BMW Cars 1999-06

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

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Fig. Beginning with model year 1981, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) consists of 17 digits



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Fig. The code in the 10th position of the 17 digit VIN designates the vehicle's model year. Shown are the codes that apply to 1988-99 vehicles



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Fig. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be viewed by lifting the hood, or . . .



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Fig. . . . by looking through the left lower corner of the windshield



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Fig. Location of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) under the hood



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Fig. The VIN can also be found on a plate attached to the door jamb

On the E36 3 Series, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is stamped in the body, under the hood near the right side of the climate control fresh air intake. On the E30 3 Series, the VIN is stamped on the right side near the heater cowling.

The VIN is also printed on a sticker in the left side door jamb on all vehicles. The VIN can also be found on a plate mounted to the dash near the driver's side of the windshield.

Most vehicles also have the VIN printed on a label and attached to, or stamped into body parts, the engine and the transmission. This is for identification and to help discourage vehicle theft.

The production date of a vehicle may not necessarily determine the model year of the vehicle. The best way to determine the model year of a vehicle produced for sale in the United States after 1980 is to use the VIN. The Department of Transportation (DOT) instituted a standardized 17 digit VIN numbering system to be used by all manufacturers for vehicles sold in the United States. As a result of this standardization, the VIN can be used to determine a vehicle's model year for any vehicle produced for sale in the United States since 1980.

The 10th position of the 17-character VIN contains the vehicle model year. VIN positions 12 through 17 are the vehicle's serial number.

The 17-character label contains the following information:



Position 1: Nation of Origin
 
Position 2: Vehicle Manufacturer
 
Position 3: Type of Vehicle
 
Positions 4, 5, 6, and 7: Model Code of Vehicle
 
Position 8: Type of Restraint System
 
Position 9: Check digit
 
Position 10: Vehicle model year
 
Position 11: Assembly Plant Factory Code
 
Positions 12 through 17: Serial Number
 



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Fig.

The manufacturer's plate is located in the engine compartment, on the right side inner fender panel or support.

The vehicle identification number is located on a plate, on the driver-s side of the instrument panel.

 
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