How to Find What Year Your Vehicle is?

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

As with a car engine, once your Vehicles motor starts to misfire, you will likely have to order replacement parts. This is done through a Vehicles Marine dealer. You will have to provide your dealer with the model and serial number in order to receive the correct parts. All Vehicles model numbers, which Vehicles aren't displayed on the engine's cover sticker, begin with the letters "BF. " The frame serial number, also known as the product identification number, which includes the model year, is located near the stern bracket.

Under The Hood:

 How to Find What Year Your Ford Tractor Is?


Look for the production code of your Ford tractor. Generally it will be on the side of the vehicle adjacent to the starter. It may also be located on the exterior hull in any given location. You should be able to find a metallic plate that has 3 different serial codes. These will include the serial number, production code and model number.

Identify the production code out of the three different number sets. The production code will only have a combination of five letters and numbers. The other codes will have either six or seven digits. If you still have difficulty identifying the production code then refer to the owner's manual.

Interpret the production code. You should see five numbers and digits. The first digit will tell you what year the tractor was built in. Ford tractors have a special system to designate the year of production. The number 5 will refer to the year 1965, the number 6 will refer to the year 1966 and so on. The number 0 then refers to 1970, the number 1 refers to 1971 and so on until the number 4 refers to 1974. When you come back to the number 5 remember that it refers to the year 1965. Thus if your production code is 4K21C then that means that the tractor was produced in 1974.

Interpret the month of production. Look at the second letter in the code and it will help you find out when your tractor was built. The letter A represents the month of January, the letter B represents February and this goes all the way to the letter M for December. Just keep in mind that the letter 'I' is skipped. For instance if your code is 4K21C then the letter K will signify that your tractor was built in October.

Interpret the day of production. Look at the numbers that follow the alphabet. The number 1 signifies the first day of the month and this goes all the way to the number 31. If your code is 4K21C then this indicates that the tractor was built on the 21st day of the month.

Interpret the time of day of production. Look at the final alphabetical value. If it is A then the tractor was built at midnight, if it is B then it was produced in the early day and if it is C then it was produced in the afternoon. If your code is 4K21C then this means that your tractor was built in the afternoon.

 How to Find The Year of a Yamaha Dirt Bike

Locate the serial number or VIN on the dirt bike head, motor or on the title. Check to see if the number has dashes or spaces. If it has dashes or spaces it is a pre-1981 dirt bike--this number is a serial number. If it doesn't have dashes, it was manufactured after 1981 and this number is a VIN.

Compare a serial number to the serial number table. The table may be arranged by model and year. Count to the 10th digit of a 15-digit VIN. A VIN does not use the letters I, O or Q to eliminate confusion

Compare the 10th digit to the following table to determine the model year:

1981 -- A

1982 -- B

1983 -- C

1984 -- D

1985 -- E

1986 -- F

1987 -- G

1988 -- J

1989 -- K

1990 -- L

1991 -- M

1992 -- N

1993 -- P

1994 - R

1995 -- S

1996 -- T

1997 -- V

1998 -- W

1999 -- X

2000 -- Y

2001 -- 1

2002 -- 2

2003 -- 3

2004 -- 4

2005 -- 5

2006 -- 6

2007 -- 7

2008 -- 8

2009 -- 9

2010 - A

Items you will need

  • Model of Dirt bike

  • Serial number or VIN

  • Table with model year details for serial numbers

 How to Find Out What Year My YZ80 Yamaha Is

Find the VIN on the YZ80, which will be stamped on the frame or on the engine casing. For bikes built after 1980, the VIN has 17 characters. For bikes manufactured before 1981, the VIN could be 11 to 17 character and is much harder to decode than the newer VIN.

Clean off the VIN so you don't make a mistake in transcribing it. If the VIN is worn, make a pencil and paper rubbing to pick up the characters. If the code is not 17 characters, it could be another manufacturer's code or the bike could have been built before 1980.

Look at the 10th position of the VIN code. The tenth character stands for a particular year. From 1980 to the year 2000, the character is a letter. The sequence begins with A for 1980 and continues through to Y for 2000, skipping the letters O, Q, and I (which are never used anywhere in a VIN), and the characters Z, U and zero (which are never used in the year code). From 2001 until 2009, numbers from one to nine are used. In 2010, the code resets to the alphabetic sequence beginning with A.

So for example, a 2004 YZ80 will have the number four in the tenth position, and a bike built in 1985 will have the letter F in the tenth position.

Enter the YZ80 VIN into the Yamaha VIN decoder at, and you can get a detailed breakdown of the motorbike, including confirmation of the year code. The VIN decoder will also tell you the country of manufacture -- "J" for Japan, for example -- in position one. The second character stands for the manufacturer. The next five characters denote the details of the bike and the ninth character is a check digit for anti-fraud purposes. The eleventh character denotes the plant of manufacture and the remaining group of six characters tells you the production sequence of the bike in the plant.

