VIN Decoder

Ever wonder what the VIN number on your car means?

It is a long code that tells a lot about your vehicle. To start the first number (or letter) tells where your vehicle was manufactured. If it starts with a number it was put together in the good old US of A. If it starts with a "J" it was built in Japan, "K" is Korea, you get the idea. For the rest of the meaning I am going to post below an article written about your VIN number's meaning....

(If you don't feel like decoding the VIN by yourself you can have the following website do it for you....

The meaning of a VIN number
By SarahSanuth

On your title, registration and other parts of your car, there is a sequence of numbers and letters. But do these have any real meaning?

You can think of it as somewhat your vehicles DNA so to speak. In your DNA you have genetic markers that tell information about you; your hair color, height, and many other things. The Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN does just that.

Vehicle Identification Numbers started in the mid 1950's when vehicle started to become mass produced. Car manufacturers started to stamp their vehicles with these numbers and letters. In the 1980's The National Highway Safety Administration, now the United States Department of Transportation, started to require that all vehicles were branded with a 17 digit "DNA number."

Because vehicles began to become mass produced it became necessary to code a Vehicle Identification Number so that information about the vehicle would be disclosed when seeking parts, service and other information about the vehicle.

Take my vehicle for instance; I have a VIN number of 1J4GZ78Y1TC353772. If you were given this number (yea there are letters there, but it is still referred to as a number) you would be able to know what this vehicle is, where it was made, the trim, size of the engine and much more information about it, without even needing to see it.

The VIN Number is made up of 3 sections; World Manufacturer Identifier, Vehicle Descriptor Section, and the Vehicle Identifier Section.

World Manufacturer Section contains the first three positions in your VIN.

Digit 1 This identifies the country in which this vehicle was made. In the VIN about, 1 signifies the United States.

Digit 2 - This tells you which company made the vehicle. J stands for Jeep. Usually this letter will be the first letter of the company that made the vehicle (M means Mercury, P means Plymouth and so one.)

Digit 3 - This digit or letter signifies tells you the type of vehicle, is it two wheel drive, 4 wheel drive. In this case 4 would mean Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) or Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV.)

Vehicle Descriptor Section contains all the information about the specific information about the vehicle.

Digit 4 Would tell you the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This tells you how much the vehicle weighs without anything in it. G would mean 5,001 6,000 pounds.

Digit 5 - So you're driving a Jeep what. This character tells you the model. In this case Z means that the model of the vehicle is a Grand Cherokee Four Wheel Drive.

Digit 6 - This tells you the trim, or package that is in the car. The VIN above states that this vehicle with a 7 as the 6th digit is a Limited.

Digit 7 - Body style. Coupe, SUV, Sedan. This vehicle happens to be considered a 4 door wagon (an SUV is nothing more than a raised, or elevated, station wagon. 8 means 4 door wagon.

Digit 8 Y in this case stands for 5.2. This is the size of the motor, which is measure in liters. This vehicle has a 5.2 liter engine.

Digit 9 - This is a check digit. A lot of people think that this letter has no meaning. It really doesn't but it is a calculation of other information within the VIN. More like a mathematical equation, so that this number just can't be made up.

Vehicle Identifier Section gives further information about the vehicle and makes the vehicle identifiable.

Digit 10 This is the model year of the vehicle. In this case, T means 1996.

Digit 11 This is the plant where the vehicle was actually manufactured. C would stand for Detroit.

Digit 12 through 17. These are more a serial number for the product. In the assembly line each vehicle is assigned a 6 digit number. If the vehicle was the first one produced it would probably have a number like 000001 and each one thereafter would have a number that went in sequence. The last 4 character is the VIN will always be numbers.

Depending on the vehicle that the VIN came from there are different meanings to each digit even if they are the same. If you go to, you will be able to get all the information on what your specific VIN number means.

Article found here