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HOW TO HACK A COKE MACHINE
Want to dazzle your friends with your technical prowess while checking out the profitability of a vending machine route? Read on. Most Coke machines built since the late 1990s can be hacked with a simple access code. Once you enter the code, you can find out all kinds of information about the machine's sales.
Please note, this article does not teach you how to steal drinks from drink machines. Stealing is, of course, illegal.
Find a Coke machine that has an LED screen. The small screen will typically scroll a message such as "Ice Cold Cokes". If the machine's LED display simply displays the price, the steps below may not work.
Enter the access code by using the drink selection buttons. The default access code is 4, 2, 3, 1, but the buttons aren't numbered. They will either say nothing or have pictures of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and other Coca-Cola products on them.
If the buttons are in a column, button 1 is the top one. Button 2 is the second one from the top, and so on.
If they are in a grid or other format, button 1 is the top left one. Button 2 is the one directly to the right of that, and so on.
Scroll through the menu to find out information about the machine. Once you enter the correct access code, the message on the LED screen will change. Typically it will say "EROR," but on some machines it may simply display a number. Use the buttons to navigate the menu.
Press button 1 at any time to return to the previous menu or to exit the menu to go back to normal mode.
Press button 2 to scroll up through the selections.
Press button 3 to scroll down through the selections.
Press button 4 to select the displayed menu option.
Example Menu Options
EROR: This menu option displays error messages for the machine, including problems that occurred with the refrigeration system, the vending mechanism, the bill changer, and the bill validator. To see error messages, press the select button (button 4) when the display shows EROR, and then scroll through to see specific errors. Select an individual error to see more details. Generally if only one type of error has occurred you won't be able to scroll through other error options.
CASH: This option allows you to see the machine's total historical cash intake, as well as the resettable cash counted for each drink selection. Press the select button when the the LED display shows CASH. This will show you the historical cash counted by the machine. Note that it will include fractions of a dollar, such that if it displays 1452425, the historical cash count is $14,524.25. Use the scroll buttons (2 or 3) to navigate to the cash counts for each slot (each beverage selection). The number displayed will show first the slot number and then the revenue for that slot number since the last time the counter was reset. In some machines, it will be preceded by the letters CA or SL (for "slot").
SALE: This option allows you to see the machine's historical total number of sales, as well as the resettable number of sales for each drink selection. It works like the CASH menu above, except that the numbers displayed reflect the number of beverages sold.
RTN: Sometimes labeled EXIT, this option stands for "Return To Normal" and allows you to exit the menu completely and return the machine to normal mode. Press the select button to exit.
On machines with two panels of six buttons on each side, the same 4-2-3-1 code will access the Electronic Counter for the machine. After accessing this menu, press 1 to see the total lifetime sales, 2 for the total lifetime items sold, 3 for a breakdown of items sold of each selection, 4 for a breakdown of cash generated for each selection, and 5 for the machine's internal temperature. After a while without input, the machine will return to the normal menu. On some machines, the 6 button will close the menu.
This only works for Coke machines, which may sell products such as Barq's Root Beer, Sprite, Dasani, Evian, Fanta, Fresca, Frutopia, Powerade, Hi-C, Minute Maid, Nestea, Odwalla, Mr. Pibb, Planet Java, Seagram's Ginger Ale, Simply Orange, Sparkletts, or Tab in addition to Coke and Diet Coke.
In general, these are the only options you can access without having the door unlocked and open. Different machines may list these options in somewhat different formats, so experiment a bit to learn what each new one does.
If you need to exit the menu quickly (i.e. when you just can't wait another second to buy an ice cold Coke) press the change (coin return) button. This will normally quit the menu.
On some machines, holding the coin return button will display the machine's inner temperature.
Vending machine owners or service people have the option to change the access sequence from 4231 to some other combination of buttons, but they rarely do. This is probably because having one code makes it easier for anyone to service all the machines along a route. It may also be because the information you can access through the external menu with the door closed is limited and fairly harmless.
There are several videos available on the Internet that show people using this hack. Many claim to be able to change prices or get a free drink, but the videos don't actually show them doing so.
In order to get to the same menu in a machine that sells Pepsi products, simply enter 1,3,2,4. All the menu options should be the same. (This does not seem to work on all Pepsi machines)
This might also work on some Coke vending machines that have a numeric keypad instead of buttons for specific drinks. Enter in the Coke code as usual, and you'll get to the sales menu!
This may sometimes work on other machines. (ie, Full Throttle)
Some machines require you to enter the code twice.
This may be illegal in some jurisdictions, and it will generally be frowned upon by store staff or machine service people, so exercise caution when trying it out, and be sure to follow any applicable laws in your jurisdiction.
Don't do this if there's a line behind you, as people get upset waiting for you.
You might waste your time doing this, as Coca-Cola has distributed new firmware to their vendors that would render these instructions unusable.
You may be asked to leave or be fined if the owner catches you.