What does code wait mean on radio

Asked by Jun 29, 2012 at 09:23 AM about the 1998 BMW 3 Series 323i Convertible RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

There is power to the radio and cd player but there is no way these devices turn on to play. You get code wait on
the display. What is the problem? I've disconnected the battery and reconnected it in hopes of rebooting the

4 Answers


Leave the unit on/ power to it for and hour or 2. 'Code Wait' should disappear and you should then be able to input the correct radio code for operation. You only three tries to get the code right and you have to start all over again. If you don't have the code- and it's not in the owners manual- you will need to get the serial number from your radio. Turn the key ON Turn radio OFF then ON Press and HOLD the M button until the serial number is displayed (usually 5-10 seconds) If that doesn't work, call the dealer with the serial number- they can get you the code. (They MAY make you come in to verify ownership though) Either way- it should be free to get the code. Then enter the code using the station preset buttons. If it beeps BEFORE you enter the last digit- RESTART from the beginning of the code.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

Does not work for 99 M Roadster. Tried driving 90 minutes +, tried key on - radio off, tried key on, radio on, disconnected and reconnected battery. Nothing works to unlock so code can be entered. Any other suggestions?

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Tom's answer above is correct in that you must wait about an hour with the key ON before attempting to enter the code again....I believe you get 3 tries before it loses patience with you and locks you out again.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

OK I have a 1994 BMW 325i. Battery died changed out new one and radio didn't work. Flashed code. Didn't have code and had to take radio out to get serial # off back. Called a BMW dealer and they gave me the code. 5 digits. Turned car to accessory no need to have engine running, connected battery charger and in one hour attempted code. It does allow 3 tries and then locks you out again. Here's the most important part of process in my opinion. If you start to enter code say it is 35134 and you enter 3 than 5 and you hear a beep, start the code over immediately hit 3 5 1 3 4. SUCCESS. BMW tech told me a beep as you enter is a reset and it is trying to tell you to start from the beginning immediately after that beep. Good Luck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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