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The modern 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) became mandatory for new vehicles sold in the U.S.
The first part consists of the beginning three digits, which tells us what company manufactured the vehicle and in what country. Known as the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), these three-digit prefixes are assigned to each automaker by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for vehicles sold in the U.S.
A parts specialist sometimes needs to determine a vehicle’s country of origin to select the correct parts for a particular application, and checking the first digit of the VIN is a straightforward method of identification.
The second section of the VIN is contained in the fourth through eighth digits, and is a little less straightforward.
Some companies include emissions information, type of transmission, seat belt and airbag information, engine displacement and body styles. The ninth digit is called the check digit, and is used mostly by motor vehicles departments and law enforcement for checking the validity of a VIN. Of course, once a manufacturer starts repeating numbers, it may eventually become difficult to tell if a VIN is from 1983 or 2013.
The eleventh position of the VIN takes the place of manufacture to another level, signifying the individual assembly plant.
Sometimes, unique components are manufactured or installed in different plants, and we need to use the eleventh digit to identify which option is installed.
For those of you working in stores that mix paint, it is also worthwhile to note that Honda uses assembly plant codes as part of its paint codes. The last section of the VIN is the sequential serial number that uniquely identifies a particular vehicle. Based on our breakdown, we know that gives us the model year, assembly plant and the serial number.


While a parts specialist may not use their understanding of VIN numbering every day, and rarely will you be asked to fully decode a VIN to identify a vehicle, becoming familiar with the parts of the VIN will certainly make life behind the counter easier. Tomorrow’s Tech (TT) delivers technical information for servicing today’s vehicles to more than 40,000 automotive students enrolled in more than 1,100 technical and vocational schools across the country.
Toyota has recently introduced the facelifted version of the Mark X, a vehicle that is only destined for the Japanese Domestic Market. The sart-up trim levels don’t offer too many features, but if we move up the range and look at versions such as the Mark X Premium, we find goodies such as a leather upholstery, stainless steel door entry sills and others. The 2013 Toyota Mark X is already available and comes with a price that starts at 2,440,000 yen (USD31,059 or EUR24,742 at the current exchange rates). With increased globalization of manufacturing, this becomes more important in identifying options unique to certain assembly plants. In this section, called the Vehicle Descriptor Section, manufacturers are given the opportunity to encode various information about the individual vehicle, but each manufacturer does things a little differently. While most manufacturers use the eighth position to identify the engine, not all of them do.
This number is calculated using a complex formula that assigns a numeric value to the other 16 digits of the VIN based on their position in the sequence. From 1981 to 2000, the letters B through Y were used (except for I, O, Q, which never appear anywhere in a VIN, and U, which never appears in the tenth position) to identify the vehicle’s model year.
2010 saw the return of the alpha characters, starting with A, and continuing in the same pattern used in the 80s and 90s. Even though the seventh digit of the VIN can represent a number of things (model or body type, transmission and restraint systems are the most common), for vehicles built through 2009, it must be a ­number. Something as simple as a wheel stud and lug nut for a Ford Taurus might require a parts specialist to determine if the car was ­assembled in Atlanta or Chicago.


If you’ve ever called the dealer to source a part, chances are they only care about the last eight digits of the VIN. In any given model year, only one brand Z vehicle with serial number 123456 will roll out of assembly plant X, so those eight digits can only be assigned to one vehicle.
The below information will explain how to decode your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number. The vehicle shows Lexus design influences, especially when we’re talking about the front fascia, which comes with LEDs fro the daytime running lights and headlights.
Both powerplants work with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which sends power to the rear wheels, but Toyota also offers all-wheel drive as an option. The VIN is broken down into six components, and each part holds a key to decoding the identity of an individual vehicle.
The car is 4,750mm long, (with a wheelbase that measures 2,850 mm), 1,795mm wide and 1,435mm tall. Follow these easy steps to get a free car history report when you have the vin on any used automobile. These numbers or letters will vary depending on your car or truck.The tenth position (number or letter) tells you the model year. Before 1981 the VIN format was not standardized and was different by each car manufacturer.What year was my car really built? A = 1980 B = 1981 C = 1982 D = 1983 E = 1984 F = 1985 G = 1986 H = 1987 J = 1988 K = 1989 L = 1990 M = 1991 N = 1992 P = 1993 R = 1994 S = 1995 T = 1996 V = 1997 W = 1998 X = 1999 Y = 2000 1 = 2001 2 = 2002 3 = 2003 4 = 2004 5 = 2005 6 = 2006 7 = 2007 8 = 2008 9 = 2009 A = 2010 B = 2011 C = 2012 D = 2013 E = 2014 F = 2015LAST 7 POSITIONS OF VIN NUMBER: The VIN positions (number or letter) of the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth sections tells you information about the vehicle that VIN is assigned to.



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