bmw-vin-decoder

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Vehicle Identification Numbers are referred to as the VIN. BMW utilizes a VIN with a 17 character structure. The characters are grouped to include multiple information as follows:

Digit 1-3 are the manufacturer’s code:
WBA = BMW Cars and SAVs
WBS = Motorsport
4US = Spartanburg (not used since 1999

Digits 4-7 are the model code:

Digit 8 is the restraint system identifier:
0 = Seat belts
1 = Seat belts and Driver airbag
2 = Seat belts and Dual airbags
3 = Seat belts, Second generation dual front airbags
4 = Seat belts, Dual-stage advanced front airbags

bmw-335is-convertible-i4Digit 9 is a check digit determined by VIN

Digit 10 is the model year identifier (started in 1980):
A = 1980 model year, sequentially progresses every year. I,O,Q,U and Z
are not used because they can be mistaken for numbers.
A=1980 G=1986 N=1992 W=1998 4=2004 A=2010
B=1981 H=1987 P=1993 X=1999 5=2005 B=2011
C=1982 J=1988 R=1994 Y=2000 6=2006 C=2012
D=1983 K=1989 S=1995 1=2001 7=2007 D=2013
E=1984 L=1990 T=1996 2=2002 8=2008 E=2014
F=1985 M=1991 V=1997 3=2003 9=2009 F=20

Digit 11 is the Plant code:
A, F, K = (Plant 1.1) Munich
C, B, D, G = (Plant 2.4) Dingolfing
E, J, P = (Plant 6.1) Regensburg
L, M = (Plant 10) Spartanburg
N = (Plant 9) Rosslyn
W = (Plant) Graz, Austria
V = (Plant) Leipzig

Digits 12-17 are the Sequential production number

VIN Location on Vehicle
The VIN is located on the vehicle in the following locations:
• Left lower corner of the instrument panel. This is viewed through the windshield
from outside the vehicle.
• B pillar compliance label. On the drivers side door jamb.
Additionally the VIN is stamped into the chassis in one of two locations:
• Under the hood on right side of engine compartment bulkhead.
• Under the hood on right side shock tower

The production date of the vehicle is included in the B pillar compliance label. Production date information is required quite often when a repair procedure affects only a certain range of vehicles. The range is based on production dates. The date shown on the label reflects the actual month and year the vehicle was produced. It is not a model year indicator.

Vehicle Production Anti-Theft Labels
Since 1987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that the
VIN be marked on specific parts of the car during manufacture for theft identification. Some
models are exempt if the total number of vehicles imported is below a certain number.
If equipped, the label is also a reference point for the VIN. The label is placed on the fol-
lowing locations:
• Engine
• Transmission
• Hood
• Trunk lid
• Front bumper
• Rear Bumper
• Front Fenders
• Doors
• Quarter panels.
• Shock Tower
• Firewal

bmw-motorcyclesPaint Code Identification
When ordering painted parts it is necessary to obtain the vehicle’s paint code. The paint
code consists of a three digit number printed on the color identification tag as shown
below. All color identification tags are located in the engine compartment.

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Engine Identification
BMW engines are identified by a combined alpha-numeric code. Like the internal model designation it is a code used by the Engineering and Technical development teams during the design stages of the engine:
• M – for standard production engines
• S – for Motorsport engines (Motorsport is a separate division of BMW)
• N -for New Generation engines
After the letter there are two digits that identify the engine. The table below lists engines
by number of cylinders. Please refer to the BMW Technical Information Card for individual model application.

4 Cylinder
M10:
1.8 & 2.0L
2 valve
inline

M42:
1.8L
4 valve
inline

M44:
1.9L
4 valve
inline

S14:
2.3L
4 valve
inline

6 Cylinder
M20:
2.5 & 2.7L
2 valve
inline

M21:
2.4L
2 valve
inline diesel
turbo

M30:
2.8, 3.0, 3.2
3.4 & 3.5L
2 valve
inline

M50:
2.5L
4 valve
inline

M50TU:
2.5L
4 valve
inline

M52:
2.5 & 2.8 L
4 valve
inline

M52TU:
2.5 & 2.8L
4 valve
inline

M54:
2.5 & 3.0L
4 valve
inline

M57D30T2:
3.0L
4 valve
inline diesel
bi-turbo

N52(K):
3.0L
4 valve
inline

N54:
3.0L
4 valve
inline
bi-turbo

N55:
3.0L
4 valve
inline
twin-scroll
single turbo

S38:
3.5 & 3.6L
4 valve
inline

S50:
3.0L
4 valve
inline

S52:
3.2L
4 valve
inline

S54:
3.2L
4 valve
inline

8 Cylinder
M60:
3.0 & 4.0L
4 valve
V config.

M62:
4.4L
4 valve
V config.

M62TU:
4.4 & 4.6L
4 valve
V config.

N62:
4.4L
4 valve
V config.

N62:
4.8L
4 valve
V config.

N62TU:
4.8L
4 valve
V config.

N63:
4.4L
4 valve
V config.
bi-turbo
reverse flow

S62:
5.0L
4 valve
V config

S63:
4.4L
4 valve
V config
twin-scroll
bi-turbo
reverse flow

S65:
4.0L
4 valve
V config

10 Cylinder
S85:
5.0L
4 valve
V config.

12 Cylinder
M70:
5.0L
2 valve
V config.

M73:
5.4L
2 valve
V config.

M73TU:
5.4L
2 valve
V config.

N73:
6.0L
4 valve
V config.

