The VIN code of a car is a series of alphabetic and numeric characters applied to a certain part of the body by the vehicle manufacturer. It is encoded information about the vehicle. A single VIN number was adopted in 1980 for the unification and identification of transport at the global level. The VIN number consists of seventeen positions (English letters and numbers) in which information is encoded: brand, model range, year of assembly and numerous technical parameters.
The VIN code of a car can be equated to a person’s fingerprints – it is unique, its combinations will never be repeated. It allows you to check the history of vehicles and find out the number of owners, participation in traffic accidents, whether the car is under arrest or in pledge, whether it is listed as stolen, whether this car was used as a taxi. In car dealerships, they can also change individual data about vehicles, hiding the year of manufacture of a new vehicle, entering other data into documents.
How VIN stands for:
The easiest and most convenient way to decode the VIN is to use the VIN decoder by Epicvin.com. With the help of this service, you can get the most complete information about the car in a very short time. However, it will not be superfluous to know how to decrypt this number yourself. Although this process is quite long and laborious.
The VIN code never contains the Latin alphabetic characters “I”, “O” and “Q” due to some similarity with the numbers “1” and “0”.
VIN consists of 3 parts:
- WMI (World Manufacturers Identification) is a worldwide manufacturer index. This is the first part of the VIN, designed to determine the manufacturer of the car. WMI usually consists of three characters, which are defined by organizations that are not manufacturers. Each manufacturer that is responsible for the production of vehicles is assigned one or more WMI codes that allow it to be uniquely identified. Together with the rest of the VIN, WMI has been providing the identification of all vehicles produced in the world for 30 years. It is not allowed to assign a WMI assigned to one manufacturer to another for 30 years after the year in which it was last used.
- VDS (Vehicle Description Section) – descriptive part. This part contains information describing the main components of the vehicle. The VDS consists of six characters and describes the characteristics of the vehicle. If one or more of these are not required by the manufacturer, the manufacturer shall fill in the space with letters or numbers of his choice, most commonly “0” or “Z”. The sequence of characters and the characteristics embedded in them are determined by the manufacturer. Typically, this contains information about the car model, body type, equipment, engine, etc. In the United States, it is mandatory to indicate codes indicating the gross weight and installed security systems for this vehicle version. In the 9th position of the VIN, the so-called control sign can be indicated, which, in the event of an unauthorized change in the content of the marking, with appropriate verification, will not confirm its authenticity. This is direct evidence that the identification marking was subjected to a change in one or more characters, or was generally applied in a home-made way and welded into the car body. Control Mark is required in the North American and Chinese markets. In Europe, its use is advisory.
- VIS (Vehicle Identification Section) – index part. It is a sequence of characters designed by the manufacturer to take into account the individual characteristics of the vehicle. This sequence, together with the VDS, provides a unique identification of all vehicles that the manufacturer has produced within 30 years. VIS consists of eight characters and closes the VIN. The last 4 characters must be numbers. Usually the first VIS sign carries information about the model year of the car. Model year is required for North American, Chinese, and select Middle Eastern markets.
Where is the VIN code of the car:
The location of the VIN code depends on the country that produced the vehicle. Most vehicles manufactured for the United States of America have the VIN located just below the windshield. Also, this identification number is located on the body in a hard-to-reach place in order to protect against offenders. The VIN code can be stamped on a metal plate – a nameplate located in the engine compartment, on the front of the engine, on the threshold or on the driver’s door pillar. In expensive vehicles, a plate containing the VIN code may be located on the instrument panel.
How to check the authenticity of the VIN:
You can personally inspect the vehicle’s VIN. The original cipher should have the same size and shape of all the characters included in it. Also, in the place where the number is applied, there should not be any traces of mechanical stress and welds. Pay attention to the color of the paint. In the place where the VIN is written, it must be exactly the same color as in the rest of the car.
However, you can also check the VIN with a decoder. This method of verification ensures that all received data will be as reliable as possible. At the same time, you do not have to wait long – the result appears almost immediately after the request.
Why check the VIN:
Basically, this code should be checked before buying a used car. Owners very often hide a lot of important information about their vehicles and greatly inflate their value. In order not to choose a low-quality car with a bunch of problems, you definitely need to check its VIN. Such manipulations will make your transaction safer and more profitable for you.
In addition, the VIN is used to find the right parts for the car. The fact is that producing creates a lot of technical elements that are almost the same, but they are intended for different models. Therefore, if you do not check the VIN before ordering a spare part, then the selected item may simply not be suitable for your vehicle.
In general, checking and deciphering the VIN code will allow you to prevent a huge number of different troubles and save you some difficulties. Therefore, if you are going to buy a car or order a spare part for it, be sure to check your vehicle identification number using a quality free VIN decoder.