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How to Check Engine Size

by Steve Gregory

The size of a vehicle's engine is an important factor in it's overall valuation. For example, insurance companies use the engine size to help determine the cost of the car's insurance premiums, while banks use it as a factor in determining a car's loan value. If you want to know the size of your vehicle's engine, there are several methods available to get the information.

1

Open the hood of your vehicle and prop it up. Make sure it is turned off and cold before proceeding. Look around the engine bay for an etched or raised marking indicating the size of the engine. On some automobiles there is an EPA sticker under the hood that states the average gas consumption as well as the size of the engine.

2

Check your vehicle's manual. The manual will state the engine size in several sections, including "Specifications" and "Mechanical Information."

3

Open your web browser and go to nadaguides.com. Click "New and Used Car Center" under the "Car Research Center" tab. Select your car manufacturer on the new page followed by the year and model. The next page will reveal all the pertinent information about your car, including the engine size.

4

Look for the VIN number of your vehicle. It is a 17 digit number that contains all the information required to identify any automobile. It is listed in the vehicle's manual, your purchase contract and the registration. In most automobiles, the VIN is also located on the dashboard on the driver's side. Copy the VIN number.

5

Identify the engine size from the VIN number. The fourth to eighth digits is known as the Vehicle Descriptor Section and is used to describe specific parts of the vehicle. Each digit identifies a feature of the vehicle such as the model, body style and engine size. Visit your dealership for a copy of the manufacturer's VIN decoder to decipher your engine size. Alternatively you can call your car's manufacturer directly and read them your VIN so that they can decode the engine size for you.

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About the Author

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.

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  • Shane Stillings/Demand Media