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How To Find Gear Ratio By Vin?

Discussion Topic: How To Find Gear Ratio By Vin

A car’s gear ratio is crucial for ensuring proper functioning and efficiency. Several methods can be employed to determine the gear ratio of a vehicle. One of the most convenient ways to calculate this important data is through a car’s 17 digit VIN number. You can find the gear ratio in the VDS part of the VIN, which contains information on a car’s model, brand, and gear ratio. However, certain VIN numbers may not include this information, requiring drivers to use alternative methods to find the gear ratio. Seeking professional help, inspecting the differential housing, or consulting the dealership are just a few other methods that can be utilized to obtain this important data.

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What Is a VIN Number?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is assigned to every vehicle, consisting of 17 digits that provide crucial information about the vehicle. Decoding a VIN plate may seem daunting, but there is a simple system to make it easier.

Here’s how to interpret each digit on a VIN number:

  • The first number indicates the vehicle’s country of origin.
  • The second character represents the car manufacturer.
  • The first character reveals the vehicle’s division or type.
  • The fourth to eighth characters offer details on the car’s brand, engine, model, gear ratio, and series.
  • The ninth digit is the manufacturer’s security authorization code.
  • The tenth character denotes the car’s model year.
  • The eleventh character identifies the plant where the car was manufactured.
  • The remaining characters form the unique vehicle production number.

To decode your VIN number, you can use free VIN checkers available online. Alternatively, you can seek assistance from a mechanic who will provide you with important information derived from your car’s VIN plate.

How Do I Find My VIN Number?

The location of a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can vary among different vehicles. It is a legal requirement to have a VIN plate, so if you are unable to locate one on your car, it may be due to not checking the right place.

To assist you in finding the VIN number, here are some commonly found locations:

  • Under the hood, often situated on the front engine block.
  • Driver’s side of the dashboard, typically where the dash meets the windshield.
  • On a sticker inside the driver’s side door.
  • On the vehicle’s title and registration documentation.

Once you have successfully located the VIN sticker, you can proceed with decoding it to determine your car’s gear ratio.

Why Is It Important To Know Your Gear Ratio?

Knowing your vehicle’s gear ratio and understanding its importance can greatly enhance your driving experience. Gear ratios not only determine the maximum speed for each gear but also play a crucial role when you change your car’s tires. While modifying a car’s gear ratio is commonly associated with muscle cars and trucks, the benefits extend beyond just performance enhancements.

By altering the gear ratio, you can achieve various advantages:

  • Enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Reduced wear and tear on specific components
  • Increased towing capacity
  • Improved acceleration and speed
  • Enhanced torque in different gears

Altering the gear ratio is particularly beneficial when towing heavier loads, as it provides the necessary power across gears to handle the additional weight. Moreover, a higher torque output leads to better acceleration for your vehicle.

What Does Gear Ratio Mean on Cars?

Gear ratio is an essential concept in understanding car mechanics. To find your gear ratio by VIN, we first need to clarify what it means.

In simple terms, a car’s gears consist of an input gear and an output gear, both attached to the engine and road wheel sides of the gearbox, respectively. Each gear, ranging from 1 to 5, uses a unique-sized cog and exhibits a distinct gear ratio.

For instance, first gear is primarily responsible for initiating motion, requiring a gear ratio tailored for this purpose. Notably, the input gear in first gear is considerably smaller than the input gear in fifth gear. When the input gear outpaces the output gear, the resulting high gear ratio generates significant torque. This torque facilitates the transition from a stationary position to movement.

As the car progresses and gains momentum, less torque is required to shift through the gears. Consequently, in fifth gear, where the input gear surpasses the output gear in size, a lower gear ratio ensues.

To determine a car’s gear ratio, divide the number of teeth on the input gear by the number of teeth on the output gear. This calculation delivers valuable insights into the vehicle’s performance characteristics.

How to Find Gear Ratio by VIN

If you want to avoid the hassle of manually inspecting your car’s gear system, there’s a much simpler way to determine its gear ratio. By examining the fourth to eighth digits of the VIN number, known as the vehicle descriptor section (VDS), you can find crucial information about your vehicle.

However, please note that not all manufacturers include the gear ratio in the VDS. To confirm whether your VIN contains the gear ratio, you can utilize a reliable online VIN checker or decoder, which is typically available at no cost.

In the event that your car’s engine completes 3.73 rotations per wheel spin, the gear ratio would be represented as 3:73:1. If the gear ratio is indeed included in the VIN, you should find “3731” within the VDS.

In summary, the VDS section of the VIN comprises characters that signify various details about the vehicle, including the mod brand and series. If the gear ratio is present in the VIN, this is where you will find it.

