format.
I noticed something under the hood of my truck when I bought it but didn't think much of it. For whatever reason, it kinda dawned on me the. Learn where to find VIN numbers for classic cars from the s to new A vehicle identification number, or VIN, is the unique code that identifies each motor vehicle sold in B means Dodge, C typically stands for Chrysler.
A vehicle's VIN is a distinct code made up of 17 numbers and capital letters. VINs of any two vehicles built within 30 years cannot be the same. Now, manufacturers must assign a VIN to each passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, bus, truck, and motorcycle. Trailers, trailer kits, and incomplete vehicles must have identification numbers, too.
Carmakers and the government use VINs to process vehicle recalls and correct safety defects. VIN checks enable tracking of compliance with federal regulation of imported vehicles. The codes simplify collecting data on motor vehicle collisions and monitoring insurance coverage. Law enforcement agencies, state DMVs, motor vehicle researchers, and dealerships use VINs to organize information and locate particular vehicles.
Companies that create vehicle history reports, including Carfax, use data from the vehicle identification numbers to show owner history, liens or repossessions, and recall notices. A VIN for a particular vehicle is available in several places. The most accessible place to see it on a car is from the outside at the base of the windshield on the driver's side.
Another place to look is the pillar of the driver's side door jamb. Open the door and look at where the door latches to the vehicle body.
The passenger side doorpost often displays the VIN. Other places to look for vehicle identification numbers on vehicles include the trunk, the radiator support bracket, and parts such as the engine and frame. On older cars, check the front end of the car frame when you have the door open.
If you can open the hood on a vehicle equipped with a gasoline engine, look for the number stamped on the front engine block. For motorcycles, check the steering neck under the bike's handlebars, the frame near the motor, or the motor itself. To locate the VIN on a semitrailer, look at the front left, the driver-side of the vehicle.
Perhaps you're not standing in front of the vehicle but have access to its insurance documents. VINs appear on paperwork such as insurance cards, insurance policies, vehicle registration paperwork, and car titles. The identification number is often in the owner's manual for the specific vehicle.
It's on the dealer invoice and bill of sale from a dealer and should be on the bill or sale and receipt from a private seller. To get the most information from that character identification number, you need to crack the code. The first character is the country of origin.
If the first character is number, it typically means the vehicle was made in North America. A 9 means Brazil, and a V means France or Spain.