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General Motors RDS radio code

General Motors RDS  "TheftLock" radio code
























RDS Radios

Sorry. we do not support code retrieval for any RDS unit.








For vehicles 2003 and up, If your vehicle is a 2003 and older, the following information will not pertain to your radio.


Sorry. we do not support RDS

radio code retrieval.


General Motors RDS started using the RDS radio starting around 2003 and up, (around 2000 for Chevrolet Cavaliers ONLY).



You can determine if your radio is RDS by using the following criteria:

  • Vehicle is 2003 and up, it MAY or MAY not have a RDS radio.

  • You are unable to retrieve radio serial# per section 1.a below.



Try locating the radio serial# by using the radio serial# retrieval procedure located at GM code retrieval Section 1.a below..


If your radio does not indicate a set of numbers on the display using this procedure and is a 2003-up, the vehicles radio MAY have an RDS radio.



About the theftlock RDS radio system.

  • The theft deterrent system now utilizes class 2 serial data to determine if the radio is in the authorized vehicle.

  • Each time the radio receives accessory power from the ignition, it compares the VIN information it has stored to the VIN information received from a module on the class 2 serial data circuit responsible for transmitting that information.

  • If a match does not occur, the radio display will indicate “locked”.

  • Once this occurs the radio will not respond to operations and become inoperative.



The following conditions will enable radio lock:

  • A radio is installed from another vehicle.

  • A module which communicates on the class 2 serial data circuit which supplies VIN information to the radio is replaced and not properly setup with the correct VIN information for that vehicle.


To unlock radio you will need access to a GM scan tool.


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Section 1.a




Step 2 -  Retrieve radio serial#



  1. The radio must be in LOC mode NOT in INOP mode.

  2. Turn the ignition ON (The radio displays LOC).

  3. Press and hold presets buttons 2 & 3 or 1 & 4 for approximately 10 seconds.

  4. The radio display changes from LOC to a three-digit number.

  5. Write this number down.

  6. You will then have fifteen seconds max before the next step must be performed.

  7. Press the AM/FM button.

  8. The radio display changes to another three-digit number.

  9. Write this number to the right of the first one.

  10. You now have a six or four-digit number, the first three digits are from STEP 3 and the last three digits are from STEP 5.

  11. If you have a four digit number, it will show all four digits at the same time.

  12. Example 4523.


  • Note:

  • If you have activated the Theft-Deterrent feature of your radio and loose power, the radio goes into LOC (theftlock) mode.

  • With the ignition on, you must use the MN and HR buttons to enter your personal code in order to unlock it.

  • If you fail to enter the correct code eight (8) times, the radio goes into INOP mode.

  • You have to wait an hour with the ignition on before the radio returns to LOC mode procedure:

  • You may have two sets of the same number. Example- (233-233).

  • Saturn and GEO Vehicles only require a four Digit Serial #

  • The fourth digit will be half the size of the first three digits on Saturn and GEO Vehicles .





General Motors RDS  radio unlock codes


Since 1998, many company's in the automotive industry have relied on our radio unlock code service to get their customers up and running! Now you can get the same great service at! Serving the industry since 1998.

Many General Motors RDS  vehicles come equipped with radios that require a special security unlock code. This radio code is not required, unless the radio is removed from the vehicle, or the vehicles battery is disconnected.

General Motors RDS  radios are quite different from most other manufacturers, as GM allows you to enter your own code. Most manufacturers will come with the radio security code already stored to into its processor.

Never fear however, if the previous owner has entered their unique personal radio code, our radio code retrieval process will override any other code that has been entered into the unit!

General Motors RDS  calls this feature "TheftLock". Its purpose is to prevent unauthorized use of your radio and will not allow your stereo to operate without the proper code.

General Motors RDS  began using the antitheft feature, "TheftLock" around the 1990's and is still used in many GM vehicles.

You will find the "TheftLock" radio code feature on most Pontiac, Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet, Saturn, Geo, Oldsmobile, Hummer and Buick vehicles.

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