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How To Find The Touch Up Paint Code For Your Car

Author: Steve Savitzski  //  Category: Car Insurance

Almost all vehicles mass produced over the past twenty years or more have had paint codes attached to them when they left the manufacturer. The code is not part of the vehicle identification number (VIN) which is normally on the cowl at the base of the windshield. The majority of codes are a sequence of 2,3,4 or 5 alpha-numeric characters. In the event the color code details are underneath the hood, as it often is, it is usually on a stamped metal tag similar to a credit card. When it is located elsewhere on a vehicle, out of the weather, it is often printed on paper and covered with clear laminate.

The tag on which the paint code is found usually is loaded with lots of other data encoded on it regarding the specifications of that specific car or truck. In many cases the paint code is not labeled as such, it’s just in a number of codes.

Most codes can be found in one of 4 spots, beneath the hood, driver’s door or B pillar, inside the trunk or in the passenger area. If underneath the hood it could be on the cowl or firewall or on the radiator core support or on a number of vehicles it can be on the strut tower. If around the driver’s door it’s more likely on the B pillar, the post the door lock striker is on. When in the trunk it could be on the cover over the spare tire, in the well in which the spare tire is or on the bottom of the deck lid. When a code is in the inside of a vehicle it is almost always in the glove compartment or the bottom of the center console arm rest.

In case your automobile is an OEM two-tone make a note of that. Some manufacturers repeat the code two times to show “both” colors are the same. A number of manufacturers display the two different codes. Others show an individual code that is neither color but translates to both different colors/codes. Bear in mind your car may have been two-toned in a shop after it was produced even though it appears original.

An additional warning is there are uncommon cases of cars being “mis-coded”. Older cars and trucks might have never been color coded since there was just one single dark red available that year etc. In other cases the original code is missing because of age or prior repair.

Sample paint code tags employed by GM, Ford and Chrysler for the past twenty plus years are available at our website. Some tags also show the date of car production. Disregard that date, you need the model year for color purposes. Since 1980 the model year is the tenth character from the left in the VIN. The legend to de-code that character is available at our website.

Honda and Acura paint codes are more complicated than most. An explanation of Honda and Acura color code logic can be found at our website.

Before you can repair any car scratch you must ensure you identify your exact paint code. Find details for your car or truck and other car scratch repair tips here.. This article, How To Find The Touch Up Paint Code For Your Car is released under a creative commons attribution license.

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