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The following applies to factory radios in the EX trim level ("Y package" in Canada), all years.

The owner's manual* explains:

If your vehicle’s battery is disconnected or goes dead, or the radio fuse is removed, the audio system will disable itself. If this happens, you will see “COdE” in the frequency display the next time you turn on the system.

A card with your vehicle's five-digit radio security code should have been included with the car's paperwork. Sometimes it's tucked into the owner's manual. Sometimes there is a sticker inside the glovebox.

The owner's manual continues:

Use the preset buttons to enter the five-digit code ... When it is entered correctly, the radio will start playing.

If you make a mistake entering the code, do not start over; complete the five-digit sequence, then enter the correct code. You have 10 tries to enter the correct code. If you are unsuccessful in 10 attempts, you must then leave the system on for 1 hour before trying again.

Sometimes, especially with a used car, the radio code is nowhere to be found. In that case, you must access the radio's serial number. The procedure for 2004 and later Elements:

1. Turn the ignition switch to ON.

2. Turn ON the device and confirm that the display reads COdE.
If you don’t see this message, pull the backup fuse for 1 minute, and then go back to step 1.

3. Turn OFF the device.

4. Press and hold the 1 and 6 radio preset buttons, and turn ON the device.

5. The display toggles between two screens: U with the first 4 digits of the serial number (U2200 for example,)

6. And L with the last 4 digits of the serial number (L0055 for example.)

7. Ignore the U and L and record all 8 digits
(If the above doesn't work, you can remove the radio to find its serial number on a tag affixed to the outside of the case.)

Once you have the radio's serial number, you can get the security code from one of at least four sources:

a) Honda's Radio & Navigation System Micro-site

b) A Honda dealer

c) The Honda OwnerLink Web site (you will need to register and enter the car's VIN)

d) Toll-free customer service number, 1-800-999-1009

For 2003 vehicles, the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Honda Web site says:

Older vehicles (model year 2003 and older) require a visit to the dealer in order to retrieve the audio unit serial number. If dealer assistance is required to retrieve your serial number, the dealer will be able to provide the radio code as well.
*If you don't have an owner's manual, you can purchase a paper copy here (2003 shown; change the model year as needed), or view PDF versions courtesy of Links to individual years here. (The 2003–07 manuals contain hyperlinks to individual pages. The 2008–10 manuals, OTOH, are very large, unlinked files; best to right-click the link to save to your machine than to try to read it online.)

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