We just purchased a 1988 528e for our daughter but the previous owners
had removed the battery long enough that the anti-theft system kicked
in. Of course they do not remember the code!
Is there some sneaky way to rest the radio until my daughter can affird
to install a more modern radio?
Also what is the best replacement radio for this year model?
Perhaps so on modern BMWs (I'm not sure) but at least on these older
ones the code is based on the radio serial number, not the VIN. You
will either have to bring it to the stealership and prove you are the
owner or pull the radio out yourself, get the numbers off it, and then
go to the dealer and somehow prove that you are the owner.
If you take the registration to the dealership with the serial number of the
radio, they should have a way to provide you with the code for that unit.
Each radio has a different code, and there are 6x6x6x6x6x6 combinations, so
searching for the right code can be a lengthy process. The point is that the
crooks are not going to invest the time to crack the code, therefore they
are not going to steal the radio.
There should be an Owner's Manual specifically for the radio, and this will
have the code in it. But barring that, the dealership is the only source for
the codes. They are going to want to see that the radio is actually yours or
they could be giving the code to the crooks, and defeat the purpose for
having the code in the first place.
They're often part of the serial number which should be somewhere on the
radio. But might be the first few digits, the last few, or even in the
A car radio group - giving the make and serial number of the actual radio
Incidentally, in the UK, car ICE was never factory fitted at this age.
Dealer or aftermarket.
*Strip mining prevents forest fires.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
ICE? What's that?
As an aside, why would they include the code in the serial number. If a
crook took the radio, the serial number would contain the code and this
would render the code useless. The purpose is to dissuade a thief from
taking the radio because the radio would be inoperative unless the code
could be determined. If the code was printed on the radio itself, then the
code would not be a deterent to theft.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback.
I will be taking the car (excuse me my Daughter's car) to the
dealership soon to get a bumper to bumper inspection and ask them to
also look at the radio.
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