V.I.N Number Motor Decode rules:  For only old Suzuki Sidekicks and similar Trackers.
Vehicle Identification Numbers.  ( and engine codes, used only in USA)
USA /Canada  Suzuki Sidekicks, Vitara's and GM GEO Trackers.  10 years 89-98'                                          

Each Manufacture, codes the VIN differently in many respects, and I see European VIN that even avoid the year codes.

We  (USA) do not use true  body tags nor simple chassis numbers, we use the VIN TAG and GM (GM) has a glove box door  My RPO sticker showing  build options.
RPO means,
Regular Production Option (GM Parlance)  SEE NEW MASTER LIST
In USA we have 2 tags, the VIN number strip and the under hood, sticker (look up)  See the words, USA federal or California there.
or 3 Tags, counting the GEO (GM) TRACKER RPO sticker.   (I'm not mentioning the door jam tire stickers)
In the USA. the California marked cars can be quite different in nature.  Smog. The Calif cars never have a  mileage NAG switch.
Never mix ECU parts or Smog parts from USA Fed cars, to USA Calif. cars. 
The VIN rules vary by country and market.
In USA we have the 17 digit SAE , DOT Strip.  That fails to show which tranny is in the car or if it's a G16A or B,  8v or 16v motor.
Many Vitara's , have not a real VIN  but just a  simple body Serial tag. (on old cars)
There are JDM Vitara's sold all over the world with almost no tag data codes, at all.
JDM means , to be sold to the Japanese Domestic Market or to anyone with cash and no smog rules.  (lots are found the world over, like this)
Some JDM  cars, have no oxygen sensor, no EGR and not CAT. That are tuned for low CO, or carbon Dioxide (using a set of resistor jumper blocks or a Pot.)
All JDM cars, the documents (FSM/operator guides, etc. ) are in Japanese, and unreadable by Western standards.

Then, there are the Vitara tagged cars,  that are made and sold all over the world.  Here is a very common VITARA tag.
See some here.

Besides the Suzuki factories in  Hamamatsu City , and Iwata Japan

The old  the Canadian plant  (GM now)  now shut down for Vitara's/Trackers and Sidekicks ,  CAMI.com
Cami even made Vitara's and sold them to Germany, for years, with the German market code..
Iwata Japan SUZUKI, even made Sidekicks/Trackers in 1989 (first ever) and made them for Cami in 1998 due to Cami shut down for refit.

Vitara's were made here too:  I have no DECODES for these cars.
Magyar   in Hungary.

Santana of Spain.

The body tags, all help you do many things, to know what parts fit your car, and to know what smog options you have and what tests work on your car.
The cars vary in design greatly by country or  market. ( by DOT , EPA, or other  other country government ruling bodies, safety ,etc...)

The latest news, it the a SUZUKI is shutting down all USA new car Sales of Suzuki cars, not motorcycles, stating "DIFFICULT USA REGULATIONS." 

USA VIN means Vehicle Identification Numbers    {off site decoder }( a 17 digit number)

If the first 3 Characters do not use WMI conventions it is not A VIN.   The Chassis ID code of  JSAxxxxxx   is chassis code and is NOT a VIN.

USA: VIN decoded by hand. (using FSM chapter 0)

Example 1: A total break down.
JS3 T  D  2 1 C  ?  V 4  100001  
JS3 = (WMA coded) J means made in Japan. S3 means Suzuki,  (for 2S3 , the 2 means CAMI made , Canada. Ingersoll, Ontario Canada)
T: car line Sidekick
D= Gross veh weight class 2 door I think.  E is 4door weight.
2= Engine type (usa is always 0 or 2)  0=  89-98 8v or 16v  2 = 1.8L     sadly, SUZUKI does not publish all codes used , unless you buy every FSM they ever made.
1= design Sequence
C=  body type C= Canvas 2door.   V= hardtop Van 4door
? -  check digit.   (a check sum code,  rule that adds up all numbers and letters, to make sure there is no typo) 
V= Year = 1997 see table at end of this page.
4 = Assembly plant ,  Iwata Japan.    12.5km South of the USA Military base, in Yokosuka Japan.   code 6 = Ingersoll, Ontario Canada , aka CAMI.
100001 = serial number of car body. ( I  made that up)

Notice the missing transmission type.!

