A VIN decoder is a seventeen character vehicle identifier number that is used to know vital details about vehicles. Details such as model year of the vehicle, accident history, engine type and specifications, factory of manufacture and many more details are easy to know. There are some online services that allow you to run the decoder and then avail all the information to you for free. All the characters of the sequence give different details of the vehicle as follows.
- First to third characters.
These three characters form the world manufacture identification code. The code gives the following information:
- The country the vehicle was manufactured.
- The category of the vehicle.
- Fourth to eighth characters.
The fourth to eight characters of the sequence forms the vehicle descriptor section. All the physical attributes of the vehicle are given. Some of the details include:
- Interior and exterior designs of the vehicle.
- Type of engine installed and its specification.
- Vehicle model.
- Automobile platform etc.
- Ninth character.
This character is known as check digit. It is used algorithmically to validate the vehicle identifier number. Its use is consistent in various countries.
- Tenth character.
This character gives the model year of the vehicle.
- Eleventh character
Also known as the plant code identifier, this character gives information on where the exact factory/plant the car was manufactured in.
- Twelfth seventeenth characters.
These last characters of the sequence forms the serial number or production number of the vehicle. Each manufacturer has its own unique way on how the number is assigned.
Where to locate the GM VIN decoder.
There are normally two places where the decoder can be found in a General Motors vehicle.
- At the base of the windshield on the driver’s side.
- IN the doorjamb of the driver’s door.
The GM VIN decoder can save you a lot of trouble if you are seeking to buy a vehicle that you are not sure about. Other details such as current market price and the vehicle’s parts availability will also help in making a well informed decision.