When purchasing a pre-owned Ford vehicle, you can't just pick one randomly. You should get basic details about it and learn more about its history, or you might end up buying a car with issues you never knew about.
Like most automakers, Ford assigns a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to its vehicles for easy identification. Running a VIN lookup will provide enough info about the vehicle to aid the buying process.
This guide will evaluate how a Ford VIN decoder can help you retrieve basic info about your Ford. You’ll also get tips on finding and decoding a Ford VIN. Let’s dive in!
What Is Ford VIN Decoder & How It Works?
The Vehicle Identification Number is an alphanumeric string that manufacturers use to encode vehicle data. Your Ford VIN will usually store model-specific info like the year of release, assembly location, body type, and other car details.
Getting vehicle information is usually difficult, especially if you have to decode the VIN symbols one by one. It’s a process that will cost a ginormous amount of time and energy.
That’s why you need a Ford VIN decoder to help you decode your Ford’s Vehicle Identification Number. The decoder is like a search engine, but for retrieving information stored in a VIN.
To use the decoder, you have to type the Ford VIN number into the decoder search bar. Within seconds, you’ll get a VIN report encrypted in the characters of your Ford VIN. In the report, you can also find out more about the vehicle's past, including theft records, open safety recalls, accident history, etc.
Why is the Ford VIN decoder so effective?
The secret of the Ford VIN decoder’s efficiency lies in its computer-controlled structure. Unlike humans, computers can quickly extract information using their database-crawling capabilities.
When you decode the VIN yourself, you often have to put a lot of effort in getting the VIN information. The Ford VIN number decoder just takes advantage of vehicle information available online to help you decode your Ford VIN quickly.
The tool collects data from various public and private sources, such as NHTSA, NICB, salvage yards, auto insurance companies, and more, making sure you can get the most complete, accurate, and updated vehicle info at once.
How to Lookup & Decode a Ford VIN (Step-By-Step)?
Before you can use a VIN decoder Ford, you must know where to find the VIN itself. To make it harder for anyone to hide or change a vehicle’s VIN, automakers place it in multiple, sometimes obscure, areas.
We advise starting your search for the VIN by inspecting the lower dashboard. You can also check other areas on the Ford car that have a sticker featuring the VIN number. These include:
- Engine compartment near the hood
- Door jamb on front doors
- Underside of driver’s seat
The documentation of your Ford car will likely feature the VIN number. If you cannot search the car’s body, you can ask the seller for the vehicle documents. The following vehicle-related documentation usually has the Ford VIN listed:
- Repair reports
- Owner’s Manual
- Liability Insurance Card
- Vehicle Title
Now, you know where to find the VIN on any Ford car. But how will you know what every symbol in the Ford VIN means? Next, read our step-by-step guide on how to decipher information encrypted in your VIN.
How to Decode My Ford VIN Numbers?
- The first VIN symbol specifies your Ford’s geographical origins. Each country has a special number/letter to distinguish vehicles produced within its borders. The U.S.A. uses ‘1’, ‘3’, and ‘5’ for its vehicles. So if a Ford VIN starts with ‘5’, it’s a US-made model.
- The second VIN symbol (usually a letter) indicates the manufacturer. Ford vehicles typically have ‘T’ as their second VIN character to indicate their manufacturer.
- The third VIN digit (letter/number) indicates what type of Ford vehicle you’re looking at. Is it a sedan, pickup, hatchback, or wagon? Decoding this VIN symbol will usually give you an accurate answer.
- The fourth to eighth VIN digits, are grouped under the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS). Decoding this set of VIN characters will give you mechanical details about your Ford. For instance, the fourth VIN symbol will indicate what model the Ford vehicle is.
- The ninth VIN digit (Security Code) shows if the VIN is authorized; a wrong Security Code will alert the decoder that the VIN is fake.
- The last seven VIN symbols tell you the model year, serial number, and manufacture plant of the vehicle.
What Can You Discover with a Ford VIN Decoder?
As much as possible, automakers try to include all the most important details about a car in the VIN. Thus, running a Ford VIN check usually gives you access to a wealth of information about a vehicle. You’ll discover the vehicle's year of release, manufacturing location, and make.
