Best Remote Starters for Cars

Viper 7251V 2-Way LE Responder Remote

Python 1401 Remote Start/Keyless Entry System

If you don’t have a car remote starter yet, you’re going to find that you may want one if you live in a cooler climate. If you don’t already have one, you will find that it is rather nice to walk out to a car that is already warmed up. If you don’t know which one you want to purchase, I wanted to list a couple that are highly rated online:

  • Galaxy 5000RS-2W Remote Starter with Full-Featured Alarm (Two 2-Way 5 Button) has a starter active output for factory transponder bypass and a starter disable output for anti-grind. However, this is only for automatic transmissions, it will ensure you your car’s safety from thieves and vandals. It has a dual-stage electric impact sensor, a cold-start timer, and locking and unlocking negative outputs. Its dimensions are 2 x 6.2 x 4 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds. It is quite pricey, it costs $120.85 but it is worth your money.
  • Python 991 Responder LC3 SST Security/Remote Start System is an easy to use kind of remote car starter. It has a One Mile Range TM 2-way Responder LC3 security system with remote start that you do not have to use a key to start the ignition. Its special features include verifying commands and activating the system with the Responder remote’s LCD screen plus with tones and vibration. It also has a Stinger Double Guard Shock Sensor and Failsafe Starter Kill. Its Priority User Interface and Icon Map make this remote the most advanced LCD remote available. Its dimensions are 8 x 6.4 x 6 inches and weighs 3.6 pounds. To get a hold of this high class remote car starter will cost you $210.00.
  • Brand New Ultrastart U1272-pro 2,800 Foot Range Remote Car Starter/keyless Entry Combo with the Most Advanced Features is a parcel that contains 2 four button extreme range metal bullet proof style solid devices. It has RF technology, a metal XR pro series ultra range 1-way, and an indigo blue LED. It has a door lock and unlock outputs factory, an alarm arm output factory and an alarm disarm output bypass module connector. It is less expensive than the other remote car starters nowadays because it only costs $54.95. Ultrastart is even known for making the greatest remote car starters anywhere.
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Remote Car Starters

Universal Immobilizer Bypass for Remote Start

Python 1401 Remote Start/Keyless Entry System

James Bond had it, now you want it. A remote car starter allows a driver to turn-on the ignition of his car from a distance. Sure, maybe it’s not on your 007 wristwatch, but there are a number of solutions out there from companies like Crimestopper, Audiovox, Directed, Viper, and Python.

So what can you do with these remote engine starters? The primary purpose for remote starters is convenience. You could warm up your car that is out in frigid weather while you’re staying warm indoors. You could also do the same in blistering hot weather; remotely turn-on your engine with the A/C switch on so that it’s nice and cool by the time you get in. Another purpose for remote ignition is security reasons. Whether you’re a male or a female, it’s always nice to have your car ready to go whenever you are, especially when you are in shady parts of town. And of course, the last purpose to having remote starters is the show-off factor because it completes the true wow-element of your vehicle. After all, who doesn’t want to show off like James Bond?

There are a few things to be mindful of. Virtually every remote car start kit includes vehicle security and of course with that, they include some kind of remote. The pricing on these remote start security systems depend mostly on the abilities of the remote. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. In essence, the price is based upon how smart your system is.

The more buttons the remote has, the more money it’ll cost, because the more buttons usually mean more programmable functions such as keyless entry, arm/disarm, delayed starts, valet mode, and multi-tone activation. Another consideration is the ability for the system to communicate 2-way rather than just the typical 1-way. Think of your remote as your pager. 2-Way remotes allow the system to not only be controlled remotely by the user but also communicate to the user any disturbance to the car. This is crucial if you’re dining out or shopping at the mall and your car is out of your sight. 2-Way remotes typically features a small LCD display to tell you exactly what’s going on and they usually have obvious indicators to represent different things on your car that is disturbed (if your car is equipped with the sensors). Some systems indicate glass-breakage indicators or vicinity alarms to specify exact disturbances.

Another crucial aspect to consider is of course the range of your remote. Please remember that just because a product say that they feature a max range of 6000ft. means it’s always going to be consistently 6000ft. Conditions would have to be perfect to reach that kind of consistency and range. The longest range I’ve heard anyone had for these systems is around 1500ft. that’s about ¼ of a mile. This is great range for you since you could walk around for ¼ mile and not have to worry about your precious car.

Lastly, remember that once you wire your vehicle up for remote ignition, it is possible for thieves to steal your remote’s code and frequency allowing them to impersonate you through their remote and driving off with your car. Though the possibility of this is unlikely, it is still possible. Some systems feature code-hopping countermeasures, allowing your system to change codes frequently to prevent thieves from finding the same exact code your system use for arming and disarming the system-giving an astronomically impossible combination of codes to be deciphered. Again with this added feature, expect the price to be higher.

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What Are Remote Car Starters and When Is Installing One Right for You?

Autopage C3RS730LCD Remote Start 4 Channel Alarm (Black)

Directed 556U-B / 556UW Universal Remote Start Immobilizer Bypass Module ( 556U )

Remote starters are devices that allow you to start your car from a distance. These starters are available with a variety of different features to suit your specific lifestyle and needs.

If you’ve ever had to trudge outside early in the morning through snow and ice in order to start your car on a winter morning, you know the value of being able to start your car remotely from inside your home! There are a number of automatic starters on the market, all of them with a selection of different features. A car electronics specialist can help explain what those various options are, assist you in deciding if an automatic starter is right for you, and help you pick which features will be most useful for your specific situation.

While the term “remote car starter” is, on a basic level, self-explanatory, there are a number of details that you should know about if you’re actually considering getting one installed. The essential function of an automatic car starter is to allow you to start your engine–and your heater or air conditioner–from a distance. If you live in a cold climate, this ability can save you time and can ensure your comfort on cold mornings. If you live in a very warm location, an automatic starter allows you to step into a pleasant, pre-cooled car interior before you start driving. Most remote car starters work from a range of 500 to 1,000 feet, which means that when you’re getting ready to leave work, home, the grocery store, or anywhere else for that matter, you can enjoy the convenience of starting your car from a distance with a simple press of a button.

If installing a car starter sounds like something that would be useful for you, contact an automotive electronics expert to find out about the various remote starters that will work with your vehicle. These professionals will also be able to inform you about additional features, such as keyless entry and smart starters, that are available with some models. Keyless entry is, as it sounds like, the ability to unlock your car remotely without having to fumble with keys as you’re trying to open the door. Smart starters are automatic car starter systems that are linked to your smart phone. With a smart starter, you won’t even have to have a separate car starter device with you–you can do everything with the touch of a button on your mobile device!

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Remote Starter – Is it For You?

Python 991 Responder LC3 SST Security/Remote Start System

AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

One of the most popular purchases to be made in the automotive aftermarket industry this winter will be remote starters. Remote starters have become increasingly popular every year, with the majority of sales occurring between October and February. Sales peak around the holidays with many people purchasing them for loved ones at Christmas time.

Remote starters allow the owner of a vehicle to start the engine on their vehicle with a wireless remote or key fob. There are many advantages to this, including warming up your car on a cold morning, unlocking the doors on your car, automatically starting your car in extreme cold temperatures to keep the gas and oil from freezing, and even cooling your car down on a hot day. Simply turn on your heater or air conditioning prior to exiting your car, start the car with the remote, and step into an already warm or cold vehicle. Remote starters can be programmed to allow your car to run for a preset amount of time, anywhere from 10-60 minutes. These units can also be set up to unlock the doors on your car, roll down the windows, turn on the defroster, open the sunroof, open the truck, sound the horn, as well as a variety of other features.

There are two main varieties of remote starters: one-way and two-way units. There is one main difference between the two: one-way provides the user with no feedback while two-way provides the user with feedback. One-way units will allow the user to unlock the doors (if so equipped), start the car, as well as perform other optional duties. For the user to know if the car unlocked or started, they have to be able to see the car as the button is being pushed or after it has been pushed to verify that what they attempted to do was successful. Most units will flash the lights upon locking and unlocking as well as either flashing the parking lights or keeping them lit to signify the owner that the vehicle is running with the remote start.

The two-way remote starter uses a remote with an LCD screen or alert lights to inform the user of what is happening. The most popular two-way units use an LCD screen with a digital image of a car. When the user pushes the button to activate the remote start and start the car, the car will provide the user with feedback via the remote to let them know if the car started or not. If the car started, units with an LCD screen will generally show a digital puff of smoke coming from the rear of the car which lets the user know the car is running and the remote start activation was successful. Two-way remotes or key fobs can inform the user if the car is running and also if the car is locked or unlocked.

