Opel/Vauxhall engines and chassis (VIN) numbers: clearing the confusion

23/10/2017

Opel/Vauxhall engine numbers and chassis (VIN) numbers have long been a source of confusion. In this article, we explain in detail how you should ‘read’ these numbers more efficiently when looking for parts or kits.

Engine numbers: the first two digits refer to the manufacturing plant

Some engine numbers in the Opel/Vauxhall group start with “02” or “20”, followed by six more digits. It’s important to know that only those last six digits identify the engine number; the first two digits merely refer to the production plant. 

For example: engine numbers beginning with “02” are engines made in the Bochum production plant. The first engine ever manufactured there was labelled “02000001” – the “02” at the start identifying, as we’ve explained, the Bochum plant. When they reached number “02999999”, they changed to “02A00001” (all the way up to “02A99999”), followed by “02B000001” till “02B99999”. They inevitably ran out of numbers again, taking recourse to “02Z99999”, and later to “02AA0001”, even “02AB0001”, etcetera.

Besides the “02” which stands for Bochum, here’s a list of other engine numbers you may come across, and the manufacturing plants they refer to: 

  • 01: Ruesselsheim
  • 20: Szentgotthard
  • 08: Ellesmere Port
  • 11, 14 and 17: Kaiserslautern
  • 19: Aspern
  • 25: Holden
  • 31: Brazil

This insight helps clarify the rather complicated information you find in certain parts catalogues. Take the Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16V, for example: 

 

Chassis number: 11th character refers to the manufacturing plant

VIN numbers consist of 17 characters, the last 8 of which are listed in the parts catalogue. Let’s look at an Opel Vectra B 2.5 24V, for instance: 

 

If you are dealing with a vehicle with a chassis number ending in “W5204751”, this could cause confusion. After all, “W5204751” is lower than “W5276825” (meaning kit K015453XS would be the appropriate choice) but higher than “W1285447” (which points to K025453XS as the kit you need). Yet when you realize that the number in position 11 represents the manufacturing plant and does not belong to the serial number, it becomes clear that K015453XS is the correct kit for the car in question.



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