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VW Jetta Radio Code

Q. Hey Vincent, I like your site, there is tons of good info there and I found many relevant concerns of mine just searching through the Q&A section. However, I am having a problem with my 1997 VW Jetta stock stereo. I bought the car used from a private individual about a year ago and just recently replaced the battery.

VW Jetta Radio Code

While unhooking the battery I assume I took all power away from the radio and now it is on safe mode. I checked my manual for the code, but the previous owner took the card with security code on it.

So I called the dealership where I got the battery, VW of America and the dealership where the car was originally purchased and nobody seems to have the security code on record (Absurd!). The response I got from all three was that I should return to my local dealership and have them take out the radio and get the code from the side of the unit (at additional cost).

So my question is rather than having the dealership take out the radio (and add additional cost to an already overpriced battery) is there a relatively easy procedure for removing the radio and getting the codes myself? I am about to rip up my dashboard HELP!

Thanks so much
Colin K

PS... Also, is there a difference between the raised terminal batteries that are available at Pep Boys, Trak Auto and the like and the recessed terminal VW batteries that you buy at the dealership. Will either work for my car?

A. VW is putting the radio security code on the radio itself now?!?!? Now that makes no sense. The idea of the code is to make the radio useless if it's stolen. Putting the code on the radio is like a bank writing the combination to the safe on the door.

If you go to a VW Dealer with the car, they can run the VIN number and get the radio code for you. If you can go to the original selling dealer, they will have a record of it in the car package. Can you get a hold of the original owner by any chance? If you can that would be the thing to do. VW will not give the code out over the phone, you have to go to the dealer so they can verify you actually own the car.

As for the batteries, the battery is specifically for the car it is designed to go into. As for quality, that's a different matter. I can't say if their batteries are good or bad. My preference is Interstate Batteries. I use them in my cars and sell them in my shop.

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