How to Unlock Your Honda’s Radio - Bernardi Parts Honda
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How to Unlock Your Honda’s Radio

How to Unlock Your Honda’s Radio

Stop me if this sounds familiar: After an evening of social distancing with neighbors in the driveway, with your Honda doing double duty as the source of both light and tunes, you wake up to a wonderful surprise—a dead battery.

No big deal, though—you’re a handy and responsible car owner. You text a neighbor, they bring their jumper cables, you hook ‘em up, and your Honda starts right up. Give the battery some time to charge and you should be all set.

And then you get in the car and…what? Why isn’t the radio working? All it says is ‘ENTER CODE’—what code?!!

Why does my Honda radio say ‘ENTER CODE’?

In most cases, the only reason you would encounter a locked radio in your Honda or Acura is that your OEM radio lost power—for instance, because your battery died or was removed or disconnected.

This is actually an anti-theft measure. In effect, if your radio loses power it will remain unusable until you enter the code. Of course, that’s a great anti-theft feature…if you have the code handy.

Where can I find my OEM Honda radio code?

The first place to look will be in your owner’s manual. In fact, most manual’s will have a page reserved for you to write down the code and the serial number; if you bought your Honda used, you might luck out and have all of the information you need waiting for you.

Anti-Theft ID Card

There are still options if that is not the case. In many Honda vehicles, the radio code and serial number can be found in a sticker affixed to the side of the glove box. Careful—the placement varies across models, and the decal might be affixed to the inside or outside of your glove box, as in the image above.

What if I still can’t find my Honda radio code?

If it turns out that you’re not able to find your radio code, or it doesn’t work to unlock your entertainment system after restoring power, you may have to contact your Honda dealer. In most instances, your dealer can assist you in looking up the code and resetting your radio, although you may have to take it in for a paid service appointment to do so.

You will have to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle before a dealer is able to provide you with your radio code. A driver’s license and either a vehicle registration, insurance card, or car payment bill—a document showing your Honda’s VIN and with a matching name and address to your license.

What if I still can’t find my Honda radio serial number?

On newer Honda’s, you also can retrieve the radio serial number. With your car off, press and hold radio preset buttons 1 and 6. While holding the buttons down, turn your key to the ON position (but don’t start your car). After a few seconds, the radio display will show your serial number.

Note that this tip only works for Honda’s model year 2002 or newer. For 2001 and older models, you’ll have to remove the radio to get the serial number. And either way, you will need to have both your radio serial number and proof of vehicle ownership for a Honda parts dealer to provide your radio code.

How do I enter my Honda radio code?

The good news is, the hard part’s over. Once you’ve written down your radio code, use the preset buttons to enter it.

Anti-Theft ID Card

For instance, in the example above the radio code is ‘43125’. So, you would press radio preset ‘4’, then ‘3’, so on. This will unlock your radio once you enter the last digit.

Why (else) would I need my Honda radio unlock code?

Social distancing hangouts aside, there are a handful of other scenarios that might lead you to need your Honda radio code.

The primary cause is a loss of power. Aside from a dead battery, disconnecting the battery for any duration of time, for whatever reason—say, to replace your Accord’s battery box—likely will be enough to trigger the anti-theft features of your Honda.

Lastly, since this is an anti-theft feature associated with OEM radios, the feature might be triggered if you accessorize your entertainment system—for instance, by adding an XM satellite radio antenna.

Having trouble finding or entering the radio unlock code for your Honda? Reach out to the Bernardi Parts team for help.

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