The letters I, O, and Q are not used in VINs, at least from 1981 until today (and into the future). The first 3 digits of the VIN are known as the "WMI", which is an acronym for "World Manufacturer Identifier". Tenth: The tenth digit is the year, which is amazingly helpful if you're in a junkyard or showing off to your friends. In addition to VINs there are also a plethora of option codes located somewhere in the interior of every vehicle. The last thing worth noting is that some foreign car manufacturers switch around these VIN numbers slightly. An owner's manual is shown on the console of a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid car in San Francisco, Calif.
If you're the type of person who likes to change his or her own oil rather than leaving the job to a mechanic, you'll need to know exactly how much oil should go into the engine after it's been completely drained. Using Google to find such information is always a good practice, but there are some standard places where you can find a car's oil capacity and, once you know what they are, you'll never again have to worry about how many quarts of oil to purchase for that next big oil change.
That encompasses the country of origin, the manufacturer, and the division that the vehicle is built for. This doesn't necessarily mean the "make" of the car though, because companies like General Motors have many different divisions. In the case of General Motors, the division would be the more specific Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile or whatever it is. They include things like safety, engine size, body style, and the series that the vehicle is. So if you have a special option,heavy-duty truck with the eight lug wheels, or a towing package, this is the digit that will tell you "Hey this vehicle has a special suspension and brake package." It might also reference a specific safety restraint package, like if the vehicle had a two vs. In the 1980's for example, General Motors built full size trucks that were C and K series along with and R and V series.


So if the vehicle is a convertible, a two door, four door, or wagon, it is defined in these two digits.
You can easily figure out which years match up to which letters and which numbers with the simple handy dandy chart below. Long ago, they used to be actual printed pieces of paper, that were stuffed into the seat springs. On many Volkswagens for example, the 3rd through 8th digits are in a different order than the American brand cars and trucks. You don't want to overfill because the oil may find its way into parts of the engine where you don't want it to go (and the consequences of accidentally spilling oil onto something like the clutch pads can be expensive and unpleasant), but you don't want to underfill it either or you may find the engine both underlubricated and subject to overheating.
Before we go any further on this automotive journey, I think we need to briefly talk about redundancy. So if you were to go to a junkyard, this digit is really helpful for vehicles that had two different engines during the same year.
This doesn't often matter so much, unless you are talking about certain cars that have major followings. This is normally not a super important number as far as buying auto parts goes, unless you have one of those vehicles that changed production specifications halfway through a production run. In modern cars, it is usually a printed sticker in the glove compartment, console, or trunk. Oil, when used correctly, has a number of benefits for the way your engine functions, so it would be nice to know exactly how much oil the engine needs when filled exactly to its capacity. On the next page, we'll suggest several methods by which you can quickly and efficiently learn how much oil your car needs. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the 17-digit string of numbers that an automotive manufacturer assigns to a specific vehicle that it produces. In today's example, the tenth digit is "M", so you dance over to the handy dandy chart, and see that "M" is 1991.


So, you might have a vehicle that had different mirrors if it was built in April of 2004, than if it were built  in August of 2004. When you combine the VIN number with the option codes, you get the entire genetic makeup of the vehicle from top to bottom. Typically the engine, vehicle series, body type, restraint system, and model are the ones to watch out for. You can find out a lot about your car or truck if you are able to read and decode its VIN number, and that's why we are going to show you how to do just that. Both of these trucks could have come with a 4.3 liter that was a Z series engine or a W series engine. If you have one of those vehicles, you need to know where it was in the production line, which is where these last six digits become important. The country, make, check digit, year, plant, and serial number are usually in the same positions regardless of the vehicle manufacturer. This is great in a junkyard because you can walk up to a VIN number and say "Hey this is a VIN J, which means it's a 1988". Vehicle manufacturers could have used 8 digits, 10 digits, 25 digits, or really whatever they wanted. So, to make America a better place, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put their foot down in 1981, and made all of the car manufacturers use 17 digits. It is called a check digit because the purpose of it is to check the rest of the VIN number for legitimacy. The 11th digit of the VIN number is the one that confirms the plant at which the vehicle was built.



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