There are a wide variety of ways that your car can be identified. Make, model, year and colour are some of the easiest and most accessible. If a car is lost or stolen, the vehicle identification number, or VIN, can help to identify your car. In addition every car has a unique engine serial number stamped somewhere on the block.
Uses for the Engine Serial Number
The engine serial number identifies your engine. It allows your Mercedes dealer to trace the engine back to the manufacturing plant. This can be helpful if an engine, or even part of an engine has been recalled. Should there be any manufacturing problems, the engine serial number is also recorded. This allows Mercedes to look for patterns with specific engine issues. For example, a plant may receive a shipment of steel that later shows problems. Not all engines would be affected, only engines manufactured at a specific plant. The engine serial number identifies which engines would need repair.
Using for the Engine Serial Number
Your Mercedes dealer will record the engine serial number when selling the car for the first time. Your car mechanic may record the engine serial number for their own records. This allows them to stay up to date on any recalls or problems with the model or manufacturing plant. Some states are now recording the engine serial number along with the VIN when a car is registered. This makes it harder for thieves to traffic in stolen car parts.
Theft and the Engine Serial Number
If a car is lost, the VIN is usually sufficient to locate the owner. But if the car the stolen and sold for parts, it becomes much harder. Each Mercedes engine is stamped with its unique engine serial number. This makes it easier to match a stolen car with its owner.
How to Find Your Engine Serial Number
Open the bonnet. Cross to the passenger side of the car. Find the crankcase of the engine block. The serial number for your engine is stamped on the crankcase toward the back. You may need to clean the crankcase with a rag and detergent to read the digits.
Other Locations for the Engine Serial Number
Look on your purchase documents. Many times the engine serial number is recorded on the original documentation. In some models, the engine serial number is also written on the underside of the hood. There is a sticker with information such as recommended oil weight, transmission and other fluids. The engine serial number is often printed on a sticker nearby. However, because of the heat and dirt under the hood, these stickers often become difficult or impossible to read.
The fastest and easiest way to keep these numbers accessible is to write them in the inside front cover of your owner's manual. This keeps the information within easy reach. Be sure to keep a copy of the number in another location in case of car theft. An easy way to handle this is to write the number on a slip of paper and paper clip it to the car's title.