N74:
6.0L
4 valve
V config.
bi-turbo

S70:
5.6L
2 valve
V config

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Engine Numbering System
Digit 1 is the engine developer and/or generation:
A = Motorcycle
M = BMW Group (Old Generation)
N = BMW Group (New Generation)
G H K L T = BMW Group (Future Generation)
P = BMW Motorsport
S = BMW M GmbH

Digit 2 is the engine type:
Combustion Engines
Electric Motors
4 = in-line 4
A = Asynchronous
5 = in-line 6
P = Permanent Magnet
6 = V8
R = Switched Reluctance
7 = V12
S = Synchronous
8 = V10
T = Transversal flow

Digit 3 is the engine technology:

Digit 4 is working procedure and/or fuel:
B = Gasoline
D = Diesel
E = Electric
G = Natural Gas
H = Hydrogen
M = Methanol
X = Electronic – Diesel
Y = Electronic – Gasoline

Digits 5&6 are the displacement value:

Digit 7 is the performance class:
S = Super performance
T = Top performance class
O = Upper performance class (standard)
M = Intermediate performance class
U = Lower one performance class
K = Smallest one performance class

Digit 8 is release relevant information:
0 = New Development
1-9 = Revision (such as technical update or cost project

Engine Displacement Identification
3 digits that follow the basic engine code is utilized for engine identification. These digits identify the required fuel type of the engine and it’s displacement. Engine displacement can always be determined by the engine specification plate. This plate is stamped onto the engines in various locations. There is a lot of information included in this identification plate. The breakdown of the information on this plate is as follows:
- Powerplant Identification Code
- Engine Number
- Part Number

Powerplant Identification Number
Digits 1-2 are the displacement value of the engine:
30 = 3.0 Liter

Digit 3 is the number of cylinders:
8 = 8 Cylinders

Digit 4 is the engine concept:
D = Diesel (naturally aspirated and direct injection)
E = Fuel injection
K = Catalytic Converter (M10, M20, and M30 engines only)
S = 4-valve technology
T = Turbo (gasoline and diesel versions)
V = Carburetor

Digit 5 is a differentiation index:

Digits 6-7 are the variant numbers:

Digit 8 is the identification for the engine:
A = Remanufactured engine
N = New engine

In recent years the Powerplant Identification Code changed from 8 digit to 7 digit. This
mark is located on the crankcase to ensure unambiguous identification and classification.
This engine identification is also necessary for approval by government authorities.
Decisive here are the first seven positions. The first 6 positions are the same as the
engine designation.

1 Engine developer
M, N = BMW Group
P = BMW Motorsport
S = BMW M GmbH
W = non-BMW engines

2 Engine type
5 = R6 (e.g. N55)
6 = V8 (e.g. N63)
7 = V12 (e.g. N73)
8 = V10 (e.g. S85)

3 Change to the basic engine concept
0 = basic engine
1 – 9 = changes, e.g. combustion process

4 Working method or fuel type and possibly installation position
B = petrol, longitudinal installation
D = diesel, longitudinal installation
H = hydrogen

5 Displacement in liters
1 = 1 liter (whole number of liters)

6 Displacement in 1/10 liter
8 = 0.8 liter (tenth of liter)

7 Type test concerns (changes that require a new type test)
A = Standard
B – Z = Depending on requirement, e.g. RON 8

Transmission Identification
BMW uses three different transmission suppliers.
1. Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen: A German supplier of BMW transmissions.
Commonly referred to as ZF. ZF manufactures both manual and automatic trans-
missions.
2. Getrag: A German supplier of BMW manual transmissions.
3. Hydramatic: A French supplier of BMW automatic transmissions. Hydramatic is a
manufacturing division of General Motors Powertrain.
BMW has developed an internal numbering system for their transmissions for parts
ordering, information research, and identification. Each manufacturer uses their own
internal identification system.
The breakdown of the BMW transmission identification code is as follows:

BMW Identification Code Breakdown:
Digit 1 is the transmission type:
A = Automatic
S = Standard (manual)
Digit 2 is the number of gears:
Digit 3 is a reference for the final drive ratio:
S = Top gear overdrive
D = Top gear direct drive
Digits 4-6 are a torque rating index:
Digit 7 identifies the manufacturer:
Z = ZF
R = Hydramatic
G = Getrag

zF Identification Code Breakdown
Digit 1 is the number of gears:
Digits 2-3 refer to the type of transmission:
HP = Hydraulic planetary
Digits 4-5 are an internal ZF designation

Automatic Transmissions
Transmission designation is used to ensure the unambiguous identification of the transmission. Frequently, however, only an abbreviation is used. This short form is used to assign a transmission to a transmission family. For example, we often talk about the GA8HP transmission family, which consists of several transmissions such as the GA8HP45Z, the GA8HP70Z and the GA8HP90Z.

1 Description G Transmission
2 Transmission type A
Automatic Transmission

3 Number of gears
6
8
Six forward gears
Eight forward gears
4
Transmission type
HP
L
R
Hydraulic planetary gear train
Designation by GMPT
Designation by BGMPT
5 + 6
Transferable torque
19
26
32
45 (ZF)
45 (GMPT)
70
90
390
300 Nm gasoline engine
600 Nm gasoline engine
720 Nm gasoline engine
450 Nm gasoline engine, 500 diesel engine
350 Nm gasoline engine
700 Nm gasoline engine and diesel engine
900 Nm gasoline engine
390 Nm 4th gear 410 Nm gasoline engine
7
Manufacturer
G
J
R
Z
H
Getrag
Jatco
GMPT
ZF
In-house par

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