Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Understanding Your Tire's Markings

The sidewall of your tires is filled with important information that tells you everything you need to know about your tire. The numbers can be a bit overwhelming to the untrained eye, so the best way to understand tire markings is to take an example and break it down, bit by bit.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Automotive 101: VIN Decoding

Have you ever wondered what a vehicle's VIN number means? Wonder no more as we break down the 17-digit sequence of numbers and letters to help you decode any VIN number. 

The 17-digits in a VIN can be divided into three groups:

  • World Manufacturer Identifier - the first three letters and numbers of the VIN
  • Vehicle Descriptor - letters and numbers in positions 4 through 9
  • Vehicle Identifier - letters and numbers in positions 10 through 17
Here are the basics for each position:

#1 - The first letter or number identifies what region your vehicle was made in.
  • A, B, C, D, E, F, G & H = Africa
  • J, K, L, M, N, P & R = Asia
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y & Z = Europe
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = North America
  • 6 & 7 = Oceania
  • 8 & 9 = South America
#2 - The second letter or number tells you what country the vehicle was made in. Vehicles are currently made in over 80 countries, which translates into approximately 600 country codes.

#3 - This letter or number represents the kind of vehicle. Manufacturers use this number to identify vehicles as cars, trucks, vans, etc. It is important to note that each automobile manufacturer uses a different code for this position. 

#4, #5, #6, #7, & #8 - These letters or numbers represent the vehicle model, engine type, body style, and other information pertinent to the vehicle. Similar to the third letter or number, each manufacturer uses different codes for these positions. 

#9 - This is the "check digit" which helps you to determine if you are looking at a correct VIN. It is unrelated to the vehicle.

#10 - Vehicle model years can be determined by this position. It is important to remember that this digit may be different from when the vehicle was actually manufactured because many manufacturers start production on the upcoming model year in the previous year. Since each letter or number has been assigned to two different years, you must look at the 7th letter or number in the VIN to determine which year it applies to. If the 7th digit is a number, the vehicle was made before 2010. If it is a letter, the vehicle was made after 2010.

#11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16 & #17 - These positions represent the vehicle's unique information. For example, the name of the assembly plant, additional options, or the production sequence number may be included in these positions. Again, these digits vary between the different automotive companies so be sure to verify the information with the appropriate manufacturer.

For more information about your vehicle's unique VIN number, contact us at 217-935-3106. We're happy to answer any questions you might have no matter what make or model you drive!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy 65th Anniversary, F-Series! (1948 - 2013)

 On January 16, 1948, the Ford Motor Company publicly revealed the iconic F-1 pickup, beginning the F-Series legacy of tough trucks. Since 1948, more than 32 million trucks have proudly worn the F-Series badge. These legendary trucks have been the best-selling pickups for 36 consecutive years, and America's overall best-selling vehicle for 31 years. As Ford looks forward to the future of Built Ford Tough, it is appropriate to celebrate the 1948 Ford F-1 pickup that started it all. Happy 65th anniversary and long may you run.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The ATLAS Concept Truck-The Future of Pickup Trucks

DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2013 – Ford today unveiled the Ford Atlas Concept to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.
“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
Design with purpose
The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image. 
“We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds – professionally and personally,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look.”
Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features. For example, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.