As an anti-theft deterrent, Jaguar began installing radios at the end of the Series III era which required the input of a security code to enable the radio to function. While coded radios are a pain, our experience is that they have drastically reduced the radio theft rates in major cities.
When cars with coded radios were first sold, the owner received a pair of plastic cards, about the size of regular credit cards, listing the radio code. When used Jags trade hands, these cards are forgotten and usually are not passed on with the car. And then when the battery dies and is replaced, the radio insists upon being recoded before it will work again. One tip is that the dealer technicians frequently would write the radio code under the hood of the car in marker. There are also reports that the radio code was on a paper label which was stuck to the underside of the hood when the radio was installed. So if you do not have your code, it is a good idea to look under the hood for the paper label or for a hand-written four or five digit number. You may get lucky; we have known owners who found their radio code in this manner.
To recode the radio once you have the code, turn the car’s ignition on and then turn the radio on until the word “code” is displayed on the radio faceplate. Enter the radio code slowly and deliberately, firmly pushing on each button. If you have entered the correct code, after the last numeral is entered the radio will beep and then begin to play on the last station selected. If the radio has been uncoded for a long time, or if power has been removed from the radio for a long time, sometimes you will be unable to enter what you know is the correct radio code. In these cases, leave the radio powered, with “code” displaying, for an hour or so and then try to reenter the code. The code will usually take after doing this. It is not possible to guess at the radio code and to just keep trying combinations of numbers until stumbling on the correct code. The radio will accept only three coding attempts before it locks up for an hour. Then you have three more attempts before it locks up for eight hours, then three more tries before it locks up for 24 hours, and so on. The times indicated may not be exact, but the process is correct as described.
If you cannot locate your radio code, either from the previous owner or from the car itself, the only way to get the security code is to pull the radio to retrieve the radio’s serial number and to request the code from your friendly Jaguar dealer. All dealers have the ability to retrieve these most of these codes, although they will vary in their willingness to do so for individual owners.
Coventry West is able to assist in obtaining radio for some (though not all) Jaguars. Give us a call and we’ll try our best to help you out.