How to prevent loss of data on your newer cars Radio Head end and Navigation systems.    
I lost my radio codes? , or how can I get them for free (sorry, you can't)

Index:  (As always, check (test) all Fuses, first !)    This page is generic for all cars that have these electronic devices.
  1. See IMMOBILIZER BS here. (engine won't start?)_( and the Security systems , blocking use of car or other functions of the vehicle)
  2. Battery dead?(charge it or fix the alternator system if it is dead first)  12.6v is a charged rested battery,  13.3v to 15vdc running the engine.
  3. THE Radio is bricked or NAV,  is dead,   The happens when the battery goes dead (cars) or is disconnected. A 1998 + feature of radios and NAV systems.
  4. GPS NAV system (stock car)  is bricked.  I think, only the stock car maker  can help you, go to your car maker dot com and read. or call them.  (Stock, means your car manfacture and the parts that came on the car brand new)
  5. Aux. Cig port keep alive trick
  6. Aux. Cig, port upgrade and solar cell?
  7. The cute battery monitor device for your Cig port. To find problems.
May I say , that I think Paranoia is a vile disgusting emotions, reducing your freedoms, to gain the illusion of security, is a sad thing to watch.  Very sad.  There is only one form of security, and not one thing below. gives you that.  (but FUD does sell cars.....)
Half of all cars stolen are with keys, left in the car,  and many of the rest are tailer towed, away and chopped.  (next will be voice print access ( I have actually built these... for others....and custom silent alarms.)

 The battery in your newer cars, is needed to keep many things, from forgetting.

The wire that does this, is called a memory wire, found on the Radio, the ECU, the TCM and GPS NAV systems.  (RADIO = HEAD END)
Bar stool words?
For the engine brain, and the tranny brain, and the GPS navigation system and the RADIO stations and anti-thieft paranoid brain. (brain, puter or computer, processor, or logic)
Aftermarket, radio's do not have this,  the "I am bricked now, feature", please enter radio code now, None do  (says, Crutchfield adviser)
Aftermarket means, a non stock car part, from any source on earth.
Only radio's found  in newer stock cars, have this malarkey, I call the bricking feature.  ah , crap the Radio's Bricked again, dang, kiss for $150 at the freak'n stealership?
Some older cars, have been upgraded to newer stock car radios,   , and then discover this
The car Factory Radio and Navigation heads today, have so called, anti-theft security.
Those 2 systems "think ?" it's being stolen, if the car battery is disconnected or just when dead. (left the head lights on?)
The DISPLAY shows, LOCKED, CODE , SAFE, or INOP? Security? (or other errors, read the glove box manual, for your opted day 1 new,  radio.) "my car had 5 radio's to choose day 1"

If you allow the cars main battery to go dead, for any reason, the newer radio's go to a a bricked state, as does some NAV systems.  (It asks for a SECRET code, and some Radio's seem to work (tunes ok) but only the sound is dead, yup , you bricked it.)
Personally I'm willing to pay for car insurance, and none of this malarkey. ( I want my car to be 100% reliable and this system sucks, in that regard)  I SHOULD get a choice ,but NO I DO NOT.
Most newer cars, have fly-by-wire systems, that get lost  (battery dead) and need to be recalibrated, including idle controls, and other things, all clearly stated in the cars FSM book.  Some are easy, others no so easy, Eg. Dealer only scan tools !
I can not predict  all cars, only you can read this book and find the solutions.  (
Search for RE-LEARN or need to be Re-Programmed in that book. (and DANGER and the word WARNING)  < this shows up in the FSM the factory service manual , buy one and read it.

