Need a few used car parts to fix up your vehicle on a budget? If so, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking for the right discount auto parts before you head to a salvage yard to pick them out. And to ensure you’re searching for the right vehicle components, you’ll need to know when your vehicle was made.

But even if you know your automobile’s model year, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what you need to know to purchase the correct parts for your ride.

What you really need to know is your car’s manufacturing or production date, which you can learn how to find below.

Locating Your Vehicle’s Manufacturing and Production Dates

To find your vehicle’s production date, open its driver’s-side door and look for a large sticker inside the door jam. That sticker should contain information about your vehicle’s weight, as well as its production month and year.

What if the print on the sticker is worn away or the sticker is completely gone? Look for your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), which you can decode to find its production date. Typically, VIN numbers are located toward the bottom of vehicle windshields, but if you don’t see yours there, you can also check out your registration or your insurance policy’s declarations page.

Once you find the VIN number, you can use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s VIN Decoder Tool to find your vehicle’s production date.

Manufacturing vs. Production Dates: What’s the Difference?

Although they might seem like basically the same thing, the manufacturing and production dates on your vehicle may be different.

That’s because a manufacturing date refers to the date on which a particular part was made. But that date does not necessarily refer to the date on which the entire vehicle was assembled.

A production date, on the other hand, is the date on which your vehicle was fully assembled, and therefore, produced. You may see this date written as a manufacturing-production date or simply a production date.

If your vehicle’s model year is 2016, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was actually made in 2016. There’s a better chance it was assembled in 2015 and rolled out for sale during the latter part of that year.

However, that’s not always true. Automakers are allowed to release next-model-year vehicles for sale to the public as early as January 2 of the preceding year.

So an automaker could release a 2024 vehicle as early as January 2, 2023. They’re also allowed to release new vehicles for public sale as late as December 31 of the corresponding year. 

If you’re at all unsure about when your ride rolled off the line, that sticker on the inside of the door jam or the vehicle’s VIN number will tell you exactly what you need to know.

Why Do You Need This Information?

You need to know your vehicle’s production date to find the correct used auto parts for your automobile because automakers frequently change the parts they install during production. That can be true even with same-model vehicles that were produced during the same calendar year. 

A particular model of car produced in February 2014 may not have all of the same parts as that same model of car produced in October 2014.

So if you don’t know the production month and year of your automobile, you could end up purchasing parts that don’t fit or work properly inside your vehicle. 

Get Quality, Discount Auto Parts in St. Paul, MN

Need parts for your car, truck, or SUV? Don’t want to pay full price? Then head over to Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul! Since 1929, we’ve proudly provided Twin Cities vehicle owners with an extensive selection of high-quality, used and discount auto parts, and we’re here for you, too.

Feel free to use our web-based parts search tool to browse our current inventory or download our parts search app to quickly and easily find the part you need. If you need something we don’t currently have in stock, just let us know, and we’ll do our best to get it for you.

To learn more, give us a call today at 651-717-4299 or contact us online with your questions or concerns, and we’ll reach out with additional information.