Why Use a Free Ford VIN Decoder? To Ensure Yours is Built Ford Tough
A Driven History in Ford VIN Decoding
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:
- Inside the engine compartment, underneath the fender apron on the driver’s side.
- Before 1968, the VIN was found on the passenger side where the windshield and dashboard meet.
- After 1969, the VIN was located on the driver’s side where the windshield and dashboard meet, where it remains to modern day.
- From the years 1968 – 1973, a partial VIN was stamped near the back of the engine block
- On the data plate on the driver’s side doorjamb.
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.
Locating the Number to Decode a Ford VIN for Free
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:
- Behind the Ford logo on the front grill, the VIN is on the locking bonnet catch.
- Stamped on a silver metal plate with two rivets, the VIN is underneath the air intake, on the front slam panel’s nearside.
- The number is also stamped on the footwell in front of the driver’s seat.
What Does a Free Ford VIN Decoder Reveal?
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.
Depth of History from an Online VIN Decoder for Fords
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:
- Accident history
- History of theft
- Records of flood, salvaged or total loss titles
- Structural damage
- Mechanical maintenance records
- Estimated odometer mileage
- Commercial use, such as taxi, police or fleet usage
- 60+ vehicle problems
- Recalls and defects
- Safety ratings
- Environmental score
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!