Where Can I Find My Car Paint Code?

Fix that scratch yourself with the right paint code.

For the umpteenth time you’ve taken your car to the store and like several times before it has acquired a new ding or a scratch. This time some paint was removed, exposing your finish to the elements and making your car look less than desirable. You’re not about to pay a mint to have someone else do the work, deciding to touch up the paint yourself. One area of mystery remains: the paint code. Your car’s color is red, but without the right code you can easily apply the wrong shade, making matters worse not better.

Let’s take a look at how you can determine the correct color code for your car:

Open the driver’s door — Like other information placarded on your vehicle, paint code information is typically found inside the driver’s door on the door jamb or the inside of the door. Two types of paint codes are listed — one is for the exterior paint, the other is for the cabin or interior color. One code may say “paint” the other “trim.” Jot down the paint code and call your dealer’s service department to have them decode this for you.

Check the owner’s manual — If you can’t find the paint code, check your car owner’s manual as that book may identify where the paint code placards have been placed. Other places to look include each door jamb and under the top of your car’s hood.

Jot down your VIN — Every passenger vehicle has a vehicle identification number, a unique to your car 17-digit serial number. With pen and paper in hand locate your VIN, something that can typically found on the left side of the dashboard and viewed through the windshield. Write down that number, contact your dealer’s service department and ask them for the color code based on your vehicle. Then, ask your dealer to supply you with the precise name for that paint so that you can purchase it. Car dealers, collision repair shops and automotive parts stores are among the retailers selling car paints.


Be careful when using the Internet to decode your car number. There are a handful of websites that match paint color codes with paint names, but that information may not be correct. I had to check my color code number twice when I realized that PV1 was actually PW1 representing stone white, not the light pearlstone metallic found on some Jeep models.

Steps to Find Your Paint Code

With pen and pad in hand, do the following:

paint code color

First step: Go to the driver's side of your car.

paint code color

Step two: Open the driver's door.

paint code color

Step Three: Locate the informational placard on driver's door jamb.

paint code color

Step four: Note exterior paint color code. Copy this information.

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