Radio stuck in "SAFE" mode (won't let me put in my code)

riofrio

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Location
New Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 2002 Jetta Wagon
I recently had some battery mis-connection issues, whereupon each time I would have to re-enter my radio code to get out of "Safe" mode. The last time, however, my girlfriend entered the incorrect code twice in a row, and now it doesn't even prompt for the code anymore after pressing and holding the keys (instead, the "Safe" display flashes and then remains). The manual says I have to wait one hour for it to unlock again but it's been over a week and it's still locked. Does the manual mean "an hour of continued operation"? My city commutes are fairly short where I don't typically drive for more than 20 mins at a time. Is there an easy way to fix this?

Thanks!
 

bayshorecs

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Mar 18, 2006
Location
SoCal (Rancho Cucamonga)
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06 Golf
Quote from the bently:


"Note -

* Should you inadvertently input the incorrect code number, the word "SAFE" will appear in the display - first blinking and then continuous. It is possible to repeat the coding procedure once.

* If the incorrect code is again entered, the radio will be locked up for approximately one hour. Leave the radio switched on. After an hour, the display with the number of attempts goes out and you can again re-enter the anti-threft code as described above. The two attempt, one hour lock-up cycle will continue to apply."
 

bayshorecs

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I read this as, "key is on and radio is on for over 1 hour". Not "the radio is on for more than 1 hour throughout a week, 20 minutes at a time".

I think it wants 60 continuous minutes.
 

Lug_Nut

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A bit less than 60 minutes, closer to 50 in my experience, but that continuous time is close enough for the purpose of the instructions.
 

riofrio

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Location
New Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 2002 Jetta Wagon
ughhhh...

Thanks. I guess I'll look for a chance to keep the radio on for that long soon.
 

Warthog

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Joined
May 16, 2004
Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
Same problem, almost

2000 Jetta with OEM radio. Battery went dead.
Now has new battery.
Radio displays "SAFE" and doesn't go into reprogram code mode (display of "1000")

I did NOT try to enter code on any other occasion. I'll try the "Leave it on for an hour" but has anyone else had THIS sort of problem?
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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Location
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TDI
2 Peeps sharing 1 UseYerName//an array of cars
I am having it right now on my Audi Cabriolet ('97). I have disconnected the battery for days and the radio remains in SAFE when I reconnect. I did have two strikes, and they show on the SAFE display.


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Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
OH...Is THAT what the "2" means on the safe display?
I didn't know that.
Neither did I know anyone had messed with the radio...guess that explains it.
Anyhow it is doing it's "1-hour" cook time now. (Been busy since posting last)
I'll post again after trying this procedure.
 

Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
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see Bio
While we are on this subject...Is there any way VAGCOM can tell the radio security to STUFF-IT once you are actually in command of the radio...so this won't happen again?
 

Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
Update.
After an hour, the display went to "1000" and I put the code in.
When I pressed the "seek" button (as instructed) there was a tone and it immediately went back into "SAFE".
I AM using the correct code for this car/radio. Now what?
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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One of a couple things:

1. It's the wrong code
2. You have some kind of power interruption to your radio
3. Your radio is kaput.

In my case, I think it's #3.


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Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
Ummm. we are thinking it's #3.
How dumb can it get.
I have the original documents for the car and the radio...nothing wrong with the code.
Power interruption? The display is constant...maybe I'll try one more time with the engine RUNNING; that would be a new thought.
Why it did this in the first place is the odd thing as it is the radio that came with the car and the car and the radio are SUPPOSED to know each other. I have not messed with the ECU for the new injectors either.
 

Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
OK, I have tried once again to unlock the radio, this time with the engine running.
Still won't go out of safe mode.
So at the moment an otherwise good radio has been dammed by it's wonderful protective electronics.
Sorta like airbags: "Caution: the safety device in this car could hurt you really bad or even break your neck. So sorry about that".
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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Sadly, I have airbag problems on 2 of my Audis too. I think the universe is telling me to get a BMW 328d and dump all the Audis. Come to think of it, a lot of people are telling me that.

Can you disconnect your battery for a while--like overnight to see if it resets?


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Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
This might be a little different but this is what Bentley says about the 98-99 Premium 5 head units installed in Mk3. The instructions sound correct except that when you press the 'seek' button Bentley says, "press the right side '>' of the seek button for longer than 2 seconds until you hear an audible signal."

I guess they don't call it premium 5 (that's a Mk4 term), they call it "Sound System."

