Free my radio : Most common three digit password ?

Note to mods : I realize this is borderline and if you feel a need to lock it up I understand.

Quick question : What is the most likely three digit password people would use ?

Quick BackStory - My car door was not closed properly, interior light left on for 8 days in the airport longterm parking lot. Battery dies. My car stereo antitheft system kicks in and I cant use my radio. (Thanks to freindly people at Bradley International Airport for the jump start).

This is a used car, I never knew the password, never knew there was one.

So I go to the Toyota dealer and he say’s they’ll reset my radio for $72. I say screw you it’s my radio, it’s in my car which you have worked on on the past, I didnt steal it. It can’t cost $72 for you to type in a reset password. I go to other Toyota dealer, same deal, apparently extortion is company policy.

So now I need to come up with the three digit password for my car stereo. 0 through 9. I get NINE tries, then it locks up forever.

Anyone have any guesses ?
I will try :

the last three digits on the VIN number (a Google Groups recommendation)

The rest I don’t know.

I’ll wait a day or two for hints from here. Driving without a radio is killing me, though, I have weird conversations with my self.
Anyone have experience in divining three digit numbers ? Anyone from Project Enigma reading this ?

I don’t have any suggestions…well, maybe 456, but I did want to say that to avoid having the permanent lockup, I might go for eight tries, and if I didn’t have it, I’d consider paying to have it reset.

Sorry I wasn’t clear.
By permanent lockup I mean it will stop allowing new tries. I can still take it to Toyota and pay them for the fix.

Revised list :
VIN last 3 digits
209 (example used in manual, are people that stupid?)


if it is set in the factory (which I think is the case), I’d say it is most UNlikely to be a common combination like 123 or 999.

(how much does a new car stereo cost in your part of the world?)

Good point. From my research (Google groups, so it must be true), the antitheft is not enabled by default, so someone had to have gone in and set a code. It’s not a factory setting.

And I don’t know how much a stereo costs, I haven’t bought one in 20 years, it seeme the ones that come stock are good enough for me nowadays. But That is my backup plan, if i can get it replaced for $100 or so (???) then I’ll do that just to spite Toyota.

I don’t mean to wee on your cornflakes, but I think that if there were any workable ‘system’ for obtaining the number, then the concept of having such a thing would be futile. Is it possible to contact the dealer from whom you bought the car and have him find it out for you from the previous owner?

Depending on who owned the car previously, have you considered 666?




Some bad boy will always be using that.

Or alternatively, take it to a non-Toyota ‘consultant’ - you know, the sort you find hanging round in parking lots or down alleyways.

See if there is a factory default. Very few people ever bother to change it.

If Toyota can reset it, why can’t you? There’s got to be instructions out there somewhere that will save you the $72 and show you how to do it yourself.

I would imagine that resetting it requires the use of some sort of apparatus.

I disagree that the factory default is likely to be “123” or “456”. IME with default settings, they tend to be exactly codes like this, because repairfolk are lazy and don’t want to have to look up the code every time. Definitely try these.

I also wouldn’t try the VIN number – that’s a little obscure, and most folks before thinking of that would try their birthday or anniversary or something. If it’s one of those, you’re screwed.

I’d try

and then, after none of them worked, I’d call a couple of independent mechanics to see if any of them can reset it for less.


The Toyota radio passwords are entered by the car owner, not at the factory. What type of radio is it?

Each radio manufacturer has a master code that will unlock all of its radios. So your Toyota dealership is basically charging you $72 for a phone call (unless the manufacturer charges a fee for the number).

It is a Toyota radio. There are people on the net who will give you the codes for, I believe, $38. I haven’t see the “master reset code” anywhere, I would be surprised to, I haven’t ventured into those dark places, and that seems to be crossing the line.

No special apparatus is needed for them - just entering numbers on the radio keypad.

What I was asking for is common passwords. For example, if you ask people for an odd number between 1 and 50, a large number of people will say “37”.

One of the guys in Google Groups was a Toyota tech who said there were commonly used passwords, but he wouldn’t offer them up, and I don’t blame him. He is also the one who mentioned the “master reset” password, and of course that’s a secret - as it should be.
Current List
VIN last three digits
209 (example in user manual)
666 (why not)

I’ll try what I have at 5 PM EST today.

Thanks Daniel. But how did you come up with those numbers ?

They are diagonals etc on a numeric pad

Well, ya know, hackers and crackers say that the most common computer password people use, period, is “God”. On the telephone it’s “463”. Try that?

try typing those out on the 10 key portion of your keyboard and you’ll see where he got them.