How to Decode Nissan VIN Numbers

Written by lina schofield
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How to Decode Nissan VIN Numbers
. (TIM MCCAIG/iStock/Getty Images)

The identification number for your Nissan vehicle is called the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. Every vehicle manufactured in 1981 and beyond has a unique VIN number. On cars and trucks, the VIN number is inscribed on the driver's side door jam. Law enforcement agencies started the VIN system in an effort to track and identify all vehicles. Each character in the VIN sequence has a specific meaning, and the VIN is divided into 11 groups.

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  1. 1

    Let's decode the VIN JN1AS44D3SW123456. The first character in the sequence represents the country of origin for the vehicle. In this VIN, "J" is an abbreviation for Japan.

  2. 2

    Look at the second character in the VIN sequence. This character represents the manufacturer's brand name, or "N" for Nissan.

  3. 3

    The third character identifies the type of vehicle. In this instance, the numeral "1" means that this vehicle is a car.

  4. 4

    Read the fourth, fifth, and sixth characters in the sequence. These characters signify what type of engine you have in your Nissan along with the model code information. So this vehicle has a KA24DE engine and the model is an S14.

  5. 5

    The seventh character indicates the body type of the vehicle. This vehicle is a two-door coupe.

  6. 6

    The eighth character refers to the vehicle's safety restraints. In the example VIN, this vehicle has manual seat belts and airbags on both the driver and passenger sides.

  7. 7

    The ninth digit is unique to each vehicle and determined by the other 16 characters in the VIN sequence.

  8. 8

    The 10th character refers to the year the vehicle was manufactured. In the example VIN, "S" signifies 1995. Letters "A" through "Y" represent manufacture dates of between 1980 and 2000 in sequential order. The letters "I," "O," "Q," "U" and "Z" are not included as they can be easily mistaken for numbers. Manufacture years from 2001 to 2009 are represented by their last single digits; models built in or after 2010 start with letters over again at "A."

  9. 9

    The 11th character signifies the location of the plant in which the vehicle was manufactured. In this case, "W" represents Kyushyu, Japan.

  10. 10

    The last six characters identify the unique serial numbers for your vehicle.

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