Vehicle identification numbers (also called VINs) are critical pieces of information for identifying the exact Honda 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-characterVIN. 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.
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 Honda 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 Honda's vehicle identification number identifies the country where it was manufactured.
3rd Character: The 3rd character in your Honda'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 Honda'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 Honda'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 Honda'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.)
11th Character: The 11th character in your Honda's vehicle identification number reveals the assembly plant for the vehicle.
12th - 17th Character: The 12th through the 17th character in your Honda'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.
The table below will help you locate your Honda'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 VINrepresents 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.
* See Year Codes Chart to interpret this character
Online VIN Decoders To Help You
If you'd like to have your VIN "decoded" for you, there are several resources on the Internet that can be of assistance. By knowing yourVIN, these resources can tell you some very specific information about your Honda that can help you in your search for the right repair parts:
VIN Power: Input your email address and your Honda's VIN in the boxes and complete information on your unique car will be emailed to you.
CarFax Vehicle History Reports: Enter your Honda's VIN in the box where it says, "Get started now with our FREE CarFax Record Check. Enter a VIN and click Search." You'll be provided online with several important pieces of information about your specificHonda's features.
AnalogX VIN View: AnalogX VIN View is another free online VIN decoder that allows you to see the information about your Hondabased on your car's vehicle identification number. VIN View supports decoding of any vehicle identification number that was issued after 1978. Just enter the 17-character VIN number and click decode. On the decoded page, you'll see your VIN again and the position of each character, then on the bottom portion you'll see what position and characters map to what information.
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