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Old 02-20-2007, 07:33 AM   #1
Zornorph
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:53 AM   #2
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I always took it to be CYA (covering your ass) in progress. The chance of making a mistake after having a VIN number really gets cut down. It's less risk than taking what the customer says at face value. I know that fellow-Nasioc-ers are educated about cars but the general populace might not know the difference from the MY05 to the MY06. They might think that any Impreza is an STi and the list goes on. At least that's my two cents.

Last edited by da-chaz; 02-20-2007 at 07:53 AM. Reason: Grammar :P
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:54 AM   #3
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I was asked for my VIN when I was buying 4 OEM lugnuts last week
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da-chaz View Post
I always took it to be CYA (covering your ass) in progress. The chance of making a mistake after having a VIN number really gets cut down. It's less risk than taking what the customer says at face value. I know that fellow-Nasioc-ers are educated about cars but the general populace might not know the difference from the MY05 to the MY06. They might think that any Impreza is an STi and the list goes on. At least that's my two cents.
Even non-forum people should know what year car they own but oh well
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:57 AM   #5
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Honestly i think it's a scam. IE: You get turbo exhaust gaskets. Then 6 months later you bring the car in under warranty for a blown motor. You have a stock turbo on the car but you may have returned it to stock. Why did you buy turbo exhaust gaskets?

See where i'm going with this.......
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:59 AM   #6
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It's the programming of the system they use. Instead of looking it all up in books, everything is in the computer. The computer now can tell all the parts based on vin.

It should be more accurate instead of manually going through the original manual/fiche and giving you a part that has been superseded/replaced.

--kC
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX2FFU View Post
Honestly i think it's a scam. IE: You get turbo exhaust gaskets. Then 6 months later you bring the car in under warranty for a blown motor. You have a stock turbo on the car but you may have returned it to stock. Why did you buy turbo exhaust gaskets?

See where i'm going with this.......

Conspiracy theory...
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:09 AM   #8
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I don't see what the big deal is...
Im in the same sort of business but work with machinery rather than cars.. You'd be surprized how many small differences there are and running changes. I would Hope that Subaru has far less of these changes than the machinery industry.

Information about the VIN/Serial number along with the parts I obtain are recorded by the manufactuer. WHat if people all over the country were replacing a specific part on a specific range or batch of machines/cars whatever. that may help the manufactuer identify a larger issue. I'm not sure if Subaru does this.

HOWEVER. the parts people should be astute enough to identify the common parts, and if nothing else, create lists or spreadsheets denoting interchangibilty. even for a new guy to take notes of things as he finds them while looking up a part for someone using their VIN.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:20 AM   #9
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in theory, it is to make sure you get the right parts.
but here is a fun exchange I had with my local dealership last fall.
me: I wanted to see if you have the following PN's in stock
they: I have to have your VIN
me: I just want to see if you have the parts there
they: we can't look up anything without a VIN
me: I have the part numbers!
they: can't do it w/o a VIN.
me: I'll call back.
(I go out to the car, write down the VIN, come back in, call back, go thru voicemail, get put on hold & disconnected, call back, etc, finally get the parts person back)
me: here's my VIN XXXXXXXXXXXX do you have PN ZZZZZZZZ?
they: oh, you don't need a VIN # for THAT!

amusingly, from other calls I learned they have no idea that there are some studs holding the DP to the turbo (it's not 5 bolts), or how many clips hold the underbody trim piece I ordered to the body (it takes four, they ordered two).
but, they were kind enough to ask why I wanted exhaust bolts, and to advise me that I was putting my warranty in danger.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:28 AM   #10
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I don't like it one bit, and I refuse to supply my VIN.

1) It's a way of tranferring liability to the customer: That's the VIN you supplied, it can't POSSIBLY be the wrong part!

2) It's a hassle. Why should I wait in line, go the desk, find out I need a VIN, go back to my car, find a pen, find paper, write the VIN, Is that a zero or an O?, come back, wait in line, wait for the monkey to punch in 16 characters, and then... "We don't have that part in stock, would you like to order it?" Prepay of course.

