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Matthew Wright

Free Site Gives Instant Details on Your Vehicle

By January 5, 2009

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EDIT: What started out as a free, good thing has turned into something else. The links below will now tell you that you need to be a member to access this information. Oh well, nothing's really free, is it? -- Matt

Does your car have the 3.2-liter or the 3.5-liter engine? Is it the dual overhead cam setup? These are questions that pop up all the time at the parts counter. It may not seem important, but many vehicles have different parts throughout and the engine size or transmission setup tells the clerk at the auto parts store which part you need. If you don't know offhand, sometimes it's as easy as walking out to the car. But what if your car is sitting on jack stands and you drove your son's car to the parts store? You can go back home to get the info, or you can buy all of the possible variations of the part and figure it out when you get home.

The key is to be prepared, and we've found a site that will tell you in 2 seconds what setup you have in your car. Pronto.net's VIN decoder makes it so easy to get your vehicle's details it feels like stealing. Nope, you're just taking advantage of a free service that happens to be ridiculously simple. All you have to do is enter your car's Vehicle Identification Number (or VIN) and it gives you the goods. You can find your VIN on your title, registration, insurance card, or through the windshield on the left side of the dashboard. Check it out, and be prepared for your next visit to the parts store.

**In case you're thinking this is some sort of paid link situation or there's a catch, like having to sign up, it's not! See for yourself, it's just a single screen with a place to type your VIN. Big thanks to Ted for digging up this gem!

January 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm
(1) Dee Clark says:

This is a great site for the shade tree mechanic, except for one problem. I tried to get info on a 1978 ElCamino and got nothing. I did get info on a 2002 Olds. What are the years covered?

January 6, 2009 at 2:44 am
(2) Hew Saunders says:

That’s all?

January 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm
(3) Craig Erickson says:

I got no results for my 1963 Porsche and 1972 Blazer. Apparently they don’t go back too far historically but it’s helpful for newer cars.

January 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(4) Richard says:

The vehicle details are in the VIN digits and where they are placed in the VIN sequence. They are not retrieved from a database somewhere by this applet.
Google the manufacturer’s VIN codes.

January 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm
(5) Jim says:

There must be another step to the VIN search. I put in the VIN for my 2008 Impala and it brought up some parts wanted information. Nothing about the build of my car.

January 7, 2009 at 9:38 am
(6) Rob says:

Most VIN decoders cover 1981 and newer vehicles. Earlier VINs were only 11 digits, and gave less information. The 17 digit, 1981 and newer VINs give a wealth of information – all per standardized D.O.T. rules.

January 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(7) Russell says:

on 1976 to 1980 dodge pick ups the vin is 13 digits

January 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm
(8) dennis says:

I clicked on a sponsored link that said free vehicle report and dont get stuck with a lemon all it did was link up with Carfax and it was not free. nothing is free

January 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm
(9) Nick says:


January 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm
(10) Alfred Tirella says:

No mention of the transmission type or the rear axle gear ratio. Was wrong about the trim level of my vehicle.

January 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm
(11) John says:

got nothing

January 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm
(12) Jim says:

Be Careful putting your VIN on sites like this-

the VIN is all they need to cut a Key for your Vehicle past 1995.

January 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm
(13) roaddog says:

cant get that page to load is it still good?

January 19, 2009 at 2:03 am
(14) ship repairs Australia says:

Sounds like a handy tool, but from the comments here perhaps it still has some work to get it up to scratch and working on a broader range of makes / years.

January 28, 2009 at 8:09 am
(15) Pingle says:

Got nothing, worthless information, see all other comments, just a scam to get you to buy from Pronto

June 2, 2011 at 11:43 am
(16) Julie says:

Bull about being free and no catch. Takes you directly to site that says for “Pronto” members only!!
No deception there………

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