How to Determine GM Paint Color Code Numbers

by Tony Ehrike

For car owners who want to touch up their GM car or who would like to repaint the car a different GM color, it's important to determine the paint color code numbers for the color you are trying to match or recreate. All vehicles have a color identification plate. This plate is located in various places within the car.

Find the color identification plate within the car. For most GM vehicles, the plate is inside the driver's side door. You also can check the right underside of the hood, near the windshield, or underneath the hood on the left side of the engine compartment.

Once you have found the color identification plate, you must decipher the information found on the plate. To determine the exterior color paint on a GM vehicle, look for number code combinations that end with L or U. U stands for "upper body" and L stands for "lower body color." These codes will be a combination of three---two numbers followed by one letter.

Depending on the year and model of your GM vehicle, the color code may be presented differently. If there is a BC before the color code, this stands for base coat. If there is a CC before the code, this stands for clear coat. For paint colors that use two colors --- an underlying color and a top color --- there may be two sets of numbers, one with L before it, which stands for lower color, and one with U before it, which stands for upper color.

The paint code also can be looked up by the vehicle identification number, found on the dashboard, next to the driver's side windshield. This method will only work if the paint color on the vehicle is original. Once you have located the VIN, call a dealership to have them look up the paint color according to the VIN.

About the Author

Tony Ehrike has been writing and editing professionally since 2005 as an online freelance writer. He has worked as a business manager and administrative and advertising agent since 2006. Ehrike has been published in "News Health Weekly," "Handyman Magazine" and "Reader's Digest." He has taken creative writing classes at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera car image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com