3) It creates a data base uniquely identifying: You, your car, the part. Whether or not we are being "tracked" is only a question of semantics. No, Subaru isn't doing this because they want to get in our business. BUT, IT IS A SEARCHABLE DATABASE!

The implications aren't hard to imagine. Say vehicle X is used in a homicide. It's unregistered, but the local dealerships cough up their records. Someone transposes a "1" for an "I" and suddenly you're being investigated for murder!

Here's another one. Let's say we decide that global warming is a real threat and all cars must have all stock functioning catalytic converters. Let's say that modifying a vehicles emissions system becomes a $1000 misdemeanor with up to 90 days in jail (equivolent to driving w/o tags).
Would it be hard to imagine the local cops going through the dealership records to find who recently purchased up-pipe gaskets?

Here's what I do if a dealership asks for VIN:
* First, "Just say no." Cause a delay, ask to see the manager.

* If that doesn't work, go to a different dealer. Make it clear, that they're losing business over a damned computer program.

* Don't have another local dealer? Buy online.

* Finally, offer to supply the first 8 (or so) digits of the VIN. This is a comprimise. They can still get all the information they need, but it does not uniquely identify the person and the car.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:29 AM   #11
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subaru is fairly good at not doing it, but there ARE changes that happen in the same model year. you may not even know about it, but bolts change, part sizes change... punching in the VIN lets you get the exact part instead of the most common one...
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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the vin# is to ensure that you get the right part. those people at the dealership don't know the difference between a bolt a gasket so they use the vin# and pn# to make sure that they don't screw up
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:10 AM   #13
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It's done to ensure that you get the right part, and it's also done for liability and legal reasons. Lets say you mow down a pedestrian in your Legacy wagon. A witness say that they saw somebody tearing off in some kind of wagon.

You show up at the dealership the next day to replace your hood, right side fender and your headlight or whatever. It's the same reason body shops need an accident report to do any work on your car. Works for hit and runts etc.

It's not a big deal really.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
subaru is fairly good at not doing it, but there ARE changes that happen in the same model year. you may not even know about it, but bolts change, part sizes change... punching in the VIN lets you get the exact part instead of the most common one...
Yeah I went to find out about fenders for my 02 and after they pulled the vin they were like. Well you have fenders made on OCT 01 to FEB 02 then you have
March 02 to June 02 then you have July 02 to OCT 02 and Nov02 to Feb 03. wich ones did you want I just want a fender that will fit my 02
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #15
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For the love of God people!!!!!!!!!

Here's the deal and quit listening to the people that think your VIN blew up the twin towers.

The VIN is a many digit number that among other things, lets the dealer know your build date. This is important because (for example) the brake pads on the 2004 WRX changed mid year. With the VIN, you will get the right brake pads. If you just walk in there with a part number you scoured off the internet (reason #1 why I no longer put part # in my FAQs), you will likely be sitting with your car on jackstands all weekend because you have the wrong part.

The VIN is also computer and/or shop required to look up ANY parts? Why? This is due to the reason above. It assures 100% that any parts given are suitable for your vehicle.

The only killer is when you do odd stuff, like say the H6 upgrade to the rear brakes. This changes your brake pads from 04 WRX to 02/03 Outback. This can and does cause some confusion with dealers. You can handle this by copying a random VIN off of eBay or using a reputable Subaru NASIOC vendor like Subie Gal, Annapolis Subaru, etc.

If you'd like to copy a random VIN off of ebay and wear your tin foil hat into the dealer, you could receive the wrong part. Will you then come here and complain?

VINs are NOT recorded at the dealership when you buy parts. Do you get that tin foil hat wearers? They have zero impact with regard to warranty work.

My VIN is JF1GG29694G803308

Feel free to post this on every internet site ever.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:22 PM   #16
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Unabomber is right.

