I had to remove the battery so I can replace the driver's side low beam headlight. I didn't bother to buy a settings saver because I found the security code in my Honda's packet (I bought this car used and luckily the owner was pretty organized with documentation and maintenance records).

Initially when I turned on the car...I see 1:01 on the clock. Then when I turned the radio on I see "CODE". So I used the preset buttons (1 ... 6) to punch in my code. However, every time I enter it I see "Err". First "Err1", then "Err2"...then eventually "Erre"!

I also went onto this website: https://radio-navicode.honda.com/framepage.aspx?theme=Honda to verify that I have the right security code (I used the radio serial number on the documentation card to retrieve the radio security code from the website) and indeed it is correct.

One other thing that I read to try is to hold down Preset 1 and Preset 6 buttons...and then turn the car on. Supposedly I should see the radio serial number displayed. However this did not work. I wanted to do this so that I can verify the radio serial number. I also wanted to do this because in case this radio has a different serial number I can use this serial to retrieve the security code from the website.

Now, I'm kind of stuck. Any Honda (2003 Accord) owners out there? What am I doing wrong? What should I do next?

  • Ask a honda dealer very nicely to check the radio's serial number for you. If you're lucky, they may do it for free. If it turns out it's NOT the right serial number, a dealer or auto-electrician may be able to bypass the security code. Else, you could also try inputting every combination of codes possible. There's 10000 possibilities, so maybe try a few hundred a day. And maybe start at 5000. I put this as a comment because it's not GREAT advice. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 9:58

2 Answers 2


So, I called the dealer and they gave me more confidence that trying to get the serial number of the radio is the way to go. The dealer suggested pressing 1 & 6 on the radio again.

After MANY attempts of trying different ways to do this, I found the following to work:

  1. Turn on the car
  2. Make sure the radio is off...if not off, turn off. Should just see the clock
  3. Press and hold preset button 1 & 6 down simultaneously for 15 - 20 seconds
  4. While still holding those buttons, press the power button
  5. You should now see "U" and a 4 digit number(ex: Uxxxx), then it should toggle and show "L" and a 4 digit numbers (ex:Lyyyy).
  6. Your radio's serial number is xxxxyyyy
  7. Now go to https://radio-navicode.honda.com/framepage.aspx?theme=Honda, enter the appropriate information to retrieve the access code!

It turned out that the card that I have when I purchased this used car had the WRONG serial number and access code. I don't know if the previous owner had another Honda or not...maybe the card goes with another car.

  • It is a matter of following the sequence exactly. They can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from radio model to model. I have seen a couple of radios that now shake hands with the component id (CID) of the vehicles ECU. To change the radio means that a main dealer has too have a corporate id, their computer has to have a known cid, to connect with the manufacturers computer to change a radio. It also means nobody can just swop the ECU on a stolen vehicle to beat the immobiliser. Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 11:00
  • Milesmoeow you are a life saver! Your alternate instructions to retrieve auto s/n were just what I needed. Many thanks
    – user4952
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 22:01
  • 1
    My Honda Civic 2010 only shows a 8 digit number, is it normal? Also, the site doesn't seem to accept the Canadian VIN / Zip Code. Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 17:55

Your vehicle may have had a replacement radio at some time and the serial number would then be differant. The radio is removable and will be labelled with its serial number. Have the radio removed to obtain the actual serial number on it. Carefully read the instructions for entering the code. With the radio re-installed turn the radio on. The radio must now remain on until the word code 'flashes'. A time interval is embedded into the radio which is started every time a wrong code is entered. This means that the radio has to be left turned on for a very long time sometimes as each false/wrong attempt increases the time interval.(Just turned on until the word code flashes.) After a certain number, usually about ten, of false/incorrect attempts at code entry the radio becomes permanantly locked out. The radio then becomes scrap. The insurance industry insists on this set up to make radios or such like more difficult and less worthwhile to steal.

  • After a certain number of attempts the radio is permanently disabled?!? I actually tried to enter the code many times recently and eventually I got "ErrE". I then disconnect-reconnected the battery. Now I see Err1... when I tried to enter the code again. Ugh. I hope it is not permanently disabled.
    – milesmeow
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 18:12

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