'03 Tahoe and the Body Control Module



Had to replace the body control module on my '03 Tahoe. Put in a used one, but it was supposedly coded to my vehicle. Good news. Problem with the indicator saying the left rear door was open and the lights staying on all the time is fixed.
Bad news. The radio says ‘Locked’ and I have tried every possible combination of buttons to get the VIN code to display so I can get the unlock code on the internet.
Anyone have any ideas? Pushing the 2-3 buttons with the right advance doesn’t do it. Pushing the 1-4 buttons doesn’t do it. I’ve tried everything. Don’t want to take it to the dealer as they charge a small fortune for 15 minutes or real work.

I’m getting desperate. I can’t listen to CAR TALK.


Isn’t the vin code at the base of your windshield and also on your registration and insurance cards.


Phone the dealership and see if you can get them to cough up the info over the phone. If they know how to do it, and it can be explained in a minute or two, I expect they will do this for you gratis towards good customer relations. Worth a try at least.


I found this after a brief search:

**** begin snip ******
The following procedure will give you a new code that you can use instead of your personal code. Using this new code, you can “unlock” your radio and then “re-lock” it with a new code if you wish. Prerequisites: The radio must be in LOC mode NOT in INOP mode. Let me explain. If you have activated the Theft-Deterrent feature of your radio and loose power, the radio goes into LOC (theftlock) mode. With the ignition on, you must use the MN and HR buttons to enter you personal code in order to unlock it (The instructions are on page 3-27 in your Y2K Owner’s manual). If you fail to enter the correct code eight (8) times, the radio goes into INOP mode. You have to wait an hour with the ignition on before the radio returns to LOC mode (go for a long drive somewhere).


  1. Turn the ignition ON (The radio displays LOC)

  2. Hold down the Radio Presets 2 and 3 buttons for six seconds

  3. The radio display changes from LOC to a three-digit number. Write this number down. Don’t take forever, fifteen seconds max before the next step.

  4. Press the AM/FM button

  5. The radio display changes to another three-digit number. Write this number to the right of the first one.

  6. You now have a six-digit number, the first three digits are from STEP 03 and the last three digits are form STEP 05

  7. Call 1 800 537 5140

  8. Press 1 then # (pound). You’ll hear “Invalid Code, try again”

  9. Press 139010 then # (pound). You will be asked to enter your four or six digit code followed by * (start)

  10. Enter the number from STEP 6 then * (star)

  11. Listen to the four-digit number and write it down. It will be repeated twice

  12. Turn the ignition ON (The radio displays LOC)

  13. Use the MN and HR buttons to enter the code from STEP 11

  14. Press the AM/FM button. The radio display changes to SEC Your radio is now “un-locked” and usable. The Theft-Deterrent feature is STILL active! If you want to disable it, use the instruction on page 3-27 in your Y2K Owner’s manual. Use the code from STEP 11 instead of your personal code.

Let us know if it works-


@TwinTurbo"…this sounds about as complicated as activating Windows by phone.


Just curious, if it is possible to unlock the radio using the above script, what is the manufacturer’s purpose for locking it and inconveniencing the owner so much in the first place? Seems to me this is like putting a lock on your front door, then leaving the key to the doorknob. Is there method to this madness? Why does the manufacturer make a seemingly simple problem so difficult for the customer to solve?



Looks simple to me and it’s free.
It takes 5 minutes to do, which is less time than driving to the dealership let alone having one of them do it for a fee.
What would you propose as an alternative?


Not exactly. You need the keys to access the codes so there is at least some measure of difficulty in someone else accessing the codes and yet, you can still do it if you’re the rightful owner. It looks like a decent balance between security and difficulty in circumventing to me. This is the process the dealership normally would do to unlock your radio but posted here for the masses.



"Looks simple to me . . . "

Have you tried it?

Did it work for you?


Is this for radio-theft deterence? Is the purpose so that the radio – while possible for a thief to steal from the car – the thief would be unable to make it work without the car and the car’s keys? I can see how that would be useful, if only to protect the car’s windows; i.e. that it would be less likely a thief would break the window to steal the radio if he/she knew doing so would be pointless.



No I haven’t tried it but I can read and understand simple English instructions. What part baffled you?

The place I found it had numerous people responding who did use it successfully so thought it might be helpful to the OP looking for a solution.

Push some buttons, record a few numbers, dial your phone… if anyone is stymied by that, it has probably accomplished its goal…


Nice work. Ya oughta see the procedure to reset the idle on the Olds-glad I had the shop manual.

One thing with posting questions here is you’ve got to come back from time to time and read responses and maybe add some more info. Don’t know why people don’t come back again after asking a question.



I am also a pretty good reader. None of the instructions baffled me.

That said, it seemed like a pretty long, drawn out, and tedious process to me.

Thank you for your response.


Hello Twin Turbo. Thanks for your post, but just a quick note to advise that the procedure you posted I had already found on the internet. Pressing the 2-3 together does nothing on this radio. Also note that the radio in this Tahoe does not display a LOC but the entire work LOCKED. Got any other ideas?