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• Keep a record of every repair visit, starting with the first one.

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• Remember that the total number of days out of service is important to your claim.


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VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER SEARCH

Vehicle identification Number (VIN) Topics

About Vehicle Identification numbers (VIN#) 

In the mid 1950's American automobile manufacturers began stamping and casting identification numbers on vehicles and their parts to allow people to search the records. The vehicle identification number has become referred to as the "VIN". The obvious purpose was to give an accurate description of the vehicle when mass production numbers were starting to climb in very significant numbers. Research has shown that early Vin's came in all sorts of variations which depended on the individual manufacturer at that time.

In the early 1980's the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. Dept. of Transport) required that all road vehicles must contain a 17 character VIN. This established the fixed VIN system for major vehicle manufacturers as it is known today. Thus, establishing a unique "DNA" style search number for each unique vehicle which rolled off the assembly line.


Vehicle Identification number Search (VIN#) 

The location of the Vehicle Identification Number may vary on the year/make/model of vehicle, but some common area's do exist. In addition, the VIN is often referred to as the Chassis Number Format or the vehicle Serial Number by people. It may be in plate (aluminum) or label form or bar code form or cast/stamped on the component (actual part). e.g. engine, frame, etc.

Other Common locations of the vehicle identification number vary and some may be as follows:

Firewall of the vehicle
Left hand inner wheel arch
Steering column
Radiator Support Bracket
Dash by windshield
Drivers door or post or passenger side
Guarantee & Maintenance Book *Vehicle documents
Machined Pad on front of engine

Later model years - most common area's of VIN:

Left instrumentation/dash plate by window
Drivers door or post
Firewall


Vehicle Identification number (VIN#) Terms 

Body Type: refers to the general configuration or shape of a vehicle distinguished by such characteristics as the number of doors, windows, cargo-carrying features (e.g. fastback, sedan, hatchback)

Line: refers to a name that a manufacturer applies to a group or family of vehicles within a make which have a degree of commonality in construction (such as body, chassis, cab type).

Model: refers to a name that a manufacturer applies to a group of the same type, make, line, series and body type.

Make: refers to a name that a manufacturer applies to a group of vehicles or engines.

Model Year: refers to the year used to designate a discrete vehicle model, irrespective of the calendar year in which the vehicle was actually produced - so long as the actual period is less than two (2) calendar years.

Plant: plant where manufacturer affixes the Vehilcle Identification Number.

Series: refers to a name that a manufacturer applies to a subdivision of a "line" denoting price, size, weight identification and that is used by manufacturer for marketing purposes.


Vehicle Identification number (VIN#) Theft 

In the mid 1980's the Department of Transportation issued the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard to try to reduce the number of motor vehicle thefts and over the next few years several standards where introduced.

1987: autos in this model year that were high theft were required to have 12-14 of their major component parts marked with the VIN.

1994: the standard was amended to include multi-purpose passenger vehicles and light duty trucks.

1997: amended to mark VIN major component parts:

transmission
front & rear bumper
engine
hood
right & left door
sliding cargo door
right & left quarter panels and side assembly
pickup/cargo box
rear doors & hatchback/deck lid/tailgate.

 

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