How to find the build date for your car

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You can learn the model year of your automobile from its vehicle identification number (VIN). Not only does the VIN uniquely identify your car as a theft-deterrent, but it also gives you information about the plant and approximate build date of manufacture, the particular vehicle's engine size and other features.

Locate your automobile's vehicle identification number by standing outside the driver-side windshield and looking through the lower corner of the windshield on the dashboard. You'll find the 17-character VIN on a little tin plate riveted to the dashboard.

Read the tenth character.

Translate alphabetical characters into model year as follows. A-1980 B-1981 C-1982

Skip I, O, Q, U and Z since the VIN system doesn't use them for model year. They look too much like other letters or numbers.

Start matching numbers to model years starting with 2001. In other words, Y refers to 2000, 1 refers to 2001 and 2 refers to 2002.

Match up letters to years again beginning with 2010. Therefore 9 refers to 2009, A refers to 2010 and B refers to 2011.

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