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Matt, Engineer
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 20396
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
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Audi A3: Just replaced battery in 2006 a3. Now navigation

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Just replaced battery in 2006 a3. Now navigation and radio completely dead. How do I get them to work again?


Try the following:

Turn on radio. The radio display shows "SAFE".

Press the P.Scan and RBDS buttons simultaneously and hold until "1000" shows on the display.
Release the buttons. Do NOT press these buttons again, otherwise the radio will consider "1000" to be the code.

Use Preset buttons 1 to 4 to enter the four-digit code number from your radio card. Preset button 1 corresponds to the first digit, Preset button 2 corresponds to the second digit, etc. Each press of the button increments the number by 1.

Once the code shown on the display is correct, press the P.Scan and RBDS buttons simultaneously and hold until the word "SAFE" appears in the display, then release the buttons.
The radio should unlock and be usable shortly afterwards.

If an incorrect code is entered, the word "SAFE" appears, first flashing and then continuously. You can repeat the above steps to unlock the radio once more, the number of attempts will be shown in the display. If an incorrect code is entered again, you radio will be locked for about one hour.

After one hour - the radio must stay on and the key must remain in the ignition lock - if the display goes out, the you can repeat the above procedure to unlock again.

The cycle - two attempts, one hour lock-up - still applies.

If this doesn't work then its possible that the radio has been replaced at some point so the code in the book no longer applies

in which case I'd suggest removing the unit from the dash and getting the serial number off it as once you have a serial number then If you remove the radio and retrieve the Radio serial number off or the side (starts in AUZ) then call Audi’s customer assistance to speak with a Audi Customer CARE Advocate. Call 1-800-822-2834 (AUDI), Mon-Fri, 8 am to 8 pm, Eastern Time. If you tell them your Vehicle ID number and the radio serial number they will ask you some questions to verify the vehicle is registered to you and then they should provide you with the code for FREE. This typically takes a couple of days.

It is illegal for anyone to access the radio code through the Audi data base without verifying the customer, vehicle, and radio serial numbers. If someone were to provide that service for you here on line, they would be risking their employment as well as legal ramifications.

I realize this is an inconvenience, but it is the main security system that keeps thieves from breaking into your vehicle and stealing the radio

its also worth trying the last 4 digits of the serial number as often this is the security code and sometimes the code is on a sticker in the spare wheel well in the trunk
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, thanks for the reply. The problem, though, is that the navigation and radio won't even turn on at all; this includes the CD changer. It is completely dead no matter which buttons or knobs I press. I checked the fuses and they all test good, both under the hood and on the fuse panel to the left of the dashboard. I'm guessing that 12V is not getting to the unit at all or else it got fried or confused or the car computer has shut it down somehow when I replaced the battery. I have not yet pulled the unit out to see if there is 12V on the supply wire.


I wouldn't have expected the unit to be completely dead if it was just locked out. Could there be another fuse or fusible link somewhere to check? All other systems in the car seem to work, even those associated with what I think is the same fuse, like the rearview mirror control.


It's been suggested I have the computer reflashed, although I don't really know what that means or what the effects of doing it are.





Hello Chris

Ok if the unit is completely dead then see if there's power to the fuse on the end of dashboard fusebox also its worth pulling the fuse and replacing with a known good one as they can crack and look fine unless you look at them very closely

There' no separate fuse able link in the system ( unless its an aftermarket unit) but the next step if the there's power to the fuse would be to pull the unit out and test for 12V at its socket
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I'll give it another look and check for 12 volts.

No problem
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just got the radio removal tools today and was able to pop the unit out of the dashboard so I could check 12v at the input to it. I discovered there is in fact a 15 amp miniature automotive fuse in the back of the RNS-E. I replaced it and everything came back to life. I guess we both learned something here. Thanks for your help.

Hello Chris

thanks for letting me know

and glad you got it sorted
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