Steve
 
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Jetter_Sprinta

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Good point. I did find a great site that had very specific instructions for all the radio variations for VWAG. It will take me a while to find it on my PC. Maybe option 4 is a key combination.

One benefit to the six month radio*--no wait, the only benefit--in my '07 Audi is no code!!


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*that made sense when I wrote it, but I just had to think about it when re-reading it. The radio in the Audi had a six-month run. That is what I meant.
 
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Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
Jetter, if you run across THAT site please post.
You would not believe (or you really would!) the problems I had finding the sequence for my 96 Passat TDI radio. I had the code...just didn't know what buttons to push. The parts manager at the local dealership finally found the info after 30 minutes or more...nice guy, but he's gone now. This was probably 13 years ago!
Note. I AM pressing the right-hand side of the seek button.
Well............
I'll undo the battery again.
 

Abacus

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Relocated from Maine to Prescott, AZ
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I find this interesting since I have never had an issue with resetting any radio from safe mode, and that the new radios that were available from the dealer came with a code, but none is required for the radio to work....ever.
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
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see Bio
I disconnected the battery and waited aboout 10 minutes doing something else...reconnected and same ole s**t.
Thanks for the links...I'll see what they have to say.
Now I have a more serious problem. My laptop with VAGCOM (VCDS?) has decided to have a really bad-hair day and I need to set-up my new injectors!
PS.
I was having a discussion on the blog about DSG but one of the participants told me off to the tune that all these new electronic wonders made my life better and my automobiles safer. Say again???
 
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Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I disconnected the battery and waited aboout 10 minutes doing something else...reconnected and same ole s**t.
Thanks for the links...I'll see what they have to say.
Now I have a more serious problem. My laptop with VAGCOM (VCDS?) has decided to have a really bad-hair day and I need to set-up my new injectors!
PS.
I was having a discussion on the blog about DSG but one of the participants told me off to the tune that all these new electronic wonders made my life better and my automobiles safer. Say again???
If they truly believe that I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that they ought to buy....

Steve
 

Warthog

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Location
Clemson, SC
TDI
see Bio
Radio fixed itself

Hello ALL!
Today, I got my injectors set-up and the EGR tuned properly for the new injectors.
THEN...I ran the "radio" diagnostics (on WAGCOM) and what do you know?
The radio now works.
MAGIC.
The VAGCOM operation did nothing as far as I could input anything, but afterward the radio started operating without even wanting the code. (It is IN it's original car, if I didn't make that clear earlier).
SO, the lesson is, if your original radio is stuck in SAFE, find a VAGCOM and run the diagnostic and clear any codes (a dead battery will set randon codes: I knew this from history) and it might start working.
who knew???
 
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Jetter_Sprinta

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Thanks for this tip! I'll need to bring my cable next time I see the car.


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Jetter_Sprinta

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I did it!! Finally! I had disconnected the battery and left the car for a couple weeks and still had the two strikes when I reconnected the battery. :mad: I had forgotten the VAG cable, so I decided to drive the car home to Boston from Cape Cod, so in Saturday traffic, there was no problem hitting an hour. I have to delete the OEM code from Notes in my phone. Meanwhile, the bluetooth speaker filled in the gap very nicely! Now I need to locate the correct CD magazine.
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I did it!! Finally! I had disconnected the battery and left the car for a couple weeks and still had the two strikes when I reconnected the battery. :mad: I had forgotten the VAG cable, so I decided to drive the car home to Boston from Cape Cod, so in Saturday traffic, there was no problem hitting an hour. I have to delete the OEM code from Notes in my phone. Meanwhile, the bluetooth speaker filled in the gap very nicely! Now I need to locate the correct CD magazine.
Who makes the changer? My first guess would be Clarion but who knows.

Steve A
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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Location
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TDI
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If that first link I had above is right, it's a Blaupunkt! It's a very nice stereo and can hold up to topless and highway noise!


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deezulmark

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Location
Elizabethton, TN
TDI
96 Passat Wagon
me too...

Found this thread since I'm just having the same problem. Original radio, have the code, i've never put in wrong code. I've had the car 9 years and had the battery disconnected many times. Never been a problem before.

Turn the radio on it says "SAFE". Hold the buttons for a few seconds and "SAFE" just blinks a few times. Never goes into code entry mode.

So I need to leave the radio on 50-60 minutes and THEN see if I can make it take the code? I have a long drive tomorrow AM, so will go switch the radio on now, so it comes on right away and reminds me.
 

Jetter_Sprinta

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That is what worked for me. I had a Bluetooth speaker that carried me over. The good news is the radio remembered all my presets.


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