The current VIN is 17 characters long. This system started in 1981. Prior to that, VINs varied in length from 11 to 17 characters
Where is it located:
Left front corner of dashboard, driver’s door jam, various body panels and engine components, your registration and title
A code’s specific meaning may be different on a yearly basis but the position remains the same.
|means||manufacturer’s code||line||body||engine||model/trim||restraint systems||check digit||year||factory and
Positions 1-2-3 are the Manufacturer ID code.
1: country code. J is Japan (1 or 4 is USA, 2 is Canada, 3 Mexico, K Korea, S England, W Germany, Z Italy etc)
2. manufacturer. F is Fugi Heavy Industries (A is Audi, B BMW, C Chrysler, F Ord, G GM, H Honda, S Subaru, V VW etc)
3. Vehicle type or manufacturing division JF1 is FHI Fugi Heavy Industry passenger vehicle, made in Japan 4S3 is a SIA Subaru-Isuzu factory passenger vehicle 4S4 is a SIA Subaru-Isuzu factory MPV multi purpose vehicle such as the 2005 Outback, but not the 04 which was a 4S3 because it was still considered a car.
Position 4 is Line
type, ie. what product line. B is Legacy, G is Impreza, S is Forester,
Position 5– tells what kind of body, ie Impreza sedan, Legacy wagon, Baja, Impreza or Forester wagon, Legacy wagon etc. D- Impreza sedan; L- Legacy sedan; G Impreza Sport wgn and Forester; P- Legacy wagon; T- Baja This code can change yearly.
Position 6 – Engine
types, varies by year. This can change yearly 2 is 2.0L turbo 4cyl; 6 is either 2.2L or 2.5L 4 cyl; 7 is a 2.5L turbo STi motor; 8 is a 3.0L 6 cyl.
Position 7 – model
type and trim. First, you have to know the model, then you can decipher the correct trim.
2003: 1: Baja, 2: Brighton, 3: Legacy L, Forester X, 4: Legacy GT, 5: Legacy GT w/ leather, Impreza TS, Forester XS, 6: Legacy Outback, 7: Legacy Outback w/ All Weather pkg, Impreza RS sedan, 8: Legacy Outback Limited wagon and sedan, Impreza Outback Sport, 9: Legacy Outback wagon H6, Impreza WRX, 0: Legacy Outback LL Bean wagon
|number||Legacy sedan||Legacy wagon||Outback||Forester||Impreza||Baja|
|2||2.5i Limited||2.5i Limited||2.5i Limited||Sport|
|6||3.0R LL Bean||RS sedan w/ sport pkg|
|7||GT Limited||GT Limited||XT Limited||XS w/ moonroof, LL Bean||RS sedan, wagon|
|9||XT||WRX sedan, wagon|
Position 8 is the
Restraint. 5- manual seat belts with dual front airbags, 6- manual
seat belts with dual front and dual side airbags. C: Class C (4001-5000lbs) MPV
Position 9: check
digit. A mathamatical formula that takes all the other characters in the VIN and comes up with a value of 0-9 or X, thus ensuring accuracy. I have no idea how this works. It’s a mystery.
Position 10: Model
year: J is 1988, K is 1989, L 1990, M 1991, N 1992, P 1993, R 1994, S 1995, T 1996, V 1997, W 1998, X 1999, Y 2000, 1 2001, 2 2002, 3 2003, 4 2004, 5 2005, 6 2006, 7 2007, 8 2008…
Position 11– Manufacturing
plant and Transmission: can vary by year SIA (US Built)- 4: SIA, 5spd SportShift automatic, 5: SIA, 4spd SportShift automatic, 6: 5spd manual awd, 7: automatic awd, ‘-‘ can be 6spd manual, postal car depending on the year FHI (Japan built)- G: manual awd, H: automatic awd, L 6spd manual
Position 12-17– sequential
production numbers. Changes yearly, based on the line 100001 Baja; 200001 Legacy and Outback sedan; 300001 Legacy and Outback wagon; 500001 Impreza sedan; 600001 Legacy and Outback wagon; 700001 Forester; 800001Impreza Sport wagon