My 1995 Volvo has a stock radio/cassette player (yes, cassette player) that has a self-locking anti-theft feature. Specifically, if the radio is disconnected from its power source (for instance, if the car battery is disconnected) the radio asks for a code before it will play. I don't know how many radio thefts this feature has prevented, but I suspect it's not too many. A potential thief would have to recognise ahead of time that, if stolen, the radio will be useless without its special four-digit code. I can only assume this is a feature passed down from high-end car stereos and Volvo thought, "If they do it, then we should do it too."
...how many car radio thieves (circa 1995) really wanted stock Volvo radios? Even in 1995 this radio was nothing special and only the most desperate thieves would have bothered - and I doubt desperate thieves knew about Volvo's anti-theft radio anyway. The feature, in my opinion, is just user aggravation waiting to happen. The way I see it, here's the sequence of events:
Well, welcome to my world. I bought this car used several years back and, of course, the radio's unlock code had disappeared long before that. I lucked out and was actually able to recover the code from the original dealer. (thanks, BK Volvo) Still, I am of the mind that a stock radio is not worth its own anti-theft device. Anyway, the reason I'm writing this post is to keep my unlock code in an accessible place. 3531 - that's the code to my car radio. If you happen to steal my 1995 car stereo, I will save you the trouble of getting it unlocked through other means. 3531, there you have it.
* I now have a newer Volvo and its stereo code is 4636. [edited 18-Apr-2011]
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