VIN Check and Engine Number
Below we answer the most common questions regarding VIN & engine number correlation and how both are used to estimate a candiate vehicle for purchase.
Should the engine have a number?
Yes, all engines have numbers aka serial numbers which identify this part uniquely. This is necessary because the engine is a mechanically complicated expensive component the demand for which is really high. As a result, many engines taken from stolen vehicles end up in the grey market and are sold to unsuspecting buyers as replacement parts or are illegaly used by repair shops. For this reason, engine number verification is an obligatory step done before a vehicle gets registered, a rebuilt vehicle. in particular. This helps tackle stolen part curculation, detect resellers working with illegal parts and pull further criminal chains to the surface. The engine number is always embossed right on the engine.
Besides the serial number, you can find a 17-character code on the engine, the engine block in paticlular. The engine block is a rigid construction that holds all of the engine components, replacing it is equipollent to replacing or re-assembling the engine. That is the copy of the VIN. Ideally, the VIN found of the vehicle frame or unibody, on the title and the engine should match. A different VIN on the engine means that the engine was taken from another vehicle and is this case a person or the company that wants to register the vehicle and brings it to the inspection station should also provide the proof that the engine was otained in a legal way (receips from the bodyshop, for instance). In certain cases the engine number is also listed on the title which simplifies the verification task with both the original and replacement engines. This brings us to the second question.
Are engine number and the VIN the same thing?
They aren't. The VIN identifies the vehicle and is stamped on a stationary part like unibody, frame or chassis. The engine number identifies a given engine and is etched on the engine, it should not be a sticker. A VIN duplicate on the engine, engine block in most cases, is just an extra copy of the VIN so you can easily see that the engine comes from a diffrent vehicle or easily access the VIN.
Can the engine number identify a vehicle?
No, even if it is listed on the title because it is not a stationary part.
How does the engine number check help?
You can easily detect engine repacement even without seeing any documents if your find that the vehicle and the engine VINs mismatch. In this case your should either request the proof of the legal origine of the engine or see the engine number in question on the title. An engine replacement combined with low mileage could also point to odometer tampering because every engine had its own mileage 'quota' before it gets rebuilt, needs an overhaul or replacement.
Can I track vehicle history by the engine number?
Although you cannot search the vehicle history by the engine number, you need the VIN for that, the extra VIN found on the engine block could shed some light on possible issues with that car as well. If your find a mismatching VIN on the engine you can also check the history of that VIN. The engine VIN check may also reveal an accident of theft which makes the purchase of the vehicle questionable: the engine might still be listed as stolen or the engine might be malfunctioning after a collision or salt water damage.
How are engine number and boat HIN correlated?
A hull number generally does not appear on a boat engine and these are totally different codes.