Like any other vehicle, Arctic Cat ATVs are susceptible to recalls and other forms of maintenance. The year and model of your vehicle makes a huge difference. While an authorized Arctic Cat dealer can check your model year, you can also do it for yourself to save a bit of time and effort.
The model year is included in the VIN (vehicle identification number). This includes several pieces of information about your Arctic Cat ATV. You can find an Arctic Cat’s VIN sticker under the back left wheel well, but sometimes the VIN’s location can vary by year and model. The 10th digit in the VIN will show what year it was made, but you will have to decode it. If you still have trouble finding the VIN, you can always contact your local Arctic Cat dealership and have them find your VIN and model year for you.
If you still have more questions about how to find the VIN, don't fret. In this guide, we’ll cover some potential problems you might run into while looking for your VIN, how to decode it, and more. Just keep reading!
Decoding Your VIN Number
VIN numbers were standardized around 1980 across all brands of vehicles to create an easier way of finding vehicle information. The VIN is a seventeen digit number (or ten digits if it’s an old, shortened version). The number covers which plant the product was made in, the manufacturer, the model, the year, and a unique tag for your ATV to distinguish it from any other.
VINs do not include the letters I, O, Q, U, or Z. This is in order to decrease confusion with similar-looking letters and numbers. The video below shows you how to find the VIN on your Arctic Cat. However, be warned that he incorrectly decodes the VIN when he finds it.
How Do You Decode The Model Year?
Now that you’ve found the VIN for your Arctic Cat, it’s time to learn how to make sense of that 10th digit to see what year it was made. The VIN system cycles between using alphabet letters and numbers.
For your Arctic Cat, if you find a number in the 10th spot, then it was built in the 2000s, with the digit being the year. For example, if the digit is a 7, then it was built in 2007, and so on. Arctic Cat ATVs made in the past decade will have a letter in the 10th spot beginning with ‘A’ for 2010, ‘B’ for 2011, etc.
If your ATV was made in 2000 or earlier, then you will also find a letter in the 10th spot, which works backward through the alphabet. Models made in 2000 will have a ‘Y’, ‘X’ for 1999, etc.
Here is an easy list to break it down for Arctic Cat model years:
Where Is The Model Number On An Arctic Cat ATV?
The model number is shown by the 4th to 8th letter or digits in the VIN, which will usually be ‘ACAT’ followed by a number or another letter. ACAT obviously stands for Arctic Cat, but the manufacturer has their own undisclosed system for selecting the following number or letter to show the specific model of your ATV.
There are plenty of online VIN decoders that might be able to find the specific model if you can’t find it elsewhere, or you can always call up an Arctic Cat dealership to find out.
What Year Did Arctic Cat Start Making ATVs?
The company was established in 1983 as a snowmobile manufacturer. However, Arctic Cat didn't start making ATVs until 1996. So, when you're looking for the VIN, you won’t have to worry about finding any model years further than that.
If you're interested, you can learn more about these ATVs in our article How Much Does An Arctic Cat Cost?
Other Information And Questions About The VIN
The first digit or letter determines what country the vehicle was made in, with America representing the numbers one or four. All Arctic Cat ATV VINs start with 4VF, which shows it’s made in America. The 2nd and 3rd spots represent the manufacturer and vehicle type. The 9th digit is for security checks, the 11th shows which plant the vehicle was made in, and the 12th-17th spots make up the serial number for your specific ATV.
Can There Be More Than One VIN?
The VIN code for your ATV is unique, so there should be no alternate VINs for it. It is, however, possible to find more than one VIN while trying to look for your ATV’s model year. Engines also receive their own VIN, so make sure you don’t confuse the engine’s number with the ATV.
It’s usually easy to tell which is which. The engine VIN will be on the engine itself while the ATV VIN is likely to appear somewhere on the chassis.
What If The VIN Sticker Peeled Off Or You Can’t Read It?
If you’ve owned your ATV for a while or are receiving it second hand, it’s pretty common to find that the VIN sticker is worn or faded away so you can’t see the number. The good news is that the manufacturers imprint the VIN somewhere physically on the ATV. Once again, you’ll probably find it on the left side of the chassis.
How Long Does An Arctic Cat Warranty Last?
All standard Arctic Cat warranties last for a full year from purchase, but they don’t cover everything. The warranty mostly applies to any faulty parts from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it won’t cover several parts that are prone to normal wear and tear like tires, drive belts, brakes, and spark plugs.
Arctic Cat does have a leg-up on the competition by covering shock absorbers under normal riding conditions. Of course, modifying the ATV, crashing it, or failing to provide proper upkeep voids the warranty.
Regular maintenance of your Arctic Cat ATV lets you set out at a moment’s notice when the weather is perfect for some off-road action. Finding the model year through the VIN helps you know what problems to look for in your particular model and how to provide the best upkeep to keep it running great.
Knowing how to find the VIN on your Arctic Cat is the key to finding out what year it was made. Not only that, but you'll also discover other manufacturing information about it.
You can find more tips and tricks to maintain your ATV like learning How To Keep ATV Tires From Going Flat.