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How do I get a radio code for my Honda?

Updated March 23, 2017

A radio code is required to unlock a Honda factory stereo after the Honda's battery is disconnected or replaced. The radio code is printed on a small card and included with the owner's manual when the Honda is sold new. However, the card may have become misplaced, or, if you bought the Honda used. the prior owner might not have provided the card.

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Fortunately, you can retrieve your Honda's 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 Honda.

Finding the radio serial number

  1. 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.

  2. 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 (see Resources). Consider bringing the vehicle to a professional to help you access the rear of the radio.

  3. 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.

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

Getting the radio code

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

  2. Contact Honda's Customer Service department (see Resources). 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.

  3. Obtain your radio code online, if you prefer. Honda has a special website for retrieving radio codes (see Resources). This service is also free of charge.

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About the Author

Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.

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