How do I reset a car audio system?

I just bought a used car, but the previous owner must have put a code on the stereo. As of now, I can’t access anything on the head unit. How can I reset the audio system on my car?

Congrats on the new purchase! Many head units and stereo systems have codes to help prevent theft, but resetting the code is easy. To reset a car audio system, get the code from the owner’s manual, take your car to a dealership, or call the manufacturer.
To make the process as easy as possible, do these steps in order:
  • Your radio may have a small, needle-sized hole. If it does, you may be able to use a paper clip or a pen tip to perform a soft reset that should solve the problem.
  • If that doesn’t work, consult the owner’s manual for your head unit to get the code. If you don’t have the original, you can usually find one online.
  • If you’re unable to reset the radio this way, pull the head unit out and find the serial number on the back of the unit.
  • Call the manufacturer to get the code for this particular model.
  • If the head unit is an OEM part or made by the automaker, take your car to the dealership to get the radio reset.
While you’re waiting for the dealership to reset your radio, use this time wisely by saving money on your car insurance with the Jerry app.
As a licensed broker, Jerry helps you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers in minutes. When you find a better rate, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even help cancel your old policy!
Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 24, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.

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