How to Get the Radio Code on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer

A radio code is required to unlock a Vehicles factory stereo after the Vehicles battery is disconnected or replaced. The radio code is printed on a small card and included with the owner's manual when the Vehicles is sold new. However, the card may have become misplaced, or, if you bought the Vehicles used. the prior owner might not have provided the card. Fortunately, you can retrieve your Vehicles radio code. The radio code is easily retrieved if you have your radio serial number. Unfortunately, getting the radio serial number can be tricky, depending on the year model of your Vehicles.

Under The Hood:

 How to Get the Radio Code on a New VW Beetle


Find the VW owner's manual in the glove box. Find the card inside the owner's manual that contains the radio code. This code is provided when the car is first purchased from the dealership. In some cases, the card may be misplaced before or after the vehicle is sold to another person.

Look for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the New Beetle if the VW owner's manual does not contain the radio code. You can find the VIN near the bottom of the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle. Write this information down on a piece of paper.

Remove the radio from the dashboard. You will need a set of radio removal keys, available for purchase at most car audio outlets. Insert the radio removal keys firmly into the two slots along the bottom edge of the radio then pull the radio out of the slot. Look for the radio serial number located on the back of the unit. This number will start with "vw4z7" or a similar identifier. Write this serial number down on the same piece of paper as the VIN for safekeeping.

Take the information written down to the nearest VW dealership and request that they find your radio code with the information provided. Both the VIN and radio serial number are required for the dealership to successfully find your radio code. Upon finding the radio code, write it down in the owner's manual or someplace else where you can safely store it.

Items you will need

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

  • Radio keys

  • Radio serial number

 How Do I Get a Radio Code for My Honda?

Finding the Radio Serial Number

Retrieve the radio serial number on 2001 and newer Honda vehicles by pressing and holding the "1" and "6" preset buttons, then turning the ignition switch to the "on" position. While holding the buttons, turn the ignition on (don't crank the engine). Wait a few seconds; your radio serial number will show on the radio display.

Retrieve your radio serial number on 2000 and older Honda vehicles by accessing the rear of your radio. You'll need to remove the radio from the dashboard to find the serial number. Depending on which Honda vehicle you have, this could be a simple task or a complicated one. Consider bringing the vehicle to a professional to help you access the rear of the radio. If you prefer to do it yourself, see the Resource section for Honda radio removal instructions.

Write down the radio serial number. The serial number is 10 characters long, including eight numerals and two letters. If retrieving the number from the display, write down the number that begins with "U" first, followed by the number that begins with "L." When retrieving the number from the radio display, the screen flashes between these two numbers.

Remove the "U" and the "L" from the number. The leftover numbers make up your radio serial number.

Getting the Radio Code

Write down your Honda's vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find the VIN by looking on the dashboard at the bottom of the windshield while standing on the driver side exterior (the VIN is 17 characters long).

Contact Honda's Customer Service department at 1-800-999-1009. Obtain your radio code by speaking with an associate and providing your radio serial number, the VIN and your personal information. The associate should provide the radio code free of charge.

Obtain your radio code online, if you prefer. Honda has a special website for retrieving radio codes. See the Resource section to complete the process. This service is also free of charge.

 How To Get a Radio Code for a Canadian Honda Vehicle

Gather your VIN number and write it down. Your VIN number is the unique identification number for your Canadian model Honda vehicle. The VIN number is located on the dash of your vehicle near the base of the windshield.

Collect the serial number for the radio in your Honda vehicle. The serial number may be located on the inside of the glovebox on the left side of the box. However, if your sticker is worn, faded, or missing, you may need to get the serial number from the bottom of the radio. You can remove it yourself to do this, or take it to a mechanic or someone who is mechanically inclined remove the radio for you.

Go to a Canadian dealership and give them all of your information. With this, you can request a new radio code or the retrieval of your old radio code. Alternatively, you can use the automated website provided by Honda to retrieve your code. Find a link in Resources.

 How to get the radio code for your Mitsubishi free

If your Mitsubishi factory radio says "OFF" or "CODE" when you turn it on you need to unlock it's anti-theft feature. If it says "OFF" turn the key to ACC for 5 minutes with the radio on, and displaying "OFF". After 5 minutes the radio will turn itself off. Turn the key off then back on again. The radio should now display "CODE". If this doesn't work disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, and repeat the 5 minutes radio on displaying "OFF" with key in ACC until the radio turns itself off. Now that it says "CODE" go to step 2. The radio must display "CODE" to enter unlock code.

A lot of people have the code, and don't realize it. Before going to step 3 check your owner's manual, and glove box. The car came with a small business card with the unlock code on it. Often it is in the owner's manual slip cover, or between pages, or fell out into the glove box. If you can find it, or it is otherwise written somewhere in your car's paper work, it will save a lot of time. The code will be a 4 digit number like 1304, 0897, etc... it is individual to the radio's serial number, not the car's VIN number. So the VIN will not help. You have to go to the next step which is finding the radio's serial number.

The radio's serial number is on the left side of the case that is inside the dashboard. You will have to remove the fascia that is around the radio carefully to reveal it. In most models you can use a small dental style mirror to see the code without completely removing the radio. If you can't see it this way you will have to take it all the way out. Don't disconnect anything just pull it out far enough to see the numbers. The model number starts with MNxxxxx, this is not the number you need. The serial will be an 8 digit number, no letters. It will be close to the model number however.

Now that you have your serial number call Mitsubishi Motors of North America at 1-888-648-7820, M-F 7am - 4pm Pacific time. They will give you your unlock code for free, and they are even very pleasant about it!


Now that you have your unlock code you have to enter it into your radio. They should take you through this on the phone, but I'll write it out here too. The 1,2,3,4 preset buttons on your radio toggle up only through the digits 0-9. The 1 preset button is the first digit holder, and so on for the 4 digit code. If you go too far just keep pressing the button, and it will go back to 0, and you can get back to the right number. If your unlock code has a 0 in it you have to press the button once to get to 0. It starts with a dash (-). This doesn't count as the 0. For instance if your unlock code is 0873, you will press preset 1 once, preset 2 9x, preset 3 8x, and preset 4 4x. Once you have the correct number in the diplay press the "CD" button, and it will unlock your radio. If you didn't do it right, it will display "ERR1" before going back to the "CODE" display. Don't mess up more than twice. After the third failed try things get a lot more complicated.

Items you will need

  • A telephone

  • Possibly a phillips screwdriver

  • Possibly a dental mirror