Decoding Mercedes-Benz VIN Numbers

VIN numbers or Vehicle Identification Numbers are basically the unique identifying “fingerprints” of a vehicle.  The VIN provides critical information including year of manufacture, where it was built, what type of car it is, and other info.

In the mid 1950’s American car manufacturers began stamping and casting identifying numbers on cars and their parts.  But different makes created different types of VINS.  In the early 1980s the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized and began requiring that all road vehicles contain a 17-character VIN.

A VIN will tell you the exact kind of Mercedes you own,  the engine that was put into it a and also when it was built.  The position of each letter or number in the VIN code will reveal important data about where and when your Mercedes was made.

>>>>Model Chassis Engine Guide 1946-1996


1rst Character – identifies the Mercedes vehicle’s country where it was manufactured.
1 or 4 = USA
2 = Canada
3 = Mexico
J = Japan
K = Korea
S = England
W = Germany
Z = Italy

VIN Character 2 = Car Manufacturer Code
D = Mercdes

VIN Character 3 = Vehicle Type or Manufacturing Division

VIN Characters 4-8 = Mercedes features/attributes like body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

VIN Character 9 = Vehicle identification number. VIN accuracy check digit, Verifies the previous numbers within the VIN.  The check digit is a single number or a letter “X” to verify the accuracy of the transcription of the vehicle identification number.

VIN Character 10 = Mercedes model year.
1= 1971
2= 1972
3 = 1973
4 = 1974
5 = 1975
6 = 1976
7 = 1977
8 = 1978
9 = 1979
A = 1980
B = 1981
C = 1982
D = 1983
E = 1984
F = 1985
G = 1986
H = 1987
J – 1988
K = 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
9 = 2009
A = 2010

11th Character = Assembly plant for the Mercedes

12th-17th Characters – Indicates the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled off the manufacturer’s assembly line.  The last four characters are always numeric.  These last six characters are considered the most critical portion of the VIN for more European cars.  Because of mid-year production changes by car makers, these can be vital to identifying the proper part numbers for engine, fuel, and emission component. Often these types of parts are listed with the caveat that they fit vehicles up to a particular VIN or before/after a particular VIN sequence.

How to find a Mercedes’ VIN:
– On the door frame/door post of the front doors (usually driver’s but sometimes passenger’s)
– On the dash near the windshield
– On the engine itself (machined pad on front of engine)
– On the car’s firewall
– In the left-hand inner wheel arch
– On the steering wheel/steering column
– On the radiator support bracket
– On your car’s title, registration, guarantee/maintenance book or on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy

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