Volkswagen part numbering system

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
OK, a quick lesson in how VAG (Volkswagen, A.G.) part numbers work for those who have asked. I am by no means the top expert on this, but I will try to share what I know.

The VAG system uses two seperate systems, one for most all the normal parts, and another for many fasteners, hardware, o-rings, bulbs, etc. I will be discussing the former system that most people would want to be familiar with in dealings with the cars.

The number consists of 9 digits, 3 'sets' of 3, and sometimes a letter (or a couple letters) suffix at the end. Looks something like this: 010 321 371 B. There is a method to the madness, and here is how it works! :D

The first set denotes what that part fits. This set will typically be one of three types: platform, engine, or transmission. Keep in mind, many early cars (going WAY back here) will use the same set to denote all 3 types. But with all the later stuff, it will be broken down. Now, what do I mean by these 3 types? 'Platform' refers to a specific body or chassis type. 'Engine' is a specific engine that may be used in several platforms. 'Transmission' once again may be used in several platforms. This 3 digit set will tell us what the part fits, and every platform, engine, and transmission will have its own unique code. For instance, if you have a 1998 Jetta, the most common platform codes for that car will be 1H0 or 1HM. If your 1998 Jetta is a TDI and uses the AHU engine, its engine parts will mostly have a 028 code, if those parts are specific to the AHU engine. Its manual transmission will carry a code of 02A.

So if we see a part number that is 1HM xxx xxx x we can assume that whatever the part is, it fits an A3 platform Golf, Jetta, or Cabrio, and it may fit other platforms if they employ the same part.

That first set can be more specific within the platform. For instance, the Jetta is based on the Golf. They share 90% of their parts. But something Jetta specific that is NOT the same as the Golf may have a different 3rd digit. Same goes for different body types within a platform (2 dr versus 4 dr, for instance).

The second set of numbers is the main group. This actually narrows down what the part actually does. The main groups are divided into 9 categories:

1: engine and clutch
2: fuel tank, pipes, exhaust system, heater
3: transmission
4: front axle, differential, and steering
5: rear axle
6: wheels and brakes
7: hand and foot controls, safety covers
8: body and sheetmetal
9: electrical components

The first digit of the second set will denote which main group category the part is from. So, if our part number is xxx 1xx xxx x we know it is an engine or clutch part. This center set will break down even further to get you closer to what the part does. For instance, a '98' denotes a kit of some kind. '21' denotes water cooling parts. So, a part number that has a 198 in its center set is a kit for an engine, like a gasket kit for example. A part number with 121 in its center set is most likely a coolant hose, pipe, a water pump, radiator, etc.

The last set is the part control number, just an actual sequence number and is usually not too important in actually identifying what the part is and what it fits. It just narrows it down the rest of the way to get exact. One useful hint here: if the part in question has a left and a right, like tail lamp lenses, for instance, the RIGHT side will end in an even digit, and the LEFT side will end in an odd digit.

The last little bit is the suffix. These are not always present. Usually this denotes a newer or updated version, but not always. Important note here is that if a VAG part number ends with an X, that denotes that it is a remanufactured part, and will need to be returned for a core.

Now, all the first set codes can be tough to remember, BUT thank goodness Volkswagen has always been very good about putting the part numbers on just about every part in the entire car! This can help you quickly and easily get a replacement. Keep in mind, however, that there are always numerous supercessions as well as omissions, so these are not always 100% reliable.

Ok, so let's say you had some freak rock come flying up and break your brand new Jetta's left outer tail lamp... the part number is 1K5 945 095 J.

1K5 is the A5 Jetta platform set
945 we learned the 9 is electrical, and 45 is the tail lighting code
095 tells is which specific part, and that odd number 5 insures us it is the left side.
J just means the current revision for the US spec Jetta tail lamps

So, when you are tinkering with your car, and you see those numbers on those parts, try it out and see if you can understand how that part got its number! Also, this is very useful when ordering parts, and insuring you get the correct parts.

Hope you all find this helpful, and please ask if you have any questions! :D
 
Last edited:

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
In the "old" days, the part numbers usually refered to the original model in which a specific part was first used...

I'm not sure if they're still doing that, but I suppose that if they again started using some parts that originally were used on an old air-cooled Beetle, they would use the same basic part number - possibly with a new suffix...

I may be showing my age...

Yuri.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
ymz said:
In the "old" days, the part numbers usually refered to the original model in which a specific part was first used...

I'm not sure if they're still doing that, but I suppose that if they again started using some parts that originally were used on an old air-cooled Beetle, they would use the same basic part number - possibly with a new suffix...

I may be showing my age...

Yuri.
Yep that is usually true. The part about the numbering system, not your age.... :p
 

scurvy

Good Ol' Boy
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Chicago IL USA
TDI
2006 Golf
yet another awesome post

Thanks for this information, oilhammer. It actually starts to make sense how these part numbers are derived, and not just some random or squential system! Another AWESOME post from a top-notch guru that was fortunate enough to have taken the factory training.

