How to Enter a Volkswagen Radio Code

Updated March 23, 2017

Most cars made from 1990 on come with antitheft measures. The Volkswagen brand is no different. Unless you have an enhanced security version, the antitheft measures in stock VW cars protect the radio and CD player. If power is disconnected from the radio, like when a batter dies or the radio is stolen, or if an electrical fuse is blown in the car, the antitheft device kicks in. Once power is restored, you'll need to enter a factory-provided radio security code to unlock the radio. This is relatively simple.

Make sure the code needs to be entered. You'll know if the radio -- which would normally read the date, time and radio station -- reads only the word "SAFE."

Find the radio code for the car. If you purchased the car new, the dealer would have given you this code. It will not be in your owner's manual. If you purchased the car used and do not have the radio code, follow steps 3 and 4. If you have the code, skip these steps.

Remove the radio from the dashboard. You will need either a Phillips head or flathead screwdriver to do this. On the side of the radio is the serial code.

Call a VW dealer and ask to speak with customer service. Give the representative your radio serial number and VIN number. They will then provide you with the radio code.

Use the station-preset numbers on the radio to enter the four-digit code. Enter it carefully; usually you will get only two attempts to enter the code before the car locks you out again. This will reset the car radio back to SAFE mode and you'll be unable to make another attempt for at least an hour..

Hit the "seek" button on your radio after you've entered the code. Often this is represented with the ">>" symbol. This should activate the radio. Operate the radio as you normally would.


Call your dealer if the radio code you have is not working.

Things You'll Need

  • Radio Code number
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About the Author

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.