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That means that the battery has been disconnected. You will need to pull the radio out of the dash far enough to read the serial number. Then ask a service writer at the dealer to look up the code to unlock the radio. You punch in the code using the number buttons on the radio.
You will have to pull the radio out of the dash far enough to get the serial number. The dealer can look up the code, given the radio serial number. If they want to charge you for this service, find a different dealer.
Normally the dealer just needs to know the serial and it will give you the code in less than a minute. If the code they gave you doesn't work then the radio unit has been modified and the only ones that know what was modified are the ones that did it.
Just bite the bullet and get a new radio - one with an iPod hookup , your wife will appreciate that.
The BMW anti-theft radio circuitry is designed to essentially render your radio unsalable if it is stolen. If the radio is subsequently electrically reconnected, it will not operate until a five-digit security code assigned to your radio is entered. The anti-theft features and operation are as follows:
After the ignition key is removed, the red "anti-theft" LED will continuously flash, drawing attention to this feature.
Should anyone, such as a thief, touch any push-button on the radio after the key is removed, the anti-theft inscription will flash and a warning tone will sound for 5 minutes or until the ignition is turned ON .
Should the voltage supply to the radio drop below 5 volts due to a dead battery, electrical repairs, or radio removal (such as theft), the radio will not function when voltage is restored. The word "code" will show in the display only.
The proper 5-digit code shown on the TWO CARDS SUPPLIED TO YOU must then be entered (using the proper number radio push-button selectors in the bottom row) when the radio is on and the display shows "code". If the correct code is not entered in three successive tries , the radio will not accept entry until the radio has been left on for one hour with the ignition ON . IMPORTANT: When entering 5-digit code number, be sure to complete sequence number of that 5-digit code. For example: Code No. sequence is 43215 and you mistakenly enter 42 instead of 3, continue the code number sequence of 215 to complete that entry. The radio will not operate and "code" will reappear in the display. Re-enter the correct number sequence of 43215 and operation of the radio will continue. The likelihood of guessing the correct code is extremely remote. The radio is, therefore, unsalable to a thief. NOTE: If an audible beep is heard while entering the 5-digit code, STOP immediately ! Begin entering the code again, starting with the first number of the 5-digit code.
The code card should be placed in your wallet, or with the vehicle title papers for security as deemed necessary by your individual needs.
Should radio or electrical repairs become necessary, please give the repairing facility the radio code number. If you do not, only authorized BMW dealer personnel can obtain the code from BMW.
Should you lose your code cards, contact the nearest BMW dealer who will then obtain your code from BMW. You may be charged for removal of the radio to ascertain the radio chassis number.
WARNING: FOR YOUR PROTECTION, CODES WILL NOT BE GIVEN OUT TO ANYONE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OTHER THAN AUTHORIZED BMW DEALER PERSONNEL AFTER PROOF OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP AND PROPER IDENTIFICATION IS ESTABLISHED.
Install the 2 enclosed warning decals in accordance with motor vehicle regulations.
There is a code consisting of four (4) characters that you may have to check in the radio manual of your car or, bring your car to the nearest BMW dealer and they shall help you, as far as I know you may just bring the immobilized car key then they can find the radio code for you in their database (provided the radio has never been changed)...