How To Locate a BMW Radio Code

Since 1990 BMW has incorporated the use of radio codes as a means to combat auto theft particularly for BMW vehicles manufactured in North America. This radio code is generally not an integral part of the car’s primary function unless the radio is dismantled from the car or the battery has been disconnected. If you’ve forgotten where you placed this radio code or you may have purchased the car from a third party seller, don’t worry. You can still retrieve the radio code by following this simple guide.

BMW has strategically categorized its cars into two types. Type 1 BMWs consist of BMWs that were manufactured in the year 2000 and up while Type 2 BMWs are those that were made before 2000. It is also important to know your car model as it will be a required information to get your radio code.

Type 1 BMW (Year 2000 and up)

  • Make sure the key is on off mode.
  • On the radio panel, press and hold the “M” button.
  • Still holding the “M” button, turn on the ignition and turn on the radio.
  • You’ll see the radio serial number on your radio screen. Write it down and keep in secure storage preferably not inside the same car. Remember to double check the accuracy of the code to avoid any delay in the process.
  • If you’re unable to see the serial numbers on your radio screen, please refer to the steps below.

Type 2 BMW (Car models before 2000)

•    This step requires the radio to be detached from its case as you’ll need the serial number found at the chassis of the radio itself. The radio serial number may start with F, AL, P, BP, or Pha. This is applicable for radios manufactured by Alpine, Pioneer, or Blaupunkt. For more information on how to safely remove the radio from your car, visit and look for its car stereo installation and removal guides.

After securing the serial number of the radio, the next step is to purchase the code. You may choose to purchase radio codes at Remember that you can receive your new radio code via email so it’s best to turn off all email spam blocking software or device that may delay the retrieval process. Radio codes usually cost around $20 using PayPal or if you’re in a hurry, you may also opt to use the site’s Express Service. Retrieval time ranges from 30 minutes to 24 hours after you provide all the details including the radio serial number, radio model number etc.

Also it is important to be careful in providing your correct telephone number, email address, and of course pertinent radio serial numbers to prevent any issues moving forward. In the event that you’ll successfully receive your new radio code, you need to take caution in putting the code in as improper code entry will result in a lock up and your radio screen may flash “Codee-“, “Lock”, “Inop-“ or “err1-“. In such cases, you’ll need to purchase the manual override guide provided by radio-code 


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