VIN # vs. engine serial # -- any correlation ?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by X--Eliminator, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. I'm looking at a '99 Subie that a guy is selling and he has stated
    that he replaced the engine. I'm concerned that he is not telling the
    truth because he says that he has lost the paperwork that shows that
    he bought & had the rebuilt engine installed.

    I want to know is there any correlation between the VIN # and the
    stamped engine number so that I can look at the engine and be able to
    see whether the engine in the car is actually the original engine....
    ie. are there any numbers on the stamped (EJ22) engine number that
    are the same, or can be shown to be the same (in order to prove that
    this was the original engine).

    I seem to recall that (in the olden days) some US motorcycles & cars
    had the same numbers on the engine stamp that were the same as a few
    sequential numbers from the VIN # (or that had a readable &
    discernable code).
    X--Eliminator, Nov 13, 2005
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  2. Not an expert, but... my understanding is that cars built in the last couple
    decades heve the VIN number stamped in the major components, including the
    engine, to identify valuable parts that might get funnelled through "chop
    shops." I don't know where the markings are, though.

    Michael Pardee, Nov 13, 2005
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  3. X--Eliminator

    Edward Hayes Guest

    Edward Hayes, Nov 13, 2005
  4. replacing an engine in a Subaru...?
    Don;t buy it!

    Wilco van Diest, Nov 13, 2005
  5. X--Eliminator

    Bonehenge Guest

    It could have been hit.
    Bonehenge, Nov 13, 2005
  6. X--Eliminator

    Mike Lloyd Guest

    I think a CARFAX would be a cheap and easy way to tell if it's been lost,
    stolen, damaged or otherwise. A '99 shouldn't need a new engine unless it's
    got a ton of miles on the clock or was in a wreck. For cheap price of a
    carfax report it is a world of "peace of mind".

    Alternatively, call the guy's shop who supposedly did the repair and he
    should have it on file somewhere perhaps.

    Mike Lloyd, Nov 14, 2005
  7. FWIW, I have limited faith in Carfax. It showed my daughter's Honda used to
    be a fleet car, although the title showed I bought it from the original
    owner, a private party who bought it new. Carfax also didn't mention that it
    had been stolen and recovered, as the owner admitted.

    Michael Pardee, Nov 14, 2005
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    Josh Assing Guest

    FWIW, I have limited faith in Carfax. It showed my daughter's Honda used to
    A friend was tossing a lot of faith into carfax... I gave him the VIN to two
    cars of mine -- both junk yard recoveries.... ie: Salvage Titles.

    One was in a wreck so bad, it was easier to cut the frame & re-weld most of it.
    The other was rolled & was part of a drunk driving, vehicular homicide

    Both these cars showed up as clean titles.

    A BMW I just bought would show me as the 2nd owner, however, I have contacted 3
    of the owners.. so; I'm at least the 5th owner (didn't talk to original owner &
    there may have been another person in the line).

    My take on carfax is this:

    if it shows an accident, it probably was in one. if it shows clean -- then do
    more investiagation.. We used carfax for the BMW purchase only to verify
    millage... it was pretty acurate.

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    Josh Assing, Nov 14, 2005
  9. X--Eliminator

    Mike Lloyd Guest

    like I said... if it shows an accident then it's a pretty sure deal.... same
    goes for stolen. if nothing shows, then you are out $10 and keep
    investigating. I believe in taking the path of least resistance.
    Mike Lloyd, Nov 14, 2005
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    Edward Hayes Guest

    Skip all this messing around and losing sleep. Skip this car as it
    sounds like headache and find another with a clean record.
    Edward Hayes, Nov 14, 2005
  11. X--Eliminator

    lkreh Guest

    I agree with your take on Carfax. It's not infallible, it's just one
    tool among many (your eyes are probably the best tool) that should be

    As far as the original poster's question, you should follow-up with the
    repair shop where the engine work was performed. If they have no
    service records, I'd pass on that car. Owners that aren't careful
    enough to keep service records probably aren't that careful with
    service. There are enough 98's and 99's out there worth buying that
    you can afford to walk away from this one.
    lkreh, Nov 14, 2005
  12. X--Eliminator

    DG Guest

    I wouldn't necessarily walk away from this deal as others have recommend.
    This car may have had the shortblock replaced due to piston slap that
    affected the '99 DOHC engines very commonly. If that is the case, then I
    would consider the "engine replacement" a definite advantage!!
    DG, Nov 15, 2005
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