Your chassis and engine numbers, those hard-to-find digits etched into the machinery of your vehicle, might be small but are of enormous significance.
These numbers hold the key to information about a vehicle’s ownership and the parts needed for vehicle maintenance.
Take a look at your vehicle registration papers and you’ll see a unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that differentiates your vehicle from other makes and models. All vehicles have a unique engine number.
Why the numbers matter
With the high incidents of vehicle theft in South Africa, it’s become important to ensure that when you buy a second-hand vehicle, you aren’t acquiring stolen goods. Aside from the moral implications, driving a stolen vehicle means that any claims made to your insurance company will be rejected and your vehicle could be confiscated and impounded.
Your engine number is important to ensure efficient vehicle maintenance. The engine number provides important information about the make, date and version of the engine so that any kind of vehicle maintenance will conform to the engine’s specifications. The first three numbers are the engine code and the remaining numbers identify the engine.
Where to find your VIN and engine numbers
The VIN, a combination of numbers and letters, is a kind of code that offers those in the know important information about your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the VIN can be found in a few typical spaces, usually on the bottom of your windscreen or at the driver’s door post (where the door latches when it is closed). Search online or refer to your owner’s manual to find the exact location of your particular vehicle’s VIN.
It’s much easier to locate the engine number. Simply open the bonnet and look on the engine body – it’s usually prominently placed and easy to find.
If there’s an engine replacement
The vehicle must be taken for police clearance, and the engine must be cleared by the police before the vehicle with its new engine can be used. The responsibility for this lies with the owner, or if the vehicle is leased, the company leasing the vehicle from Avis Fleet.
Repairs due to an accident
Vehicles under warranty must be repaired by an approved Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) panel beater to ensure that the warranty remains intact. After the body repairs, the vehicle must be taken to a nearest OEM-approved dealership for an 80-point check to be done for warranty purposes.
If the vehicle is out of warranty, the vehicle must be repaired by an approved Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM) panel beater. After the body repairs, the vehicle must be taken to the nearest OEM-approved dealership for an 80-point check to be done and for the dealer to check and confirm if it is repaired to the manufacturer’s standard and that it’s roadworthy.
Checks after accident repairs
It’s very important to check that the engine number and VIN numbers are still present after accident repairs to damages, or when you have replaced components where the numbers were previously located. If for some reason the engine number plate has been tampered with or removed, the owner – or if it’s a leased vehicle – the company leasing the vehicle from Avis Fleet, must report it to Avis Fleet immediately, and the vehicle must be taken in for police clearance. In all instances, if your vehicle is inspected by the police (for instance, if you encounter a roadblock) and they cannot establish the correct information, it might be impounded and you might face arrest as the vehicle might be considered stolen.
We take the sweat out of vehicle maintenance
If you operate a fleet for your business, ensuring that the vehicles you buy are legal and properly maintained is crucial to operations. Avis Fleet takes care of the small details so you never have to sweat the small stuff, like keeping track of VIN and engine numbers. We provide you with up-to-date, proven, value-added solutions to ensure that you get the most from your vehicle fleet. Avis Fleet is a fleet management company with long-standing experience and expertise to help every fleet company optimise its fleet management strategies. We have a range of solutions designed for your needs. You can get more information about our value-added products or contact us directly with any questions you might have regarding our services.