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How to get the radio code

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When you buy a car brand new, it usually comes with a factory-branded head unit, or one made in co-operation with a known audio manufacturer. These are usually locked by a code (some by two), that's activated upon disconnection from power source, i.e. when you remove the head unit, and unplug it, or doing the same to the car's battery, you need to enter this into the head unit after reconnecting. This, and tne next three paragraphs, are bog standard for just about any car make today, and Ford is no exception. The purpose of this article is to serve as a check list for anyone who has completely legitimate reasons for getting a replacement radio code, thus facilitating the process of going through the official channel.

Where do I find this code?

In the paperwork that comes with your car. There should be a card with the code sticker(s) on it. If it's not there, you should carry on reading this article.

If it's not in the car papers, where do I get it?

You need to obtain this code through an authorised dealership of your car's make, and you need to provide proof that you're the rightful owner of the headunit and car. As this article was written for the FordWiki, this means you need to visit your Ford dealer.

Why would I need this code?

There are a number of possible reasons for this, among them:

  • You might have bought the car second hand, and the card with the keycode(s) wasn't included
  • You might want to fit an expensive aftermarket radio in your car, but keep that radio when you sell the car, and toss the factory head unit back in

What does my Ford dealer need in order for me to obtain the code?

You need to prove to the dealership that you're the rightful owner of the car and the headunit. Documents you must provide:

  • Some form of acknowledged ID, e.g. driver's licence
  • Registration document/vehicle log book
  • Registration number of vehicle
  • Serial number (VIN) of vehicle
  • Model number of head unit
  • Serial number of head unit

You can get serial number of the head unit by powering on the unit, and holding down the buttons 1 and 6, then when the display starts cycling through information, let go of 6 and hold 1 down until the serial number appears.

Will this cost me anything?

Most likely yes, but this may vary, depending on the dealership. Usually, the cost would be a symbolical sum, as a passive deterrent for someone with dishonest reasons for obtaining the code to go ahead with it.

Why can't I just get this off the internet?

Verifying the legitimacy of any online sources out there is impossible, and can have legal impacts further down the road. This, and possibly other reasons, is why most vehicle brand forums (including the ones associated with this wiki) prohibit referring to other sources of radio codes than an authorised dealership.