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Old 12-04-2015, 08:45 PM   #123
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Default Re: Unlocking Theft Deterrent Radio

Originally Posted by kx250ryder View Post
I was troubleshooting a dead driver side power window on my girlfriend's 1998 Saturn SL2 and it killed the battery.

Upon hooking up the battery charger, I noticed that it triggered the LOC code on her radio (CD player w/ EQ). I was surprised because I figured nobody ever bothered to set their radio lock code (since they might forget and lock themselves out). Well, apparently the previous owner did set a code (just my luck). Anyway, I guessed all the popular codes, and apparently after too many tries, it locks the radio into INOP mode.

I found a link to a forum thread (below) that described the process for GM vehicles, however Saturn and Geo use 4 digit radio codes instead of 6 digit codes like the rest of GM so the process is different than what you see spread all over the internet:

***Read all steps before attempting. You are on a time limit when entering codes, so knowing what to do in advance will save alot of frustration***

1.) To begin, if your radio is displays LOC, then proceed to step 2. If your radio says INOP, then turn your ignition to the RUN position, and turn the radio ON. You must leave it like this for a minimum of 1 hour (not 59 minutes) to clear the INOP message. I would wait 1 1/2 hours just in case doing it too early causes the timer to start over.

2.) Turn your ignition to RUN (if not already), and your radio to OFF. Press and hold preset buttons 2 and 3 for around 5-10 seconds to obtain a scrambled version of your radio's original factory set code.

3.) Call 800-537-5140 and ignore whatever you are promted to do (something about different dealer brands Chevy, Pontiac, Saturn,etc.), and type the number 202108 into your phone and then press the # button.

4.) Input your radio's 4 digit code into your phone when prompted, then press the * button (NOT pound symbol like above step) and be ready with a pen and paper to write down the unscrambled code. Keep this code somewhere you WILL NOT lose it. I wrote mine in the notes section of the owners manual.

5.) Once you have the code written down, press and hold 5 and 6 on your radio's preset buttons for 5-10 seconds.

6.) Then press the seek down button once to start the entry process.

7.) Using the following key, repeatedly press the buttons to set your code:
seek down = first digit
seek up = second digit
tune down = third digit
tune up = fourth digit

NOTE: I just checked a picture of the stereo out and discovered the buttons have arrows facing left and right and not up and down. For the purposes of this process, left represents down, and right represents up.

8.) Once you have the code entered, press AM/FM to set it.

Presto, you have kept your local dealer from screwing you out of $30-100 dollars.

Note that the code given in step 3 belongs to a Pontiac dealer out there somewhere (judging by the number 2 at the beginning of the code if you listen to the voice prompts on the 800 number), so if they go out of business or wise up to their code being used, this method may eventually not work. However, the post I dug it up from is over a year old, so there is hope that it will last a while.

If you are not comfortable with the above process, I believe Saturn of Tempe (Arizona) will help you reset your radio over the phone for free; not sure though, I wanted to know how to do it myself, since service departments aren't always open especially on nights and weekends. I wouldn't go in person (since you will be easier to charge standing there with your wallet/purse- just call, and be very very VERY nice so that the tech doesn't feel like screwing you into paying.

I successfully used this method today, december 2015, but with updated information, as this original post has outdated phone numbers. I unlocked a 99 Saturn which had "LOC" on the display. Used the method holding down the number 2 & 3 buttons. Probably between 5 to 10 seconds as previously stated a 4 digit code shown in the display, 3331. Be aware that it showed up 333, and a small half sized 1 showed up in the upper right corner.
The phone number in the original post (1-800-537-5140) no longer works for anybody. Rings endlessly. So skip steps 3 & 4 they are obsolete. I found a good number from some other guy for "United Radio" 1-800-448-0944. A real person will answer and no dealer codes are necessary. Just tell them you need the code to unlock your radio and the type vehicle. They were happy to help, they must do that all day. They didn't have the codes for 99 Saturn so they had me call Delphi at 1-800-428-0501. Told the guy what i was after and he gave me the correct unlock code right away, 1720. If it helps anyone the car showed 3331 and the unlock code for that is 1720. Then i just followed the directions from the original post starting with step 5, holding down the number 5 & 6 buttons for 5-10 seconds. Be aware nothing obvious will happen when you do that. Just let go of them after that time period. Then for the 99 Saturn i used the left/right arrows as stated in the original post to plug in the 1720 number. If you pass up the digit you wanted to stop at just keep going around again until you get to it. Then when the 1720 was on the display I didn't have to do anything else but touch the AM/FM button and instantly the time came back onto the display and radio worked.


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