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How to Search for Truck Parts Using VIN Numbers

by Herman Cruz

A vehicle identification number (VIN) consists of a combination of characters that includes both numbers and letters. If you know how to decode a VIN, you can determine various details about your truck including its country of origin, manufacturer and manufacturer division, as well as the truck's features and the make and year it was made. When searching for parts for your truck, the VIN will help the truck parts shop you are contacting determine the suitable parts for your truck; however, only several characters on the VIN have the information required to find the right parts.

Locate your truck's VIN. The VIN will be located on a metal plate stamped on the driver's-side door frame or along the edge of the door. If it is not there, it will be displayed on the dashboard. You can view the VIN stamped on a metal plate on the dashboard by looking through the windshield on the driver's side. The VIN is 17 characters long.

Look at the second character. This character determines your truck's manufacturer. This may be a number or a letter, depending on your your truck. For instance, Chevrolet is "1," Ford is "F" and a Dodge is a "B."

Locate the third character, which identifies the type of truck.

Read characters four through eight. The group of five characters identifies your truck's attributes and is very important when looking for parts. This group of characters will tell a shop a truck's features, such as model, series, body style and engine type, as well as any other type of information that applies to your specific truck.

Locate the 10th character to get your truck's year. For instance, if you have a 1990 truck, the 10th character will be a "L." Beginning in 2001, this character became a number, so a 2001 truck will have a "1," 2002 "2" and so on.

Tip

  • When you are searching for truck parts using a VIN, you will typically need the whole number; however, knowing what each character means can be helpful.

About the Author

Based in Orange County, Calif., Herman Cruz has been writing since 2007. His articles have been published in various content platforms and he also has written for Internet entrepreneurs who need assistance with writing sales letters and articles for their businesses. Cruz is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in integrated composition, improvisation and technology at the University of California in Irvine.

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