How to Decode Ford VIN Numbers?

Planning to buy an old Ford car? Well, that’s a wise decision!

As such there are so many places online where you can find old vehicles for sale but not all of them offer you good reliable services.

So, if you need the best purchase then you would need to follow the right strategy which includes Ford VIN number lookup.

And believe me, it’s a great way to get all the information you need so that you do not feel cheated – after you have bought an old used Ford car or a truck.

Decoding the vehicle identification number of your Ford car or truck can be done using more than one method and on different websites that are either free or paid.

All of them will however provide you with more or less the same information you will need.

Here is a simple step-by-step process you can follow when checking at the ford VIN decoder site, which is easy and fast…

Step 1 – Locating the number

The 17-digit number of your Ford vehicle can be listed on numerous locations throughout your vehicle’s body.

Carefully check the left-hand side of the dashboard first.

It can be near the windshield and on the sticker in the driver’s side door jamb.

If you are unable to find and read the VIN from this location, you will need to refer to the Certificate of Title and Registration. Most likely you will find it there.

Step 2 – Breaking down the numbers

Next, you will need to understand the number you have just located.

The first digit stands for the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.

The second number will decode the manufacturer – in your case it’s Ford. And it will be represented by a character “F”.

It’s a World Manufacturer Identification number assigned to Ford vehicles by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The third number of the VIN designates the type of vehicle

For example, if it’s a Ford truck it will be represented by “FT” and if it’s a multipurpose vehicle like Explorer you will find it as an “FM.”

The fourth through eighth digits are usually for the individual options and styles (like weight, truck bed length, etc).

The ninth digit of the Ford VIN is a check digit. This is generally used to determine if the VIN is real and authentic.

The tenth digit you will see is the year, and the eleventh is for the assembly plant of the Ford vehicle.

And finally, the twelfth through seventeenth digits will let you know about where the vehicle fell in the sequential production line.

Step 3 – Checking at Ford’s VIN decoder website

Once you have a Ford VIN for your specific model and make, you can now check this number by entering it at a Ford Fleet VIN Decoder website.

There are many free VIN decoder websites that can be used for this purpose.

As soon as you enter the number of your Ford truck, Mustang, F 150, Fairlane, Falcon, Galaxie, Thunderbird, or other car models; they will provide you with a PDF document that lists all the up-to-date VIN decoding information for your vehicle, according to Ford.

With this, you can also get information about the features and specific parts of the old Ford car you are planning to buy.

In case you still have any questions about the Ford VIN decoder or decoding method, you can further call the Ford company to get your answers by providing them with the Ford VIN number.

how to decode ford fairlane VIN


Can You Look Up Paint Color by VIN?

Yes, the VIN number of a Ford vehicle can tell the paint color you have on a particular model.

The paint color code is often required to know when you plan to do any touch-ups on the exterior of your car.

For knowing the ford color by VIN simply find the VIN number as described above.

Then call a customer representative at a Ford dealership. He/she can tell you the color code for free by knowing the VIN number.

Do all Ford Vehicle have 17-digit VIN Numbers?

17-digit VIN is the most common VIN format which became standard for all vehicles manufactured since January 1981.

The thing to note here is – vehicles that are manufactured prior to 1981 do not necessarily have 17-digits.

These old VIN numbers may have as few as 5 digits to as many as 13 digits.

Ford vehicles made in 1965, for example, have 11-character vehicle identification numbers. You can identify1965 Ford by reading its first character which is 5.

In 1981, when the laws changed (to include 17 characters in the VIN), the number is designed in such a way that it includes more detailed information.

Can You Tell the Type of Engine by the Ford VIN?

Yes, it’s a common practice and it’s possible to judge the type of engine you have by reading an eighth number or letter of a Ford vehicle’s VIN sequence.

For a Ford passenger car’s engine type, you can refer to the list below:

  • A: V-8 3.9L DOHC “AJ-V8” (Lincoln LS)
  • G: V-6 DOHC SVT
  • H: V-8 5.4L EFI 4V “Modular” (Mustang Cobra R)
  • L: V-6 2.5L DOHC “Duratec 25”
  • N: V-8 3.4L EFI DOHC “Yamaha” (Taurus SHO)
  • P: I-4 2.0L SPIEFI “Zetec”
  • R: V-8 DOHC Ram Air (Mustang Mach 1)
  • S: V-6 3.0L DOHC “Duratec 30” or V-8 DOHC SC (Ford GT)
  • U: V-6 3.0L EFI “Vulcan”
  • V: V-8 DOHC (Marauder)
  • W: V-8 4.6L SOHC “Modular”
  • X: V-8 SOHC (Mustang GT)
  • Y: V-8 DOHC SC (Mustang Cobra)
  • Z: I-4 2.3L DOHC PZEV “Duratec 23”
  • 2: V-6 4.2L EFI-FFV
  • 3: I-4 DOHC
  • 4: V-6 3.8L EFI “Essex”
  • 5: I-4 2.0L DOHC HP “Duratec ST” (Focus ZX3 SVT)
  • 6: V-6 3.9L EFI

For a Ford light truck’s engine type, you can refer below:  

  • A: I-4 2.3L EFI or V-8 5.4L DOHC (Windsor plant) “Intech”
  • B: I-4 2.0L “Zetech” or I-4 2.5L OHV-DI (diesel)
  • C: I-4 2.5L EFI-SOHC
  • D: I-4 2.3L EFI “Duratech 23”
  • E: V-6 4.0L EFI-SOHC
  • F: V-8 7.3L “Navistar” Turbo-Diesel
  • H: V-8 DOHC
  • K: V-6 4.0L SOHC
  • L: V-8 5.4L EFI-SOHC “Triton”
  • M: V-8 5.4L SOHC (CNG)
  • N: V-8 5.0L
  • P: V-8 5.0L EFI or V-8 6.0L EFI “Navistar Powerstroke” (diesel)
  • R: V-8 DOHC
  • S: V-10 6.8L EFI-SOHC
  • T: V-6 3.3L EFI-SOHC “Nissan VG” (Mercury Villager)
  • U: V-6 3.0L EFI “Vulcan”
  • W: V-8 4.6L EFI-SOHC (Windsor plant)
  • X: V-6 4.0L EFI-OHV
  • Z: V-8 5.4L SOHC (gaseous fuel prep)
  • 1: V-6 3.0L DOHC “Duratech 30”
  • 2: V-6 4.2L EFI-OHV
  • 3: V-8 SOHC
  • 4: V-6 3.6L EFI “Essex”
  • 5: V-8 SOHC(E)
  • 6: V-6 3.9L EFI or V-8 4.6L EFI-SOHC (Windsor plant) “Triton”

And for a Ford commercial truck’s engine type, you will read the eighth number as below:  

  • B: V-10 bi-fuel NGV/LPG
  • F: V-8 turbo diesel
  • J: V-8 6.0L (INT)
  • K: V-8 6.0L (INT)
  • L: V-8 5.4L gasoline
  • M: V-8 6.0L (INT)
  • S: V-10 6.8L gasoline
  • Y: V-8 6.0L (INT)
  • Z: V-10 gasoline-GFP
  • 0: V-8 6.0L (INT)
  • 5: V-8 7.3L (NAV)
  • 6: V-8 7.3L (NAV)
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