Introduction: What is a two tone paint code and how does it help you tell what year your vehicle is?
Simply put, a two tone paint code tells you what year specific Chevy models were manufactured. This is a useful piece of information if you’re looking for a specific year or model of Chevrolet, as well as just a general understanding of which year the vehicle is from. This can also be a good tool for determining when parts or accessories (including spares and replacements) were made.
This information can be found on the driver’s side door jamb, under the rear view mirror. The paint code consists of three digits, with a space between each number. There is also an L or an R to indicate your vehicle’s position in the manufacturing production line. The three digit code tells you which year your Chevy vehicle was made, while the L and R tell you which order it was manufactured in the production line.
Also, there is a paint code chart at the bottom of this article that highlights various two tone codes you may see. For those that don’t want to know, they can simply skip to “The breakdown” section.
Note: Originally this article was written by Kyle Kallgren
How to Find a Two Tone Paint Code for Your Vehicle
If you’ve been searching for a two tone paint code, you might be surprised to find that it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are a few different methods that help you locate the code, but in general, the best way is to know the vehicle’s VIN number – which is found on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb. Using this number, your local Chevy dealer can run a Chevrolet parts lookup for you to find an exact paint code for your vehicle. This is the most accurate way, but often the dealers have to charge a fee for this service, so it may be slightly more work than you’d like.
Other common codes include either the color or the trim code. You can find out what these are by looking in your owner’s manual, or if you’re lucky, by talking to your local dealer. And finally, if you know what you’re looking for and can pinpoint it on the vehicle’s paint code sticker, it’s probably a good idea to look up the VIN on Wikipedia. This way, you’ll have a much higher probability of pulling up the correct code.
But for people who don’t have a VIN number, and might not be able to get in contact with their local dealer, what’s another way? Well, your best bet is to find the paint code on a Chevy parts invoice. These usually show the Chevy parts that were ordered along with the vehicle part number for each item. If possible, you can also see if an aftermarket part was also ordered.
In the case of a vehicle without a VIN, or if you can’t find a VIN number anywhere, figuring out the paint code on the parts invoice may be your only option. Even if this is the case, there are still some steps that you can take to help narrow down your search and make it easier on yourself.
Understanding Chevrolet Paint Codes
What are the 2 Common Ways to Get a Two Tone Paint Code?
There are two common ways that you can find a two tone paint code. The first is to look at the VIN number found on the door jamb sticker. This is one of the most reliable ways to find a two tone paint code. Take a look at this Chevrolet ACI website for more information: www.aciusa.com/Chevrolet_Parts/Inventory_(VIN_Search).aspx . Another, albeit less successful way is through internet forums. This does not always yield the same results, although some have had success. A common area to look is the VIN section of a Chevrolet forum. Take a look at this Chevy forum post here: http://www.chevroletforum.com/forums/index.php?topic=532349.0
So in a nutshell, the VIN is one of the most reliable ways to get a paint code.
A couple of other tips to keep in mind before asking questions: The best time to ask questions is when the car is YOURS. It may help to share that you are in California or have an interest in two tone paint and maybe make your question stand out a bit more.
It’s also a good idea to ask for the paint code for both colors. Some forums are a bit lax on their policy of no duplicate posts, but it may be an idea to post in other forums to see what you get.
By asking pertinent questions you may be able to find your own answers. If you can’t find you own answers, you can post photos or ask for help from the forum members. Take a look at this Forum, the topic is called: “88 98 chevy two tone paint” : “What are the 2 Common Ways to Get a Two Tone Paint Code?”
What are the Benefits of Using the Two Tone Paint Code System?
The two tone paint code system is a great way to help you quickly figure out what year your vehicle was manufactured. It’s also useful because it helps you find out when components – including spare parts or replacements – were built as well. We’re not aware of any other system that gives you this level of detail.
The full name of the system is “19xx/yy chevy two tone paint code system”. It works on all 1988 or newer GM models, whether they are trucks, vans, or cars. It also works on most other makes and models produced by GM over that time frame.
The basic rule is that a two tone paint job indicates the vehicle was built in either 1995 or 1996. It doesn’t matter which two colors were used. If the vehicle is an S-10, Blazer, or GMC Sierra, it was built in 1995. If it is a crew cab pickup, then it was built in 1996.
How does it work?
Conclusion: Use this Two-Tone Paint Code System for Future & To Tell If a Car Is Worth It
For more information about this two-tone paint code system, take a look at this Chevrolet VIN database here: http://www.aciusa.com/Chevrolet_Parts/Inventory_VIN_Lookup.aspx?VIN=[VIN] or download the pdf version here: http://www.aciusa.com/Documents/Sid-Langdon-The-Complete-Chevrolet-Two-Tone_Paint_Code.pdf
Many people have never heard of cars that have two different paint colors on them, and color code systems are often vague and cryptic to even more inexperienced car enthusiasts.
We have compiled this useful two-tone paint code system to help future and current car owners more easily identify valuable cars in their collections that also have original paint as “the real deal” (not parts!).