Last Updated: 29.03.2022

Your car radio code is a very important security measure for keeping your head unit safe.

It simply renders a head unit useless the moment it is disconnected from the battery or when the battery dies. You will have to enter the correct reset code to enjoy music after reconnecting the radio to the battery.

What will you do if you don’t have the code? Are there tips and tricks for learning how to reset car radio without code?

Keep on reading to find out!

Why Does My Car Radio Ask for a Code?

Your car has an anti-theft device installed to protect your radio if anyone attempts to steal it the moment the power is cut.

radio security code

The only way to reactivate it is with a car radio reset code. If your battery goes flat or is removed for any reason and fails to supply power to the radio, the word code will appear on the dashboard.

You will need to reactivate the radio, using a code that you can easily find in your manual or the glove box. 

How to Find the Reset Code

There are a few different ways you can find the reset code of your radio:

Search the Glove Box

Open your glove box and look around for a sticker with the radio reset code. It is usually located on the sides of the glove box. The code can be four or five digits, depending on the vehicle’s make and model. Input the code you’ve found to reset the radio.

Owner’s Manual

car manual with anti theft identification card for radio

The second place we recommend you look for your car radio reset code is in your owner’s manual.

You can find this little booklet in your glove compartment. There’s an index in the back of the manual that’s listed in alphabetical order. All you have to do is look for security, stereo, or radio sections to find the information you are looking for.

Manufacturer’s Website

First, you need to put the radio off and switch your car off, and then back on. On the radio’s keys, press and hold 1 and 6 and then press the power button. You will get the serial number of the radio.

You can also find the serial number of your car radio stamped on the box. Pull out the radio to gain access to the serial number. Serial numbers differ from one brand to another. The serial number for a Ford car radio, for example, looks like V024299.

Now, you can use the generated code and your vehicle’s serial number to get a reset code from the website. Go to the manufacturer’s website and enter the code you generated on your radio, your vehicle’s serial number, your zip code, and your email address.

Once you get the reset code, turn your radio back on and insert the code.

Contact Customer Care Department

You can get help from your manufacturer’s customer care support. There are usually several channels of communication like live chat, email, social media, and direct phone calls.

Go to a Dealership

The next thing you can do when looking for your car radio reset code is to go to your dealership for expert help. It’s always a good thing to go to a dealership that sold you the vehicle.

Car Radio Code Calculator

You can also try a car radio code calculator. This is software uniquely designed for generating radio codes. The software is usually used online. This service, however, requires you to have the following information:

  • The serial number of your car radio
  • The model of your car radio
  • The model of your vehicle

You can access all the aforementioned information on the back or front of your vehicle. But in most cases, the serial number of your car radio may require you to pull out the radio.

The good thing about this type of software is that there are many of them out there. You just have to download one that is compatible with your mobile device and car make and model. The code generating procedure is usually the same regardless of the device you use.

How a Car Radio Code Calculator Works

  • Download a car radio code calculator that supports your car make and model
  • Install and run the car radio calculator
  • Select a specific radio code calculator for your car make and model like Ford, Honda, or Nissan among others
  • Enter your car radio serial number and click on the get radio code icon

How to Reset Car Radio Without Code

It is also possible to bypass the car radio code of some car make and model. We have tried these tricks on our Honda and Acura. These tricks may work on a majority of Honda vehicles, especially for 2011 to 2017 models.

Step 1: Switch on the Radio

reset code

Hit the power button to see what happens on the display. If you disconnected your radio from the battery, you should expect the radio to ask for a reset code.

Step 2: Press and Hold Power Button to Bypass Code

press and hold power button to bypass the code

You are not going to punch in the code because you don’t have one. What you should do is turn the power off again.

Then press and hold down the power button for approximately 30 seconds or so. This trick should successfully bypass the car radio reset code and go straight to the radio. It usually takes about 30 to 40 seconds. Now you can enjoy your music.


Should I replace my car radio when it asks for a reset code?

There is no need for replacing your car radio when you cannot remember the reset code. Instead, you can search the glove box for a sticker containing the code or consult your manufacturer’s manual for the code. You can also check out the manufacturer’s website among other things.

How do I put a code on the car radio?

Start the engine of your vehicle and then switch on the radio. You should see the word “code” on display. Then use the numbered buttons on your stereo system to punch in the code. The input method may differ from one car make and model to another.

Can I depend on a code generated by a car code calculator?

The code you get should work because it is unique to your car radio, depending on the serial number of the radio and car make and model. But you should only consider this technique as a last resort.

Why does my car radio ask for a reset code after changing the battery?

The reset code prompt is due to an anti-theft feature that comes pre-programmed. This feature automatically kicks in when you disconnect the radio from the battery or when the battery dies and you connect a new one.

What happens if I punch in an incorrect reset code?

If you input an incorrect code several times, the anti-theft feature of your car radio may lock you out. You may have to disconnect the radio from the battery and reconnect it later to trigger the reset code prompt.

Could I damage my car radio if I pull it out of the car?

You will not damage your car radio as long as you pull it out using the right tools. You may want to remove it if you want access to the serial number stamped on one of the sides.

Also, know how to troubleshoot if the lights won’t turn off in the car

Final Thoughts

It’s important to learn how to reset car radio without code. The skills may come in handy when you cannot find your car radio code. The best practice, however, isn’t bypassing the code, but looking for one in the glove box, user manual, manufacturer’s website, and the other places that we have discussed.