How to Read Your Vehicle's VIN Number

Read Your Vehicle's VIN Number

Are you thinking of buying a second-hand car? Are you worried about the history of the second-hand car you are thinking to buy? Do you want to know the specifications of any car? Or Are you looking for a spare part of your product? Or do you want to know about the maintenance recalls of your recently bought car?

A VIN, that is, a Vehicle Identification Number, helps you identify the vehicle and makes you know it well. It is a combination of numbers and letters, each having its own significance and stores some information about the vehicle.

This VIN number is unique to each vehicle. You just need to find it and read it correctly or decode it according to this VIN lookup and get your desired information.

You can find the VIN number of your car in different areas of the vehicle. Following are the typical locations to find the VIN number:

  • Dashboard of the driver side windshield, it can be seen sitting on the driver seat or even standing outside the car,
  • Door jam of the driver’s side,
  • Engine block,
  • Rear wheel well of the driver’s side,
  • Under the spare wheel,
  • Insurance paper,
  • Registration paper or other important documents of the vehicle.

Once you have found the VIN number, you can now move to the next and most important step of reading it.

How To Read The VIN Number?

As already said, the VIN number stores a lot of important information about the vehicle. You need to read all this information carefully in order to understand it better.

You can read it in the following steps:

Know where the car is manufactured

The 1st character of the VIN number represents the name of the region of the manufacturer. It is the code that tells the place of origin of the manufacturing of the car in terms of region or continents.

You can understand what each letter or number denotes in the following way:-

  • A – H means Africa
  • J – R (except O and Q) means Asia
  • S – Z means Europe
  • 1 – 5 means North America
  • 6 or 7 means New Zealand or Australia
  • 8 or 9 is for South America

Now you can understand, for instance, the VIN number starts with ‘J’, then it is manufactured in Asia, and if it begins with ‘3’, then it is manufactured in North America and so on.

The 2nd character of the VIN represents the country name where the car has been manufactured.

Following are the examples of the first two characters and the way to understand how you can check the manufacturer’s country name:

  • KL-KR = South Korea
  • L = China
  • MA-ME = India
  • MF-MK = Indonesia
  • ML-MR = Thailand
  • MS = Myanmar
  • PA-PE = Philippines
  • SA-SM = United Kingdom
  • SN-ST, W = Germany
  • 1, 4, 5 = United States
  • 2 = Canada
  • 3 = Mexico
  • 6A-6W = Australia
  • 7A-7E = New Zealand
  • 8A-8E = Argentina
  • 9F-9J = Colombia

Know about the specific manufacturer of the car

Check the 3rd character; it represents the name of the manufacturer of the car. Here are some of the examples of which character represents which manufacturer:

  • 1 - Chevrolet
  • 4 - Buick
  • 6 - Cadillac
  • B - BMW
  • C - Chrysler
  • J - Jeep
  • T - Toyota

Know more about the vehicle as to the vehicle description

The following five digits, that is, the 4th character to the 8th character, tells you about the description of the vehicle. You can understand each character in the following way:

  • 4th character tells about the safety features and model-specific information. It gives details of the car’s model-specific features, such as additional safety information.
  • 5th character tells about the car’s series. This represents the exact series of a specific model, usually shown by a letter.
  • 6th and 7th characters show the body style: the car’s body style and types like convertible, saloon or hatchback.
  • 8th character represents the engine size. It shows the car’s engine size and is usually represented by a letter. This code is really helpful if you’re buying spare parts for your car, as is it ensures that you can find a spare part that’s the exact match for the engine type.

Check if the VIN is correct or not.

The 9th character allows you to check the authenticity of the VIN number. With some math calculations and analysis, you will get a resulting number or letter. You can check if the VIN number is correct or not. 

Find out the year of manufacture. 

You can check the year of manufacture through the 10th character of the VIN number. For example:

  • Letters ‘A’ to ‘Z’ denotes the years 1980 to 2000.
  • Numbers 1 to 9 denote 2001 to 2009.
  • Letters again start from ‘A’, denoting the years 2010 and onwards.

Where the car was assembled

The 11th character represents the plant where the vehicle is assembled. 

Get the serial number or production number.

The last six characters, that is, the 12th character to the 17th character, represents the serial number of the vehicle.

This is the way you can read your vehicle’s VIN number easily. If you are still feeling it difficult to understand, there is an easy way out.

The BMW VIN decoder is the solution for you. It is a VIN decoder that will help you fetch all the details about the vehicle by searching your VIN number. In this way, you don’t even need to read the VIN number on your own and understand it.

Vin decoded

For this, you just need to search the VIN number through this VIN decoder and get all the desired results. The BMW VIN decoder not just fetch the data that you can read directly but also provides you with a lot more information about the vehicle.

You will get to know the history of the vehicle along with basic information like specifications, maintenance details, etc.

Summing Up

You can easily read your vehicle’s VIN number by following the simple steps mentioned above. Reading the VIN number will help you know all the basic information about the new vehicle. And if you want to know more about your vehicle, you just need to search the VIN number on the BMW VIN decoder and get a handful of details about the vehicle.

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