What do VIN Numbers Stand For?

Similar to a serial number, all vehicles have a VIN, or vehicle identification number. This 17-digit code provides detailed information about your vehicle, so it’s a helpful number to use when searching for auto parts on sale, identifying a lost vehicle or looking up any warranty or recall information. Learn more about your VIN today and discover the details hidden in this long code.

Manufacturer and Vehicle Description

Your vehicle identification number can be split up into three basic sections: world manufacturer identifier, vehicle descriptor section and vehicle identifier section. Each of these sections provides more specific information about your vehicle. Get to know your vehicle and make shopping easy with your full VIN.

The first section takes up three digits. The very first digit of your VIN identifies the country of origin or final assembly. The second and third digits are a pair that communicate the region and manufacturing division of your vehicle.

The next six digits are the vehicle description section. Digits four through eight describe the model, body type, restraint, transmission and engine code. The last vehicle description VIN digit is the ninth digit, which is part of an anti-fraud code. This digit appears to be random but is based on formula in the U.S. Department of Transportation. It’s very difficult to determine the meaning of this digit, so the ninth digit prevents fake VINs from being used with illegal vehicles.

Vehicle Identifier

The last portion of your VIN is specific to your particular vehicle. The 10th digit shows the year your vehicle was manufactured. This digit cycles on a table, so a single digit can represent the entire year of manufacturing.

The 11th digit represents the plant your vehicle was manufactured at, while the 12th through 17th digits are a unique serial number created during the assembly process. These digits are unique to your vehicle, just like a serial number or social security number.

Now that you know the VIN number meaning, what does it mean? Find out how you can use your VIN to learn more about your vehicle and easily shop for the right components to upgrade or maintain your car.

Short VIN Numbers

If you’re driving a classic or an older vehicle, you may notice that your VIN isn’t 17 digits long. The 17-digit system began in 1981, so older vehicles use an outdated system of identification. Work with a knowledgeable technician to determine the right components for your vehicle. A VIN lookup tool won’t offer you the precise parts you need for a vehicle older than 1981.

Where To Learn More About VIN

Use a free VIN lookup tool online to find out just how useful your VIN can be. This tool will automatically load the make, model, year and engine type of your vehicle into an online shopping portal. Shop for replacement parts and aftermarket accessories that will fit your exact vehicle using this handy tool. Don’t worry about comparing specifications and model numbers, but enjoy easy shopping when you use your vehicle identification number to shop for everything from new tires to an aftermarket exhaust system.

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