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How to Find and Match Model and VIN Numbers on Honda Small Engines

Why Read This Article?

  • Match Honda small engine parts easy.
  • Tricks for finding and reading VIN #s.
  • Pictures of example Honda engine.

Article Breakdown

  • Model matching is especially important with Honda engines.

Honda Small Engine Number Matching

Two numbers must be matched:

1. The model number, and

2. The VIN number.

  • Use engine #s to match engine parts, and tool #s to match tool parts.

Honda Small Engine Model Numbers

  • Clearly displayed on front of engine.
  • Model numbers begin with one or more letters.
  • The letters refer to the Honda engine series.

Honda Small Engine VIN Numbers

  • VIN #s can be stamped anywhere on the engine.
  • They have 3 sets of characters.
  • They can be difficult to read.
  • Spraying them with a liquid can make them more legible.

How to Find and Match Model and VIN Numbers on Honda Small Engines

June 18, 2010
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With so many engines on the market, matching Honda small engine parts requires a little extra accuracy and know-how.

Honda small engines power thousands of individual machine models in dozens of tool and equipment types. In addition to all the machines that they power, there are also just a lot of Honda small engines in service, period.

Honda Engines Logo

Honda GS Series Engine

When the time comes to replace a Honda engine's filters, spark plug, or any other part, making a correct engine number match is the key to accurate parts replacement.

We explain what Honda small engine owners need to know to ensure an accurate engine parts matches every time.


Honda Small Engine Number Matching

Two numbers must be found on the engine to ensure an accurate Honda small engine parts match:

1. The engine's model number must be matched, and

2. The engine's VIN number must be matched.

We'll use the Karcher pressure washer pictured below as an example of how to find a Honda engine's model and VIN numbers.

Karcher Pressure Washer with Honda Engine

This pressure washer is a good example of a Honda small engine in use with another company's tool.

The majority of Honda engines in service power the tools and machines of other manufacturers. When Honda engine owners need parts for their small engine, it is very important that the use the engine's model and VIN numbers to match engine parts, not the tool's identifying numbers.

For example, using the tool model number of our example pressure washer to search for its engine parts will not be successful. The tool model number will only lead to parts for the Karcher pressure washer, not the engine that powers it.

Engine model and VIN numbers must be found on the engine.

 

Honda Small Engine Model Numbers

The model number is the easy one to find. Honda small engine model numbers are (almost always) very clearly displayed on the front of the engine.

Honda Small Engine Model Number

So, "GC190" is the model number for this Karcher pressure washer's Honda engine.

Honda Small Engine Model Number (close)

Honda small engine model numbers always start with one or more letters.

Letters at the beginning of Honda model numbers indicate the "series" to which that engine model belongs. So, the Honda GC190 engine is part of the Honda GC engine series, and "190" is the engine model number in that series.

Having the engine's model number is the first step towards an accurate Honda small engine parts match.

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Honda Small Engine VIN Numbers

Honda VIN numbers add an extra level of accuracy to engine parts matching. Using both the engine's model and VIN numbers when finding parts for your engine guarantees a match.

Unlike their model numbers, Honda engine VIN numbers can be just a bit harder to find and read. A Honda engine's VIN number is stamped somewhere on the engine.

Here are some things to know about finding and reading Honda small engine VIN numbers:

  • It can be stamped almost anywhere on the engine.
  • The VIN number will consist of 3 sets of characters that can be both letters and numbers, can be arranged in a variety of ways, and can consist of a few or several characters per number set.
  • Honda engine VINs usually start with one or more letters.
  • Although they are stamped permanently, Honda VINs are almost always stamped very lightly and in a dot pattern, making them difficult to read.

In the case of the our example pressure washer, the engine VIN number is stamped on the side of the engine right next to the housing.

Honda Engine VIN Number Location VIN Number Location Close-Up

As you can see, the VIN number is also stamped sideways on the engine. Let's flip that picture around, zoom in, and take a look at the number's legibility.

Honda VIN Number (bright)

It's hard to explain exactly what we mean here with just a picture, but you can see that the number is hard to read even with a large, bright, focused photograph.

Hint: You can apply a liquid to the stamped VIN number to make it more legible.

Applying different liquids to the stamped number can cause the light to hit the impressions a little differently, cause more of a contrast, and make the VIN number more readable. 

We know it might sound strange, but a little carburetor cleaner seems works best for us. Take a look at the picture of the same Honda engine VIN number below after a little shot of cleaner.

Any liquid will at least improve the VIN number's legibility, including water.

Reading Honda Small Engine VIN Numbers

The VIN number on this engine is : GCAAA-1518947-QHAF

It's also possible that the VIN number on your Honda small engine is legible without any assistance. In either case, finding and correctly reading your engine's VIN is absolutely necessary for an accurate parts match.

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Conclusion

Once you have your Honda small engine model number and VIN number, you can type either number into the eReplacementParts.com "Search by Model Number" field at the top of this page. Your search will take you directly to matching Honda engine parts pages.

With accurate number matching, finding the right Honda small engine parts for your machine is made easy with our parts lists and interactive breakdown diagrams.

 

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