VIN - Vehicle Identification Number

Save time, confusion, and hassle by using your VIN to identify your vehicle and find the parts you need, error free!

Every car or truck has a serial number, or sort of fingerprint, called a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. Sometimes, the easiest method of looking up your vehicle is by your VIN number. Your VIN can be found in a number of locations and is made up of 17 digits and characters.

Where can you find your VIN?
-  On your dash, by the windshield. Look through the corner of your windshield from the outside, down at the dash and you will find a small plate with your VIN.
-  The inside door jam of the driver's door, or the door post on the passenger side. With the door open, look to the side of the door. Your VIN can be located on that white label.
-  Documentation. Your vehicle's registration card and your maintenance book will both have your vehicle identification number as well.
-  Radiator Support Bracket. Open your hood and somewhere up front you should find a panel or plate with your VIN number.
-  On the Firewall, left hand inner wheel arch, steering column, front of the engine, on the frame.

But what is a VIN? The vehicle identification number is a unique code that identifies the very specific model of your total vehicle. By knowing your VIN, you can bypass knowing the specific engine or chassis type of your vehicle. If your vehicle was made before 1981 then your VIN number may look a little different because there was no standardization for vehicle identification numbers before then. But since then, the standards across the world have been the same.

Just to give you an idea of what your VIN number is really does, here are a few tid-bits that help break it down.

The first 3 digits are the World Manufacturer Identifier. While the chart that identifies all codes is rather extensive, if your was made in the United States you VIN will begin with 1, 4 or 5. German vehicles will begin with either an S or W. Japan, J. China L.

The next handful of digits are the Vehicle Descriptor Section, which will break down the body type and drivetrain.

The 10th digit is commonly the Year identifier. Got a 2007 Ford? the 10th digit, you guessed it, would be a 7. 1994 = R.

The rest of the numbers are additional Vehicle Identifiers that actually provides such information like what plant the vehicle was assembled in, the vehicle's weight, or simply the sequential number.

For more detailed information on Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) you can refer to Wikipedia.