A vehicle identification number, or VIN, is a 17-digit alphanumeric number. Since 1981, global automotive manufacturers have utilized a complex numbering system called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely describes a vehicle. This number provides a coded description of the vehicle including: Manufacturer, Year of Production, Place of Production and Vehicle Characteristics.
You may not feel the need of understanding and decoding VIN but if you are interested to know more about your vehicle then you must know what it means and how to decipher it.
Each VIN is unique to the vehicle and provides significant information about the vehicle. A VIN can also allow a service provider to accurately know the model/ type of car and its corresponding parts.
A VIN is also useful prior to buying a car as it can provide information about any damage or illegal modification or theft.
Where to find the VIN of your Car?
• Dash of the car by the bottom of the windshield on the front passenger side.
• Sticker on the B pillar on the driver’s side
• On the engine block for some cars
• On the underside of the hood on some newer vehicles
• Registration and insurance certificates of the car
Decoding a VIN
Each VIN is broken into three sections mentioned below.
1. World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI.
2. Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS.
3. Vehicle Identifier Section or VIS
#AutomenProTip: Some car manufacturer lets the consumer lookup VIN on their website. There are also many 3rd party websites that let you decipher the numbers and their meanings for absolutely no cost. Just go online and search for “online VIN decoder” and select any from the top results.
World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI
The first three digits are the WMI that gives the information about the country, manufacturer and the type of vehicle.
The first character in a VIN may be either a letter or number and tells you the geographic area of manufacture. This is where the car was actually made, and it may be different from where the manufacturer is located.
|A – H||Africa|
|J – R (except O and Q)||Asia|
|S – Z||Europe|
|1 – 5||North America|
|6 or 7||New Zealand or Australia|
|8 or 9||South America|
The 2nd & 3rd digits of the VIN will tell you the manufacturer and make of the car.
Some examples include the following:
For example, in VIN “1TNEK13ZX3R298984,” the “T” indicates a vehicle manufactured by Toyota.
Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS
VDS is a five digit alphanumeric number used to specify a type of vehicle and may include information about the model, platform, engine and transmission.
Vehicle Identifier Section or VIS
VIS gives information about the year of manufacture and the manufacturing plant along with the sequential serial number of the vehicle.
The 10th number indicates the year the car was manufactured. It begins with A for 1980, the first year a standard 17-digit VIN was used. Subsequent years follow the alphabet of to “Y” in the year 2000.
In the same VIN example “1TNEK13ZX3R298984,” the “3” indicates the vehicle was manufactured in 2003.
The 11th digit tells which plant actually assembled the car. This digit is specific to each manufacturer.
The 9th number is a check digit used to prove the VIN is not a fake. In VIN “5XXGN4A70CG022862,” the check digit is “0”.
#AutomenProtip: To find out credibility of a VIN verify the check digit as it uses a complex calculation so it cannot be easily faked. You can find many free sources on the internet that will allow you to verify the check digit.
Decode the remaining numbers
The rest of the numbers provide the production or serial number of the car and is what makes the VIN unique to that specific car. To find out this manufacturer-specific information, you can check their website for a decoding sheet.
At Automen, our team uses only genuine parts that have been matched to your car’s VIN. This ensures that there is no mismatch of parts at the time of service.
Unsure of about which parts are suited for your car, then get in touch with our team on 8010696969 or log onto www.automen.in to know more.