THE AUX BATTERY TRICK: (can work or not, depends on car.)
First the prevention,  this is easy, it's  a 9 volt D.C,  smoke detector battery (1960s transistor battery) and a cigarette light plug, and a simple low barrier voltage Schottky diode inside. (I built mine, by hand, long ago...) The diode stops the car battery from blowing up the 9v battery.
This device is sold at Walfart, now, in the tire department (batteries, and charges section) SEE IT HERE, the  "NOCO Settings Keeper with 9V Battery"

Connect this device first to a CIG lighter, that is hot all the time, If you  then disconnect the cars battery or pull some fuses.
Some cars have 2 CIG lighters, one is hot key on only, the other Plug is hot all the time, only the hot CIG works.
Do not pull the fuses marked main (engine bay box or cab), Radio, NAV., CIG, or EFI fuses marked  FI, IG-COIL or DOME.  Nor disconnect the radio or NAV systems parts. (or they will get bricked). The memory wire must be kept HOT.
The Auxiliary  battery tool can not save you from , disconnecting the RADIO or NAV (connectors or its own fuses)
This AUX tool works great, for cleaning battery terminals, or replacing a starter or alternator.  (or working on other random circuits)
Bricking has 2 levels, temporary and life time, the latter is caused by persons wild guessing the code.

If car is old, only the radio stations are lost and the TCM might shift the transmission oddly, for a few miles, until it learns to shift better and by your driving habits. (no issues here)

A Cute voltmeter this is:
The same Wally World store, has this monitor device, so you can drive and watch battery and the alternator.  It's nice and simple and very useful too.
Do not crank your battery flat, if the car will not start, use jumper cables of another good running car.  Radio codes are a royal pain.

Do no remove the cars battery in any way,  until you consider these facts on my page.
At the air port, I use my solar charger and my battery is 100% charged later,even after being gone for 30 days.  (Harbor Fright (pun) has this panel too )
 On old cars, I had to add a new CIG lighter port, that is HOT all the time and small 5amp fuse in line.

Hot all the time means 12vdc, key off.  (a feature on many newer cars, so folks can charge a CELL phones, parked, or what EVA !  Add one, it's easy.  (use a fuse inline at 5amps and 16ga. wire.)
End prevention, begin recovery.

YOU ARE BRICKED !:  (ie. works, as dumb as a brick !)  This slang for activating the RADIO or NAV systems antitheft features.
Not applicable to anynew Sony Aftermarket Radio, only Car Factory radios have this  (feature)
All glove box operators guides tell you what to do, if  the Radio/NAV bricks itself. (dead audio and asking for code ,endlessly)
 READ THE OWNERS MANUAL Yet.?  IT covers this issue.  (it  was in the glove box on the new car,  get one?)
These ways and means work on all cars  made that have this feature.
There is not just one code (password like) , as each Radio has it's own unlock code.
Most dealers, not Suzuki, offer free OPERATOR  guides on line for 10 years , see Jeeps here.. Older than that , use this site.
Most car operators guides,  states flatly , "go to dealer".  Get it serviced...

My  one personal car, shows how  to back up your radio codes, by giving commands, at the radio or NAV. and writing down the codes , Honda's do that magic. (most cars, this asking trick, does not work)
Some cars.  hide, the code, on the truck lid edges, some where,  totally dumb that,, huh? If left there....
My other car, the same book says, the car came with  green card, in the glove box, that has this code clearly stated and says, to keep it at home, in a safe place , not in the car, yes, read the manual first.
Some cars, this code is sticker on the operators guide.
I mention this book because, some have secrets or special instructions for new car owner, on this topic. (I hope it saves you, cash)

If you lost your Radio memory (it's bricked asking for CODE?) or the NAV is bricked.?
There are only 6 choices. 
  1. The dealer (walk in , tow in, or drive in, call them or use  their web site, to ask, but most dealers say, you must walk/drive- in.)  {carry radio in? and have car registration handy and VIN and prove OWNERSHIP of car}
  2. Any good auto repair shop can do this, ASE rated shops for sure.
  3. Any lock Smith, that does cars and has license to do this , and some do house calls ($80+ labor house call , in my town) (drive in,, house calls.)
  4. Or use ONLINE services like this JEEP link. (they do most cars)
  5. Some brands of car have hacking web sites that offer PC softeware cracks called Keygens that may Infected with a VIRUS,  here is one example (not recommended). ( Good luck, you have been warned)
  6. Guess up to 9999 times?  Most newer radios , doing that bad act,  you go to full permanent brick mode, when hacked.   (only the true maker of radio can fix it , not the dealer.)
 Online radio codes, are just a Google search away, see the 22 million hits at Google or go here is one site for many cars.

