a car with lines and details over it like a computer screen

Your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is essentially your car’s fingerprint. In its entirety, it is specific only to your car. Each car has its own unique VIN number and can be decoded to provide manufacturing and identification information on any vehicle on the road. Date of manufacture, manufacturer, vehicle type, where it was made, and options such as engine and transmission type, whether a car is a two or four-door, and a multitude of other specifications can be gleaned from a VIN number. Essentially, a VIN number will tell you exactly what a car is and where it came from, without even having to see the car.

Since 1981, VIN numbers have been 17 digits and fairly universal in structure. The first 11 digits provide a portrait of the vehicle, and where it came from. The last 6 digits are the specific serial number for that vehicle. Besides keeping track of vehicles for government and law enforcement purposes, the VIN is one of the most useful tools available concerning your vehicle.

VIN numbers are vital for repairing and maintaining a car. At Autoworks in Ithaca, we often rely on VIN numbers when maintaining your vehicle. After a car passes through an owner or two or the original documentation is lost, it’s often difficult to know specifics like rear end gear ratios, engine model, or transmission type. The VIN number ensures that this information stays with the car, and we utilize it frequently.

Over the course of a vehicle’s production, slight or major changes are made, and part replacement often depends heavily on the VIN code. One vehicle that looks exactly like another may require an updated water pump, for example, and the water pumps between the two vehicles won’t be interchangeable. Without checking the VIN, you may end up purchasing a part that doesn’t fit your vehicle correctly, wasting time, money, and potentially causing damage to your car. VIN numbers also specify which vehicles are subject to manufacturer recalls, indicating which vehicles need defective parts replaced, even if they haven’t actually failed yet. When we at Autoworks service your vehicle, we check the VIN against known recalls to see if there are any for your specific vehicle. We then can replace a part, often free of charge to you, making sure your vehicle is safe and remains operational.

A simple internet search will tell you if your car may be equipped with recalled parts, and if you think it may be, we can further investigate to make sure and get your repair moving. If your car has an issue and you aren’t sure exactly what part you need, we can handle that too. Bring your car, truck, van, or SUV by Autoworks with any questions or issues you have, and our experienced mechanics will get you fixed up in no time. Come see us anytime!



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Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today (607) 277-9989 or REQUEST APPOINTMENT HERE.

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