Vehicle Care: Checking Things out Under the Hood 


There’s one thing that can tell you a lot about any car or bike that you like. It can give you the records about the state of the vehicle and its equipment. It’s the VIN code or the vehicle identification number. Every car that has been produced since 1980 has this code. Once you get this code, you can find out more than even the owner knows about  it.

Why do you need to know it? What can this code tell you? Actually, there are a few cases when you may need this information after decoding the  VIN:

  • You are going to buy a used car;
  • You are going to buy a new car;
  • You’re just curious about the specs of any car.

Where can you find the code? The first place is the insurance card, of course. If you can’t get it, you will see the VIN in the lower right corner of the front window. You will see a long code with 17 letters and digits. Finding the code and taking a photo of it is the hardest part of the process. If you can’t see the car with your eyes, just ask the owner to give you this   code.

What Can You Do With the VIN Code?

Besides looking at it for hours and trying to figure out what it means, you can use a free and get information about a car. Don’t be afraid of the word “free”. It’s absolutely safe and secure to use such a service. You don’t get any private information about the owner, so you don’t break any laws by decoding the  VIN.

And let’s get to the point. You take the code, you put it into the service line. The drumroll. And you get the report  with:

  • The general information about the manufacturer;
  • The engine specs and the transmission type;
  • The safety equipment specs;
  • Technical condition of the car.

You will see what was the condition of the car when it was produced, its equipment and other details that will tell you more than any owner can tell  you.

When should you worry? Or how can you see that something is wrong with the car? The answer is simple. If you see any differences between what you see on the screen and what you see in real life, you should find out the reason for that. It can be the either the change of the design of the car or the repair after a serious accident or  damage.

What if you can’t find the code? There are cars that don’t have the VIN assigned by the manufacturer. Don’t worry, this car wasn’t produced for the US market, so it was imported illegally. All you need to do in this case is to call the police and refuse the purchase. There are no other reasons for the absence of the code except the fact that the vehicle could have been produced before  1980.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.