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Joe Kiley

Joe is the Director of Software Development at DataOne Software. He joined DataOne in 2006 as a software developer, and currently directs the design and development of our products and services.
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Recent Posts

4 Common Questions About VIN Decoding and Transmissions

This post was updated Dec 2020 with the latest VIN number statistics

Determining the type of transmission installed in a vehicle from VIN alone has traditionally been a challenge. Through the 1990s and even well into the 2000s, most vehicles were offered by OEMs with both manual and automatic transmission options. And, while the NHTSA VIN standard requires OEMs to encode model and engine information into positions 4-8 of the VIN, no requirement exists for encoding transmission type. Even today, while most vehicles are offered with only an automatic transmission, more than 5% of vehicles produced for current model years have standard and manual options available and do not have transmission data encoded in the VIN.

This article explores four common questions about VIN decoding transmission data, and provides suggested solutions for increasing the match rate of decoded transmissions in your inventory or data feed.

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Topics: VIN, Vehicle Equipment

Five Best Practices for Storing Decoded Inventory Data

The effects of database design decisions regarding the acquisition and storage of decoded inventory data can be far reaching.  Mistakes early on can lead to poor database performance and sluggish load times for your users.  They can lead to a tangled web of database tables that is difficult and expensive for your programmers and database developers to keep straight, and near impossible for new team members to learn.  And, they can lead to poor use of data and missed opportunities to display thorough, accurate, and precise information about vehicles in inventory. 

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Use VIN Validation to Improve Inventory Quality

If you're using an automotive data provider for VIN decoding, you probably have a few vehicles in inventory that your data provider cannot decode. Some of these might be classic cars, vehicles sold in Europe or Asia then imported into the US, Trailers, or other types of vehicles that your data provider simply does not support. However, it's likely that some of these vehicles cannot be decoded because the VIN number is just plain incorrect, usually due to human error when reading the VIN off the vehicle. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to determine a VIN is invalid. You can employ these methods to isolate your invalid VINs and either make automated corrections or go back to the field to get the correct VIN off your vehicle.

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Topics: VIN