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How To Tell What Month Your Car Was Made In

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How To Read A Cars Vin Code

how to identify your car manufacturer date month and year and Important information without VIN

Just like a fingerprint, your cars VIN number can tell you all sorts of information, from where it was made and who by to its engine size, safety features, body style and production number. This makes it easy to find the right parts for your car, and check that everythings legitimate before handing over cash on the forecourt.

In this guide, we offer practical tips on how to read your cars VIN code and what each letter and number represents.

Use the links below to find the information you need.

How To Find The Build Date For Your Car

by Paul Dohrman / in Hobbies

You can learn the model year of your automobile from its vehicle identification number . Not only does the VIN uniquely identify your car as a theft-deterrent, but it also gives you information about the plant and approximate build date of manufacture, the particular vehicle’s engine size and other features.

  • You can learn the model year of your automobile from its vehicle identification number .
  • Not only does the VIN uniquely identify your car as a theft-deterrent, but it also gives you information about the plant and approximate build date of manufacture, the particular vehicle’s engine size and other features.

Locate your automobile’s vehicle identification number by standing outside the driver-side windshield and looking through the lower corner of the windshield on the dashboard. You’ll find the 17-character VIN on a little tin plate riveted to the dashboard.

Read the tenth character.

Translate alphabetical characters into model year as follows. A-1980 B-1981 C-1982

Skip I, O, Q, U and Z since the VIN system doesn’t use them for model year. They look too much like other letters or numbers.

Start matching numbers to model years starting with 2001. In other words, Y refers to 2000, 1 refers to 2001 and 2 refers to 2002.

Match up letters to years again beginning with 2010. Therefore 9 refers to 2009, A refers to 2010 and B refers to 2011.



Finding Out Where And When It Was Made

  • 1Use the first character to discover the continent of manufacture. You can skip straight to the next step to find which country it is made in, but this basic information is easy to check and remember.XResearch source
  • If the first character is an A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H, the vehicle was made in Africa.
  • J, K, L, M, N, P, or R as the first character means the vehicle was made in Asia. This includes the Middle East. Note that a VIN never begins with a zero or O due to the ease of confusing these two symbols.
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z indicate Europe.
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 indicate North America, including USA, Mexico, and Canada.
  • 6 or 7 indicate Australia or New Zealand. Note that nearby nations such as Indonesia or the Philippines are considered part of Asia for this purpose.
  • 8 or 9 indicate South America.
  • 2Use the first two characters to narrow it down to country and manufacturer. Many vehicles are made in a different country than the one the manufacturing company is located in. Compare the first two characters of the VIN to an online chart like this one, including the first “continent” code described above, and find out where a vehicle was really made.XResearch source This will also tell you which company made the car.
  • Some companies use the third digit as well to indicate manufacturer or company division. The first two digits should be enough to identify the country and company, however.
  • J, K, L, M, and N are reserved for model years 1988 â 1992, or 2018 â 2022.
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    Early Auto Loan Payoff Calculator

    Have an auto loan that you want to pay off sooner? Wondering how much faster you could pay it off by paying a bit more each month? And how much interest you could save in the process?

    This Early Auto Loan Payoff Calculator has the answers.

    Enter how much extra you want to pay each month, and the calculator will immediately tell you how many months you’ll shave off your loan and your total savings in interest. It can also show how quickly you’re paying down the loan, with the balance remaining for each month until the vehicle is paid off.

    This is good information to have if you’re thinking of trading in the vehicle before it’s paid off and wondering how much to knock off the anticipated trade-in value.

    Beware Of Extended Warranties

    Manufacturing certification label

    Dealers purchase these from the manufacturer and then jack up the price when selling to you. Anything over $300 is just straight cash in their pockets. Negotiate their price or buy directly from the manufacturer. Travis Johnson, author of The Comprehensive Car Buying Guide

    Check out 10 new car features you didnt realize you needed.

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    Find Your Vehicles Vin

    This VIN sticker is on the drivers door jamb of a Ford pickup truck

    The easiest place to find a vehicle identification number is on the outside bottom of the windshield on the drivers side. Look to the very bottom of the windshield to read it. There will also be a sticker on the side of the drivers door, ;or on the inside of the drivers side pillar or bulkhead.

    VINs are also be stored within electronic devices within newer cars and trucks for security reasons.

