How to Find Your Car Radio Code – Detailed Advice Guide

How to Find Your Car Radio Code – Detailed Advice Guide

The radio code is something that not everyone knows about, and many car owners don’t even know that it exists.

While it is more relevant for older cars, it is still important to know about so that if you ever end up getting locked out of your radio, you know exactly what to do. In this guide, we talk about the reasons you may need your radio code, as well as how to find it.

Why Do You Need the Code? 

You may not have ever really thought about your radio code before, and so are wondering why on Earth you need it now. However, there are quite a few situations that warrant you searching for the code – each of which we go through in this section.

There are some car radios that have been built with an anti-theft function that is activated whenever the radio loses battery power from the car.

It will lock the radio until the code is entered to prevent potential thieves from being able to fully access all of the car features, and therefore making it less valuable to them. It can be a slightly irritating feature, but also one that has a lot of benefits for you.

It is quite common for this to happen, especially with older cars, and is the main reason for people needing the radio code.

Sometimes, it can happen after your car has been in an accident or gone in for repairs – any situation that causes the radio to become disconnected from the battery.

If you decide to install a new radio in your car (typically in older models), it may also prompt you to use a radio code that you might not have to hand.

When you do go to buy a new radio for your car, it is important to check that it comes with the code to help you avoid hassle and frustration. 

Also Read: Tips for Installing Dash Cam

How to Get Your Radio Code 

So how do you get the code? There are a number of ways you can try to gain access to your radio code, each of which should yield positive results for you.

The first of these is by looking in your owner’s manual for the car as much of the time you will find the code is printed inside. If this is the case for you, then excellent – all you need to do is enter the code on the radio, and you are good to go.

However, there will be times when the radio code is nowhere to be found. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do. However, there is some information that you are going to need before you can get started:

  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle 
  • VIN (vehicle identification number) 
  • Brand, serial number, and part number for the radio 

This will make things so much easier for you as you get started on your quest to find your radio code. The code that you receive should be from an official OEM source, and you can get this by either contacting your local dealer or the OEM directly.

If you do decide to go through your dealer to get the code, you will find that every single one will allow you to call up and request the code through them – or you can nip in for a quick visit to get everything sorted out.

You will need to speak to the service department, and they will usually request that you make an appointment to sort everything out.

There is also the option for you to get the code via an online application, but you will find that a surprisingly small number of dealers and manufacturers have this.

When going through the manufacturer (OEM), it may be a very quick and easy job that gets done with no issue, but you may also be asked to just go through the dealer instead.

With any of these routes, you may also receive an email copy of the code for your records so that you don’t lose it. In addition to the above two methods of obtaining your radio code, there is also the chance that you can get the code from the manufacturer of the head unit.

Each company has their own rules and policies that they follow with regards to radio codes, and you may find it is easier to get codes that have been personally set by the previous owner, and that they will send you to the dealer or OEM for anything else. 

Also Read: Best Car Speaker Reviews

Will You be Charged for the Code? 

There are a large number of manufacturers that will charge you for the radio code. Most of the time, the price is not too bad at around £25-£30, but there have been cases where people have been charged closer to £300 to unlock their radio or get the code so that it can be reset.

As a result, it is important to check with the manufacturer early on so that you know what to expect if you lose your code or need it unlocked professionally. 

Can You Get It Reliably for Free? 

Yes, it is possible to get your radio code for free as many manufacturers do actually offer the service for no charge. Even the ones that do may be persuaded into giving you the code for no charge, just explain what happened and why you need it.

When it comes to other sources, however, you need to be more careful. There are plenty of websites online that offer to get your radio code for you for free, but not all of them are legitimate.

The best route to take is speaking directly to the manufacturer, and if that fails make sure you only use websites that are official and backed by the company that made your radio. 

To Conclude 

We hope that this has made things a little easier for you, and that you are now able to find your radio code quickly so that you can start enjoying your music again while you drive.

It’s not hard to do, and most of the time it will end up being completely free, so it’s certainly worth a shot. We’d love to know how you got on with the process, so please leave us a message in the comments below. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.