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Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date, accurate information about your state DMV's processes. Every CARFAX Report contains important information that can impact your decision about a used vehicle through a detailed VIN # check. VIN check, VIN number check, or VIN lookup, is a detailed document that provides vehicle information about the history of a particular car, boat, truck or RV.
Whether you're a private seller or a dealer, a vehicle history report can help you sell a vehicle. There are many companies that offer what they call a free VIN check vehicle history report where they search by using VIN search engine, but the information you receive is limited to basic things such as recalls and customer complaints. You will likely need a bill of sale form whenever you buy a vehicle from, or sell one to, another person. I acknowledge that is a privately-owned Web site that is not owned or operated by any state government agency. is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any state government agency. 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. When contemplating purchasing a classic or antique car or truck, locating and decoding the vehicle VIN number is a necessary step in due diligence. Researching the VIN or the old serial number of an antique car or truck will also help you determine the vehicles value. Buyers can determine if trim tag numbers, engine code identification number, and rear axle identification numbers are consistent with the original make and model as advertised. VIN numbers (serial numbers) on antique automobiles can be found at different places on the car or truck depending on the make.
Did you know that Chevrolet, Ford and other automobile and truck models didn’t use VIN numbers on their vehicles prior to about 1955?
Early serial numbers did not include nearly as much information about the car model and mechanics like today’s.
If you’re contemplating spending a large sum for a vintage vehicle then you certainly may decide to use a for pay research site. Complementary Work: If you’re considering the installation of a shift kit in your automatic keep in mind that you’ll also be changing the fluid and filter at that time. Since most of you purchased your C4 Corvette on the used car market there’s a need to check out the transmission. One last point is that you should never check the fluid immediately after coming off the interstate. You not only need to see that the transmission is properly filled but you also want to get an indication about the condition of the fluid. If you can actually see clutch material on the paper towel then you can be almost certain that the clutches need to be replaced. The only thing you need to do is change the fluid and filter on a regular basis.  I’m a fanatic about regular fluid and filter changes for an automatic transmission. I will offer one suggestion though: If you have over 75,000 miles on your car, and you’re pretty certain it still contains the original factory installed fluid, don’t change anything. If you decide to change your own transmission filter make sure you get the car as high as possible.
In addition to the pan and gasket set you’ll also need four or more quarts of Dexron III ATF to refill the transmission. When you have the oil pan down check for metal shavings and other debris which are indicators of impending transmission problems.
One thing you need to be concerned about with a Corvette is that your car comes back  from the repair shop with it’s own transmission. You need to carefully explain to the shop that you want your transmission rebuilt, not simply a rebuilt transmission. This might not seem important to you right now but trust me at some point it will be a big deal.
IMG0005: The automatic transmission in the C4 Corvette began life as the 700 R4 and ended up being called the 4L60-E. IMG006: Transmission builders will argue the merits of different gaskets for the next several decades. This is an adaptation from Richard Newton’s most recent book 101 Projects for Your Corvette 1984 – 1996. Dipstick tube seals tend to leak, especially if the car sits in storage for an extended period. All data is provided for entertainment purposes only, is subject to change without notice and is provided without warranty of any kind. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we've verified this information with your state DMV. Get a detailed vehicle history report from our nationwide database on your home or mobile device within seconds. In order to obtain a VHR to verify a car's history, you'll need to know your vehicle identification number (VIN). If the VHR is free of questionable content, what better way to gain the buyer's confidence? If you want a vehicle's accident or lien history or a stolen vehicle check, you'll have to pay for that information. 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. A VIN numbers has codes and the VIN codes will tell you a lot about the vehicle you’re looking at. Depending on replacement parts which may or may not have been added to the vehicle, the true market value could vary significantly.
This would suggest that the vehicle as it is today has all the parts on it as at the time it rolled off the assembly line.
VIN locations might include the door post, the dashboard, the engine or perhaps the steering wheel post. The fourth through eighth character tells a lot about the type of car, it’s chassis and model. On the other hand, after twenty years in the service business and a few years with a major transmission chain, I have to point out that very few people know how to properly check the level of the automatic transmission fluid. High speed driving will give you a false reading on the dipstick, or as GM calls it, the fluid level indicator blade. Just for comparison drop some brand new Dexron III ATF fluid next to the spot being checked.
I recommend that you change it on an annual basis even though that may be a little excessive.
There’s a good chance that the dirt and crud inside your transmission is what’s holding it together.