A popular version of the remote starter is a combination unit that features a car alarm as well. These units will perform all the duties of the standard remote starter, as well as protect your car from break-ins and theft. The two-way remote starter/alarm remotes can provide feedback to the user by visual alerts as well as audible alerts. The remote can alert you if a door has been opened, if the shock sensor has been tripped, or if any other sensor has detected a fault. This is designed to inform the user if someone is attempting to break into their car while they are not around. These units have a variety of service ranges anywhere from 200 feet, up to 6000 feet. That means you can be hundreds or in some cases thousands of feet away and be alerted if your car is being broken into. A new unit even uses a camera mounted in the car and in the event of a break-in, will take a picture of the inside of the car and transmit that picture to the full color two-way LCD remote, so the owner can even see who is breaking into their car.

Remote starters are not something that an amateur installer should attempt to install. These units are increasingly complicated and someone who has never installed one will be pulling his hair out in a few hours. There are a lot of safety and liability issues involved with wiring something so complex into your car and interfacing with increasingly complicated factory wiring and computer systems. Just a small error in probing a wire can cause an airbag to go off, or blow up an engine or body computer, either of which would cost thousands to be repaired. For the nominal installation fee, using your local 12 volt shop is the only way to go. For what would take an inexperienced installer a few days to install, an experienced installer can generally have you back on the road in less than one working day, saving you time, money and headaches.

On vehicles produced from 1995-1996 on up to brand new 2008 models, a variety of additional parts may be required to install your remote starter. Vehicles with a factory immobilizer system will require a bypass module to bypass the immobilizer system during the remote starter activation to allow the remote starter to start the engine. These bypass modules are designed for vehicles that contain a chip in their keys. The bypass module contains the same chip or program as the chip in the key and tricks the vehicle into thinking the key is in the ignition, thus allowing the remote starter to activate and start the car. If your car has an immobilizer system, you will be required to purchase this part, as the remote starter will not work without it. Also, some vehicles need additional modules to activate keyless entry. If you want your unit to roll down your windows this also requires a control module to do this. Many installs also require additional wiring and relays, which can increase the price of the installation depending on your make and model of vehicle. If your car is newer, be prepared to spend extra money for the additional parts that will be required for your remote starter to work on your vehicle. These parts can range from $50 up to $200+ depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle.

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How Remote Car Starters Work

Viper 7251V 2-Way LE Responder Remote

Crimestopper RS-4 Remote Car Start with Keyless entry, Data Port, Turbo timer, Gas and Diesel

During the blazing hot dog-days of summer, or the bone-chilling cold of winter, remote car starters work wonders for making your car comfortable. Without one, in the winter you have to bundle up to rush outside into the arctic blast of a cold-winter day, fumble with your keys as your hands go numb to unlock your door, and try to pry open your frozen door. Your teeth chatter as you start your car, then you rush back inside where it’s warm while you wait for the car to warm up. But if you have installed a remote car starter, you push a button from inside where it is warm and cozy, and wait in comfort till you are ready to get into a warm, defrosted vehicle. But how do remote car starters work?

Remote car starters bypass the ignition switch, essentially allowing a control unit to “hotwire” the car to start by remote control. Several components must be installed and work together to make this possible.

The common components in remote car starters are:

  • Transmitters- the key fobs that have the remote buttons.
  • Receiver- the control unit that is installed in the car, generally under the dashboard.
  • Relay set- controlled by the receiver, to handle the connections to bypass the ignition switch.
  • Hood Safety Switch: If the hood is open, the remote car starter is disabled to prevent injury when someone is working or checking fluids.
  • Wiring Components: Fuses, wiring connectors, antennas, zip ties, and other installation items.

Also, for many modern cars with anti-theft, you must purchase a separate kit specific to your make and model of car to bypass the anti-theft feature that prevents your car from starting if it were “hotwired”.

As a safety feature, remote starters cannot be installed in manual transmission vehicles. There’s not a reliable way for the control unit to verify the vehicle is not in gear. The last thing you’d want is to try to start your vehicle, and watch it take off with no one driving.

The transmitter is a miniature radio device that transmits an encoded signal telling the car to start. The antenna installed inside the car receives the signal, and carries it to the control unit. The control unit compares the encoded signal and verifies that the signal is from you. You wouldn’t want a thief or a neighbor to be able to start your vehicle! Once the signal is verified, the control unit blinks the parking lights on your car so that you can see the command was received.

