how to read a chevy vin number?

Are you curious to know how to read a Chevy VIN number? Decoding the 17-character code printed on your vehicle can reveal a wealth of information about its history.

The first three characters provide the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), which identifies the manufacturer and country of origin. The next five are a vehicle descriptor section that contains information such as body style, engine type, series, and model. The next seven digits represent the vehicle’s serial number while the last character is a check digit for accuracy verification.

Learning how to read a VIN number is essential for any car enthusiast or owner looking to understand their vehicle better. So if you’re ready to unlock some hidden secrets from your Chevy’s past, let’s dive right in!

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Key Takeaways

  • Understand the basic structure of a Chevy VIN number – 17 digits that each provide specific information about your car.
  • Familiarize yourself with the different characters in the VIN and what they represent.
  • Use online tools to decode a VIN and find out details such as year, model, make, etc.
  • Look for recalls or service bulletins related to your vehicle by using its VIN number.

What is a Chevy VIN Number?

A Chevy VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique code used to identify Chevrolet vehicles, including cars, trucks, and SUVs.

The VIN is a 17-character alphanumeric code that provides detailed information about the vehicle, such as its make, model, year of manufacture, engine type, and where it was produced.

Each character in the VIN represents a specific piece of information, and the combination of these characters creates a unique identifier for each vehicle.

How To Read Chevy VIN Number?

To decode a Chevy VIN, follow these steps:

Find the VIN

The VIN is typically located in several places on a Chevrolet vehicle:

  • On the dashboard, visible through the windshield on the driver’s side.
  • On a sticker inside the driver’s side door frame.
  • Under the hood on the engine block or other components.
  • In some older models, it may be found in other locations, so check your owner’s manual for specific information.

Identify the 17-character VIN

The VIN consists of 17 characters, which include both letters and numbers.

Break down the VIN

The VIN is divided into several sections that provide information about the vehicle. Here’s what each character represents:

  • Characters 1-3: World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) These characters identify the manufacturer, country, and vehicle type. For Chevrolet, characters 1G1 or 1G3 typically indicate General Motors.
  • Characters 4-8: Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) These characters provide information about the vehicle’s make and model, body type, and series.
  • Characters 9: Check Digit This digit is used to verify the accuracy of the VIN.
  • Character 10: Model Year A letter or number representing the year of manufacture. For example, “N” could indicate 1992 or 2010, so you may need to consult a Chevy VIN year chart for reference.
  • Character 11: Assembly Plant This character represents the factory where the vehicle was manufactured.
  • Characters 12-17: Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS) These characters provide a unique serial number for each vehicle.

Use a VIN decoder

To get specific information about your Chevrolet vehicle, you can use an online VIN decoder or consult a Chevrolet dealership or repair shop.

Many websites and apps can instantly decode your VIN and provide detailed information about your vehicle, such as engine type, transmission, trim level, and more.

Here’s an example of a Chevy VIN breakdown:


  • 1G1: General Motors (Chevrolet)
  • FA: Passenger car, Chevrolet
  • 55: Series and body type
  • F: Check digit
  • 4: Model year
  • Y: Assembly plant
  • 7000000: Vehicle identifier

Keep in mind that the exact format of a VIN may vary between different Chevrolet models and years, so it’s essential to consult a VIN decoder for precise information.

What Are The Components of a Chevy VIN Number?

Here’s a breakdown of the components of a Chevy VIN number:

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

The first three characters of the VIN represent the WMI, which identifies the vehicle’s manufacturer and the country or region of origin. For Chevrolet vehicles, the WMI typically starts with “1G1” or “1G3.”

Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

Characters 4 through 8 provide information about the vehicle’s make, model, body style, and engine type. This section includes information such as the vehicle line, series, body type, and engine code.

Check Digit

The ninth character is a check digit that is used to verify the accuracy of the VIN. It’s calculated based on a specific formula and helps detect VIN errors.

Model Year

The tenth character represents the model year of the vehicle. This character can be a letter or a number, with each letter or number corresponding to a specific year (e.g., “A” for 1980, “B” for 1981, “1” for 2001, etc.).

Assembly Plant

The eleventh character indicates the assembly plant where the vehicle was manufactured. Each assembly plant has a unique code.

Production Sequence Number

Characters 12 through 17 make up the production sequence number. These digits are unique to each vehicle and represent the order in which the vehicle was produced at the assembly plant.

How to Use a Chevy VIN Decoder to Get Vehicle Information?

If you’re looking for information about a specific Chevy vehicle, using a Chevy VIN decoder can help. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17 character code used to identify individual vehicles.

By decoding this number, you can learn important details about the car’s history and features. Here’s how you can use a Chevy VIN decoder to get vehicle information:

  1. Locate the VIN: The VIN can typically be found in several places on a Chevrolet vehicle, including:
    • On the dashboard, visible through the windshield on the driver’s side.
    • Inside the driver’s side door frame.
    • In the engine compartment, often on the firewall.
    • On the vehicle’s title and registration documents.
  2. Write down the VIN: Ensure that you accurately copy the 17-character VIN from the vehicle.
  3. Choose a Chevy VIN decoder: You can use a Chevy VIN decoder provided by various sources, such as Chevrolet’s official website, third-party automotive websites, or mobile apps.
    • Chevrolet’s Official Website: Visit the Chevrolet website and look for a section related to vehicle information or VIN lookup. Enter the VIN in the designated field to retrieve vehicle details.
    • Third-party Websites: Many automotive websites offer free VIN decoding services. Examples include Carfax, AutoCheck, and VINCheck. Simply visit their websites, enter the VIN, and you should receive detailed vehicle information.
    • Mobile Apps: You can also find mobile apps designed for VIN decoding. Download one of these apps from your device’s app store, and follow the on-screen instructions to enter the VIN and obtain vehicle details.
  4. Decode the VIN: Once you’ve entered the VIN into the decoder, the tool will provide you with information about the Chevrolet vehicle. This information may include the following details:
    • Vehicle make and model
    • Year of manufacture
    • Engine type and size
    • Transmission type
    • Vehicle assembly location
    • Vehicle trim level and options
    • Production sequence number
    • Vehicle history reports (if available from the decoding source)
  5. Review the information: Carefully review the information provided by the VIN decoder to ensure accuracy. This information can be helpful when buying a used Chevrolet vehicle or when conducting vehicle history research.

Remember that a Chevy VIN decoder is a valuable tool for verifying a vehicle’s history and specifications, and it can help you make informed decisions when buying a Chevrolet vehicle. Make sure to double-check the decoded information to ensure its accuracy, especially when purchasing a used car.


What information does a Chevy VIN number tell you?

A Chevy VIN number can provide various pieces of information about a vehicle, such as the make and model, year of manufacture, engine type, country of origin, trim level, and more.

How is a Chevy VIN number structured?

A Chevy VIN consists of 17 characters (numbers and letters) that are used to identify specific vehicles within the Chevrolet lineup. The first three characters identify the manufacturer; the fourth character identifies the vehicle’s type; and the last 8 characters are unique identifiers for each individual car.

Are there any restrictions on what numbers or letters can be used in a Chevy VIN?

Yes – some letters and numbers have special meanings and cannot be used in certain locations in a Chevy VIN. For example, the 10th character must always be either an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ or ‘F’.

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