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Old 11-16-2003, 12:32 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 16
Stereo HELP

I un-hooked my battery today to charge it,and now my stereo is asking for a code.
The owners manual says there 2 cards with the codes,
I bought my car used and there are no cards...
Now what?
Is there a universal code?
What will the shop need my vin # and some time to track it?
Or can they get me up and running right away.
Should they charge me?
Thanks, Kevin
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:55 AM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
If you go to any MB dealership with proof of ownership (and sometimes $10) they'll give you the code.

MBs up to 89 or 90 require a trip to the dealer to reset the stereo. I don't know if those stereos display CODE when they need to be reset.

95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:44 AM
KenP's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
I had the identical issue with my MB... bought used, no code card.
At the dealer, the service manager wanted to see the car's registration and my driver's permit to prove ownership of the car/radio.
Took him about 15 seconds to look it up in their computerized data base. I suspect he looked up the VMI on the car because I saw him punch in the VIN.
I asked if he could give me a copy of the VMI and he declined. He wrote the code on the back of one of his business cards and handed to me.
Got home, punched in the code, and the radio locked up for 24 hours. Hmmm.
Contacted Becker of North America (they're in NJ). Told them the serial # of the radio and the code I'd been given. They were very helpful in telling me the code the dealer gave me was bad and that they would provide me the proper code for $30 plus proof of legal ownership (never figured out what that meant). They consider the code to be a "part" that you order from the parts department.
Anyway, off to another MB dealer... asked for the code and VMI... was told they couldn't help me because my '96 S500 was "too old and not in the data base". Then he wanted to know if I bought the car there.... when the answer was no, he simply walked away.
Back to the first dealer... he remembered me, looked it up again, and gave me a different number. That one worked.
Bottom line: They've got the code at the dealer and can give it to you instantly if you find the right guy/gal.
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:13 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 16
Thanks guys I'll be heading there tomorrow!
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Posts: 1,149
Did you get the small (6X10X2) black zippered leather pouch containing the owner's manual, radio manual, and service schedules from the previous owner? The "cards" are usually stored in this pouch. There's an awful lot of important information in those "books" and if possible, I'd persue the previous owner / dealer to get them. Look all over the car; as the pouch may have been thrown in the truck or in one of the storage areas. ttt
Resistance is Futile.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 16
Yes I got all the books Just no cards.
The good news is the dealer gave me the code over the phone
today, that saved me a 100 mile round trip drive.
Not that I mind driveing my car...just nice to avoid the hasel.
Thanks again,Kevin
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:04 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
In the future, if you have an old service invoice from the dealer, look in the vehicle area of the ticket for "RSC" (which stands for radio security code) and there will be the numbers you need to recode your system.

Only my W124 had the numbers incribed in the owner's manual...I discovered the invoice tip only after realizing that the other two MBs didn't have it written down anywhere!
2009 ML350 (84K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (71K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (124K) - My daily driver
2012 Mustang V6 (60K) - Daughter's car
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 16
Great tip !
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