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How to Decode Chevrolet Truck VIN Numbers

by Brad Chacos

Vehicle identification numbers hold much more use than as a simple unique identifier for your automobile. Vehicle manufacturers code a wealth of useful information about a car's origins inside of VIN numbers, including the country of origin, the make and model of the car, the model year and even the plant where the vehicle was made. If you want to know more about the birthplace of your Chevrolet truck, you can find the VIN number and consult a GM VIN decoder.

Find the VIN number of your Chevrolet truck. Look for a plate or strip on the dashboard where the front window of the truck and the dashboard meet. Write down the VIN number on a piece of paper for reference.

Go to the VIN number decoder provided by General Motors on its website (see Reference). Choose the link for the year of your truck's manufacture.

Compare the decoder legend against the VIN number for your vehicle. For example, the first three numbers of a GM VIN often indicates the vehicle's make. Compare the first three numbers of your truck's VIN against the decoder's "World Make Identifier" to find that the 1G1, 2G1, 3G1 or KL1 identifier at the start of your VIN indicates its a Chevrolet vehicle. Continue until all the numbers of your VIN are decoded.

Contact the General Motors Media Archive for information on VIN numbers of Chevrolet trucks made before 1971. Send an email to gmhc@gm.com requesting the information. You will be provided with information on how to acquire the information, including how to send in the required $50 fee.

About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in Salon.com, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC," CIO.com, DigitalTrends.com, "Wired," FoxNews.com, NBCNews.com and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.

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