How to Find Out What Kind of Engine You Have

by Arthur Barnhouse

If you do not know what type of engine is equipped with your vehicle, you're missing a potentially vital piece of information. For example, whenever you purchase parts, your task is made much easier by being able to present all of the vehicle's attributes. Thankfully, you can find this information on your own in a short time. All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a computer with Internet access. Of particular interest, are the fourth-through-eighth digits in your VIN, as these identify the specific attributes of your vehicle, including engine type.

Locate the VIN on your vehicle. Vehicle identification numbers are usually stamped on the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side. You can also find the VIN on the door frame of the driver's side door. Some vehicles will also have their VIN stamped on a metal plate under the hood, near the engine compartment.

Write the entire VIN down, ensuring that you copy it exactly as it appears. Double-check for errors, as even one incorrect digit will make it impossible to discern your engine type.

Go to "www.decodethis.com" and enter your entire VIN in space provided at the top of the page. Then press "Decode." Depending on your vehicle, the next screen may ask you to choose which trim most closely matches your vehicle. Choose the option that matches your vehicle and click "Select Trim." A new page will load.

Scroll down until you see your vehicle's general information. You will see its make, model, trim and style. Most important, you will see its engine type as well as engine size. You will even be able to see how much horsepower and torque the engine is capable of producing.

Tip

  • check If you suspect your vehicle does not have its original engine, using the vehicle identification number will not work. In this case, you may need to take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic. In no time at all, he should be able to tell you what type of engine is in your car or truck.

Items you will need

About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera engine image by goce risteski from Fotolia.com