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All cars come with a unique Vehicle Identification Code (VIN) to distinguish it from other makes and models. Likewise, cars also come with specific chassis and engine numbers.
These codes are a helpful shorthand in deducing what parts are needed if a car is being taken in for work. These codes are sometimes found in different places depending on the manufacturer and type of vehicle, but there are a few likely places to check first if you need to find them.
Here's a guide by car insurance broker app Jerry on how to find your vehicle's engine and chassis number.
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How to find your vehicle's chassis number
The chassis number of a car consists of the last six digits of its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN is a long series of numbers and letters that expresses a large amount of information about a car's make and model.
Simply enough, finding the chassis number involves finding the VIN and reading off the final six digits accordingly.
Step 1: Search the vehicle interior for the VIN. There are a few typical places the VIN may be found.
First look at the lower corners of the windshield for a sticker with the code printed. Likewise, you may find it somewhere on the dashboard; referring to the owner's manual should offer a more specific indicator based on the make of car.
Step 2: Check common exterior locations. The search for the VIN and chassis number can be taken to the car's exterior as well.
Some vehicles will store the information on the end of the driver's side door. Alternatively, the chassis number may be inscribed on the underside of one of the car body's rear wheel wells.
Step 3: Look up your vehicle’s VIN location online if you can’t find it. Doing an online search of the VIN location for your given car model should yield quick results.
Although you won't be able to get the VIN itself, looking up your car (including the year) will take a lot of the guesswork from the equation.
How to find your vehicle's engine number
Although the engine number doesn't have the luxury of being part of the larger Vehicle Identification Number, it's typically easier to find than the chassis number.
Step 1: Open the hood and check the engine body for the number. The engine number should be found somewhere on the body of the engine that is relatively accessible to be read.
The number is typically imprinted on a sticker and placed somewhere that should be easy to see once you pop the hood.
Step 2: Check the manual or look online for help. The owner manual may have something about your engine number; of course, this won't mean anything if the engine in the car has been changed.
If you know the specific make of your engine along with its manufacturer, you can check online as well to see where the usual number marking is.
Step 3: Interpret the engine number accordingly. An engine number denotes everything from the make and year of an engine to its specific version.
The engine number will be important for a mechanic's preparations if you're going to be having work done under the hood. The first three digits of the engine number comprise the engine code. The remaining six digits are the engine number itself.
Alternative methods of finding the information
If all else fails and you can't find a wanted number on your own, the owner's manual and registration should have something helpful to say.
While the manual should indicate where on the vehicle to find the codes, the registration should have the VIN (including with it the chassis number) direct in print. If there was any paperwork that came with the purchase of a new engine, the engine number should be somewhere in the registration.
Once you have the chassis number and engine number, it's helpful to write them down on paper in a notebook. That way, you won't have to go scrounging again for the numbers if they're ever needed.
If all else fails, when you take the car to a mechanic garage, you can always get a mechanic to help you find the necessary information. It will add unnecessary grief and inconvenience to the garage process, but could stand as a backup plan if you find yourself truly stumped.
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