BMW Vehicle Identification Numbers

BMW Vehicle Identification Numbers

Vehicle identification numbers (also called VINs) are critical pieces of information for identifying the exact BMW you have and the engine that was put into it when it was built. A car‘s vehicle identification number (VIN) is the automotive equivalent of human DNA.

 History of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

In the mid 1950s, American automobile manufacturers began stamping and casting identifying numbers on cars and their parts. The obvious purpose was to give an accurate description of the vehicle as mass production numbers were starting to climb to very significant numbers. Research has shown that early VINs came in all sorts of variations, depending on the car manufacturer.

In the early 1980s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring that all road vehicles contain a 17-character VIN. This established the fixed VIN system for major vehicle manufacturers as it is known today and thus, created a unique “DNA” style number for each unique vehicle that rolled off the assembly line.

The Vehicle Identification Number was “officially” described in ISO Standard 3779 in February 1977 and last revised in 1983.

Explanation of Unique Identifiers Within Your BMW’s VIN

Vehicle identification numbers are standardized – all contain 17 characters. VIN characters may be capital letters A through Z and numbers 1 through 0; however, the letters I, O and Q are never used in order to avoid mistakes of misreading. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN.

The position of each letter or number in the VIN code reveals important information about where and when your BMW was made, the type of engine it has, the model or series of the car, various equipment/attributes and its production sequence. Each character or digit has a particular purpose as follows:

1st Character: The 1st character of your BMW’s vehicle identification number identifies the country where it was manufactured.

VIN Character 1 – Manufacturing Country Codes
1 or 4
2
3
J
K
S
W
Z
USA
Canada
Mexico
Japan
Korea
England
Germany
Italy
2nd Character: The 2nd character in your BMW’s VIN specifies the manufacturer, for example:
VIN Character 2 – Car Manufacturer Codes
A
B
H
A
D
N
T
V
V
Audi
BMW
Honda
Jaguar
Mercedes
Nissan
Toyota
Volvo
VW

 

3rd Character: The 3rd character in your BMW’s vehicle identification number indicates the vehicle type or manufacturing division. This varies among car makes and models.

4th – 8th Character: The 4th through 8th characters in your BMW’s VIN reveals its features/attributes, such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc. Again, this varies widely among car makes, models and equipment.

9th Character: The 9th character in your BMW’s vehicle identification number is a VIN accuracy check digit, verifying the previous numbers within the VIN. This check digit is a single number or letter “X” used to verify the accuracy of the transcription of the vehicle identification number.

There is a precise method for obtaining the check digit; however, it is not relevant to our discussion here. Suffice to say that after all other characters in the VIN have been determined by the manufacturer, the check digit is calculated by carrying out a mathematical computation. The correct numeric remainder – zero through nine (0-9) will appear. However, if the remainder is 10 the letter “X” is used to designate the check digit value.

10th Character: The 10th character in your BMW’s VIN tells you the model year. (This varies somewhat among car manufacturers – see the chart in the “Here’s How to Find Your Car’s VIN” section below for specific locations by car make.)

VIN Character – Model Year Codes
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
A
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
M
N
P
R
S
T
V
W
X
Y
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
A

 

11th Character: The 11th character in your BMW’s vehicle identification number reveals the assembly plant for the vehicle.

12th – 17th Character: The 12th through the 17th character in your BMW’s VIN indicate the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled off the manufacturer’s assembly line. The last four characters are always numeric.

These last six characters are perhaps the most critical portion of the VIN for most European cars. Because of mid-year production changes by car makers, these can be extremely important in identifying the proper part numbers for ignition, fuel, emission and engine components. These types of parts are often listed with the caveat that they fit vehicles up to a particular VIN or before/after a particular VIN sequence.

 

Here’s How to Find Your BMW’s VIN

The table below will help you locate your BMW’s unique DNA – its unique vehicle identification number. VINs are normally located in several locations on a car, but the most common places are:

  • On the door frame/door post of the front doors (usually driver’s but sometimes passenger’s)
  • On the dash near the windshield
  • On the engine itself (machined pad on front of engine)
  • On the car’s firewall
  • In the left-hand inner wheel arch
  • On the steering wheel/steering column
  • On the radiator support bracket
  • On your car’s title, registration, guarantee/maintenance book or on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy

The following chart gives further information (by car line) on both the location of the VIN plate and which character in your VIN represents your year of production and specific engine. We have limited the listings to only import cars since those are the car lines in which Autohaus specializes. Those shown in blue are car makes for which we have extensive parts inventories.

Car
Make
Models
Location of VIN Plate
Year*
Code
Engine
Code
Acura
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
Audi
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Top center of firewall
10th
BMW
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right inner fender
10th
Daihatsu
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Firewall
10th
8th
Honda
All
Left windshield post (thru windshield)
Top right of firewall
10th
Hyundai
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
8th
Infiniti
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Firewall
10th
4th
Isuzu
Pickup
All others excl. above
Left door post
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
10th
8th
8th
Jaguar
All (thru ’84)All (’85-On)
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Firewall, Left door post
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Firewall, Left door post
10th10th
5th8th
Lexus
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
4th
Mazda
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
Mercedes
Benz
All (thru ’85)
All (’86-On)
Left windshield post (thru windshield)
Left windshield post (thru windshield)
Mitsubishi
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
8th
Nissan
Axxess, VanPickup, Pathfinder280Z, ZXAll others excl. above
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Front left floor panel
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right inner fender
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right strut housing
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Firewall
10th10th10th10th
Porsche
All
Left windshield post (thru windshield)
10th
Rover
NA
NA
NA
NA
Saab
All (thru ’83)All (’84-On)
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Left door post, Right inner fender
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Left door post, Right inner fender
10th10th
7th8th
Subaru
All
Left windshield post (thru windshield)
10th
6th
Suzuki
’86-88 Samurai
All others excl. above
Left door post
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
10th
6th
6th
Toyota
All
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th
4th
VW
VanagonDasher, QuantumFox, Passat, Golf,
Jetta, Rabbit, Scirocco
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right door post
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right inner fender
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
10th10th10th
Volvo
240, 260All others excl. above
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right inner fender
Left side of dash (thru windshield)
Right radiator fender
10th10th
6th, 7th6th, 7th
Footnotes
Note A
Cannot determine the engine through the VIN code.
Note B
Cannot determine the engine through the VIN code.
On certain models for certain years the engine may be determined by the 5th digit.
Note C
Cannot determine the engine through the VIN code.
On certain models for certain years the engine may be determined by the 2nd digit.
Note D
Cannot determine the model year through the VIN code.

admin

Online Marketing and the internet isn't just a job for Calum, it's a passion. He is an avid reader and regularly keeps up to date with the latest technology advancements and trends within the Web Design and Online Marketing community. Always open to suggestion and ready to answer any questions you may have, Calum is a helpful and friendly person within a very competitive market.

Website : http://optimiseonline.com.au

Social Links :