Your Jeep’s vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as its VIN, is its one-of-a-kind identifier. Once you know what the letters and numbers mean, you can use them to conduct a Jeep VIN lookup to find out the history of a used Jeep before buying it or to learn about safety and repair recalls affecting a vehicle you already own.
The VIN on a Jeep is on a small tag affixed to the top-left side of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. The best way to see it is to stand outside the vehicle and look through the windshield at the top of the dashboard on the driver’s side.
If for some reason you cannot see the VIN at that location, there may be one displayed when you open the driver’s door and look at the door post. The door post is the part of the frame where the locking mechanism latches to the frame when door is closed.
Car manufacturers in the U.S. began assigning a VIN to each vehicle beginning in 1954, but it was not until 1981 that the federal government established a standardized, 17-character format. Each character of the Jeep VIN tells you something about the vehicle. .
The first character of a VIN is located to the extreme left of the sequence and tells the country in which the vehicle was built. For example, a “1” in the first position means the Jeep was built in the U.S.
Second and third characters in a VIN identify the manufacturer of the vehicle. The fourth through eighth characters identify the brand of the vehicle, engine size and type of vehicle. The ninth character is for security purposes and is confirms that the VIN was placed on the vehicle by its manufacturer.
The characters in the tenth and eleventh positions lets you know the model year of the vehicle and the plant at which it was built. The last six characters represent the serial number assigned to that particular Jeep.
The information revealed by a Jeep VIN lookup benefits you regardless of whether you are in the market to purchase a Jeep or already own one. For example, looking up the history of a vehicle using its VIN provides you with the following:
? Accident information gathered from state motor vehicle departments, insurance companies and police agencies throughout the country. A collision resulting in deployment of air bags could be an indication of serious damage.
? A VIN lookup may reveal that a vehicle suffered damage in a flood, hail storm or other
natural disaster that could lead to costly repairs in the future.
? Title and theft history may reveal that an insurance company totaled the vehicle and sold it for salvage, which could mean it requires extensive repairs in order to register it for use as a road vehicle.
? A vehicle’s history may reveal discrepancies between the mileage shown on the odometer and mileage recorded at various times in the past, such as during state-mandated inspections.
? A VIN search may provide information about a vehicle’s history of repairs and routine maintenance.
Doing a Jeep VIN lookup on a vehicle that you already own is a good way to find out about recalls requiring repairs to correct safety or performance issues. As a buyer of a Jeep, recall information would let you know if the current or prior owners had the repairs made.
There are commercial services you can use to run a Jeep Vin lookup to get a complete vehicle history report. You can also use the VIN of a Jeep to obtain free information about safety and recall issues affecting the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a feature on its website allowing you to retrieve information about recalls for your vehicle by using its VIN. Another source for recall and safety information about your Jeep is Safecar.gov.