How to Restore a VIN Number With Acid

by Sameerah Blue

The VIN number is the serial number on a car that gives the authorities information on the car and its owner. Looking up a VIN number can tell you who a car's current owner is as well as information on any previous owners or if the car has been registered in other parts of the country. If your car's VIN number has been obscured there are some steps you can take to recover it.


Locate the VIN plate. It can usually be found on the driver's side of the dashboard. It is a small black square located in the bottom left corner of the dashboard.


Sandpaper away any rust or tool marks that are obscuring the numbers on the VIN plate. Keep sanding until all rust or tool marks are no longer visible.


Put on your mask and pour the hydrochloric acid into a glass bowl until the bowl is about 1/4 full. Add 1 cup of water to the hydrochloric acid.


Dip a cotton swab into the bowl of acid and water. Rub the wet swab along the VIN plate. As you rub any remaining rust or tool marks will slowly be removed allowing you to see the VIN number.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Calif., Sameerah Blue has been writing professionally since 2000. She has been a contributing writer for "Step Magazine," "Rapport Magazine" and "Highland Park News." She is also a writer and editor for the blog

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