The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is like a fingerprint for vehicles. It provides a unique identity to each automobile and carries with it a wealth of information, including the manufacturer, vehicle type, model year, assembly location, and more. If you’re purchasing a new Ford, the process of obtaining its VIN is pretty straightforward.
Below is a detailed guide to understanding and acquiring the VIN for your new Ford vehicle.
1. Understanding the VIN
- What Is a VIN?: A VIN is a unique 17-character code given to each vehicle. It provides specific information about the vehicle, such as its manufacturer, model year, engine type, and production number. This identifier ensures no two vehicles have the same VIN.
- Decoding the VIN: Each of the 17 characters in a VIN signifies specific information. For instance, the first character represents the country of manufacture, while the second indicates the manufacturer, and so on.
2. Ordering and Manufacturing Process
- Placement of Order: Once you decide to purchase a Ford vehicle and finalize all the specifications, an order will be placed either directly through Ford or through an authorized dealer.
- VIN Assignment: Before your vehicle starts its assembly process, Ford assigns a VIN to the unit. This is done to track its production and ensure all components align with that specific vehicle’s design and feature requirements.
3. Ways to Obtain Your Ford’s VIN
- Dealer Notification: Upon the assignment and recording of the VIN in Ford‘s database, your dealer will usually notify you, especially if you’ve placed a custom order. They can either call you, send you an email, or provide it on your sales documentation.
- Checking the Vehicle Itself: Once your Ford is delivered, the VIN is easily located. The most common place is at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side, visible from the outside. You can also find it on the vehicle’s registration sticker and inside the driver’s door frame.
- Through Ford’s Online Portal: Some manufacturers, including Ford, offer online portals where customers can track their order’s progress using their order number. Once the VIN is assigned, it will be visible here.
- Vehicle Paperwork: All formal documentation associated with your vehicle, like the purchase agreement, insurance documents, and registration, will have the VIN printed on them.
4. Importance of the VIN
- Verification: The VIN helps confirm that the vehicle you receive matches your order’s specifications.
- Insurance & Registration: It’s necessary to register your vehicle and obtaining insurance. Insurers require the VIN to determine specifics about your vehicle.
- Future Servicing and Recalls: The VIN aids mechanics in determining specifics about your vehicle during repairs or servicing. It’s also used by the manufacturer to notify you of recalls.
- Anti-theft: Law enforcement agencies use the VIN to track and identify stolen vehicles.
5. Precautions with Your VIN
- Beware of Scams: While the VIN is not confidential, be cautious if unknown entities request it. Scammers may use VINs to create fake vehicle titles.
- Double-check the Number: Always ensure you copy the VIN correctly, especially for official paperwork. Any mistake can lead to unnecessary complications.
In conclusion, the VIN is a vital identifier for your Ford vehicle, serving multiple crucial purposes from the moment of its manufacture to its last day on the road. If ever in doubt, or if you feel there’s a discrepancy with your VIN, don’t hesitate to contact Ford or your dealer immediately. This number, while simple in appearance, is a cornerstone in vehicle identification and ownership.