Paint Code by VIN – Where and How to Find It – Full Guide

If your car has a scratch that you want to cover with paint, can you buy paint similar to the color of your car? No, you got to follow the paint code by VIN. This article will show you where and how to find it.

If you want to fix minor scratches on your car, you can’t just use paint similar to the car’s original color. You need to use the specific color used by the manufacturer. This paint code is indicated in your car’s VIN or vehicle identification number. After completing its manufacturing process, the car gets a unique code. 

You can find the specific color of a vehicle in its VIN. Your car’s VIN serves as its fingerprint. It contains information to help you find your car’s paint code on other platforms. You can find this VIN in your car. Or you can ask your car dealer for the paint code.

Read on to learn more about using the VIN of your car to get its paint code and where and how you can find it.

Paint Code by VIN

Paint Code by VIN

You can’t avoid getting the paint of your car getting scratched here and there. There’s one easy way you can fix these scratches. Paint them over with the same paint as the car.

But that’s not how it is done. You need your car’s paint code to match the paint you will use to your car’s original paint.

Use VIN to Determine Car’s Original Paint Code

So, to do it right, you have to use a specific color. How to find the original paint code from VIN is what you need to know. Well, the best way is to use the VIN of your car. This is where you will find the paint code that specifies the exact color you need to use.

Unique Code Consisting of Three to Six Characters

This paint code is a unique code consisting of three to six characters. After their manufacturing process is completed, all motor vehicles are given this paint code.

Combination of Letters and Numbers

The paint code is a mixture of letters and numbers. You need to paint your car with accurate color. This is important for legal purposes.

Your car’s paint code acts like its fingerprint, so you can also search for its exact colors on other platforms. In addition, you can go to the car dealer, give them the VIN of your car, and ask for its paint code.

Where Do You Find the Paint Code on a VIN?

You can find this print code indicated somewhere in your car. If you’re outside your car, look under the bottom at the driver’s side. You will find the VIN of your car there, along with its color code.

It is indicated in the information label or sticker. The paint code should be two characters (numbers or letters) followed by long strings of numbers and letters. 

How to Find Paint Code by VIN for Different Car Brands

Different car brands have their particular ways of locating their VINs. In this section, we will discuss the specific spots where you can find the VINs of different car brands:

1. BMW

BMW vehicles have an information label or sticker where you can find the paint code. But if you can’t find it there, you can still find the paint code if you know your BMW’s VIN. Typically, this VIN is composed of 17 digits and can be found in different locations in your vehicle.

BMW’s VIN Location

Here are the places where you can find the VIN of your BMW:

  • The driver’s side door or door jam
  • Under the hood on the engine block
  • At the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It should be visible outside through the windshield.
  • On your vehicle registration and your insurance documents

When you find the VIN in any of these places, you can now call your BMW car dealer and ask them to look up your car’s paint code. This is important because if you are the second or third owner of the car, its color might have been modified by the previous owners.

Even if you already have the paint code, it will also be better if you will double-check the color by using it to color a paint strip. Compare this paint test strip to the actual color of your car. If it matches the color, you can retouch your car’s paint.

2. Cadillac

There are different places in a Cadillac where the VIN is located. However, you will often find it in the glove compartment or the trunk lid. You can copy this code by taking a picture of it using your phone or writing it on paper.

If you have the Cadillac VIN decoder, you will be able to see more information about your car. But if you don’t, you need to give the VIN of your car to your Cadillac dealer, and they will be able to find the information for you.

Cadillac’s VIN Location

All modern Cadillac cars have their VINs located on different car parts. Just check the following spots on your Cadillac:

  • Sticker in the glove box
  • The left side of the engine compartment
  • Sticker on the arch of the driver’s door
  • The frame on the passenger side
  • Sticker on the driver’s door
  • Shield under the hood
  • Shield under the windshield on the driver’s side

3. Chevrolet

It’s a different case with Chevrolet. They didn’t make it easy for anyone to find their cars’ color code. Chevrolet tried different places to put the VINs through the years. This made it nearly impossible to find them.

Their paint code format is confusing. GM, the parent company of Chevrolet, has created all sorts of cars and models, yet they still haven’t standardized their way of locating their color code.

Check the Glove Box or Spare Tire

But more often than not, you can find the paint code if you look inside the glove box. If it’s not there, you can try looking at the spare tire. But if it’s still not there, you may have to look everywhere else.

