How to check identification markings - VIN, engine number before buying a car.
Start with a careful inspection of the marked body parts and vehicle identification markings. The VIN number on the body is most often located in the engine compartment, on the marked panel at the base of the hood.
It can also be located on the front suspension support ("glass") or on the floor of the car, under the passenger seat. Under the seat, the VIN is hidden by a mat, but there is a special inspection cutout at the place of application.
Sometimes the VIN can be found on the driver's side. Before inspecting the car, find out in advance where the identification markings on the selected car model are located.
On some car models, the VIN is applied to a metal nameplate, which is attached to the body part with rivets. Also, the VIN can be duplicated in the form of a sticker in the doorway and under the windshield of the car. The sticker with VIN should not have traces of secondary gluing.
The marked body parts must not be damaged, have no signs of secondary staining, such as a different shade of color, specks of dust under the paint, smudges or peeling of paint. The signs of the number should be well read, not have strong traces of corrosion. If you have a thickness gauge, measure the area of the identification number itself and the entire part of the marked part available to you, as well as the parts associated with it.
If traces of secondary staining or putty are found, then there is a high probability that part of the marked part is welded from another car. Do not contact such a car or involve a forensic expert to check if there are doubts.
When checking the VIN under the passenger seat, pay attention to the bolts securing the seat itself. If there are traces of disassembly on the bolts– this is an occasion to pay more attention to checking the car and the marked surfaces under the seat. Perhaps the seat was removed precisely in order to make unauthorized changes to the marking. For example, to weld a part of the floor with a VIN from another car.