Date registered: Apr 2008
Vehicle: 1998 SLK230 199,xxx Miles
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
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Explanation of Unique Identifiers Within Your Mercedes' VIN
Vehicle identification numbers are standardized - all contain 17 characters. VIN characters may be capital letters A through Z and numbers 1 through 0; however, the letters I, O and Q are never used in order to avoid mistakes of misreading. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN.
The position of each letter or number in the VIN code reveals important information about where and when your Mercedes was made, the type of engine it has, the model or series of the car, various equipment/attributes and its production sequence. Each character or digit has a particular purpose as follows:
1st Character: The 1st character of your Mercedes' vehicle identification number identifies the country where it was manufactured.
VIN Character 1 - Manufacturing Country Codes
1 or 4 2 3 J K S W Z
USA Canada Mexico Japan Korea England Germany Italy
2nd Character: The 2nd character in your Mercedes' VIN specifies the manufacturer, for example:
VIN Character 2 - Car Manufacturer Codes
A B H A D N T V V
Audi BMW Honda Jaguar Mercedes Nissan Toyota Volvo VW
3rd Character: The 3rd character in your Mercedes' vehicle identification number indicates the vehicle type or manufacturing division. This varies among car makes and models.
4th - 8th Character: The 4th through 8th characters in your Mercedes' VIN reveals its features/attributes, such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc. Again, this varies widely among car makes, models and equipment.
9th Character: The 9th character in your Mercedes' vehicle identification number is a VIN accuracy check digit, verifying the previous numbers within the VIN. This check digit is a single number or letter "X" used to verify the accuracy of the transcription of the vehicle identification number.
There is a precise method for obtaining the check digit; however, it is not relevant to our discussion here. Suffice to say that after all other characters in the VIN have been determined by the manufacturer, the check digit is calculated by carrying out a mathematical computation. The correct numeric remainder - zero through nine (0-9) will appear. However, if the remainder is 10 the letter "X" is used to designate the check digit value.
10th Character: The 10th character in your Mercedes' VIN tells you the model year. (This varies somewhat among car manufacturers - see the chart in the "Here's How to Find Your Car's VIN" section below for specific locations by car make.)
VIN Character - Model Year Codes
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
B C D E F G H J K L
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
M N P R S T V W X Y
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A
11th Character: The 11th character in your Mercedes' vehicle identification number reveals the assembly plant for the vehicle.
12th - 17th Character: The 12th through the 17th character in your Mercedes' VIN indicate 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 perhaps the most critical portion of the VIN for most European cars. Because of mid-year production changes by car makers, these can be extremely important in identifying the proper part numbers for ignition, fuel, emission and engine components. These types of parts are often listed with the caveat that they fit vehicles up to a particular VIN or before/after a particular VIN sequence.