Idiots Guide To Decoding Your Honda VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
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Idiots Guide To Decoding Your Honda VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

The VIN number of your Honda looks like a complicated jumble of numbers and letters. However, it really isn't and the Vehicle Identification Number can reveal a great amount of information about your Honda vehicle.

Almost everything you need to know about your car can be explained from the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). What is the VIN? It is a 17-digit code that can be found in a number of places on your vehicle. The most common location to look for the VIN is at the bottom driver’s side corner of the windshield. Just inside on the dash will be a metal plate with the VIN stamped on it.

Some parts of the VIN are common throughout all car companies such as the year code (10th digit) and the first digit which indicates the country where the vehicle was manufactured.

Here is some helpful information when decoding the VIN on your Honda automobile (note that this is specifically for North American Hondas:

1. The first digit states the country where your car was built. North American Hondas will generally have a VIN that starts with 1, 2 or J. The 1 is for a vehicle built in the United States. The 2 is for Hondas built at the plant in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. The J, of course, is for cars made in Japan.

2. The second digit on your Honda will always be H. As you can probably guess, the second digit represents the manufacturer which in the case of all Hondas will be H for Honda.

3. Unlike a number of other car companies, the engine type cannot be determined from the VIN. However, the transmission type can. The seventh digit will always be a number. If that number is even, the transmission is an automatic. If the number is odd, the transmission is manual.

4. The tenth digit is the year code. This is standard among all manufacturers. For reality’s sake, starting in 1980, the tenth digit would be an A. Each year after, the letters would go through the alphabet, skipping I, O, U and Z. This means that 1990 would have a year code of L and 2000 would have a year code of Y. From 2001 to 2009, The VIN code was the last digit of the year (2001 -1, 2002 -2, etc.). Starting in 2010, the alphabet began all over again. Helpful hint: because of the length of the VIN, it is easier to count to the seventh digit from the end.

The other numbers of the VIN have meaning but are too elaborate or, quite frankly, too unimportant to worry too much about. The fourth through eighth identifies body and interior details. The eleventh digit reveals the actual plant where the vehicle was manufactured. Digits 12 through 17 simply represent the sequence in which the vehicle came off the assembly line.

This information will not make you a car expert. However, it can give the impression that you can’t be fooled when dealing with a potentially shady auto mechanic. It is also handy and somewhat useless information that you can use to impress your friends with!

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