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How to Reset the Radio Code in a Volvo

Updated July 20, 2017

The security system of older Volvos includes a lock code on the car radio. Events such as a disconnected or dead battery, a triggered car alarm or removal of the radio from the dash will automatically lock the radio. When the radio is locked, it displays the word "code" and will not operate until the correct code is entered using the numerical preset buttons. This code is unique to each car. After three wrong attempts, the radio will exhibit the word "Off" on its display, and will no longer accept codes until reset. There are two methods of resetting the radio to accept codes again.

Turn off all drains on the battery, such as daytime running lights, heat or AC, or inside lights. Close all doors.

Turn off the radio and car.

Turn on the radio, then insert the key in the ignition and turn it to the first position, marked "ACC."

Leave the radio on for two hours. It will automatically reset during this time, and flash "Code" again to show that it is ready to accept a code again.

Find the fuse map in the User's Manual for your Volvo. The radio fuse will be listed on this map.

Turn on the radio, then insert the key in the ignition and turn it to the first position, marked "ACC."

Open the bonnet of your car and remove the radio fuse.

Replace the fuse. If the radio is reset, it will flash "Code" again to show that it is ready to accept a code again.

Tip

E-mail the Volvo or call a dealer to obtain the correct security code for your radio. You will be asked for your VIN and car's serial number, and might have to provide proof of ownership. The code is sometimes written on the chassis of the radio itself and can be seen if you slide the radio from its alcove. Refurbished or replaced radios will have a different code than the one associated with your car's VIN. If this is the case, have the dealer look up the code by the serial number of the radio.

Warning

Some dealers might charge a fee to look up the security code. However, it should be free for Volvo owners.

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About the Author

Carol Ng began writing and editing technical reports in 1997 as part of a demographics consulting group. As a writer for various online publications, including eHow, she draws from her experiences working as a software engineer and researcher in the natural sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and a Master of Science in biological sciences.