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As the inventor of the automobile, Ford revolutionized the world with the Model A – which from the beginning even had VIN numbers! Technically, these were the engine numbers considered the “serial” numbers that would be the precursors to the standardized 17-digits we see in Ford VIN decoding today.
This number would continue to evolve throughout the decades, growing in length and location. On a Ford Mustang, for example, the VIN was located in several places, depending on the year manufactured:
From the 1960s, Ford VIN decoding involved 11 digits, which would reveal the model year, assembly location, body type (convertible, hardtop, fastback, coupe, hatchback, etc.), engine, and consecutive production unit number. In 1981, in line with the Vehicle Identification Number standardization federally mandated in the United States, the VIN was extended to 17-digits. This would include a digit added to represent the safety system, along with a check digit used to verify the authenticity of the number for a free Ford VIN decoder.
Today, depending upon the model, there are several locations where you can find the number for a free VIN decoding. The standard location is in front of the dashboard on the driver’s side of the windshield, but there are other places as well. On a Ford Focus, for example, the VIN can be found:
Each of the 17-digits in a Ford VIN decoder has an assigned value. The first three digits make up the World Manufacturer Identifier, which illustrates the manufacturing country, manufacturer, and vehicle type. The fourth digit illustrates the type of restraint system used (such as seat belts and airbags) or the class of the gross vehicle weight rating. The fifth through seventh digits for decoding a Ford VIN signify the model, while the eighth digit reveals the engine type.
The ninth digit in Ford VIN decoding is known as the “check digit,” which is a secret number assigned by the manufacturer and not released to the public. This allows law enforcement to validate and authenticate a VIN, preventing the spread of fraudulent VINs.
The tenth and eleventh digits represent the model year and factory ID, respectively. And finally, the last six digits are the unique serial number assigned specifically to that vehicle, based upon the order which it came off the factory’s assembly line for that year’s model.
When you use VINCheckPro’s free VIN check, you no longer need to use source books to identify the values of each digit. Instead, VINCheckPro.com automatically runs the VIN number check when you input the 17-digits, and then you’ll instantly have identifying information for the vehicle, which you can use to verify and validate the VIN you were given.
In addition, VINCheckPro will scour through more than 40 million government and private records to generate a history of the vehicle, which can include information such as:
The online VIN decoder that is VINCheckPro.com can help you ensure the pre-owned Ford you are considering isn’t a lemon, but has the fruit of being Built Ford Tough!