How to Read a Honda Prelude Vin Number

Written by adriana colindres
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How to Read a Honda Prelude Vin Number
A combination of 17 letters and numbers form the vehicle identification number on a Honda Prelude. (various letters and numbers isolated on white image by Elnur from

Honda produced the Prelude, a sports coupe, from 1979 to 2001. Like all other modern-day vehicles, the Prelude was manufactured with a unique vehicle identification number, or VIN. The VIN is now standardised among all autos to consist of 17 alphanumeric characters. The VIN can serve multiple purposes from finding out the history of a car you are thinking of purchasing to helping law enforcement track down a stolen car. Once you know how to decipher a VIN, you can figure out details about the car, such as where it was made and when.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Honda Prelude

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  1. 1

    Look for the vehicle identification number on your Honda Prelude. In Honda vehicles, the VIN certification label is usually located in the doorjamb of the driver's side of the car or on the lower part of the driver's side windshield. The VIN will also be on documentation such as the car title and registration and your auto insurance documents.

  2. 2

    Examine the VIN's first three characters, which are called the World Manufacturer Identifier. This part of the VIN reveals where the Prelude was manufactured or assembled, and it also identifies the car as a passenger vehicle. If the first character is a "1" or "4," the vehicle was made or assembled in the United States. "J" indicates the Prelude was made or assembled in Japan. Honda manufactures vehicles in 10 locations worldwide.

  3. 3

    Locate the fourth through eighth characters in the Prelude's VIN. These are known as the Vehicle Description Section. They describe details about the Prelude's body style, engine type and its model type.

  4. 4

    Find the ninth character. This character is something called the "check digit." It is designed as a way to ensure the previous parts of the VIN are accurate.

  5. 5

    Find the 10th character in the Prelude's VIN. It identifies the model year in which your Prelude was produced. For most of the years when the Prelude was manufactured, a different letter was assigned to each model year. The letter "X," for example, referred to the 1999 model year, and "Y" referred to the 2000 model year. However, in 2001, the number "1" was assigned instead a letter.

  6. 6

    Track down the eleventh character on your Prelude's VIN. This represents the location of the plant where the Prelude was assembled.

  7. 7

    Find the remaining characters. The twelfth through seventeenth characters are the Prelude's serial number. Each vehicle has a separate serial number.

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