Just to clarify your point about parts on both sides of the car with odd vs even ending numbers: if a part has an odd number, it is on the left side of the car - but left is taken as the driver's left as they sit in the driver's seat, correct?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
scurvy said:
Thanks for this information, oilhammer. It actually starts to make sense how these part numbers are derived, and not just some random or squential system! Another AWESOME post from a top-notch guru that was fortunate enough to have taken the factory training.

Just to clarify your point about parts on both sides of the car with odd vs even ending numbers: if a part has an odd number, it is on the left side of the car - but left is taken as the driver's left as they sit in the driver's seat, correct?
Left and Right are always as sitting in the driver's seat of the car, correct. For instance, in a Jetta the timing belt (if equipped) rides on the right side end of the engine.

Thanks everyone for your compliments! :)
 

SCModerator

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Location
Las Vegas, NV
TDI
2005 New Beetle TDI
Deciphering parts numbers is one thing -- but where can I go to get the part number of something I need?

I see the online VW parts houses carry more than they list, and they generally need a VW part number to get you what you might need.

Is there an online resource or something akin to what the VW dealer uses?

Thanks.
 

Scott_DeWitt

Vendor
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Location
Texas USA
TDI
2000 Audi A4 1.9TDI quattro
SCModerator said:
Deciphering parts numbers is one thing -- but where can I go to get the part number of something I need?

I see the online VW parts houses carry more than they list, and they generally need a VW part number to get you what you might need.

Is there an online resource or something akin to what the VW dealer uses?

Thanks.
Only for Euro Models whcih will cover most of your parts however USA specific items you will be SOL on.

http://www.vagcat.com
 

Shay2n10

Active member
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
03 Jetta Wagon TDI
Does anyone have a schematic of the interior pieces? I need the cupholder schematic for the back seat in a wagon. I need the full schematic of those pieces.
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
One useful hint here: if the part in question has a left and a right, like tail lamp lenses, for instance, the RIGHT side will end in an even digit, and the LEFT side will end in an odd digit.
This is really useful to know if you've just bought a used set of variant crossbars that have seen a few Canadian winters, disassembled them for cleaning and lubrication - then realised there's a bunch of parts that look the same but are slightly different to accommodate the angle of the roof rails :eek:

Thanks oilhammer!
 

diesel4sure

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Location
Atlantic Beach NC
TDI
2005 Jetta TDI Wagon
I have a 2005 Jetta TDI wagon. It was a two body style year. I am trying to find a drivers side front splash Guard (shield) for the wheel well. How can I find the VW
part number so that I can shop this part ?

Thanks,

Joe
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
I have a 2005 Jetta TDI wagon. It was a two body style year. I am trying to find a drivers side front splash Guard (shield) for the wheel well. How can I find the VW part number so that I can shop this part ?
Your car is a MkIV - same as the 1999.5 - 2004 Jetta / Golf... shouldn't have trouble finding parts...

Yuri
 

CopaMundial

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Location
Southeastern PA
TDI
03 Jetta Wagon 5sp (New to me Oct 2014) 03 Jetta 5sp (RIP Aug 2014)
Your car is a MkIV - same as the 1999.5 - 2004 Jetta / Golf... shouldn't have trouble finding parts...

Yuri
2005 Jetta has A4 body with BEW Engine
2005.5 Jetta has A5 body w/ BRM Engine. I think it's rare to see a wagon in the US on the later half of this split, however.

I have a 2005 Jetta TDI wagon. It was a two body style year. I am trying to find a drivers side front splash Guard (shield) for the wheel well. How can I find the VW
part number so that I can shop this part ?

Thanks,

Joe
A4 version: http://idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1085
A5 version: http://idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2450
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
Sadly, with this website you need a subscription: https://www.partslink24.com

They are the best source to find VW part numbers I know of. You can enter you VIN to get the exact part number.
And I assume you go to the VW dealer or an authorized reseller of those parts with those numbers, right?

I mean, you totally wouldn't go to Alibaba and get horrendous quality counterfeit parts from China. That wouldn't make any sense whatsoever.
 
Last edited:

JSWTDI09

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
TDI
2009 JSW TDI (gone but not forgotten)

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
It's worth noting that Partslink24 is actually one of the public versions of ETKA. (Essentially, you have ETKA, the parts catalog for VW dealers, ETOS, the parts catalog for independent shops, and Partslink24, the online version of ETOS.)

ETKA actually does have more features IIRC, but Partslink24 is updated just as often, as I understand (which is approximately weekly, IIRC).
 

sasikg

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Location
India
TDI
VOLKSWAGEN VENTO 1.6MPI HIGHLINE
My volkswagen vento TDI diesel, the injector 03L-130-277B(original on engine-2011)is replaced with 03L-130-277S now(2017) by the company. Can somebody tell me, what does this means?(the company says both are same). A design change of the product/injector?

sasi gopalan
 
Top