VIN 2  Example USA:  THIS ONLY WORKS FOR GM GEO'S!  , Note how GM move the engine code out 2 places from 6th to 8th.  GM engine codes are very Unique to GM.
GM Tracker example.   The GM RPO codes are more clear , showing all "AS BUILT" OPTIONS (ie: ufiche)
JGC BJ  1 8 U ? K W 930015 
JGC (WMA coded) J = Japan, the GC means  early made Geo trackers made in Japan, before April 89',  code 2CN  is CAMI made and the C = CAMI made. 2= Canada.
BJ = Tracker  (B= 2001 to 4000  lbs "light truck", hydraulic brakes,  J= 4X4 drive,  E= 4x2.(BE)
1 =  Weight class 1/2 ton
8=  Utility type (Tracker)
U=   Engine code = 8v 1.6L  RPO LS5  and VIN 6 VIN=  RPO L01 ,16v 1.6L EFI .   Parlance ? CODE 6 means 8 valve TBI EFI engine, Code U means valve MPI EFI engine.
? = check digit
K=  year, see table below page.  K= 1989
W= IWATA japan assembly plant  , code 6 = Ingersoll, Ontario Canada , aka CAMI.
930015 is chassis serial number.

We even see Geo Trackers made in JAPAN 1989, and have very odd VIN prefixes.  2JS   ( also done during the 1998 CAMI shut down and Refit)
Engine codes at GM and Suzuki recycle over long time periods.
Below are the OLD , early 90's codes.

Just looking at the motor will tell you what you have.  16 Valves is stamped, on top of motor,  the 8valve has a throttle body and a black painted, valve cover..

Do not forget to look at the motor serial number , it contains the MOTOR ID. and the year (USA only), it was  made.  See the "T"?, that means 1996.
The Motor year code follows the  same rule sets at the VIN year, (10th digit). See end of this document for this data.
The USA 5 speed transmission , on top of BELL has this same year code.
Outside the USA the Engine serial number may not contain a year code at all.
The Fact that California banned  8V engine (C.A.R.B smog regs) in 1994, one can say that the code U in 1994 is a California car. but that is wild stretch of imagination.
The RPO tag is the authority here, as is the hood tag, The Hood tag (some hoods  were crushed in a collision and are missing the tags, but not the RPO)
The CAL car has no NAG Switch. (only the FED car 1989-1995)
The VIN does NOT ENCODE, CALIFORNIA or FEDERAL at all.  (shocking?)

MPI means Multipoint Injection, 4 injectors ,the TBI means Throttle body Injection and 1 Injector.

Suzuki Engine codes, unified by me :   Look here too:
Other body cars by Suzuki use unique codes for engines.  ( code 6 (Reno 2.0L) means different things on non Vitara kick bodies)
6th Digit SUZUKI  VIN, ( these codes are not GM)  , all are SOHC , unless stated differently.    Code 5 is a hair puller.
MFI = MPI  all SOHC unless stated otherwise.
0 - 1.6l (1590cc) TFI   G16A  + 8th digit is body code>, C=8v and V=16v !  (in 1996+ body code can be "C" or "V" for 16v)
0 - 1.6l (1590cc) MFI ,  G16B.  body code V. 
1 - RARE 1.6l  (1590) MFI    G16B  body code S  X90 Only.  (may have 1995.5 EGR intake manifold)
2 - 1.8l (1843cc) MFI DOHC  body code V.  J18A motor.  CALLED A SUZUKI SPORT. used only on SV418  (wide frame for larger engines now and future.)
3 - 1.3l (1298cc) TFI   , body code C (8th digit)  engine code 3 is for only   Sammi , code 5 only for  Sidekicks.
5 - 1.3l (1298cc) Carb  Sidekick  1989 only (1/2 this and the reset code 0 engines G16A)
5 - 1.3l (1298cc) TFI
5 - 1.3l (1324cc) Carb
5-  2.0L (1997cc) MFI  DOHC I-4  J20 (notice how code 5 was stolen in later years. 1999+ Vitara's
D- There are H20 (1/2 Mazda) V6 engines all over, the world, circa 1994, but not in the USA, (maybe  a few in Canada , gray market)
6-  2.5L (2494cc) MFI  DOHC V6  H25,eg :Grand  Vitara 99'  H25 Engine. There are H20 (1/2 Mazda) V6 engines all over, the world, circa 1994.
9-  2.7L (2736cc) MFI DOHC  V6 H27
1-  3.2L  N32 engine used in very new Suzuki';s N32 engine in Grand Vitara's 2010  (code 1, repeats again)