The web sites that do codes services, may be limited by where you live.  (and some sites are Identity Theft portals. Good luck finding safe places on the internet that are not crooks)

Have ready:
  • The make, model and year of the vehicle?
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle?
  • The brand, serial number and part number of the radio (this might take removing said radio, to get this sticker tag data, on some radio's)
  • Your name and address and email , all this or just your phone number, and you might get a call, to be sure it's really your phone., and really your email.
Keep in mind, all this is to stop thieves. (it stops more owners, than thieves, by 100 to 1.)  A real money maker for shops.

The FSM told me this... (not rumor) (the real factory service manual)
Some radios will go to INOP permanently after 3 tries (long delay) of 8 tries. (or something similar based on year car) This  delay slows down the thief.
Some, will go asleep for 1 hour or 24 hours, after guessing wrong, 3,4 or 8 tries .
So, Guessing, can cause, no penalty, a delay or total forever bricking. Do NOT GUESS !  (do you feel lucky today?)

DO NOT BUY USED FACTORY OEM FLEABAY auction radio's with out a promise, that their provided code works or you get all you money back, every dime. ! Get a promise, using ASK seller feature.

Each Radio maker , does this differently, it's their call and their design.  (not aftermarket radios ever)

To learn more go here and read.

For more help look here, even up grading the head end., etc.

Here is a page, that attempt to answer the OEM questions. (a moving target if ever there was)

If you use the Cigarette lighter power port to charge the cars battery (don't ) you will blow the fuse, on many cars, and on my car that is also the radio fuse. and then bricks the radio.

Some car  dealers don't give CODES away for free, ask them ?,  but if you bought the car from them , they might have some paper records of sale, covering this.... YMMV, most stealerships charge over $100 to do this, and other Licensed Key shops (locksmiths) for only as low as $25 on line.
One shop here, makes house calls for $80.
No matter who does it, it takes a license and that is not free , nor is anyone going  do this for free, or with free labor to get this information. Why would they?
Your code is not the same as others. Each car radio has its own number or as few as 9999, and guessing them,  bricks many radios forever.
As both the FSM and operator guide tells you, get the number on paper first , before
doing service on any newer cars. RTM, read the manual and WIN !
The new car has  a card in the glove box that shows this secret number,  it states " put me in a safe place" (the papers of all new cars , explain all this and how it works)

IMMO issues. (short for Immobilizer)     100%   in my personal opinion.  I dislike paranoia of all forms. (I don't need it or want it, ever, but it is now the law )

(My friends Suzuki IMMO flashes the CEL lamp real fast to tell you that the IMMO is totally unhappy (wrong or bad key)  Suzuki too cheap use  a key icon, in the cluster. (wow, that is cheap)
 My jeep JK, has secret dash lamp that is just red color warning DOT (2008) no Icon (stealth !) Please Read your  operators guide to learn what your car has, please.

My Jeep works like this and is called SKIM see Skim link here.
Most of this  MARLARKY  is mandated by some  vary paranoid  USA federal laws by NHTSA/DOT.  (the nanny state ) Pursuant to the Theft Act, NHTSA issued 49 CFR Part 541    See History here.

These crazy rules starting in 1992. (people have died, now from being stranded in very cold winter ice storms.)

And NOW, The Motor
Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act, requires USA cars to be like crazy Canadian car laws. Gawd help us..... now.
 (people have died, now from being stranded in very cold winter storms or in a desert .)
The early Suzuk's here in USA, 1989 to 1998 do not have IMMO, only seen off shore countries.  Like UK or EU and others.

Most of the wild IMMO 
is here in this text file.

Key fob hell? (lost your spare keys?)
Don't go swiming or get the key wet, or get sweat in it , jogging, the gym, etc. you miss that brass key yet? I do.   
The Maid Washed the transponder inside your  pants pocket? oops?
What the heck do you do , when you go surfing, answer, get a real car, with a real key, of metal.  Federal nanny state,  
all of this , IMO.
See the antitheft history  here.

The future , is coming soon, next , is  biometrics.  1/2 the cars stolen are key left in the car, so get rid of all keys. Honda Terii  <"you will be traded for a pack of cigarettes"  Too bad, no electrocution stun gun mode.

