BMW Engine Identification

Updated July 19, 2017

Knowing your BMW's engine code and specifications can help you and your mechanic when the time comes to repair or upgrade your car. You will need to locate the engine code on your BMW's engine and obtain and decode the car's VIN to reveal the most accurate engine codes and features.

VIN Decoding

Find the car's Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, by looking at its registration, title, or examining the body of the car for a VIN. You can commonly find the VIN in the door jambs of the car, near the bottom of the windshield on the driver's side, and on the engine itself. The second character of the VIN designates the car's manufacturer, so in this case it will be "B." The fourth through eighth characters designate features such as the BMW's engine type and model.

Engine Number

The engine number is an eight-digit identifier that consists of two four-digit groups. The first group of numbers contains data pertaining to the engine's assembly line, location and serial number. The second group of digits offers the factory code and day that the engine was produced. The engine number is unique to the engine code, which serves as a secondary identification method.

Engine Code

The engine code of the car provides another way for you to obtain information on your engine. Like the engine number, it also consists of eight digits, however it's in four distinct sections. The first number of the engine code indicates its assembly line. The second set of numbers, which is in three sequential digits, indicates the engine's serial number. Following the serial number is the single digit factory code, which shows if the car was built in Munich, Germany, indicated by numbers 0 through 4, or Steyr, Austria, indicated by numbers 5 through 9. The final set of numbers is three sequential characters that indicate the day the engine was produced.

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About the Author

Chester Rockwell began his professional writing career in 2003, as a beat writer for local publications and an analyst for market research firms. His writing in business and efforts as a publicist have been recognized in outlets such as Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, "WIRED" and "BusinessWeek," among other publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology.