Chris enjoys DIY'ing around the house. Electrical, flooring, roofing, foundations, and home maintenance are all in the wheelhouse. Enjoy!
Radio Not Working
So the radio in the Honda isn't working and simply says, "Code." This can be a little frustrating. If you took your car to a shop and it worked when it went in, but now it does not. Had something changed at the automotive store and the radio has no blissfully distracting noise coming from it? Checked your battery and/or replaced it and everything is working fine, except for that radio? For whatever reason, if your radio has power and simply says, "Code," "Enter Code" or whatever else along these lines.
It is probably that the battery was disconnected and the individual did not know or simply forgot that there is an anti-theft feature on Honda radios. Several other makes as well. But fear not, there are multiple ways to fix this issue. Let me tell you how I found this all out.
We have a Honda Odyssey that my wife drives the majority of the time. After several calls that her van wouldn't start and I went and jumped it either to the driveway or at her place of employment. I decided to look into what was going on. Unfortunately, I didn't test anything, but I found a loose positive connection on the post and assumed that the connection was bad and it was simply not recharging as well as it should.
Then the next day, I get a call that my wife is stranded at work. I know that her alternator is working, it would have died while driving and not allowed the vehicle to continue to operate, so it wasn't the alternator. There were no issues with starting it once I jumped it, so I figured it wasn't the starter. The most common issue would be the battery, I couldn't find a tester and didn't want to drive the van to an auto shop to have it tested. So I took a chance and went and purchased a new battery, group number 24F for this Honda Odyssey which is common for this vehicle.
I finish changing the battery, and it is about 8 o'clock in the evening, and the van starts great, I leave it off, and it starts later in the night as well. I am happy with this, and I figure that everything is good to go. On the issue being the battery, I was correct, but all was not good to go. The next morning I get a call from my wife saying that her radio won't work, it simply says, "Code" on the display and nothing is functioning on it.
Researching this quickly during the day, I found out that Honda uses a radio code as an anti-theft measure. The code is located on a card that comes with the original purchase of the vehicle, which we don't have. A person can call the dealership with the serial number of the radio and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle and ask for the radio code. These are the two ways I had found while looking about.
Luckily, I stumbled upon a site on Honda's website that allowed a person to look up their own code. One still needs the VIN and the radio serial number, but we will go over how to find this.
Overall, everything is great with the Honda Odyssey now. I had not known that Honda and other vehicle makers have an anti-theft radio code such as these.
Possible Issues and Serial Number Locations
There are a couple of things that people should know before starting. First, with inputting the code, there are a total of 10 times that you may error before the system locks you out. If the system does lock you out, then you need to wait for one hour with the system on for it to unlock.
Secondly, if you do not have the Radio Code Card or the Radio Code already, you will need to look this up. This is what the main portion of this article is about.
Vehicles before 2001, you may need to have a service call or pull the radio to gain access to the radio's serial number on the label. This label being on the radio, but within the dashboard.
If you are having issues locating the serial number, you may look inside the glove box for a yellow sticker. Hold the "1" and "6" buttons on the radio at the same time. This is a good method for anything 2001 and after.
Radio Code Card
The most direct way to find the Honda Radio Code is from the Radio Code Card. If you have this, the first number is the radio code number. The second code, as in the example, is the navigation code. Having these means that you simply need to input the code into the radio. Once the code is input it will unlock the system, there is no reason to hit enter or any button after you have put in the last digit.
A Honda dealership can give you the radio and navigation codes. I have heard of a couple of people being denied, and another person was pushed off onto the website. Although, my questions and concerns have always been handled very professionally and politely; this is not always the case for people. But if you are open and honest about the situation and the situation is moral and ethical; I would doubt that there would be any issues. You will need the VIN, radio serial number, and if you have a navigation system as well; you will need the nav code too.
If there are any specific questions or you are uncomfortable about the knowledge that you have, one of the Honda dealership technicians would probably be willing to answer any questions including stepping you through the process rather quickly. I am not associated with them though; I am making assumptions from my dealings with Honda in the past.
Honda Website Radio Code Retrieval
This method I used to unlock our Honda Odyssey radio was the Honda website. In the evening, after the dealership was closed, I stumbled upon this site to obtain the radio code for our vehicle. I need the VIN, which I took a picture of the driver's door sticker to obtain. This is also on the metal placard by the windshield on the dashboard on the driver's side.
I obtained our radio serial number by hitting the "1" and "6" button down at the same time and holding for ten to fifteen seconds. The number came across the radio display, and I took a picture of it with my phone.
With this information, I just followed the links on the website, input the VIN and serial numbers in the appropriate fields and in under a second the radio code was displayed on the website for me. No having to put in my email or phone number. It was hassle free and very simple.
Going out to the van, I input the code using the keys for the stored stations and the radio unlocked with no issue. The biggest issue was finding out how to obtain the radio code and walking outside and back inside a couple of times.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: What is the radio code for a 2004 Honda Pilot?
Answer: Each radio has a different code.
© 2018 Chris Andrews
Bola on January 01, 2020:
Can someone help me out, l have Acura 2011 l have both serial nd vin but de code does not com up
Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on November 20, 2019:
Some dealerships won't charge, call around your area and see which are willing to help.
Chrystal Allen on November 16, 2019:
Hi I just bought a Honda CRV 2011 and there isnt a serial number card or stickers in the glove box. Ive tried pushing 1 and 6 at the same time, but im not getting any code. Could I just go to the dealer and pay them?
Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on October 23, 2019:
Glad it helped.
Amanda on October 18, 2019:
Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on February 12, 2019:
This would be the only way to receive the information without having the original vehicles VIN number.
Joyce Dykstra on December 16, 2018:
I am impressed!