Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'97 Chevy Cavalier, Locked Out of Radio & CD Player
Q: I was wondering if there is any way to unlock the radio/cd player other than sending it in and having the dealership call for a code to unlock it. It is a 97 Chevy Cavalier Z24 and it had been worked on for damage. Since the car is run by computer and the radio is part of theft system it is locked after being worked on.
A: Vehicles with antitheft or Delco-Loc systems can/will be a problem if battery power to the radio is interrupted or lost for too long of a period. When battery power is lost the radios antitheft module kicks in and will not allow the radio to be operated until a 4 digit code is entered. The owner of the vehicle is supposed to keep the antitheft code for the radio. But as life dictates that code will be lost. There is a solution, but a GM dealer has to be part of that solution and heres why. If the code is lost, there is a procedure to retrieve a scrambled code from the radio. Once this scrambled code is retrieved the dealer has to be called with that information. The dealer, with vehicle information and the scrambled code, will use it to look-up the correct code for the radio. Once you have the correct code and have the radio operating write the code on the inside of the trunk lid or something like that with a magic marker so the code will not be lost again. In addition, you should know that the antitheft system on your radio can be shut off, but once again you will need the correct code to deactivate the system. If it were any easier, then it wouldnt be an antitheft system.