• The VIN number does not generally include the drivetrain layout of the vehicle, though certain models that are available with multiple drivetrain options MAY have that information encoded in the VIN.
  • If you need to know if your car is RWD or FWD, just do this. If you already know this, I don't mean to insult you. If your engine is in the back of the is RWD, if it is in the front, check to see if you have a driveshaft. If you do, it is a RWD, if not, it is FWD.
  • Well, there are many ways to find out what drivetrain your vehicle is, but it's much easier just to do the following: One is to go to car websites like for information on your vehicle. Secondly, you can always look up car reviews on places like If you put in "[Make] [Model] reviews", you can usually find a reliable source of information that reviews your car, and usually with the review there's engine facts/specifications, including drivetrain setup (front-drive, rear-drive, all-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, part-time four-wheel-drive etc.) What I do, however, is get in the car and drive it. If it "pulls" the car as if it's driving the front wheels, it's front-drive. If it "pushes" from the rear, it's rear-wheel-drive. But there are vehicles that can feel that way but are actually all-wheel-drive. For example, Volvo has a system in their cars that puts 95% of power to the front wheels and 5% to the rear until the front wheels start spinning on a slippery surface. But still, it is best to look up reviews or any source of reliable information. Wherever there's engine specifications, there's bound to be information regarding what wheels drive the car. About the engine placement: There are few, if any, cars with a mid-engine or rear-engine setup that drives the front wheels only. I can't think of any cars that do have such a setup. But there are mid-engined all-wheel-drive vehicles and rear-engine all-wheel-drive vehicles, and like an above answer mentioned, there are mid-engined rear-drive cars and rear-engined rear-drive cars (like the old Volkswagen Beetle). It is best to know what generation and trim level your car/truck/SUV/van is when researching so you know what drivetrain your vehicle has. For example, many "crossover" SUVs like Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe etc. have a front-wheel-drive setup when you buy a base model. Buy a more expensive trim-line and they will add all-wheel-drive (and all-wheel-drive systems vary from different companies.) For example, in 1999 Toyota made three trim-lines on their Camry model; CE, LE and XLE. The CE had a 4-cylinder engine, the LE had a 4-cylinder engine with the option of a V6, and the XLE included things such as traction control and standard V6. When looking up reviews on my car, I already knew Toyota made the car two years beforehand as well. If there wasn't any major changes, I would look up "1997 Toyota Camry LE 4-cyl." since most reviews are done on cars when they're redesigned or changed slightly. In this case, Toyota changed the Camry slightly for 2000 but the 1999 was basically a newer 1997. So if you buy a car such as a 2003 Ford Escape, when it is basically the same as a 2002, you can put in "2002 Ford Escape [trim line] [engine]" and look up those reviews. Hope that helps.
  • The VIN plate of your car does not divulge the drive type in a form which you can decifer. You can however contact a dealership of the appropriate manufacturer and they can inform you of the original factory specification of the vehicle. Sometimes even down to the interior trim. If you simply want to know the drive type by any means there are various staggeringly obvious solutions. Here is one: Pull up to a junction. Turn the steering wheel until the front wheels point in the direction you wish to travel. Select first gear. Cancel all traction control systems where fitted. Rev engine to the limiter. Dump clutch. If your vehicle ends up facing the way you came from, it is rear wheel drive If your vehicle makes a lot of noise, ruins a pair of tyres and doesn't move, it's front wheel drive. If your vehicle smashes through the brick wall in front of you it probably has 4 wheel drive. The last 3 statements are made toungue-in-cheek. If anyone fails to understand this and posts a comment about this answer then i feel sorry for you. The easiest way to determine driven wheels is to try to pull away fast on a loose surface and get a friend to tell you which wheels spin... from a safe distance.
  • This is not a useful answer but you could do like my girl friend did... Buy a BMW thinking that well its foreign and they make the smartest decisions so it must be front wheel drive. Back the rear wheels off into the grass when turning around and find out after she got stuck that it was rear wheel drive!
  • I'm not sure because I don't what kind of car it is. The VIN basically identifies your car from the thousands of other vehicles of the same model. The owner’s manual may give the answers you need. A couple of other thoughts for finding out quickly and easy would be to ring up a motoring body like RACV Even typing in to make and model of the car on a google search may provide the answer. Another suggestion would be to check on eBay. Find someone selling the same car, and then ask them if it's front or rear wheel drive. An easy way if all that fails is if it's possible, look under the car. With a front wheel drive, there is no large metal pole running down the middle of the car. In a rear wheel drive, there is. I hope this has been of some use to you.
  • VINs can't tell your vehicle's drive type. the easiest way to recognising your vehicle's drive type is to do this: open your vehicle's engine cabinet. look at the engine's orientation. if the engine is placed side-to-side,i.e. across the width of your car, it's Front-Wheel-Drive. if the engine is placed front-to-back,i.e. across the length of your car, you probably have a driveshaft going to the rear wheels, it's a Rear-Wheel-Drive. Go check it out......remember this simple fact. the drive-shaft is always oriented along the cylinders and never perpendicular to them.SO, side-to-side means FWD, & front-to-back means RWD.
  • Do a "donut" turn and see which end becomes the middle!

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