How to Find the Radio Code to Unlock a Car Stereo

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You just had your battery replaced or a recent service completed. You turn on the radio and discover the radio has stopped working. Now what? In most cases, your radio has stopped working because a factory-enabled security system has been triggered — one designed for anti-theft purposes. Luckily, this common issue is rather simple to resolve when you have access to the radio code assigned to your particular year, make, model, and sometimes specific VIN number.

You might be wondering how to find the radio code to unlock your car stereo. If you’re in this situation, here are a few easy ways to gain access to the radio security code. Soon, you can reactivate your stereo and get back to enjoying those tunes as you drive down the road. Follow the listed 4 steps to find the radio code to your car’s stereo.

1. Check Your Owner’s Manual

The best place to locate a radio code is in the owner’s manual of your car. In most cases, the owner’s manual will be located in your glove box and will include general automotive service and maintenance tips, along with instructions on how to operate each system on the vehicle. Inside the owner’s manual, you’ll find an index located in the back, listed in alphabetical order. Simply look for radio, stereo, or security sections to see if this information is documented inside the manual. Sometimes, the car radio code will be written on a plastic or cardboard card inside the owner’s manual or the cover that holds the manual. If you purchased the car from a private owner or it’s a used car that has an owner’s manual, you might want to also inspect the inside covers or “notes” section. Sometimes previous owners will write down the radio security code.

2. Visit the Manufacturer’s Website

If you’re unable to locate the radio security code inside the glove box or the owner manual, the next step should be visiting the vehicle manufacturer’s website. Many automotive manufacturers have an online database that allows you to enter your year, make, model, VIN number, and even serial number to retrieve the security code or have it emailed to you. If you have an upgraded or aftermarket radio, you’d want to follow this step — except contact the radio’s manufacturer instead.

2. Visit your Local Dealership

If you’re unable to locate the radio security code on the manufacturer’s website, the next place to search is the dealership where the car was sold or any dealership of your car’s manufacturer. For example, if you own an Acura, contact the service or parts department of any local Acura dealership. In some cases, you can find the radio unlock code from partnering dealerships — such as Honda for Acura, Toyota for Lexus, and so forth. To provide you with the radio security code, you’ll need to provide proof of ownership, such as your vehicle registration for security purposes.

4. Contact a Local Automotive Audio Installation Center

If none of these resources work for you, the final option is to visit a local automotive audio installation center. Depending on the type of radio you own, they might be able to reset the stereo code for you.

Once you’ve received the security code, it’s relatively easy to enter the code to disable the security function. Most of the time, the code is adjusted by turning the volume or tuner knobs, or preset buttons. The most important thing to remember is entering the code correctly and as recommended by the manufacturer. Your dealership should be able to provide you with the instructions on how to accomplish this step.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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