A VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is unique to each car. It’s interesting how much information you can get from just VIN - from engine size to safety features. More importantly, when you buy car parts, you can use this number to verify their legitimacy. You only need to be able to decode it. That’s exactly what we will be talking about in this guide.
Finding your vehicle’s VIN
This often depends on your car’s make and model. The outside bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side is your best bet. There will also be a sticker on the side of the driver’s door, or on the inside of the driver’s side pillar or bulkhead.
You may also find it on your insurance card or official records.
How to read your Vehicle Identification Number
Let’s take a look at what each digit in a VIN code means and how it can help you find out more about your car:
1. WMI - Country & Manufacturer The first group of three numbers and letters in a VIN make up the WMI. The WMI stands for World Manufacturer Identifier.
1st – A letter or number showing where in the world the car was built. For example, A-H – Africa, J-R – Asia, S-Z – Europe, 1-5 – North America, and so forth
2nd – The manufacturer that made the car
3rd – The specific division of a manufacturer that made the car
2. VDS - General Characteristics This is information such as model type, restraint types, body type, engine, and transmission.
4th – Model-specific information
The fourth digit gives details of the car’s model-specific features, such as additional safety information.
5th – The car’s series
This represents the exact series of a specific model
6th and 7th – The car’s body style and type
Convertible, saloon, or hatchback
8th – Engine size
The eighth digit shows the car’s engine size and is usually represented by a letter.
3. Check Digit 9th - this digit is like a security code, called a check digit. It is a code number/letter generated by the manufacture to ensure authenticity.
4. VIS - Identification of the particular car The last digits in the VIN indicate the year, plant, equipment production number, etc
10th - this number indicatex the model year
11th - this digit is the manufacturer’s plant code. Each car manufacturing plant has its own unique code.
12th - 17th - are numbers the vehicle gets as it rolls through the production line and are unique to your car.
If you know how to read it a VIN number can give you a lot of information and help you get the parts you need to keep your car running flawlessly.