How to Read Your VW VIN Number to Make Sense of Each Letter and Number

By blogsadmin | Posted in Service, Tips and Tricks on Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 4:15 pm
how to read your vw vin number what does vin number mean Neftin Volkswagen

How to Read Your VW VIN Number

If you’ve ever filled out paperwork for your new vehicle, you may have had to provide the VIN number for your car multiple times. It may look like a jumbled grouping of letters and numbers, but it actually contains important detailed information about your model. If you’re curious about how to read your VW VIN number, or are looking for information about a used car you just purchased, we can show you how to make sense of the letters and numbers you are seeing.

Your VIN should be a string of 17 numbers and letters that is unique to your vehicle. Older models may have fewer characters. The make and model of your vehicle can determine where your VIN number is located, however, the most likely spot is on the dashboard near the windshield. You may also find it on the vehicle door jam.

How to Find the Vehicle Type on a VIN Number

The vehicle type will be identified by the first three characters in a VIN number. The first character will tell you what country the vehicle was made in, with 1, 4 and 5 indicating a vehicle made in the U.S. Other characters include W for Germany and J for Japan. Next, the vehicle manufacturer is found in the second character, with V being used for Volkswagen models. Since the same character can be used for multiple manufacturers, the third digit indicates the vehicle type or manufacturing division, the details of which can be found online.

Vehicle Features on the VIN Number

The 4th through 9th characters on your VIN number should indicate more descriptive features of your vehicle. Here you can find information about the vehicle’s model, body type or engine. The codes will vary among car makes and models, so check online to see what each code means for your particular vehicle. The 9th digit in this sequence is used to verify that the information on the VIN is correct.

How to Find the Vehicle Model Year on a VIN Number

Determining the model year of your vehicle using the VIN number is rather simple, especially for newer vehicles. Starting in 2001, the model year identifier was simply the last digit of that that year, so 2001 was 1, 2002 was 2, and so on. In 2010, most VIN numbers started using letters, with the 2010 year indicated by the letter A. Older models may also have their model year indicated by a letter, with B through Y representing the 1981-2000 years.

Numbers 11 through 17

These last several digits on a vehicle VIN number indicate both the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled, represented by the 11th character, and the production sequence number, indicated by the remaining characters on the VIN.

As you can see, simply knowing how to read your VW VIN number isn’t necessarily enough to be able to gather each piece of information contained within it. If you want more detailed information about your VW model, or model from another manufacturer, check online to find the specific meaning of each code. You can also schedule a service appointment with Neftin Volkswagen and we can take a look at your VW’s VIN number while you are here. Feel free to contact us with any of your questions.

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