The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is what identifies your car. It’s a unique number that differentiates your car from everyone else’s and it carries with it the unique history associated with your vehicle. For this reason, it is often used in car sales and other scenarios to look up the details of a car’s past. You may have trouble finding the VIN in your car, however, if you are not super familiar with cars. Generally, there are a few tricks to locating the VIN.
Finding the VIN in your car
Step 1: Check the front of the dashboard. Your VIN is usually displayed on the left side of the front of the dashboard.
You may not be able to get a good view of the VIN panel from inside the car, as the windshield will get in your way. In that case, go outside the vehicle and look at it from above.
Step 2: Check near the driver’s side doorjamb. If you look towards the area of the mirror on the inside of the driver’s side of the door with the door open, you may see the VIN indicated.
Step 3: Check the driver’s side latch. Look around where the door latches, and with the door open you will likely see lots of information, among which may be the VIN.
Step 4: Check the engine block. The engine block is located underneath the hood, so prop open the car’s hood and locate the engine block, which is a large, gray, metal component.
The VIN should be displayed on the front of the engine block. You may need a flashlight to see it properly. It may be wise to wait until the car has cooled down before fiddling around underneath the hood, so that you can prevent any potential burns.
Step 5: Check the frame of the car. If you don’t see the VIN on the engine block, then while you have the hood open check the frame of the car.
A common location is near the windshield wiper fluid container. This container will likely have some sort of indication on the cap, such as windshield wipers, so look check the frame near this container once you have found it.
Step 6: Check the holding area for the spare tire. In your car, the spare tire is probably located underneath the floor of the trunk.
Check inside the spare tire compartment for the VIN. Remove the tire and check underneath where it was laying.
Step 7: Consult your car’s documentation. If you cannot find the VIN anywhere on your car, then you need to turn to the paperwork associated with your vehicle.
You can check the owner’s manual to see if the VIN is listed. Any records you have kept from visits to the shop may have the VIN, as well as the engine and chassis number, listed on them. You could reach out to the dealer to see if they have the number stored somewhere. Finally, you can check the title or the registration card associated with the vehicle where the VIN should be listed.