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Junkyard radio: antitheft code

One of the buttons on my 1999 Civic’s radio/CD player has stopped working - the most-used one, that skips ahead on a CD. If I find a similar radio at an auto recycler, it won’t work unless an antitheft code is keyed in. I assume the antitheft code has been long lost. How do you work around that problem?

Honda does have a call-in number to retrieve the code if you have the VIN. I found that the hard way when I replaced the battery in my Honda S2000.

Sometimes the code is written in the glovebox by the dealer that services the car so it might be in the car the radio is pulled from.

Good to know. Thanks!

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Remove the glovebox lid on the donor car

there may be a white sticker with a 4- or 5 digit number

On the civics in our fleet . . . which are newer than yours . . . that is the radio code

And the sticker was put there by Honda, not by our mechanics

Or get an aftermarket radio. These usually come with an install kit if you get it from a big online reseller. They don’t cost that much, will likely be an upgrade from the factory radio, and will not have this code. You want to get a CD player but almost all modern units will play MP3 CDs and allow for phones, players, etc. to interface as well either via a wire or bluetooth. Spend $100 and get a major upgrade from 1999.


I just went out and looked for the anti-theft code for my 97 Accord.

Trunk lid? Nope!

Doors? Nope!

Under the hood? Nope!

Glove box lid? Nope!

Only place I could find it was in the owners manual.


The serial number will be on the radio. Or you can push the power button and the 1 and 6 preset at the same time and the serial number will show on the screen. You can easily obtain the code from your dealer or internet sources with the serial number.

Printed or hand-written? Just curious. My '00 S2000 manual didn’t have the code anywhere. Printed or handwritten.

It’s actually a sticker with the code on the page.

And it looks like it was placed there by hand. Because it’s mounted crooked.


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