Did you Know? Your GM Vehicle Can Become Theft Locked?

Feb 12 , 2024

Wil Bradley

Did you Know? Your GM Vehicle Can Become Theft Locked?

What is GM Radio Theft-Lock? 

GM Radio TheftLock is an anti-theft feature installed in General Motors vehicles since the mid-1990s. It is designed to deter radio theft by rendering the radio inoperable if it is removed from the vehicle or if the battery is disconnected.

How Does The Radio Theft-Lock Work? 

  • The radio is paired to the vehicle's VIN number. This means that the radio will only work in the specific vehicle it was originally installed in.
  • If the radio is removed from the vehicle or if the battery is disconnected, the TheftLock system is activated. The radio will display a message such as "TheftLock" or "Code" and will not function.
  • To unlock the radio, a security code is required. This code can be obtained from a GM dealer or by calling GM's radio hotline.

There are two ways to retrieve the security code:

  • By contacting a GM dealer: The dealer will be able to look up the code based on the vehicle's VIN number. There may be a fee for this service.
  • By calling GM's radio hotline: The hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-537-5140. You will need to provide the radio's identification number, which can be found on a label on the radio itself.

What If you Don't Have the Security Code?

If you lose the security code, you normally would need to take the radio to a GM dealer to have it unlocked but we have an easier option.

Have a Radio With Theft-Lock Activated?

This week we talk about getting a possible theft lock on your vehicle's radio and how it can be unintentionally set in some situations. When that happens, your vehicle’s radio becomes useless. Depending on the manufacturer, unlocking the radio theft protection may require a trip to the dealership.

That's a good thing right? Well, in most cases it is. In some cases it can be a big problem. Theft Lock can be a great deterrent. A potential thief loses incentive to steal a radio they can’t use or resell. But if you're a vehicle owner and lets just say you change your battery or have to disconnect the battery cables for repair or maintenance, theft lock doesn't feel like such a good idea then.

What if you purchase a used radio from eBay or a junkyard?

Legally you purchased that radio and have every right to install and use it in your vehicle. Unfortunately, the radio wasn't programmed to know when a transfer was the result of a valid sale or due to theft. In this case, you will need to go to the dealer to get the vehicle unlocked. If you have a 2007 or newer GM vehicle, you can skip that trip to the dealership.

OBDGenie now offers a GM Theft-Lock Disabler that only takes seconds to unlock your GM radio, No dealer needed. It's important to note, this programmer will only remove the theft lock. The radio may still need to be programmed further so that it works with the features enabled in your current car. 

If you need this additional programming after unlocking your radio, give us a call, we have options to get your radio programmed.

So, let OBDGenie unlock your vehicle’s potential!


Have any questions? Give us a call!

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Call: 321-250-3650 to Speak to a LIVE rep.
Email: info@obdgenie.com or crystal@obdgenie.com

Our Genie programmer has been under development since late 2014 and officially launched in 2016. 

Several technicians and engineers here at OBDGenie.com put forth the effort to create a low cost and easy-to-use vehicle programmer.

We plan to focus initially on all domestic "big 3" vehicle manufactures to enable options/features that were available from the factory. Customers no longer need to battle with their local automobile franchise dealer to enable a feature. 

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