If you’re old enough (long before the phrase “Honda Radio Code” meant anything), you might be able to remember the old days of setting radio presets where you’d pull out a mechanical button, set the station you want to assign that button, and then push it back in again with a loud. With infotainment, touchscreens and a navigation system, those days, of course, are long gone now (unless you’re driving, say, a ’67 Plymouth), and there’s more to setting the radio up the way you’d like it.
Why is My Honda Asking For A Radio Code?
When you install a new battery in your Honda, the radio is going to be without a reference voltage for its memory, for long enough that it can “forget” radio presets. We’ll walk you through what you need to do to get those radio codes and set the radio up the way you want it again. This is a process that’s the same on Civic, Accord, Odyssey, CR-V, Pilot.
How To Reset Honda Radio Codes
Like we mentioned, the number one reason why your Honda vehicle will ask for the radio code is in the event of an interruption to its electrical reference voltage. That might mean replacing the battery, disconnecting a battery cable, or having the battery go completely dead. A failing alternator can also result in losing the radio’s presets, but if your alternator is giving you problems, the radio is going to be the least of your concerns. In most cases, you can turn on the radio’s power, press the power button for two seconds, and the radio will be able to recall its settings and can operate normally without having to enter the code. That’s not always the case, though.
Locate and Retrieve Your Honda Radio Code
If the reset process mentioned above didn’t work, here are the steps you can take to access the radio codes and reset the radio.
Turn the vehicle’s ignition to ON or ACC, but don’t start the engine.
Turn the radio to the OFF position – the screen should be blank and not display CODE or ERR.
Press and hold radio buttons 1 and 6 simultaneously.
While pressing radio buttons 1 and 6, use your free hand to turn the radio ON.
While still holding the buttons, you should see an eight-digit serial number on the radio’s screen. Some older models might display two separate serial numbers simultaneously.
After the serial number displays, release the radio buttons and write the serial number down on a piece of paper.
Your next step will be to contact your Honda dealer; they will need the vehicle’s VIN number (a 17 digit number that you can find on the driver’s center pillar post, a plate on the driver’s side of the dashboard near the windshield), your insurance card, or your registration. Take the VIN number and the eight-digit radio serial number to your dealer. They can then give you the five-digit code you need. Best of all, this process is free of charge
How To Enter Your Honda Radio Code
Once you have the five-digit code, go to the vehicle and turn the ignition key to ON or ACC. Turn the radio on and you should see the CODE notification. Enter the five-digit code from the dealer, and the radio should turn on and work properly again.
If you’re still confused, you can consult the Honda Owner’s Guide to walk you through the necessary steps.
NOTE: if you see the ERR message on the radio’s screen, disconnect the battery (black cable) and leave the battery disconnected for one to three minutes. When you reconnect the battery cable, you should see the CODE message again and can follow the last two steps to enter the code. This may seem like a lot of trouble to go through, but for years automakers have had the same kind of security protocol for things like resetting a key fob, with its alarm/unlock functions and the tiny RFID transmitter it needs to work with the ignition switch.
NOTE: If you’re still having trouble, you can visit the main Honda website, click on the “Get Codes” tab, and enter your vehicle’s VIN number and radio serial number along with your zip code, phone number, and email address. The website can then give you the security codes you need.