Items you will need

  • Vehicle Identification Number

  • Pencil

  • Paper

  • Internet

 How to Find the Year on a Bobcat Skid Steer

Locate the VIN or serial number on your Bobcat. It might be located in several places, like on the side of the door or on the loader inside the machine. If you cannot find this number, continue to Step 2.

Look through the Owner's Manual for the VIN/serial number. The number might be printed on the cover or inside cover of the book. The manual will also tell you where on the skid steer the numbers are located.

Write down all of the numbers that appear in the Owner's Manual or on the skid steer.

Call the Bobcat Marketing Service Department. According to the Bobcat website, just call 701-678-6165 and give the customer service rep the VIN/serial number. He can tell what year the Bobcat was made in.

Items you will need

  • Bobcat skid steer

  • Owner's Manual

 How to Find the Year on a Kubota Tractor

Find the VIN by lifting the hood of the tractor. The VIN is located on top of the valve, and should be a six-digit series containing letters and numbers. If the VIN is obscured or is not printed in this location, it's also printed either by the oil filter or on the rear of the engine.

Take the first two characters in the VIN. The first of these, a number or a letter, identifies the year of production. The second character, a letter, indicates the month of production.

Add 2000 to the number to determine the year of production, if the VIN begins with a number. For example, if the VIN begins 3J, the tractor was made in 2003. If it's 5J, it was made in 2005, and so on.

Check the first letter against the key on the Kubota website, if the VIN begins with a letter (see References). V, W, X and Y refer to 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively. The 2010 model begins with A, 2011 with B, and so on.

Check the month of production to gain more information about the tractor. The second character in the VIN is a letter that signifies the month of production. Check the month against the table on the Kubota website (see References).

 How to Find out the Year of a Four Wheeler

Find the 17-character vehicle identification number on the frame of your four wheeler. The number may be stamped on the frame, attached on a riveted metal plate, or attached with a sticker. It usually will be on the left side, on the frame rail under the motor. Do not use any number found on the motor itself. The vehicle identification number will always be on the frame.

Look at the 10th character of the vehicle identification number. It will be a number or a letter.

Use the 10th character to determine the year model of the four wheeler. The numbers 1 through 9 stand for either 1971 through 1979, or 2001 through 2009. If the 10th character is a letter, the following applies: A=1980 or 2010, B=1981 or 2011, C=1982 or 2012, D=1983, E=1984, F=1985, G=1986, H=1987, J=1988, K=1989, L=1990, M=1991, N=1992, P=1993, R=1984, S=1985, T=1986, V=1987, W=1988, X=1989, Y=1990.

 How to Find Year on Honda Outboard

Look for metallic plate that is positioned on or near the stern bracket. The serial number should be displayed in a "BFXX-XXXXXXX" format, with the "BF" identifying the manufacturer, Honda. The subsequent one or two digits refer to the motor's horsepower.

Check for the model year, which will start with either a "D" or an "A." This will be followed by a single digit, or the letter "X" or "Y." The first letter (i.e. the "D" or "A") will be either the third or fourth letter in the serial number sequence. Once you have found the segment that starts with a "D" or "A" you will still have to cross-reference it with the Honda Outboard Model Identification Guide to figure out the year in which the motor was made.

Reference the Honda Outboard Motor Model Identification Guide to determine the year in which your motor was manufactured. For example, the serial number BF2D2SCHA indicates that the motor was built in 2002.

 How to Find Out What Year a KX 250 Is

Find the VIN on your KX 250. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is stamped on a plate on the steering tube leading up to the handlebars.

Count out the 10th digit and write it down. The 10th digit signifies the year model of the KX 250. See "Tips" below to learn the year model each letter or number signifies.

Go to the Kawasaki website (see "Resources," below) and let the system decode the VIN if you have trouble determining it on your own.

 How to Find the Year of Caterpillar Equipment

Find the product identification number. The engine's serial number plate is usually found on the right rear side of the left cylinder block. Wheel loader serial number plates can usually be found on the left side of the front frame near the operator's box. The serial number plate for skid steer loaders and multi-terrain loaders is usually found at the rear of the machine. The serial number plate for backhoes is typically located on the left side of the front frame near the operator's cab.

Write down the PIN. It will be clearly marked on the plate.

Call your local Caterpillar equipment dealer and ask them to date the product by the PIN. The dealer will have access to official Caterpillar databases and computer systems that will allow them to do this. You can also contact the official Caterpillar corporate headquarters at:

100 North East Adams St.

Peoria, Illinois USA 61629


About the Author

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