Many new cars have a transponder key and vin match, and the radio fails if the car VIN is wrong.  (and the NAV and other then engine controller PCM)
This transponder key has no battery.  Ford started this technology here in 1996
, it's NOT NEW. It is called PATS1+.
It takes 2 Ford keys (late PATS1) to make a third "DIY", a 2007+ jeep takes 2 keys to make the 3rd, up to 8 keys. (owner do !, DIY)
The very first Ford PATS1 keys 96 to 2/1998 need only 1 key to make up to 16 keys (you do it ), see page 14 , see all the rules, and complexity?

Geek speak?: Transponders? What is that?
(it wakes up in an RF radio field and gets its power supply from said field) A good thing to know, when it fails.   It works just like a RF toll bridge pass card,  RF ID.(and vastly more tricky with rolling encrpted pass codes....)
I like this web site in P.R of Calif.

Never ever ,have just 1 key for your car, on many new cars you need 3 key, so you can GROW YOUR OWN KEYS, and not be a stealership VICTIM !!!  (read the operators manual, it tells you how to do this simple process)
Tow charge $300 , new key $150 , labor $100  and $550 later, you are SHAFTED !   NO INSANE is the word ! TOTALLY !
Are you sick of $100 to $150 keys and same for the labor for the stealerships to reprogram it (it's really Re-learning the key, the key is never programmed)
Make no mistake the KEY SHOPS LOVE THIS BUSINESS,  they get rich off you.!  FIRE THEM!, get a spare key;  Make a spare key, when bored, or the TV is dead, better yet, kill the T.V.

Jeep IMMO cures.

DEFEATING IMMO's? ( Not me, I don't advise this, but will state it, for Diagnostic reasons)

Keep in mind, some IMMO's can be defeated, on older cars, but you need a non IMMO main ECU/PCM off another car. (example: a  1997 Suzuki)
On newer cars , about 1999 + here,  the Main PCM knows the car is IMMO, so if you attempt to swap in , a non IMMO part ,  the MAIN PCM bricks. (or even more stealthy, each brain in car knows it's IMMO and If hacked, bricks all the others.....)
The exception on  the above,  the later cars, requires and EXPORT PCM (non IMMO) (if even available at all?)  and fresh new, other modules,  BCM, TIPM ,etc. I think it requires, all Export modules, that ran together.
There are official reports of folks South of the border , and coming here to steal a specific, jeep. (with a hand bag full of PCM/BCM/TIPMs)  and were successful. (my advice, is put in your own protections)

The rules vary by car makers policies.  (lots of years, and export models, not one predictable by me, and endless topic if ever...)

DIY ?: Security. ( not tow aways?)   The key factor (no  pun ) is Stealth.
My cars all have a hidden switch, that kills the fuel pump, using a cheap 12vdc relay, rated at 15amps . Good luck finding it , Mr. Thief.   (it's a mag key, I designed, and invisible.)
I took a reed switch for $1 buck, and put in on an  metal  L- bracket,  epoxied  it on, and any cheap or free plastic tube, that is used to guide the mag rod.

Then drilled a hidden 1/4" hole in the body (rugs in car hide the hole, yes, stealthy)
I then bought a rod magnet and made a key head, by hand , forming a simple magnetic key.   (lots of bench testing to be sure the reed is strongly active)  yes, I tuned it. (do so before using the glue, hint?)
Next, I  mounted my bracket (reed) to the body hole site. (aligning my new tube with the new body hole)
I insert the key , the reed closes, and the relay activates. (stock car ignition key must be on) and the fuel pump is now active, car starts, if not it cranks forever, or runs for 3 seconds and dies.

One good spot for that key, is dead center of the rug on the up hill slope at bottom of rear seats, the metal there. is covered with a rug. (impossible to see , this switch, unless you crawl to center of car, at the rear.

There are other good spots , not one being the firewall.  (how about ?, a hole any where in the center console, just this harmless looking hole., going to a void.)

And a free lojack sticker as a  wild goose  chase or  fear, (obfuscation) ploy?

At one dealer here, in town, all used cars on the lot have a device, like this. (not mag) for just this reason; thief's are dumb? or  lazy.

rev 4   ++++ 5-30-2014