The Vehicle identification number (VIN) can provide a variety of information on a person’s vehicle, which of course includes the type of auto glass. While the 17 digit VIN gives an auto glass technician some knowledge on the vehicle, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t outline the exact windshield or parts needed to repair it. In fact, it does not include the glass part number for the vehicle. That’s often when an auto glass professional will use a decoder to help narrow down the list of materials needed for their project, and the potential glass needed for the windshield.
“Recently I have heard people in the industry tell me that they have a VIN decoder that picks out the right windshield for a vehicle. In my experience, the decoders may not complete the assignment,” Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants Inc., said. This can be seen through the list of options a VIN decoder software program produces.
“I conducted a training course where we had to replace a 2015 Jeep Cherokee windshield. When we typed the VIN into the decoder on my software, it gave us over 20 windshields to choose from,” Beranek added.
Time is key especially when needing to find the right solutions for your customers. That’s one of the benefits in using a decoder. It allows a technician to get vehicle information at a faster rate. Some in the industry even recommend contacting the dealer if need be to find the correct windshield if it’s not clear after your decoder search.
This is part one of a series on VIN. Look out for the second part in a future glassBYTEs article.