    Talk Sale Price Before Mentioning Leasing

    If you say Im thinking about leasing, it is the same as telling the dealer that you are a monthly payment buyer. The salesperson will focus on the lease terms to get you to the monthly payment you want instead of negotiating the price of the car. Negotiate the price of the car first, then negotiate the lease terms. LeeAnn Shattuck, The Car Chick

    Find out the pros and cons of leasing vs. buying a new car.

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    United States And Canada

    Automobiles in the United States and Canada are identified and regulated by model year, whereas other markets use production date to identify specific vehicles, and model codes in place of the “year” in the North American make-model-year identifier.

    In technical documents generated within the auto industry and its regulating agencies such as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and United States Environmental Protection Agency and Transport Canada and Environment Canada, the letters “MY” often precede the year . Even without this prefix, however, in the North American context it is usually the model year rather than the vehicle’s calendar year of production that is being referred to.

    The new model year typically begins in August to September of the preceding calendar year, though can be as early as February, such being the case for the fourth generation 2022 Acura MDX, which started production in January 2021. This was partly due to the advertising of a new model being coordinated with the launch of the new television season in late September, because of the heavy dependence between television to offer products from automakers to advertise, and the car companies to launch their new models at a high-profile time of year. Imported cars use the model year convention in the U.S. and Canada, even when this system is not used for the same cars when sold in other countries.

    How To Tell What Month Your Car Was Made In

    How to Find the Model Year and Build Date of Your Vehicle – CURT Manufacturing

    Youre going to discuss two methods for finding out the exact manufacturing date of your car.

    Finding from a Sticker

    Most vehicles have a sticker attached to the body frame containing the manufacturing date along with some other important information. Youll find the sticker on the inside of the drivers door. It is supposed to be near the door latch where the U-shaped bolt is located. There could be more than one sticker and you have to check the one that has the Safety Standard Certification Label and a bar code. It could also have the VIN number of the car.

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    Why Do Car Seats Expire

    Do car seats expire? Yes. As to why do car seats expirenow thats a slightly more complex answer. It might seem like just a ploy by baby gear manufacturers to sell more car seats, but it actually makes sense when you think about it. Car seats are mostly made up of hard plastic, which can deteriorate over time. According to Libby Nye, a certified child passenger safety technician with Saving Loudouns Littles, a nonprofit group dedicated to car seat safety, here are several factors that contribute to car seat expiration.

    Deterioration of materials. Heat, cold, sun, humidity and age can affect plastics and make them brittle and, eventually, unsafe.

    Rust. It can form on metal parts in unseen areas and affect how the seat performs in a crash.

    Discontinued models. When production of a seat is discontinued, replacement parts are no longer manufactured and can be difficult to find.

    Advancements in technology. Thanks to a focus on research and development, technological breakthroughs happen at a rapid clip these days, and manufacturers want to make sure their products meet updated safety standards and best practice recommendations.

    Missing pieces. Over the years, car seats go through considerable wear and tear: The pads get washed over and over, and belts are switched from rear-facing to front-facing and possibly back again. Its no wonder small parts and pieces often get lost, which can reduce the seats effectiveness.

    Vehicles With Surprising Birthplaces

    We all know that vehicles are manufactured all over the world, oftentimes thousands of miles from an automakers corporate headquarters. Several companies based in Asia and Germany have factories in the U.S., while several Ford, Stellantis, and GM models are built in other countries. Even with that, there are still a lot of surprises. Here are 15 cars built in places you may never have expected.

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    The production date and month are likely to be on the first line of the sticker. It could be right after the name of the company and look something like 6/01, or June 2001. This label will most probably be at a vertical position and you may need a magnifying glass for a better visual.

    Finding from the VIN

    Each vehicles VIN is exclusive. This alphanumeric code can be of 17 or 19 letters/digits. No two VIN codes will ever match and this number cannot be faked.

    The VIN contains loads of information about a particular model. You can find the automakers name, plants name where the vehicle was made, country of origin, model year, engine size, and plenty of other information.

    You can find the VIN number in a sticker attached to the driver-side door or imprinted on a dashboard plate near the windshield. It could be engraved on the engines firewall too. Heres how to decode the VIN:

    Its not possible to decode the VIN just by looking at it unless you already know the meanings assigned to the numbers and letters.

    The letter on the 10th position basically indicates the model year. The model year from 2010 to 2030 is denoted in a serial from the letter A to Y .

