If you are wondering how to find your car’s production year, you are not alone. The production year of a vehicle is not the same as the model year, and in fact are usually not the same. If you car’s model year is 2008, it may have been manufactured in 2008, but there’s a better chance it was made in 2007.
Now remember, we are talking about the “model year” of your car vs “production year”. Sometimes you just want to or need to know the year that your car completed the manufacturing process, or the year it was “born”. If you simply want to know the model year of your car, it will be listed on your vehicle’s title. Additionally, you can find out what model year your car is on your registration, insurance and most other paperwork associated with your car. Odds are, you know what model year your vehicle is, as the vast majority of car owners have this.
But, if you are wondering when your car was actually rolled off the production line, this information can be harder to obtain. For example, a 2016 Ford Mustang may have been actually been manufactured in the year 2015. While 2016 would be the model year, the year of production would be 2015. If you’re curious as to how to figure out the year your car was actually made, keep reading!
It’s a good idea to know the car’s production date for a number of reasons. One reason is that vehicle recalls are sometimes effective before or after a certain production date. If you’re curious to see if your vehicle has an active recall, you can find out by entering your VIN on this website. Another reason it’s good to be aware of your vehicle’s production date is that sometime vehicle manufacturers make changes to a vehicle “midyear”. You may need to make a repair one day that depends on having the specific date of your cars manufacture to source the correct part. This is not extremely common, but if it happens to you will certainly be happy you read this article if that day ever comes!
It’s not common with OEM wheels or OEM hubcaps, but sometimes a car maker will decide to make a slight adjustment to an OEM part midway through, or can address a safety issue halfway through a production year. In those rare instances, it’s nice to be informed about your vehicle’s production date.
Here is how to find out what your car’s production date is:
On the driver’s side door, there is usually a sticker placed by the manufacturer in between the door and the doorjamb, which contains a lot important information about your vehicle. Usually on this sticker, it will list the date of manufacture, or production date.
If your sticker is faded, and you aren’t aware of your car’s model year, you can use your vehicles VIN (vehicle identification number). Your VIN is usually etched into your car’s windshield. You can learn a lot from your VIN. The tenth digit of your VIN on most cars will represent the model year. A quick google search for “VIN decoder” or “free VIN decoder” can find some decent resources, just be aware that these are often ad-driven services that will ultimately try to sell you a service related to your VIN, whether it’s a vehicle history report or something else. You may not get an exact year, but you may be able to find out the month or what is known as the “sequence number”, which will indicate how many vehicles were made before yours. For example, if your sequence number is 12,256, then your car was the 12,256th model they made at that factory for that model year.
For more information on what each number of the VIN can mean, view the wikipedia article on the VIN.