Engine serial number -> VIN

Can I get a VIN of the car when I have only the engine serial number? I bought a car with a replaced engine. I don’t know what the mileage is in the second engine. I only have his number. If I could find out VIN, I would know what the real engine mileage can be.

There is no central repository for vehicle history recording. AFAIK, you can’t backtrack a replacement engine S/N to an original VIN. And the VIN may include a reference to the engine type but not specifics. The “build sheet” may have that information. In the olden days, that was a separate piece of paper hidden in the car when it was built. Today, usually you open the glove box and there is similar information located on a label there. Maybe CARFAX has some info if the place that swapped the engine logged it with them…you might get close to the mileage if you see an oil change or registration with the odo reading included prior to the engine service.

If this was a used engine the mileage will not mean much . The service it got is more important . If rebuilt just doing the normal service is all you can do . If you bought from a dealer they might have an idea but not likely. This is one of those just drive on and hope for the best.

I ran across this VIN - engine number discussion and found iy amusing and informative

Might the auto recycler who removed the engine have a record of its # and the VIN of the car it was removed from?

Used parts usually have an inventory tag containing the VIN but that tag is long gone by now. I have been able to check vehicle history from the inventory tag.

The manufacture can track the engine number to the original vehicle but don’t expect anyone to give you the VIN, that is considered nonpublic information.

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You may be able figure out the model year for the original vehicle that sourced your replacement engine. Based on the engine s/n. And from that make a guess what the engine mileage is, based on average miles driven per year. Older Fords like my truck, each major sub-assembly has a date code.

If your car is used in a crime like a car bomb, the FBI will somehow be able to obtain this information easily!

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You sure? Aren’t DMV records of sales/purchases of motor vehicles available to the public? There must be a process to follow.

With just an engine serial number I don’t think there’s any easy way to get to a VIN and the donor car’s miles. Possible? Maybe, but not easy.

Somehow folks in the classic car restoration business are able to identify the vehicle’s matching parts numbers, “matching numbers” increases the value. Seems possible to verify the build dates are similar, but how they could tell each part was exactly the same as originally on vehicle, no idea unless they had the original build-sheet data.

Thanks Capt. Obvious. Who would have ever thought that law enforcement has resources the general public doesn’t?


@Rod-Knox, you haven’t posted in a coons age. Welcome back.

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Me and my pet coon Geraldine are enjoying record setting longevity “jtssanders” Thanks for your kind words.

I’m hoping your theory for this is one beer a day … lol .

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I don’t see how getting the VIN would lead to the mileage.

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The VIN is on the records of purchase/sale of a car; so is the number of miles on the odometer, at least in some states.

I don’t think that’s necessarily recorded when a vehicle is junked.

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Using the VIN, in most cases I have been able to find the auction information for the salvage vehicle.