Changing the automatic transmission fluid in a Corvette requires dropping, or removing, the oil pan. The transmission’s fluid capacity is important because automatics must be run very close to the full level, and never over that level. It’s dark under your Corvette and you want to make sure that you see everything that’s going on. Then just to be on the safe side crawl under the car with a light and locate the VIN number on your transmission. Just ask the people who own 1968 and 1972 Corvettes how much they would be willing to pay to get the original transmission back in their Corvettes. It may sound a little silly if you know what you’re doing, but on the other hand fluid neglect is the single largest cause of transmission failure.
Basically it was the same transmission except that a lot of the hydraulic functions were handled by electronics in the later years. Actually, if you look around a transmission shop you’ll most likely find a variety of different materials. He has also written two other best selling Corvette One deals with the 1968 to 1982 Corvettes, How to Restore and Modify Your Corvette 1968-82 , while another deals with the Sting Rays from 1963 to 1967, Corvette Restoration Guide 1963-1967 All  of these books are available from Corvette Central.
We also support Corvette events, swap meets and local Corvette club shows all over the world. Corvette Central has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of Corvette parts and accessories since 1975. Typically companies offer either a free VIN Check, or a more complete paid VIN number lookup.
Also, if there happens to be suspicious-looking information on the report, you can find out what it's all about and ease any concerns a customer might have. 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.
In general they were shorter and of course were not standardized until the early 1980′s. You could assume that if the parts have different numbers stamped on them that they are not original. This plate or serial number essentially identified where the vehicle was manufactured (each factory had a different number), what month it was built and the series from which it came off the assembly line.
The ninth digit is called a check digit which essentially is added for redundancy and to catch any identification errors that may have occurred in the letter and number sequence. Like most things, some of the for pay sites allow you to do deeper research which may be well worth it. This means that most of you reading this article have an automatic transmission in your Corvette. The most common reason for repair is simple abuse and the most damaging abuse comes from neglect.

This will give you a good side by side comparison of how drastically your fluid may have changed since it was last serviced. At this point any possible damage has been done and changing the fluid and filter might only make things worse. Some shops use transmission service equipment that can replace the fluid without dropping the transmission pan. Flat shrink wraps are typically used with cork pan gaskets to protect the gasket from bending that could damage it. When you use silicone gasket material it’s squeezed between the transmission body and the pan. This is one case where those inexpensive halogen lights carried by Home Depot come in very handy.
This VIN number can be in more than a half dozen locations so check carefully.  Then when you get your car back home check this number again. Make sure you read the dipstick correctly and that you also check the condition of the fluid at the same time. It was still a 4-speed transmission and it still had fluid and a filter that needed changing. The real secret to keeping your transmission oil pan from leaking is to make sure that both surfaces are very clean and you use a torque wrench to tighten the oil pan bolts evenly, using a variation of the star pattern you use when tightening lug nuts.
We offer the most comprehensive and detailed parts catalogs on the market today and produce a different catalog for each Corvette generation. 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. The research involves matching numbers and letters to a particular manufacturers stored database. This equipment either taps into the ATF oil cooler lines or connects to the dipstick filler tube. Make sure that you spread it the width of the entire car and possibly three feet in front of and behind the transmission. Rubber (neoprene) pan gaskets, on the other hand, are flexible and can be folded to fit in a box. A case in point is where the seals have started to leak and you want to postpone any real repair. Since the transmission used in the Corvette is popular across the GM product line they may have a couple on the shelf. You really won’t look all that silly with your nose on the dipstick to check for a burning smell.
While you’re under the car you can also copy down the Identification Code which has a lot of interesting information once you decode the letters and numbers. 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. Many are missing and because some of the early models were built with wood frames the car number plate would often disappear with the deteriorating wood.
Different technicians have different preferences as to which is the best gasket material to use.
Just continue on the task and remember to start setting some money aside for a rebuilt transmission. The additives designed to stop leaks contain chemicals that swell the seals and gaskets to reduce fluid leakage. You’ll feel a lot sillier if you have to get a home equity loan to pay for a new transmission in your Corvette.
He has dropped the pan, changed the fluid, filter and gasket and torqued the bolts according to specs. 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". If this material gets loose inside the pan there’s a very good chance it will find it’s way into internals of the transmission and clog a very important passage. This might hold you over until you can reduce the balance on your Visa card so your transmission can be properly repaired. Vehicle manufacturers could have used 8 digits, 10 digits, 25 digits, or really whatever they wanted. You should be more concerned about changing the filter than you are about changing the fluid. 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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