Other Ways to Work Out Gear Ratio

To find a car’s gear ratio, the VIN may not always provide the information. In such cases, there are other methods you can try. Here are some options:

  • Calculate the ratio by observing the number of rotations the back wheel of a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) car completes during one full turn of the drivetrain. For instance, if the wheel rotates 4 and a half times, the gear ratio would be 4.50:1.
  • Determine the gear ratio by counting the teeth on both the input and output cogs and dividing the number of teeth on the input by the number on the output.
  • Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual, which might have details about the gear ratio.

Count Your Wheel Turns For Gear Ratio

To ensure the accuracy of my truck’s tags, I had to verify the compatibility of the parts I used from various donors. An effective method is to determine the number of wheel rotations per drive shaft turn.

Follow these simple steps for a seamless process:

  • Secure the front tires with blocks to prevent any movement.
  • Elevate the back of the truck, clearing its rear tires from the ground.
  • Place the vehicle in neutral while it is off the ground.
  • Mark the driveshaft visibly, ensuring it is visible from a safe position.
  • Rotate the rear wheel towards the front of the car, counting the number of times the driveshaft completes one full revolution. This will provide you with the desired ratio.


Here are a few examples of gear ratios:

  • 2 ¾ rotations = 2.73 gears
  • Just past 3 rotations = 3.08 gears
  • 3 ¼ rotations = 3.27 gears
  • 3 ½ rotations = 3.55 gears
  • 3 ¾ rotations = 3.73 gears
  • Just under 4 rotations = 3.90 gears
  • Just past 4 rotations = 4.10 gears

Truck gear ratios are usually classified in two ways:

1) High range/low range: This system is commonly used to describe 4×4 trucks. It includes a high range ratio, which is used for highway speeds, and a low range ratio, which is used for off-road speeds. For instance, a 4×4 truck with a 3.55 rear axle ratio has a high range ratio of 3.55:1 and a low range ratio of 1:1. The “H” or “L” designations of the ratio’s numerator have no relation to high or low range; rather, they indicate the numerator of the ratio.

2) Standard/overdrive: The overdrive gear ratio’s numerator, typically higher than the standard gear, indicates whether the overdrive gear is engaged. If engaged, it is represented by “OD” (Overdrive) after the numerator; if not engaged, only the numerator is shown.

FAQs about How To Find Gear Ratio By Vin

How to Find the Gear Ratio from Vin Chevy?

The Chevrolet Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) begins with a country code in the second digit, followed by a “C.” The third digit indicates the year of manufacturing, while the fourth digits denote the assembly plants. Subsequently, a letter or a number appears as the next digit. Finally, the serial number concludes the VIN.

How to Find rear end gear ratio by VIN Dodge RAM?

If your Dodge RAM truck lacks a VIN identifier, you can locate the ratio sticker on the bottom of the axle tube. This sticker provides important information about your vehicle’s specifications.

How to Find rear end gear ratio by VIN ford?

The gear ratio on your Ford can be found on the SCC Label, which is located on the driver’s side door panel.

How to Find rear end gear ratio by VIN jeep?

To determine the end gear ratio of your Jeep, follow these steps:

  • Remove the differential cover.
  • Divide the number of teeth on the ring gear by the number of teeth on the pinion gear.

How to find rear end gear ratio by VIN?

You can find the gear ratio in the VDS section of the VIN.

How to Find Rear End Gear Ratio by VIN GMC?

To find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can typically check the driver’s side dashboard, the door jamb of the driver’s side door, or refer to the vehicle registration or insurance paperwork.

Once you have the VIN, decoding it reveals valuable information, such as engine type, body style, and available options. Specifically, gear ratio information can be found in the 8th to 10th characters of the VIN.

For GMC Sierra trucks, the gear ratio code is usually composed of a combination of numbers and letters. To determine the specific gear ratio code based on the VIN, you can utilize a VIN decoder tool.

How to identify rear end gear ratio?

There are three different methods to identify the rear-end gear ratio in an appealing and logical structure: Vin code, dividing the ring and pinion teeth count, and counting the wheel turns.

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “How To Find Gear Ratio By Vin?”

  1. The information you’re seeking is not included in the VIN. However, in some cases, specific models may have a single rear end ratio. The VIN provides details such as the country of manufacture, vehicle make, class, engine type, size, date of manufacture, plant, and serial number. GM typically provides this specific information as an RPO-code. In the past, RPO codes were printed on a sticker located in the glovebox. I’ve attached an image of the RPO sticker from my 1991 Suburban 2500 for reference.


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