Diagnosis and Troubleshooting of Automotive Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Systems (6th Edition)
VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER The model year of the vehicle is often difficult to determine exactly. A model may be in troduced as the next year’s model as soon as January of the previous year. Typically, a new model year starts in September or October of the year prior to the actual new year, but not always. This is why the vehicle identification number, usually abbreviated VIN, is so important. SEE FIGURE 1–1. Since 1981, all vehicle manufacturers have used a VIN that is 17 characters long. Although every vehicle manufacturer assigns various letters or numbers within these 17 characters, there are some constants, including:
The first number or letter designates the country of origin.
SEE CHART 1–1.
The fourth and fifth character is the vehicle line/series.
The sixth character is the body style.
The seventh character is the restraint system.
The eighth character is often the engine code. (Some
engines cannot be determined by the VIN.)
The tenth character represents the year on all vehicles.
SEE CHART 1–2.
VEHICLE SAFETY CERTIFICATION LABEL A vehicle safety certification label is attached to the left side pillar post on the rearward-facing section of the left front door. This label indicates the month and year of manufacture as well as the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), the gross axle weight rating (GAWR), and the VIN.
VECI LABEL The vehicle emissions control information (VECI) label under the hood of the vehicle shows informative settings and emission hose routing information. SEE FIGURE 1 –2. The VECI label (sticker) can be located on the bottom side of the hood, the radiator fan shroud, the radiator core support, or on the strut towers. The VECI label usually includes the following information.
Emissions standard that the vehicle meets
Vacuum hose routing diagram
Base ignition timing (if adjustable)
Spark plug type and gap CHART 1–1
The first character in the VIN identifies the country where the vehicle was made.
1 United States J Japan W Germany
2 Canada K Korea X Russia
3 Mexico L China Y Sweden
4 United States R Taiwan Z Italy
5 United States S England
6 Australia T Czechoslovakia
8 Argentina U Romania
9 Brazil V France
Emission calibration code
CALIBRATION CODES Calibration codes are usually located on powertrain control modules (PCMs) or other controllers. Whenever diagnosing an engine operating fault, it is often necessary to use the calibration code to be sure that the vehicle is the subject of a technical service bulletin or other service procedure. SEE FIGURE 1–3.
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