How to find car paint color

Updated February 21, 2017

Your car's paint will fade eventually, even with the best care. The sun, road salt and time all fade paint, while road debris and people opening doors carelessly ding your paint. Whether repainting the entire vehicle or just touching up, you will need to know your paint code. Even the experts don't guess paint colours. They all refer to the auto paint colour code charts.

Refer to your owner's manual. Your colour code is printed on a small plate somewhere in your car, but the code is in a different place in every vehicle. The owner's manual will not tell you the colour code, but it will tell you where to find the colour code plate.

Locate the colour code plate as indicated by the owner's manual.

Write down the colour code, and call your local dealership's service department. A service specialist will refer to a colour code chart to find the name of your colour. Write down the name of your colour, and keep it in a safe place.

Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your vehicle. The VIN is printed on a plate located on your driver's side dashboard by the windshield.

Write down your VIN, a 17-digit number.

Call your local dealership's service department. Explain you need a colour code and name, and you only have your VIN. The service specialist will find your colour code and refer to a colour code chart to determine the color's name.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's Manual
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Telephone
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About the Author

Jay Angel has been a writer since 1998, specializing in scientific writing, as well as articles about fishing and hunting. He worked as a columnist for the Illinois newspapers, "Daily Chronicle" and "News Tribune." Angel has a Master of Science in fluvial geomorphology from Northern Illinois University.