For instance: The brake pads on the Legacy GT changed in mid model year in 2002. How would you know which kind you had unless you had the VIN or you took it apart and measured the minute differences between your pad and the other possible pad type?
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX2FFU View Post
Honestly i think it's a scam. IE: You get turbo exhaust gaskets. Then 6 months later you bring the car in under warranty for a blown motor. You have a stock turbo on the car but you may have returned it to stock. Why did you buy turbo exhaust gaskets?

See where i'm going with this.......

thats the dumbest thing I've read so far today.

And my service desk at the subaru dealership is within ear shot of the parts department. You'd be surprised at just how many people don't know information about their car. "Uh... its a 2004... no wait... 2002... uh..."

Parts even asks us service guys for the VIN for everything as well.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavrik View Post
thats the dumbest thing I've read so far today.
then you've missed some beauties!
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:31 PM   #19
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they took my vin at a dealership when i was buying race gas...kinda scary but i'm no longer under warranty anyway...but yah i was witness to this
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekw View Post
then you've missed some beauties!
Yeah, competition is hot today.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #21
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While it's generally safe to say that someone going into a subaru parts department of a subaru stealership, is probably getting parts for a subaru, there are those of us that use the engines/suspensions/whatever in other non-subaru toys.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limequat View Post
Here's what I do if a dealership asks for VIN:
* First, "Just say no." Cause a delay, ask to see the manager.
Maybe you should instead be polite to the person answering the phone, who most likely has little or no say in how the system was implemented, designed or deployed. After you give them the VIN and they give you the part, ask for the manager's name/extenstion and to be transferred to the manager with your complaints.

Otherwise you are just wasting everyone's time with someone who has little input into the process, and making everyone's day just a little more crappy.

Taking it out on the guy trying to help you is like berating the McD's counter person because you don't like trans fats and just saw "Supersize Me". They can't do a thing about it and the line just grows behind you.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
For the love of God people!!!!!!!!!

Here's the deal and quit listening to the people that think your VIN blew up the twin towers.

The VIN is a many digit number that among other things, lets the dealer know your build date. This is important because (for example) the brake pads on the 2004 WRX changed mid year. With the VIN, you will get the right brake pads. If you just walk in there with a part number you scoured off the internet (reason #1 why I no longer put part # in my FAQs), you will likely be sitting with your car on jackstands all weekend because you have the wrong part.

The VIN is also computer and/or shop required to look up ANY parts? Why? This is due to the reason above. It assures 100% that any parts given are suitable for your vehicle.

The only killer is when you do odd stuff, like say the H6 upgrade to the rear brakes. This changes your brake pads from 04 WRX to 02/03 Outback. This can and does cause some confusion with dealers. You can handle this by copying a random VIN off of eBay or using a reputable Subaru NASIOC vendor like Subie Gal, Annapolis Subaru, etc.

If you'd like to copy a random VIN off of ebay and wear your tin foil hat into the dealer, you could receive the wrong part. Will you then come here and complain?

VINs are NOT recorded at the dealership when you buy parts. Do you get that tin foil hat wearers? They have zero impact with regard to warranty work.

My VIN is JF1GG29694G803308

Feel free to post this on every internet site ever.
100% correct.

The catalog system Subaru uses requires the full VIN to filter correctly.

Also, it doesn't keep your VIN in a database. The VIN numbers are erased when the program is closed (often times even before that). They don't get stored or filed or anything else.

I can find almost any part number without a VIN, but sometimes it helps because there are odd model year splits and things that are just easier to make sure are correct with a VIN supplied.

If I remember I'll take a screenshot or something for the haters.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:28 PM   #24
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that's why subaru genuine parts asks for a vin number so that they can double check part #'s with your VIN. if you decide to not give your vin # then you won't be able to return parts because of your stupidity...
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:33 PM   #25
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Think of it this way, its better that they get your vin, and give the EXACT part you need rather then driving to the store and having your oil filter fall off because it wasnt the right size....
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