BMW E36 Blog

BMW radio with security code problem

1st January 2007

BMW radio with security code problem

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Hello guys,


Well, today I’ve faced a little problem with my car. I tried to start it and it simply refused to do that. The weather was too cold and it seems my car’s battery decided to die. Anyway, I asked my electrician to check it out and he said that I needed to replace the battery and that’s what I did. After that, the car worked just fine. What happened after that is what I think is not fine. My radio became in the reset state after it was unplugged from the battery and now it shows this:



Ummmm… I tried to enter a code like 0000 and it failed. I tried other combinations and the radio replaced this with a "Wait Code" message and totally  stopped responding to any key entries at all. So I had to do my thing and dig this problem on the web. I found many people who faced this same problem before and they all said that when you enter the wrong code for 3 times (which I did LOOL!), the headset will stop responding for around 90 minutes before getting back to its "Code enter" status. This means that the headset should be kept on for 90 minutes in order to reset. So I had to find a far place to go to …. LOOOL! Don’t look at me, I did that and luckily, the radio unlocked in less than 90 minutes. So now, I’m back to the "Enter Code" state 🙂 .


From my research, I found out that I have 2 solutions for this problem:


1. Replace the headset … hell no, I won’t do that. I like my radio and it’s working just fine, so why do that?!!!


2. Take the headset to my BMW dealer and verify that I own this headset and then, they will look for the unlock code on their computers, of course after getting a specific serial # that’s placed on the back of the headset. The problem with this is that I will have to do that after the holidays.


While searching for more information on this problem, I found a website that claims to offer you the code in exchange for 38$. All I have to do is to send them my radio’s serial # and they will send me the unlock code… cool but no. I decided to wait and get the radio to my BMW dealer instead b/c I simply feel that this is illegal in some way.


Anyway, now I’m waiting to do that 🙁 . I will let you know what happens next.


Wait for more on …
BMW E36 Blog


best regards,

Tony Sticks.

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There are currently 4 responses to “BMW radio with security code problem”

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  1. 1 On March 2nd, 2008, vik said:

    the dumb thing is that if you go to the dealer you still have to take the radio out beforehand or pay them to do it to get the radios serial number. i dont understand why they dont just have it correspond with the cars serial seeing as how they demand proof of ownership anyway. this doesnt really make sense because someone can have a stolen radio in THEIR LEGAL car and go to the bmw dealership and get the code no prob. they should have had the radio code made unlockable soley by the cars serial number. its not like any harm will come of it even if any stranger can walk by your windshield and see your cars serial number it wouldnt do them any good if they stole it because it wouldnt be in the original car. so seeing as how bmw decided to make a unique radio serial number i can steal your bmw radio and install it in my bmw then go to the dealer, prove that its my car and have fun listening to your radio. a bad attempt at anti theft.

  2. 2 On March 3rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Vik,

    I think you’re right about this. But again, I’m almost sure that anti-theft systems are NOT bulletproof. Every system has some weak points and no matter how far you go with your protection system, someone will find a flaw and be able to use it to his advantage. The idea to make breaking the system as hard as possible, which in this case it’s not that hard LOL!

  3. 3 On March 5th, 2008, Buccaneer said:


    I ve been facing the same problem lately with my E36 Business version radio! Its a pain in the ass driving with out the radio and not being able to turn it on :(.
    I installed a cold air intake into my car and therefore I had to disconnect the battery….and guess what radio goes on a strike and wants a code. Enterd the wrong code 3 times and get the Code Wait message.
    So I decided to do a lill research on the web on how to fix. I found out that for some radios you don’t have to take the radio out to get the serial number. Just put your key into the ignition, position 1 and press the ‘m’ button on your radio for a little while until the serial number pops up in that little screen. Use that # and go to any BMW dealer they than will get you the code! should be free! at least they didn’t charge me.
    Ok, hope that helps!

  4. 4 On March 6th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Cool! thanks for sharing this information Buccaneer.