Other information that you can get from a Ford VIN lookup includes:
- Vehicle type
- Engine size
- Type of transmission
- Production sequence number
- Safety equipment
- Recalls/Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
- Theft history
- Salvage history
Why Do You Need to Conduct a Ford VIN Lookup?
The Ford VIN number decoder is something you must know how to use before you start shopping for pre-owned Fords because it can help you:
Avoid buying a problem-ridden vehicle.
When you want to buy a secondhand Ford with full knowledge of its quirks and issues, the Ford VIN lookup is what you need. The tool will tell you if the vehicle has been in any accidents, if it has been salvaged, if there are any liens on it, and if it has ever been stolen, which is very important since the Ford Full-Size Pickup is one of the most stolen vehicles this year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual Hot Wheels vehicle theft report.
Find out outstanding recalls.
It is estimated that 36,000 Ford vehicles are being recalled because of defective Takata airbags. You can use VinPit, a free VIN check service, or simply visit the Ford official recall page to find out if the car has outstanding safety recalls.
You might not want to buy one that has recall records but if you already got one, then schedule a service appointment for your Ford recall with your local dealership.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides free access to vehicle recall information online.
Uncover illegal business.
If you're shopping for a used Ford, how would you know if the car you're about to purchase wasn't previously designated for special use, such as a taxi or police vehicle? These kinds of autos absorb a lot of abuse and accumulate excessive mileage. Unscrupulous sellers would therefore, roll back the odometer readings for profits.
A VIN lookup would show the vehicle's last odometer reading so you can check if the current mileage reading is normal.
Look up car parts.
A Ford VIN decoder can tell you the car technical specifications and help you find the right part when you're considering buying matching parts at Ford online stores.
How Do I Look up My Ford VIN number?
Doing a VIN check on your Ford is quite easy. VinPit provides Ford VIN search for free and you can use it as many times as you require. All you need to do is follow the steps below:
- Visit VinPit's homepage or enter the VIN number.
- Click on the 'Start Search' button.
- Wait for a few minutes as the VIN report for the vehicle generates.
- Find all the information about the vehicle on the screen.
To decoder a Ford VIN for free, you can also try other free-of-charge VIN check tools online.
Ford Sample VIN Numbers
The following are sample VIN numbers belonging to various Ford models. We have also decoded some of the information to show what the Ford VIN decoder looks like:
- VIN: 3FAHP0HA7CR170541
- Make: Ford Fusion SE
- Model year: 2012
- Engine size: 2.5-liter DOHC 16V
- Body type: 4-door sedan
- VIN: 1FTNW21P74EB26392
- Make: Ford F-250 Regular Cab 4WD DRW
- Model year: 2008
- Engine size: 6.0-liter V8 OHV 32V (Turbo Diesel)
- Body type: 4-door crew cab
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I know everything about a Ford from a VIN lookup?
A free Ford VIN lookup will only provide basic details about your Ford — its make, geographical origins, technical specs, etc. To get more comprehensive info about a vehicle, like its accident record, you may need to get a paid VIN check.
How fast will I get my Ford’s details if I use a Ford VIN number lookup?
Our Ford VIN decoder usually generates a detailed VIN report within seconds of checking a VIN. At the very least, the decoder will provide your car’s details in two minutes or less.
Is my Ford VIN lookup private?
We respect the privacy of VinPit users, so you can be assured that your Ford VIN lookup will remain private. Nobody else will ever know you looked up a certain Ford VIN.
Do I have to submit any documentation to look up a Ford VIN?
You don’t have to submit any documents to use the Ford VIN decoder. Just enter the Vehicle Identification Number and start decoding!
Getting a Ford product is a brilliant idea, isn’t it? This is because you’re “buying American” and lending support to American brands.
But you shouldn’t allow anyone to exploit your love for American-made products by selling you a bad Ford. Stay ahead by getting reliable vehicle information by using our Ford VIN decoder.
You can go ahead and get a comprehensive vehicle history report for your Ford. That way, you will know every crucial detail about a Ford and make an informed choice about buying it.