A remote start can save time and aggravation on those chilly winter days. With a press of a button, your vehicle starts heating and defrosting before you slip behind the wheel. Here’s everything you need to know about a remote start.
What Is a Remote Start?
A remote start is a device that starts your car from somewhere outside of your vehicle. You’ll likely use it inside at home before you leave for work or school. Long-range models work anywhere – from your desk at the office, at a doctor’s appointment, the grocery store, and more.
Factory (OEM) vs. Aftermarket Remote Starts
Most factory-installed remote start systems have a limited range – up to 65 feet. If you work on the tenth floor of an office building and park in a crowded parking garage, the OEM start system isn’t going to help you.
Many aftermarket remote starts work at much greater distances. Many drivers feel the benefits are well worth the investment.
Time-saving Vehicle Comfort and Convenience
Vehicle comfort and convenience are two huge advantages of a remote start.
Standing out in the cold scraping layers of ice and snow from your car windows is never fun and takes extra time each day. On freezing mornings, just press a button on your key fob to start the car from inside the house. When you get in, your vehicle is warm and toasty, the windshield won’t be covered in ice, and you save the valuable time you would have spent scraping.
Similar benefits apply in sizzling summer months. For passenger comfort and safety, remote starters can cool down the car on scorching hot days.
Remote starters enable ice to melt off the windshield and windows. Clear windows improve driving visibility. Ice and snow also melt away from headlights and taillights. Unobstructed lights enable drivers to see your vehicle and brake lights when you stop.
Important Considerations and Safety Precautions
There are key factors and safety precautions to consider before buying a remote starter.
First, if your vehicle has a manual transmission, a remote starter is not recommended as it can’t be wired to work safely.
Second, idling cars create air pollution. Some states have idling laws and restrictions. Make sure you know what these are before you invest in a remote starter.
Third, remote starters are either one-way or two-way. A factory-installed starter is one-way. A one-way won’t confirm that your vehicle started. That’s okay if you can see the vehicle when you start it. But it doesn’t help if you can’t visually verify if it’s running. By comparison, a two-way starter sends a confirmation to your key fob that the car has started.
The next consideration is range. If you’ll mainly start your car at home in the driveway or open garage, a short-range is fine. However, if you want to start your car from a greater distance, you’ll need a more extended range.
Finally, it’s important to always start your vehicle safely—never in a closed garage. Also, keep the fob away from children so they can’t accidentally start the car. A running vehicle inside a closed space can create deadly carbon monoxide fumes that might even leak into your house.
Popular Remote Start Products
Installing a remote start system is a complex process that is best handled by a professional installer. An actual estimate of the total remote start cost should include installation fees and the remote starter price. If your vehicle is a 2000 model or older, you’ll also need a bypass module to override the car’s immobilizer.
Below are five popular remote start options.
- Compustar CSX4900S: The Compustar CSX4900S is a two-way remote start that boasts audible and visual start confirmation. It’s water-resistant and includes lock, unlock, and trunk release. The product bundle features the Drone X1 LTE Module. This module includes GPS tracking and allows your smartphone to function as a backup remote. Smartphone control requires a subscription. Max range is 3,000 feet.
- Crimestopper Rs4-g5: The Crimestopper Rs4-g5 one-way remote start has a 2,000-foot range. It pairs with smartphone and has keyless entry, lock, unlock, trunk release, a multi-vehicle function, and 31 programmable options. Note: This model doesn’t have anti-theft features.
- EasyGuard EC002: The EasyGuard EC002 offers one-way remote start, as well as a built-in car alarm and a password-protected keypad for extra security. You can also set the car’s interior temperature with this system. When you get within 3-6 feet of your car, it will automatically unlock if you don’t use the keypad.
- Avital 4105L: The Avital 4105L features keyless entry, lock, unlock, trunk release, and one-way remote start with a whopping 1.5-mile range. The bundle comes with two remotes, a timer mode, a dual-zone impact sensor if something comes in contact with your car, and more.
- Python 4806P: The Python 4806P contains a comprehensive security system that features a siren, horn honk, and flashing lights. The built-in Stinger DoubleGuard Shock Sensor sends impact data back to the key fob. The Python is a two-way remote start with a 1-mile range that sends start confirmation to an LED.
Overall, a remote start keeps you out of the cold scraping windows on a frosty winter morning and cools the car down on a sweltering summer day. These factors alone may make it worth the investment.