The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique number considered a vehicle’s fingerprint. It gives the car an identity, monitors the events of the vehicle, and provides all the detail about the car. For an intending car owner, VIN is one thing you don’t want to joke with. As a result, this article will discuss why you need to consider the number as important as a car owner.
What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?
A VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, a set of 17 unique alphanumeric characters located on the car chassis that functions in its identification. Over a billion cars worldwide, but no two cars have the same Vehicle Identification Number. As a result, you can fathom the importance of the number.
VIN is unique to a car and is unchangeable, unlike other vehicle codes such as registration numbers. However, in rare cases, you can change it. It provides information about the vehicle. As a result, buyers can reduce the risk factor of buying a used vehicle. Furthermore, it is applicable in tracking car recalls, registrations, vehicle maintenance records, accident history, title status, warranty claims, thefts, status, and any other relevant information.
Why is VIN So Important?
Being the car’s fingerprint, VIN provides the car’s details according to the manufacturer which you can use to track what happened to it. That includes information about the year of production, the country it was produced, and full details of the manufacturer.
If a car gets involved in a crash, the frequency of accidents, how often the car has been bought or sold, or even details about oil changes, tire replacement, brake checks, and more are all recorded on the car’s VIN.
It’s key to unlocking the past events of your car by providing you its history. As a result, it is especially important for people who want to buy a used car.
You can also know if a car was stolen and where it was used before shipping to your country of residence. For this effect, there is a database of VINs in the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) database which allows law enforcers to identify stolen vehicles.
You’d agree that not checking a used car’s VIN before purchasing is a quick way to land yourself in trouble. Furthermore, using it, you can check other abnormalities that can be used to swindle people, such as rolling back or flipping the car odometer.
Where Can I Find The VIN Code?
As a result, manufacturers ensure that they engrave the VIN permanently on the car chassis or engine according to international ISO standards. You can also find it in the engine bay or beneath the plastic trim of the car door (most time, the driver’s side).
Another way to find the VIN is by standing outside the car close to the driver’s side then looking at the corner where your dashboard meets the windshield. Or checking where the driver’s door latches when closed.
Finally, ensure that you check multiple places and ensure the VIN tally.
How To Decode A VIN
Below is a breakdown of the 17 alphanumeric characters that make the VIN.
- The first three characters or the World Manufacturer Identifiers (WMI are usually a number followed by two letters identifiers which the Society of Automotive Engineers assign to manufacturers and countries.
The number specifies where a car was made. The letters indicate the manufacturer’s name.
- The following five characters are the Vehicle Descriptor Sector (VDS), which describes the vehicle types. Every manufacturer has a system of VDS. VDS describes the model, engine type, number of doors, body style, and more.
- The next character, the 9th, is an alphabet or number the manufacturer used to validate the whole number’s authenticity.
- The last eight characters, usually numbers, are called the Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS). The VIS is a distinct serial number to identify the actual vehicle. That’s what confers uniqueness to it. The VIS reveals details about the year of production down to the manufacturing equipment.
Is The Chassis Number and VIN The same?
Yes, they are the same. Since the VIN is most likely on the chassis, most car enthusiasts call it the chassis number. However, the more recognized term is VIN.
The importance of VIN to vehicle owners cannot be overemphasized. It saves you a lot of stress and problems that could arise later. As a result, you should carefully confirm that the VIN on the registration document is the same as that engraved on the car
However, getting a customized VIN for your vehicles would be best. This is because thieves have devised ways to deactivate the VIN tracking system.
An additional VIN, etched in a secret part of your car, is a proven way to prevent this from happening. And if your car gets stolen, it will help law enforcement track and locate it.
Moreso, VIN is a compulsory requirement for manufacturers. And if you are engaging in large-scale VIN engraving, you should invest in a refined and quality VIN marking system to make the process seamless and swift. If you need that, you can check our recommended VIN dot peen marking machines and fiber laser marking machines.