There are 56 engines,  and the codes are pretty much a secret. 
Suzuki loves to reset codes, making them very very hard to track.  (a 1 digit VIN makes this near impossible  A to Z and 0 to 9 is 36 possible codes.....  )
On newer cars, they have 2 digit engine codes.(Seen in Europe)
Gleaned from about 10  FSM books.
Note the the silly code zero (IMO) for G16A and B,  gets you wrong parts every time, or 1/2 the time.  THANKS SUZUKI, for that GREAT IDEA ? G16B should have been code 2. Dang !

Suzuki VIN 10th digit Decode: {For YEAR}   { this chart  works for Engine serial number year codes , too, USA }
Some Country's don't use a year code, and most non USA engines, do not have the year code on the engine serial, nor on the transmission serial.,like ours do.
Code Year
Code Year
Code Year
Code Year
A = 1980
L = 1990
Y = 2000
A = 2010
B = 1981
M = 1991
1 = 2001
B = 2011
C = 1982
N = 1992
2 = 2002
C = 2012
D = 1983
P = 1993
3 = 2003
D = 2013
E = 1984
R = 1994
4 = 2004
E = 2014
F = 1985
S = 1995
5 = 2005
F = 2015
G = 1986
T= 1996
6 = 2006
G = 2016
H = 1987
V = 1997
7 = 2007
H = 2017
J = 1988
W = 1998
8 = 2008
J = 2018
K = 1989
X = 1999
9 = 2009
K = 2019

Manufacture Prefix codes:
World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) for Vehicle Identification Number (VIN prefix) {off site}

Example 1:
MY  Canadian Geo Tracker 1991   This code tells you where car was made but never tells you what country the car was built to operate.  (see market codes)
2CNBE-18U5M-6907XXX    ( the E code is 2x4 and I changed over car to 4wd  2CNBJ)
A short list , the list is HUGE.
North America 1 - 5
1A-10 United States
2A-20 Canada
3A-3W Mexico
3X-37 Costa Rica
38-30 not assigned
4A-40 United States
5A-50 United States

Examples , more prefixes, common.

VS= Suzuki Spain   (common in Europe)  or VEET .

J S =Suzuki Japan  (this is not a VIN but a chassis number)
JSAETA01V00110961  ( just an example of a  UK  Vitara )  Made in Japan. For Europe.

Each character or digit on the USA VIN Number has a particular purpose:
Manual decodes:
To understand it click here:

To decode it , click here.:


Google "VIN decode", works for N. American cars with real VIN codes. and does not work for Chassis numbers.
A Free Decoder

Chassis tag number and letter decoding, is very complex (varies greatly by generation and has no world standards) ask for help on the forum.
See the slide show for prime examples

Other codes?
The tire pressures are on the drivers door jamb.
The real manfucturing date, (not cars model year that is VIN year) is on the same door jamb.
Keep in mind that, for example, a car might be made in July 30th 1995 but is for sales as a new 1996 year model  (USA has laws that control year model and smog rules for same...)
Some Car parts vary by build date and body VIN code serial, numbers. (see Suzuki Parts catalogs, they show this clearly)

Crime data base lookup for VIN# history free.

Look  here for Suzuki Engine History?

rev 10  1-28-2013 , added more facts. (edits 6-1-2014) corrected WMA error.