What Kind Of Engine Does My Car Have? [How to Find & Decode VIN]

What Engine Does My Car Have

Knowing what engine is in your car can be important for a variety of reasons, including maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and if you plan on selling your vehicle.

Some can tell you the type of engine from just the sound, but for the rest of us, how do we go about finding out this information?

We've done the research and found the most accurate and easy way to identify what engine your car has.

What Is A VIN?

What Is a VINThe VIN is short for the vehicle identification number. This is a unique code in the form of a serial number that is used for all moving vehicles.

Since 1981, the National Highway Traffic And Safety Administration (NHTSA) has standardized the VIN format.

Today, all VIN numbers need to have 17 characters and should not include the letters O, I, and Q. The restriction is designed to avoid confusion with the numbers 0, 1, and 9.

How Do I Read a VIN?

The VIN consists of 17 serial numbers and digits. Here is what each digit position denotes:

  • Position 1 - What country was the vehicle manufactured
  • Position 2-3 - The manufacturer's identity
  • Position 4-8 - Vehicle brand, engine size, and type
  • Position 9 - Vehicle security code
  • Position 10 - Vehicle year
  • Position 11 - Which plant assembled the vehicle
  • Position 12-17 - Serial number of the vehicle

When you use a VIN decoder, you will be able to quickly get all of this information. All you need to do is enter the VIN to receive all the needed information.

Vehicle VIN

The vehicle VIN is located throughout the vehicle and has its own unique 17-digit code. This code can be used by the manufacturer, owner, dealer, or law enforcement to identify a vehicle.

The easiest place to find the VIN is on the lower right-hand side of your windshield on its interior.

Engine Code

The engine code is a separate code from the VIN number. The purpose of the engine code is to identify the engine block itself. This is also known as the chassis number.

Model year

The model year is the year that the vehicle was made available for sale. This could be different from the production year. The 10th character on the VIN will identify the model year.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

There are a number of places where you can find the VIN on your vehicle. Here is a look at the common locations where the VIN is located:

  • Where Can I Find VINRegistration certificate - All vehicles will have a registration certificate. On the certificate, you will find the VIN number.
  • Windshield - The windshield is the most common place where people look for the VIN number. In most cases, the VIN number is located inside the windshield in the lower right-hand corner.
  • Dashboard - In most cases, you can also find the VIN number on the dashboard on the driver’s side.
  • Door - You can also find the VIN on the driver’s side door.
  • Hood - The VIN number is also located on the engine. Just be sure the vehicle is not running when checking the VIN on the engine.
  • Trunk - You may also find the VIN number under the spare wheel in the trunk.
  • Rear Wheel - In many cases, the manufacturer will print the VIN number on the rear wheel.
  • Car dealership - You can also contact your car dealer to get the VIN number.
  • Insurance policy department - The company that insures your vehicle will have the VIN number of files.

Where Can I Find My Engine Code?

You can find the engine code on the body of your engine. However, it is important that you do not have the vehicle running when you look up the engine code.

How To Look Up My VIN?

How to Look Up VINThere are a number of ways that you can look up your VIN without having to physically check your vehicle.

First, you can check the registration of your vehicle.

Additionally, you can contact the dealership where you purchased the vehicle.

Finally, you can contact your insurance company.

How To Tell What Car Engine You Have?

If you want to know what kind of engine you have, then you will need to know how to decode your VIN. Within the VIN, you can find the engine size and type. That information will be the eight digit on the VIN.

Best Free VIN Decoders

Best VIN DecodersSince a VIN will have so much information, you will want a fast way to decode all of that information. Here’s a look at some top VIN decoders that you can use to learn everything about your vehicle.


The first place you should go is the official site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They have a VIN decoding page.


The website Driving-test.org also has its own VIN decoding page.


Finally, the site Vindecoderz.com provides extensive information when you enter your VIN number on its VIN decoding page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What info can I find about my car with its VIN?

You can find the following information with your vehicles VIN:

  • Country of manufacturer
  • Manufacturer
  • Car type
  • Brand
  • Body style
  • Engine size and type
  • Model
  • Assembly plant
  • Model year

Do all engines have an engine code?

All vehicles that are sold in the United States are required to have their own engine code. The engine code will be located on the engine block. However, it is important that you have the vehicle engine off when you look for the engine code.