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The letters I, O, and Q are not used in VINs, at least from 1981 until today (and into the future). The first 3 digits of the VIN are known as the "WMI", which is an acronym for "World Manufacturer Identifier".
Tenth: The tenth digit is the year, which is amazingly helpful if you're in a junkyard or showing off to your friends. In addition to VINs there are also a plethora of option codes located somewhere in the interior of every vehicle.
The last thing worth noting is that some foreign car manufacturers switch around these VIN numbers slightly. VIN Number Plate Driver's Side Door Frame The VIN Is Located Throughout The Vehicle The most often used location for this number is just above the bottom edge of the drivers side of the windshield. As odd as it may sound, if you make a habit of leaving your car keys laying around in plain site, there is a good chance someone will take them and steal your car. Leave Without Understanding the VIN Number On Your Motorhome, You Won't Really Know What Have. Since vehicles started to be mass produced, every automaker out there started using VIN codes (Vehicle Identification Number) on each of their cars.
Usually, every manufacturer puts the VIN in very accessible locations so you can easily find it. OK, now that you have a general idea of what they mean, lets see what other combinations can be found in the string.
Now, what can I do if I know what these numbers mean?Well, first of all by reading the VIN and checking the rest of the components of a second hand car, you can tell if its the original build or it has been modified from the initial setup. Another important feature is that the VIN makes it harder for thieves to sell a stolen car.
Imagine you were buying an expensive work of art, a picture or item of furniture costing tens of thousands of dollars.
A VIN check is a vital part of the process, and fortunately there are free VIN check options to help buyers. First used in the 1950’s, the VIN number is the accepted industry standard code for identifying individual vehicles. The VIN number is a way of telling what has happened to the car in the past, and is used to determine the actual owner of a vehicle. All too often people fail to check the VIN number, and end up with a car that is not all it seems to be. It is important to understand that the VIN number will be displayed on the vehicle in several different positions.
If you are spending good money buying a car there is no excuse for not carrying out a free car history report check. If you want to get vehicle history reports on used cars for sale and avoid costly hidden problems, you have the choice between Carfax and AutoCheck.
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That encompasses the country of origin, the manufacturer, and the division that the vehicle is built for. This doesn't necessarily mean the "make" of the car though, because companies like General Motors have many different divisions. In the case of General Motors, the division would be the more specific Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile or whatever it is. They include things like safety, engine size, body style, and the series that the vehicle is. 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." It might also reference a specific safety restraint package, like if the vehicle had a two vs.
In the 1980's for example, General Motors built full size trucks that were C and K series along with and R and V series.
So if the vehicle is a convertible, a two door, four door, or wagon, it is defined in these two digits.
You can easily figure out which years match up to which letters and which numbers with the simple handy dandy chart below.
Long ago, they used to be actual printed pieces of paper, that were stuffed into the seat springs. On many Volkswagens for example, the 3rd through 8th digits are in a different order than the American brand cars and trucks.
Every car has its unique number which is used for different purposes but mostly for keeping track of each one of them on the road.
So you should check on the lower part of the windshield on the driver’s side where there should be a small window showing the VIN printed on the dash. They are usually used to show literally the unit’s number as it went out the assembly line. Moreover, for a certain amount of cash, commercial services allow you to enter the VIN code and see the records on the respective car, which will show you how many owners it had as well as if it was stolen or crashed. You would want to check out that items provenance, its history and confirmation of how genuine it is, before buying, yes? It was not until the early 1980’s that VIN numbers were standardized, so if you are buying an older vehicle it is important you look up the best way to make a vehicle check. Remember that if you buy a stolen vehicle it will be taken back from you, and recompense can be very hard to obtain. If there are differences, or if you spot signs of tampering such as repainting or applied stickers, you should be careful.
You can find many companies who will do this for you on the internet, and it provides the peace of mind you want.
In our Carfax v AutoCheck review we came to the conclusion that brand loyalty will keep many people in the frame where Carfax is concerned, but as the package is so much more rounded the AutoCheck deal is going to attract a great number of new customers. Before we go any further on this automotive journey, I think we need to briefly talk about redundancy. 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.
This doesn't often matter so much, unless you are talking about certain cars that have major followings. This is normally not a super important number as far as buying auto parts goes, unless you have one of those vehicles that changed production specifications halfway through a production run. In modern cars, it is usually a printed sticker in the glove compartment, console, or trunk. If your car is older, the VIN can be found either on the sticker or plate on the inside of the driver’s side door or the frame sill, or the glove compartment, under the spare tire, on the engine block or stamped somewhere in the engine bay. If you are also a bit smarter and look at the whole picture the VIN provides, you can sometimes tell if the odometer has been rolled back or if it reached the maximum miles and started from zero again. Simply meeting with a stranger, giving him the money and taking the car without having much of its history at hand will get you nowhere and if you manage to end up with a stolen car it will be a bit too late for the cops to catch the thief. There is plenty of information online, and there are offers of a free vehicle history report that can be very useful to buyers.


Many people have been caught out by seemingly honest sellers that turn out to be nothing of the sort. There should be a VIN number underneath the bonnet, possibly on a metal plate, and one stamped directly into the body somewhere. Check that the VIN numbers on the car correspond with those you are given when you run a VIN number check or car registration check, and also with the number on the log book documents and past MOT’s. A last word of advice: if, while carrying out your own VIN number check, you uncover evidence of tampering, you should call the police in order that nobody else suffers the fate that may have been waiting for you.
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the 17-digit string of numbers that an automotive manufacturer assigns to a specific vehicle that it produces.
In today's example, the tenth digit is "M", so you dance over to the handy dandy chart, and see that "M" is 1991.
So, you might have a vehicle that had different mirrors if it was built in April of 2004, than if it were built  in August of 2004.
When you combine the VIN number with the option codes, you get the entire genetic makeup of the vehicle from top to bottom. Typically the engine, vehicle series, body type, restraint system, and model are the ones to watch out for.
If everything else fails, check the vehicle insurance or vehicle registration documents.What those letters and numbers mean?Here comes the tricky part as every letter and number in the VIN has a certain meaning depending on its position in the string.
You may be investing in a classic vehicle or a newer model, but either way you should check the cars VIN number before you commit to the purchase.
It is easy, after all, to be taken in by someone and to be overwhelmed by the desire to own a special vehicle. Engage a company that knows how to carry out a VIN number lookup and even if they charge you a small fee, as some do, you will be assured that the history of your dream car is not in doubt.
You can find out a lot about your car or truck if you are able to read and decode its VIN number, and that's why we are going to show you how to do just that.
Both of these trucks could have come with a 4.3 liter that was a Z series engine or a W series engine. If you have one of those vehicles, you need to know where it was in the production line, which is where these last six digits become important.
The country, make, check digit, year, plant, and serial number are usually in the same positions regardless of the vehicle manufacturer.
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is like an automotive passport, and is the best way of finding out if you are buying what the vendor tells you.
The inside of the doors is another common place for the VIN number, and there will undoubtedly be one in the engine bay.
It may be your dream car, but without the correct VIN number matches it could turn out to be worth far less than you expect.
This is great in a junkyard because you can walk up to a VIN number and say "Hey this is a VIN J, which means it's a 1988".
Vehicle manufacturers could have used 8 digits, 10 digits, 25 digits, or really whatever they wanted. So, to make America a better place, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put their foot down in 1981, and made all of the car manufacturers use 17 digits. It is called a check digit because the purpose of it is to check the rest of the VIN number for legitimacy. The 11th digit of the VIN number is the one that confirms the plant at which the vehicle was built.



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