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stereoaz, Car Electronics Technician
Category: Car Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience:  35 years in car audio,my shop won iasca world title ,custom fabrication,expert installer.
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I bought a used vehicle with a Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX radio.

Customer Question

I bought a used vehicle with a Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX radio. We reset the radio to the factory settings as described in your online manual. Now we get a message to put in a code and we don't have that code to unlock it. What can we do now as we bought from a dealer and they can't get a response from the previous vehicle owner? Would really like to put in my own settings and be able to use the radio and cd player. Joan
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your Pioneer is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: the vehicle is a 2014 and the system is Pioneer AVH-4100NEX mixtrax
JA: How long has this been going on? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: Since I bought it first of this month. Just trying to contact the previous owner. The "hint" on the security lock is "school" and we've tried the college and schools in the city in which the owner lived listed on the title.
JA: Anything else you want the electronics expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Car Electronics
Expert:  Russell H. replied 8 months ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

An activation code for a car radio or car stereo etc., is an anti-theft feature. When the device is removed from the car, the battery power is interrupted to it, and this activates the anti-theft feature. The entering of an obscure code is required before one may use the radio or stereo etc. again.

Sometimes this anti-theft feature is activated when no theft is involved, for instance:

- when a car stereo is sold, after being taken out of a car, by its legitimate owner.

- when a car's battery has been disconnected for servicing of various sorts or in the event of car battery failure.

The code is very hard to 'generate' or hard to find. It would not be an effective anti-theft deterrent otherwise. I have not the means to generate the code for you (though I believe it is generated from the serial # of the device and according to the maker and model.)

I advise that you take the car to a dealership for that brand, and have them generate and enter the code for your stereo.

Or: you could avail yourself of this unlock service offer :

Or, you could contact Pioneer Canada about the problem, since it is their equipment, also... (which is kind of a last-resort, though, I admit.)

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What a rip-off this answer is. I already knew this info from reading online and the manual. Guess I was the stupid one here for expecting a "computer systems expert" to give me a solution. Bad review!!! Just want to make a buck. Please refund my money.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 8 months ago.

I have sent your refund request on to Customer Support at

Thank you for asking your question here at I am sure the answer I gave you was both 100 % true and quite useful. Please have a nice day! Thanks again.