The logic behind the VAG OE numbers unraveled

When registering a remanufacturing order, we always ask for the OE number: a number that each part of the car has. "OE" stands for "Original Equipment" or an original part. This number is unique for a certain production series. At first, these seem fairly random numbers, but appearances are deceptive. Especially in the Volkswagen Group (VAG) there is a very strong logic in the system, which was developed by Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s. In this article we will analyze the logic behind these OE numbers.

Part numbers

An OE number with the VAG brands always consists of at least nine characters. Within this manufacturer number, there are then several groups or sets of numbers and letters that have their own meaning. The combination of these different numbers and letters then indicates the exact part. The structure of the code system can be seen below. The first nine characters are mandatory, the characters after that are optional depending on the component.


Set 1: Engine / Model to which the part applies to

The first three numbers represent the car or engine to which the part applies. An overview of a number of common numbers that relate to a certain model can be found below.

Code Brand Model
1C0 Volkswagen New Beetle (9C1,1C1,1Y7)
1H0 Volkswagen Golf III (1H_)
1H5 Volkswagen Vento (1H2)
1J0 Volkswagen Golf MK4 (1J_)
1J5 Volkswagen Bora (1J2,1J6)
1K0 Volkswagen Golf V (1K_)
1K0 Volkswagen Jetta III (1K2)
1K0 Volkswagen Golf VI (5K1,5I7,AJ5)
1K0 Volkswagen Golf IV (1J_)
1K8 Volkswagen Scirocco (137)
1M0 Seat Leon (1M1)
1M0 Seat Toledo (1M2)
1P0 Seat Leon (1P1)
1Q0 Volkswagen EOS
1S0 Volkswagen UP!
1SL Seat MII (KF1_)
1ST Skoda Citigo
1T0 Volkswagen Touran (1T1,1T2,1T3)
1U0 Skoda Octavia (1U)
1U1 Skoda Octavia (1U)
1U2 Skoda Octavia (1U)
1Z0 Skoda Octavia (1U)
2E0 Volkswagen Crafter (2E_,2F_)
2H0 Volkswagen Amarok
2K0 Volkswagen Caddy (2K,2C_)
3A0 Volkswagen Passat (3A2,3A5,35I)
3B0 Volkswagen Passat (3B2,3B5)
3C0 Volkswagen Passat (362,365)
3C8 Volkswagen CC
3D0 Volkswagen Phaeton (3D_)
3R0 Seat Exeo
3T1 Skoda Superb (3T)
3T2 Skoda Superb (3T)
3U0 Skoda Superb (3U)
3W0 Bentley Continental GT
3W7 Bentley Continental GT
4B0 Audi A6 (4B,C5)
4D0 Audi A8 (4D,4D8)
4E0 Audi A8 (4E)
4F0 Audi A6 (4F,C6)
4F0 Audi A6 (C6)
4G8 Audi A6/A7 (4G,C7 - 4GA)
4L0 Audi Q7 (4L)
5J0 Skoda Roomster (5J)
5J0 Skoda Fabia (5J)
5K0 Volkswagen Golf VI (5K1,5I7,AJ5)
Code Brand Model
5K7 Volkswagen Golf VI (5K1,5I7,AJ5)
5L0 Skoda Yeti (5L)
5M0 Volkswagen Golf V / Golf Plus (5M1/1KP)
5N0 Volkswagen Tiguan (5N_)
5P0 Seat Toledo III (5P2)
5P0 Seat Altea
5Z0 Volkswagen Fox
6H0 Seat Arosa
6J0 Seat Ibiza V
6K0 Seat Inca
6K9 Volkswagen Caddy II (9K_,9U_)
6K9 Volkswagen Polo (6N,6K)
6L0 Seat Cordoba
6L0 Seat Ibiza II,III,IV
6L0 Seat Ibiza II,III,IV
6N0 Volkswagen Polo (6N,6K)
6R0 Volkswagen Polo (6R,6C)
6X0 Volkswagen Lupo (6X1,6E1)
6Y1 Skoda Fabia (6Y)
6Y2 Skoda Fabia (6Y)
6Y2 Skoda Fabia (6Y)
7D0 Skoda Transporter T4 (70X_,7D_)
7E0 Volkswagen Multivan V
7H0 Volkswagen Multivan V
7H0 Volkswagen Transporter T5
7H5 Volkswagen Transporter T5
7L6 Volkswagen Touareg (7LA,7L6,7L7)
7M0 Volkswagen Sharan (7M3,7M8,7M9)
7M0 Seat Alhambra (7V8,7V9)
7M3 Seat Sharan (7M3,7M8,7M9)
7M7 Seat Alhambra (7V8,7V9)
7N0 Volkswagen Sharan (7N)
7N5 Seat Alhambra (710)
8D0 Audi A4 (8D,B5 - 8E2/5,B6)
8E0 Audi A4 (8E2/5,B6)
8H0 Audi A4 (8EC/D,B7)
8K0 Audi A4 (8K)
8K0 Audi A4 (8K,B8)
8L0 Audi A3 (8L)
8N1 Audi TT (8N)
8N2 Audi TT (8N)
8P0 Audi A3 (8P)
8R0 Audi Q5 (8R)
8T0 Audi A5 (8T,8F)
8X0 Audi A1
8Z0 Audi A2

In some cases it can therefore also occur that the first three characters relate to a specific engine. An example of this is 06C. This code indicates the 3.0L V6 engine from Audi, while 077 stands for the V8 block from a Volkswagen Touareg.

Set 2: The main domain and sub-domain

The second group of three digits indicates to which component group the part belongs. The first number of the three digits indicates the "main domain". An overview of the meaning of this can be found below.

  1. Engine
  2. Fuel, exhaust and air conditioning / cooling
  3. Gearbox and transmission
  4. Steering, front axle and differential
  5. Rear axle
  6. Brakes and wheels
  7. Hand and foot levers, pedals
  8. Bodywork and interior
  9. Electricity and electrical systems
  10. Accessories (connections, stickers, radio etc.)

For many of the VAG components that ACtronics are remanufacturing, the first number in this series will therefore be a "9". The second and third numbers in this series indicate the sub-domain of the part group. For example, "20" indicates an instrument cluster. An OE number starting with "5K0 920" is therefore an instrument panel of a Volkswagen Golf VI.


Set 3: Part numbers

The third set of three numbers indicates the exact part. This is therefore the identification of the specific version of the part. This is always a combination of three digits. For example, 960 can be a specific part number in line with Volkswagen Golf VI instrument clusters.

Set 4: Modification code

The VAG part number is (in some cases) closed with one or more characters. If the number is closed with one or two letters, it means that there has been a certain modification of the part that has been applied for a certain car.

Set 5: Color code

In some cases the part number is closed with a code consisting of 3 letters and / or numbers. This indicates a specific color in which the part may have been executed. For example, Q70 indicates a light beige part, U71 a flannel gray and B41 a black one.

Summed up:

A VAG component always consists of at least 9 characters (set 1, 2 and 3), but it can go up to 14 characters due to various modifications or colors.

It is probably now clear why we ask for the OE number on the remanufacture order form and not rely on the other part numbers: this number indicates with absolute certainty and with great detail the defective part. This is very important information for us, because every OE number has certain features that influence the remanufacturing process. A small footnote: we must admit that not every car manufacturer works in such a structured way with OE numbers as the VAG group does, so do not always expect such a logic in the OE numbers. Many different variations are known in the structure of the OE number.

Do you still have questions about the OE number of your component as a result of this article? Feel free to contact us!