"Make your vehicle too HOT to handle"
Every vehicle has a unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The VIN number is stamped onto a small metal plate and is attached to the drivers side of the dash where it meets the window. The VIN allows the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Transportation to keep track of the vehicles registered owner.
Police also use this number to verify that a vehicle has not been stolen and is in the possession of the original owner. However, it takes professional thieves only seconds to replace this plate with one from a legally purchased junk car of the same make and model.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
What is it?
A carís vehicle identification number (VIN) is the automotive
It sets the vehicle apart from the millions of other vehicles out
there. In recent times it has been reflected in 17 digit characters. It
displays a carís uniqueness and heritage and provides a form of
"factory to scrap yard" identification. It can be used to track
recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.
Each character or digit has a particular purpose.
History of the VIN
Detroit automobile manufacturers began stamping and casting identifying numbers on cars and their parts in the mid 1950's . The primary purpose of this vehicle identification number (VIN) was to give an accurate description of the vehicle when mass production numbers were starting to scale in very significant numbers. The early VINs came in a range of variations depending on the individual manufacturer at that time.
In the early 1980's the U.S. National highway Traffic Safety Administration (USDOT) required that all road vehicles must contain a 17 character VIN. This established the standard fixed VIN system which major vehicle manufacturers use currently. The result was a unique "DNA" style number for each individual vehicle rolled off the assembly line.
The Vehicle Identification Number was originally described in ISO Standard 3779 in February 1977 and last revised in 1983. The ISO-VIN was designed to identify motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles and mopeds and consists of several parts described below.
How to read a VIN
1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was
2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A),
3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.
4th to 8th characters- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 5 characters occupy positions 4 through 8 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle. Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.
9th Character - The check digit "character or digit 9" in the sequence of a vehicle identification number (VIN) built beginning with model year 1981 (when the 17 character digit format was established) can best be described as identifying the VIN accuracy.
A check digit shall be part of each vin (since 1981) and shall appear
After all other characters in the VIN have been determined by the
10th character- Identifies the model year. For example: 1988(J),
1989(K), 1990(L), 1991(M), 1992(N), 1993(P), 1994(R), 1995(S), 1996(T),
11th character- Identifies the assembly plant for the vehicle.
12th to 17th characters- VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric. Identifies the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled off the manufacturers assembly line.
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) are used to uniquely identify motor vehicles. Prior to 1980 there was not an accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats. Modern day VINs consist of 17 characters that do not include the letters I, O or Q.
Parts of the VIN
Modern Vehicle Identification Number systems are based on two related standards originally issued by the ISO in 1979 and 1980, ISO 3779 and ISO 3780, respectively. Compatible but somewhat different implementations of these ISO standards have been adopted by the European Union and the United States of America .
The VIN is composed of the following sections:
World Manufacturer Identifier
The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI code. A manufacturer that builds fewer than 500 vehicles per year uses a 9 as the third digit and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN for a second part of the identification. Some manufacturers use the third character as a code for a vehicle category (e.g., bus or truck), a division within a manufacturer, or both. For example, within 1G (assigned to General Motors in the United States), 1G1 represents Chevrolet passenger cars; 1G2, Pontiac passenger cars; and 1GC, Chevrolet trucks.
The first character of the WMI is the region in which the manufacturer is located. In practice, each is assigned to a country of manufacture. Common auto-manufacturing countries are noted.
List of common WMIs
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in the US assigns WMIs to countries and manufacturers. The following table contains a list of commonly used WMIs, although there are many others assigned.
Vehicle Descriptor Section
The 4th through 9th positions in the VIN are the Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS. This is used, according to local regulations, to identify the vehicle type and may include information on the platform used, the model, and the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field.
North American Check Digits
One element that is fairly consistent is the use of position 9 as a check digit, compulsory for vehicles in North America and used fairly consistently even outside this rule.
Vehicle Identifier Section
The 10th through 17th positions are used as the Vehicle Identifier Section or VIS. This is used by the manufacturer to identify the individual vehicle in question. This may include information on options installed or engine and transmission choices, but often is a simple sequential number. In fact, in North America, the last five digits must be numeric.
North American Model Year
One consistent element of the VIS is character number 10, which is required (in North America) to encode the model year of the vehicle.
North American Plant Code
Another consistently-used element (which is compulsory in North America) is the use of the 11th character to encode the factory of manufacture of the vehicle. Although each manufacturer has their own set of plant codes, their location in the VIN is standardized.
Model year encoding
Besides the three letters that are not allowed in the VIN itself (I, O and Q), the letters U and Z and the digit 0 are not used for the year code. Note that the year code can be the calendar year in which a vehicle is built, or a model or type year allocated by the manufacturer. The year 1980 is encoded as "A", and subsequent years increment through the allowed letters, so that "Y" represents the year 2000. 2001 through 2009 are encoded as the digits 1 through 9, and subsequent years are encoded as "A", "B", "C", etc.
Check Digit Calculation
Firstly, find the numerical value associated with each letter in the VIN. (I, O and Q are not allowed.) Numerical digits use their own values.
Secondly, look up the weight factor for each position in the VIN except the 9th (the position of the check digit).
Thirdly, multiply the numbers and the numerical values of the letters by their assigned weight factor, and sum the resulting products. Divide the sum of the products by 11. The remainder is the check digit. If the remainder is 10, the check digit is the letter X. Valid check digits also run through the numbers zero to 9.
Consider the hypothetical VIN 1M8GDM9A_KP042788, where the underscore will be the check digit.
VIN: 1 M 8 G D M 9 A _ K P 0 4 2 7 8 8 Value: 1 4 8 7 4 4 9 1 0 2 7 0 4 2 7 8 8 Weight: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 10 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 Products: 8 28 48 35 16 12 18 10 0 18 56 0 24 10 28 24 16
The sum of all 16 products is 351. Dividing by 11 gives a remainder of 10, so the check digit is "X" and the complete VIN is 1M8GDM9AXKP042788.
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VIN Etching which is also known as VIN etch or window
etching or glass etching, is the permanent etching of the federally registered
vehicle identification number (VIN) into all the major glass areas of a vehicle
(also know as a car truck Sport Utility Vehicle or a van ). Once your vehicle is
protected by VIN etch it is protected against VIN switching which is known as
identity theft for cars.
Cars trucks Sport Utility Vehicles and vans are stolen by professional thieves for either resale or for parts. VIN Etching (also known as VINetch or VINetching) effectively deters the theft of a vehicle for resale because it is very costly to alter its VIN because all of the vehicles window glass must be replaced. In addition the buyers of stolen vehicles will not risk getting caught with VIN etch etched cars or trucks because the VIN etched window glass can become physical evidence in court linking them to the original crime. Theft of a vehicle with VIN etching by a chop shop for parts is also deterred because the thief would not want all of your vehicles glass around the chop shop with the VIN etched evidence on it. Most people do not even notice the VIN etch on the windows but police and the thieves know right where to look. Thieves simply move onto a vehicle which has not been protected with VIN Etching.
There is no doubt that VIN etching (VINetching or VINetch) really does deter auto theft. VIN etching is recommended by law enforcement agencies and insurance companies throughout the United States as an effective auto theft deterrent. In fact there are laws in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington that make it mandatory for insurance discounts on cars with VIN etched windows. Many insurance companies in states that have not been forced to provide insurance discounts for VINetching have already started to give discounts to policyholders that have VIN etch protected vehicles because VIN etching is such an effective deterrent and can prevent auto theft.