BMW Radio Security Code
This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.
Recently I removed a speaker that was found to have a detached wire. After the repair and re-install, CODE appeared on my radio. The previous owner had hand written the code in the owner’s manual. The manual does not elaborate on the how to re-code but refers to a radio supplement manual which I do not have. Can you help ?
Most BMW models produced from the early ’80s up through the mid to late ’90s, employ a radio anti-theft security code. Most models from the late ’90s-on do not employ the radio security codes, to include: 3-series 99-on, 5-series 97-on, 7-series 95-on and all later models.
For models without radio security codes:
Power to the vehicle and specifically the radio can be interrupted (such as removing the radio or disconnecting the battery) and there is no affect on the radio operation after power is restored.
For models with radio security codes:
The anti-theft function is activated when the input power to the radio is interrupted (such as removing the radio or disconnecting the battery). When the power is re-connected, the radio will ask for the security code to be input. The codes are typically either 4 or 5 digits. There are two different methods of entering the codes … they are not interchangeable.
1) Method 1 – If you have 5 or 6 memory keys , the code is entered in the order of the keys. In other words, if the code were 23241, you would push the 2 key, then 3, then 2, etc. If this doesn’t work you can try Method 2.
2) Method 2 – In this case, the code is entered in succession on the memory keys. In other words (using the same code as above), key 1 is pressed two times, key 2 is pressed three times, key 3 is pressed two times …. etc.
If, during the entry, or after the code is entered, the radio beeps and says WAIT or CODE WAIT this means that you have entered the code incorrectly (you will get at least two chances to enter the code, before it knocks you out) and you must now perform a reset procedure. Turn the radio off. Now turn the key to the accessory or ignition position (position 1 or 2) and wait for one hour. After one hour, turn the radio on (do not change the position of the key) and you should see the CODE function and you can attempt to enter the code again.
In the future, if you need to interrupt the power to the radio, you can use the Memory Saver Tool. The tool plugs into the lighter socket and supplies just enough power to keep the system memories while you perform a short service (battery replacement, etc.).
George Wrote Back:
Your method worked. I let the car idle for just over one hour and the radio accepted the five digit code. I did leave the radio on during the idle process. (note from Otto – you do not need to actually have the engine running)
Thanks so much for your support…great to hear the tunes and the repaired speaker adds alot to the audio.