Perhaps it will help if you know the Chevrolet’s paint code format. An example better explains this format. Let’s assume you found a paint code that goes like this: 51/WA316N.

This code is usually preceded either by a BC/CC. In addition, there are two colors in each code. That makes it even more confusing.

4. Dodge

The paint code of a Dodge vehicle can be located in two spots. It could be on the safety certification label at the door jamb, specifically on the driver’s side. You can try looking at the chart for Dodge Paint Code Locations. Find your vehicle make and type on that chart, and you will find its paint code.

The usual Dodge paint code is composed of three digits. It usually starts with the letter P. The paint code may also contain both numbers and letters.

5. Ford

paint code by vin number ford
Ford Mustang

If there is no information label on your Ford vehicle, you can use its VIN to find the paint code. The VIN is usually located under the dashboard in Ford vehicles, specifically on the left-hand corner, right in front of the steering wheel.

Once you find the VIN, contact your Ford dealer or visit Ford’s website to see that paint code. You can also find your vehicle’s VIN by looking through the windshield.

Ford’s VIN Location

If the VIN is not in these places, you can still find it in different spots of your Ford vehicle.

  • Open the driver’s side door and look inside the door frame. The VIN should be there in the usual spot of the side-view mirror when the door is closed.
  • Pop the hood and focus your eyes on the front of the engine. Perhaps the VIN is indicated there. If it’s not there, it can be close to the front of the car frame, just next to the windshield frame.
  • The VIN of your vehicle may also be marked close to where the door latches are closing.

Once you find the VIN, call the Ford dealer or the Ford Company and ask about your vehicle’s paint code. As soon as you supply them with this information, they will be able to provide the paint code.

You can also visit VIN services websites like Chipex. Just type in your VIN in the appropriate box, and they will be able to provide the paint code based on the VIN that you have supplied.

6. GM

The paint code is usually indicated in a white or silver sticker or information label attached to the car for GM vehicles. The location of that sticker will vary according to the make and model of the GM vehicle.

GM’s VIN Location

The usual locations of this information label are the following:

  • Engine hood
  • Door jamb
  • Trunk lid

Most GM vehicles have their auto paint codes on a sticker with “Parts Identification.” The color code may start with BC/CC followed by a WA or a U and a four-digit letter/number combination.

How to Read a GM VIN Paint Code

Here is how you can read a GM VIN paint code:

  • Find the service parts identification sticker on the vehicle. Most of these vehicles have this sticker attached inside the glove box.
  • Read the bottom line of the sticker. It should be a series of numbers and characters.
  • On a piece of paper, write down BC and the number that follows it. This represents the undercoat or basecoat paint color of your vehicle. There are cars and trucks with different base or undercoat color codes with different topcoats to get the depth of the color finish.
  • Write down CC on the same paper to indicate that your vehicle has a top coat of clear paint to add a mirror-like image to the final surface.
  • Write down U on the paper along with the number that follows it. This refers either to the primary color of your vehicle or its upper color. Some GM cars and trucks have various paint codes on the hood, roof, and truck, different from the truck body.

If you have a two-tone truck, write down the U and L, each with their paint code. This refers to the upper and lower colors on the truck and the bumper color if it’s a car.

Again, where to find a car’s paint code? A paint code contains three to six characters which is a unique code that indicates the car’s exact color. This code is in your car’s VIN if you need to repaint your car.

7. Honda

Paint Code Consists of Letters, Numbers, and Dashes

The paint code is usually on the driver’s door jamb in Honda vehicles. Honda’s paint codes may consist of letters, numbers, and dashes. Most Honda vehicles have a factory code if you order a Honda touch-up paint. This code specifies a distinct color variation.

11th Digit of the Vehicle’s VIN

Usually, a Honda factory code is on the lower right-hand corner of the vehicle’s ID Tag. It is also the 11th digit of the VIN of the vehicle. To be sure that you get the right color for your Honda vehicle, give them its specific factory code.

Honda uses the same color across many vehicle models as any other car manufacturer. And then, they will identify them with different color names. But it is still the same paint. So, you need to specify the paint code of your Honda vehicle to get the right paint color.

8. Hyundai

Locating the paint code in Hyundai vehicles is very easy. Hyundai usually places it on the edge of the door or the driver’s side door jamb. The paint codes of all Hyundai vehicles are found in these two places, except for the Hyundai Excel.

