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2000 Honda & Acura - Bona Fide Tech Tips

Embrace Your Inner Noob

Robert Young
Dec 1, 2008
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If you have a newer Honda or Acura, you're probably aware of the radio's built-in anti-theft system-especially if you've ever disconnected the battery. The system won't stop someone from yanking your stereo out of your car and walking off with it, but it will make it really hard for him to actually use it. It's a nice feature and is sometimes enough to give you just a little bit more peace of mind, that is until you leave your headlights on overnight. And your battery dies. And you forget your radio code. Unfortunately for those people, the radio will do little more at this point than fill a hole in the dash. But there is a way to bypass Honda's security system so that you once again can look like a fool dancing to your own tunes at the stoplight-even if you did misplace your code that Honda more than likely left with you in your owner's manual or on a little white sticker inside your glovebox. No, for the poor chump who lost his radio code, he'll need the radio's serial number to do this. You can locate it on the unit itself by removing the audio system from the dash-not the easiest thing to do on newer cars with integrated radio and GPS systems. Forget that, leave the radio in place and get your code electronically, the easy way. Here's how to do it on 2000 and newer models:

Step 1: Turn the ignition to the "ON" position.

Step 2: Turn the audio unit on. It should read "CODE" in the display. If it doesn't, turn the ignition off and remove the radio backup fuse in the engine compartment for one minute. Replace the fuse and return to step one.

Step 3: Turn the audio unit off.

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Step 4: Press and hold preset buttons 1 and 6 while turning the audio unit on. The display should toggle between two screens-the first shows a "U" and the first four digits of the serial number, for example, U4567. The second screen displays an "L" and the last four digits of the serial number. Ignore the two letters and write down the eight digits in order.

Step 5: Now call your favorite Honda or Acura dealership's service department to retrieve your actual code. Remember, all you have so far is your serial number, which your radio doesn't care about. They'll ask you for the eight-digit code and the name of the car's registered owner to make sure you're not some thief and then give you your code.

Step 6: Return to your car, follow steps 1 and 2, and enter the code using the six preset buttons. The radio will beep, indicating that the anti-theft system has been turned off, and you can proceed dancing.

By Robert Young
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