    Positions 11 12 13 14 15 16 17


    This is where the auto manufacturers enter unique information about the particular vehicle the VIN belongs to. The name of the assembly plant, extra options added to the vehicle, Production Sequence Number and things of that nature. This is different from company to company, so to find more details about this go to the Automobile Manufacturer website for your vehicle.

    PS. A lot of vehicle information is also available on the Window Sticker. If you have the VIN number, you can find the window sticker by using Research Maniacs VIN lookup

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    Know The Difference Between Price And Payments

    The most common trick dealers employ to attempt to charge a higher selling price is to negotiate based on payment rather than price. First, the payment is the primary budgetary concern for most buyers, so it is normally easy to shift the buyers focus to it. Raising the monthly payment by only $20 typically raises the purchase price by about $1,000. Also, inflating the assumed interest rate in calculating the payments at the beginning of negotiation allows wiggle room to either maximize the purchase price or sell warranties or accessories. None of these practices is necessarily a bad thing, but they open the door for potential abuse if the buyer is unaware. Rob Drury, Executive Director, Association of Christian Financial Advisors

    Identical Vehicles Could Be Different Ages

    Even though several cars on the lot might be the same year, color and have the same options, they may have been manufactured and delivered to the dealership at different times. Therefore, one of the group of cars might be much newer or much older than the others.

    Dealers have to order their inventory four to eight weeks ahead of time. They can’t always perfectly predict how many of each model they will sell. They might end up ordering the same version of a model a few months in a row and then end up with several sitting on the lot.

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    How To Tell If A Car Seat Is Expired

    Theres no easy way to spot an expired car seat just by looking at it . In terms of how to tell if a car seat is expired, the best way is to look for a small white sticker somewhere on the seat that contains information like the manufacture date, serial number, model number and car seat expiration date. Other brands have this information imprinted somewhere on the plastic shell. Since the expiration date can sometimes be difficult to locate, heres how to find the expiration date on a car seat for several of the major brands:

    The Bumps Car Seat Safety Tips:

    How To Find Out The Manufacturing Month And Year Of A Car

    Where to find the Production Date on a Car or Truck
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    Joined Date: 09 Mar 2009 Posts: 1301

    Or can we ask them to read out from forum 22???

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    Joined Date: 20 May 2010 Location: Mumbai

    This is really very useful information.

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    Joined Date: 14 Jul 2010 Location: ChandigarhPosts: 650 Likes: 3

    Wow!!! It had to be you Wildon. As soon as I saw the title, it reminded me of you.

    Keep up the good work. Thanks.

    Do not post biased comments and personal stuff. Read here:

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    Joined Date: 23 Oct 2007 Location: Hyderabad Speed Kills But Nothing Else Keeps Me More “Alive”
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    Is There A Way To Tell What Production Order Number Your Car Is By The Vin

    Greeley, Colorado

    NHL2133 said:As ViperJeff said, the 1998 GT2 Edition cars are the only ones to run the line in VIN/dash plaque sequence. Not even the other special editions had VINs in sequence. The dash plaques for the special editions were NOT in sequence. The only way to know for sure what number you have in the sequence is to get the MDH code from all the cars of the same model year and see where yours falls.

    Southern Oregon

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    How To Decode A Vin Number

    The first three digits of the VIN are known as the “WMI”, which is an acronym for “World Manufacturer Identifier”. That encompasses the country of origin, the manufacturer, and the division that the vehicle is built for.

    1st Digit: This digit designates the country where the vehicle was made. In the example above, the first digit means “United States”; if it was “J”, it would mean Japan.

    2nd Digit: The 2nd digit designates the manufacturer that built the vehicle. This doesn’t always mean the “make” of the car , because companies like General Motors have many different divisions. They have Chevy, Buick, and GMC, along with many others. In the example above, the second VIN digit would mean “General Motors”.

    3rd Digit: The 3rd digit is the division of the larger manufacturer. In the case of General Motors, the division would be the more specific Buick, Cadillac, etc. So, in the example above, the “N” happens to mean “Chevy”.

    Digits “four” through “eight” are called the “Attributes” of the VIN. They include information like safety, engine size, body style, and vehicle series.

    4th Digit: The 4th digit is safety, braking and suspension. For example, if you have a special option, heavy-duty truck with eight-lug wheels or a towing package, this digit will indicatethe vehicle has a special suspension and brake package. It might also reference a specific safety restraint package, like if the vehicle had a two vs. eleven airbag option, for example.

    VIN Number Year Chart

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