On Hyundai Excels, the paint code is located on the firewall. Hyundai paint codes consist of two characters. They can be numbers or letters, or a combination of both.

9. Nissan

In the case of Nissan vehicles, their paint codes are usually found on the VIN sticker, particularly on the bottom of the sticker with the headline “COLOR.” These paint codes are only three digits long and can be composed of numbers and letters.

At times, Hyundai uses paint codes followed by small spaces and a fourth digit which can be omitted. If the label was removed, you could call Nissan at 1-800-647-7261 or its local dealer. They will need your vehicle’s VIN to get the paint code.

10. RAM

You can also easily find the paint codes of RAM vehicles. Typically, the color code will be located underneath the barcode of the sticker or at its bottom. The paint code will have the usual labeling of “PNT” or “PAINT.”

You can also find GM paint codes on the vehicle’s firewall, the door jamb, the core support, or the strut tower.

11. Toyota

It is also easy to locate the paint code in a Toyota vehicle. Open the driver’s door and look for the VIN sticker attached to the door jam on the driver’s side. Usually, this sticker contains 17 digits. Under the VIN is the paint code. It consists of three digits, which are preceded by “C/TR.”

12. Volkswagen

Finding the paint code of Volkswagen vehicles is also very easy. Go to the rear of your VW vehicle and examine its rear compartment or its rear deck lid. You can also find its paint code inside the spare tire wheel or under the trunk mat.

But finding the paint code of a VW Touareg can be tricky. You may have to look elsewhere if you can’t find it under the trunk mat or inside the spare tire wheel.

Nature of Vehicle Paint Codes

All car manufacturers worldwide use paint codes for their vehicles to properly identify the type and hue of body color and paint of their vehicles. A paint code identifies a unique code consisting of three to six or even more characters.

The coding system uses a combination of letters and numbers. Pinpointing the precise color of your vehicle is important because it will guarantee the color accuracy of your car paint should you need to retouch the paint color of your car.

What Is VIN Number’s Function

paint code by vin number dodge

The VIN of your vehicle is essential in identifying the exact color of your car. This is a unique code assigned to your vehicle by its manufacturer. All cars are assigned their VINs by their respective manufacturers.

There are no spaces in between the numbers on the VIN. The letters Q, I, and O are not used in VINs. In other words, you won’t find these letters in any VIN that was ever released in any vehicle on the market. These letters are not used to avoid confusing them with the numbers 1 and 0.

Every character on the VIN represents a specific piece of information about the vehicle. It usually includes the factory, year of manufacture, and country of origin.

This number also includes information about the vehicle’s make and model and its serial number. The printing of the VIN is always done on just one line.

The VIN becomes important to you if you want to retouch your vehicle’s paint. You will need your vehicle’s paint code, and you can find it on its VIN. With the paint code, you can assure that the color you are painting your car with is the right color.

Frequently Asked Questions

The topic of paint code by VIN has elicited many questions from car owners. Here are several responses to these questions that will help you better understand VINs role and importance to your car’s color:

How Can I Be Sure That I Am Using the Right Paint for My Car?

To be sure that you have the right hue of your car’s paint color, you need to use its paint code. You can find this paint code in the VIN of your car. The VIN of your car contains lots of information about your car. That includes its specific color code.

Can You Find the Paint Color of a Car by Its VIN Number?

Yes, you can determine the specific color of your car if you know its VIN. The VIN is like a fingerprint of your car. It contains so much data about your car, including its color code.

Once you know this paint code, you can go to your car dealer and order the exact paint that matches the color of your car. You can also use the VIN to search for the color code on other platforms.

Where Is the Paint Code in the VIN Number of My Car?

In some vehicles, the color codes of certain vehicles are indicated in their VINs. For example, in Toyota vehicles, the VIN sticker contains 17 digits. Under the VIN is the color code of the vehicle. Usually, it comprises three digits which are preceded by “C/TR.”

How Do You Read a Paint Code?

Paint codes are composed of several characters; usually, they are numbers. The numbers range from 0 to 99. In some color codes, ’00’ means the color is very close to the green hue. A ’99’ means the color is very close to the Blue hue.

Conclusion: Paint Code by VIN

In fixing minor scratches in your car, you can’t just use paint similar to the color of your car. You must use the specific color applied by the car manufacturer. This particular color you can find in the paint code indicated in your vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number).

It is a unique code that all motor vehicles are given after their manufacturing processes have been completed. You can find this VIN on the hood or your car’s windshield.