View Full Version : Vehicle Question - VIN #

10-09-2003, 03:40 PM
Does anyone know of a way to derive a vehicle's month of manufacture from the VIN #?

10-09-2003, 03:50 PM
Check the ownwers manual for the vehicle. Sometimes there is a section that tells you the breakdown of the VIN, but I don't know if it will go down to month of manufacture.
If it is a specialty vehichle, a vehicle that has been restored quite often, the restore's guide often has a detailed breakdown of the VINs.
If I remember correctly the MOTOR manual has some info on this too.

Dr. Rob
10-09-2003, 04:53 PM
Last letter in the string before the last six digits often signifies the year of manufacture, and usually coded per manufacturer. Don't know month.

10-09-2003, 05:02 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

10-09-2003, 05:32 PM
I don't think the VIN has month info. Have a look here:


10-09-2003, 06:04 PM
My problem is the door stickers are faded to the point of non-readable.
But Thanks to all.

10-09-2003, 11:24 PM
I used to look at the tail lights.. but.. not any more..

A motors repair book is handy. has grilles and other pictures in it.

Ragarsed Raglan
10-10-2003, 12:11 PM

Check out some of the plastic mouldings, they usually have a date code on their non visible (reverse sides) referring to the year and month of manufacture of that ITEM. This will undoubtedly preceed the vehicles date of manufacture ~ but usually only by a month or so.


10-10-2003, 12:23 PM
Look for 4 digit numbers on molded parts in the form of "9427". This is how integrated circuits are date coded. In the above it means 1994, 27th week.

10-10-2003, 12:24 PM
What kind of vehicle?


10-10-2003, 01:34 PM
If it is a American Car (AMC,Chrysler,Ford,GM )I can tell you where to look for the casting date code on the engine.This should narrow it down to a month or so unless the engine has been changed.
I'll need to know the make and what size engine it has.

10-10-2003, 02:14 PM
On some older american cars, I know GM for instance, there will be a "build sheet" underneath the back seat with all the option info for THAT particular car....it was the itemized order form that the plant used to equip the car....option package-wise....the day, month, and year of assembly is on that usually.

10-10-2003, 03:19 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

10-10-2003, 04:02 PM

I have bought a number of old Porsches through the years and I routinely call the manufacture customer service center with the VIN to get detailed information on the car. They are only happy to give you that information.

I would expect that this will be the same with any car from any manufacture.

In addition to the exact date of manufacture (year, month, day), you can get other information that may be helpful such as any pending recalls not yet done, dealership delivered to, vehicle options, and possibly service information.

Usually you can find a customer satisfaction toll-free phone number for the manufacture. If you can't, call the dealer. Give it a shot!


[This message has been edited by debequem (edited 10-10-2003).]

10-13-2003, 07:40 PM
Lynn- The Haynes manuals (at auto zone, advance pep etc) have a break down of the meaning of the various VIN numbers (not every digit but years , fuel, eng etc, date of MFR. Some even told the shift it came off the floor on.

10-14-2003, 12:18 AM
It depends on the car. Many of the OLD cars are documented by production figures. You can tell what month it was built by the "serial" portion of the VIN.

When you let us know what model and year, we may be able to help more.

10-14-2003, 01:27 PM
Thanks for all the inputs. This is a Buick LeSabre. I now remember seeing those data sheets mentioned under the rear seat in some cars I've had...I didn't think of looking there.
The reason I was asking the questioin is that
I'd located a source for a used AC/Heater control head and the guy told me two different units were used (1993 Buick), depending on whether it was 'early' or 'late' 1993. So I was trying to pin it down to get the right one. ...tho the guy said they are really interchangeable. I went ahead and ordered (before seeing all of the ideas posted) and just made a guess. If it doesn't work, I was told they'll swap it out anyway.

This darn control I now have has gotten so that the AC frequently just turns on all by itself. That's not too bad in summer, but it's becomming a nuisance now when the mornings are kinda nippy.

10-14-2003, 02:11 PM
The last six digits are a sequence number for the plant the car was made at, but unless you know the production schedule it won't give you the build date. So, the manufacturer can tell you but you can't figure it out yourself.

Try this decoder:

10-14-2003, 03:16 PM
"This darn control I now have has gotten so that the AC frequently just turns on all by itself. That's not too bad in summer, but it's becomming a nuisance now when the mornings are kinda nippy."

Bleed off the freon from the system and you won't get cold when it comes on. :-)

10-14-2003, 03:32 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

10-14-2003, 04:12 PM

If you need to disable the AC simply unplug the magnetic clutch on the compressor pulley.

10-14-2003, 04:35 PM
This isn't a case of cycling on/off for the defroster. My control has 8 buttons with an amber light on each , but illuminated only on the active button (ie. 'OFF', 'HTR', 'DEFOG', 'VENT',etc.) What's happening is that intermittently the light will extinguish (on whichever button is active) and simultaneously the AC compressor will kick in and start blowing cold air. Usually after a few minutes (variable), the light will come back on and AC goes off. This started last summer but only rarely then. Has gradually gotten more frequent.
When I took it to Buick for diagnosis last year they quoted about 400 or $500 for a new control. 'Used' quotes from internet have ranged from $45 to about $125. I'm taking that route.

Evan, what do I look for on the compressor to disconnect to disable the magnetic clutch? ...all of the wires I find? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I don't want that as a permanent fix, but that'd work for my winter driving enjoyment.

10-14-2003, 04:41 PM
The drive pulley on the compressor will have a two wire harness on it. Follow it until you get to a connector. It shouldn't be far away.