The control unit activates the relays to bypass the ignition switch to turn on the systems that run the engine, essentially as if you turned the key to the run position. If there’s an anti-theft feature, it will activate the installed kit to send the correct “password” to the car to allow it to start. The control unit activates another relay, engaging the starter.

The control unit monitors to see if the engine starts- usually by monitoring the engine RPM signal, or by seeing the alternator charging the vehicle. If it doesn’t start in a few seconds, the remote start will stop cranking the starter, wait for a few seconds, and try again.

Once the engine is running, the car turns on the parking lights to show you that the vehicle is running. The remote starter actuates more relays to turn on all your vehicle’s accessories such as your wipers and blower motor.

The car will continue to run until either the timer expires which is generally set for 15 minutes, you press the stop button on a transmitter, or until you hit the brake pedal. To keep the car from shutting off when you get in, you put in the key, and turn it to the run position before hitting the brake. The car will drive normally after that, and will shut off when you turn off the key.

Remote car starters also come with several variations and options. There are integrated car alarms, and options for remote locking and unlocking of doors, or to pop your trunk.

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Remote Car Starter Buying Guide

Viper 5901 Responder LC3 SuperCode SST 2-Way Security and Remote Start System

Python 592 Responder HD Color SuperCode SST 2-Way Security and Remote Start System

My store has been installing Remote Car Starters since the early 1990s. This experience has taught us what is important in a quality remote starter installation. With the cold season almost upon us, we thought it would be a good time to post our Top 10 List (in no particular order):

10. Warranty

The actual remote starter brain should be warrantied for as long as you own the car. Many quality companies offer this. If they do not, it is a possible sign of inferior equipment. Remote controls, however are rarely warrantied for more than a year. Our Pro line remotes carry a 2 year warranty and all our 2 way remotes have a $25 replacement plan.

9. Engine Speed Sensing

A good remote starter should have some method of monitoring the engine RPM’s. Why is this important? There are a couple reasons:

* On a very cold day, the car might not start on the first turn of the key. The same is true with a remote starter. It might not start the first time the starter does it’s thing. Without a method of sensing engine RPM’s the remote starter will have no way of knowing that the vehicle has failed to start. The end result is that you go out to your car and it is still cold.

* The other main reason is over-rev protection. A quality remote starter will know if the engine speed is too high and shut off. A remote start that does not offer RPM sensing cannot know if this level is exceeded and could end with damage to the vehicle.

8. Transmitter Range

You want to make sure that the remote start that you are buying will allow you to start/stop/lock/unlock, etc from a long distance. Many people say that they just park their car right outside of their house and do not need a long rang transmitter. Just keep in mind the trips to the movies, the mall, the amusement park, etc. You will want to use your remote start then also and you will not be parked as close as at home. Our transmitters offer a minimum of 800 feet and some are over a mile!

7. Hood Safety Switch

Make sure that there is an emergency cutoff installed under the hood. This cutoff is designed to prevent the vehicle from remote starting if the hood is up. This protects you and your mechanic from forever having someone else open your ketchup bottles! DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS! Many shops skip this step because it saves time. Mobile Edge integrates a hood cutoff on every single job.

6. Manufacturer

Make sure that the manufacturer is a company that specializes in remote car starters. There are many companies out there that simply throw a label on a product and call it their own. You want to avoid that. It is our experience that these companies provide little if any support for their products and many will not be in business next year. Stick with the experts.

5. New Car Warranty

Do not let your car dealer tell you that an aftermarket remote car starter will void your warranty . This is against the law. The Magnuson Moss Act prevents a dealer from voiding a warranty simply because of the addition of aftermarket equipment. If that equipment or associated installation causes damage to the vehicle, the dealer does not have to warranty the job. This is more of a reason to go to a specialist shop that sell good remote starters and installs them professionally. I have a detailed PDF on this subject.

4. Do it Yourself?

Unless you are a certified technician with experience in remote car starter installation, DO NOT attempt to install your own remote starter. I know… The one you saw at WalMart comes with an instructional video. That video will teach you enough to make you dangerous. Trust me! It will not teach you how to integrate the transponder in a 2004 Ford or bypass the security in an 06 Trailblazer. The instructional video may have worked in the early 1990’s, but today’s cars are very sophisticated. Save yourself a ton of expense and headache and have it installed by someone who does this for a living and can be responsible for the job. This brings us to number 3.

3. Buy it Here / Install it There?

Do not buy your remote starter on eBay (or WalMart or Amazon, etc) and expect to find a quality, reputable shop that will install it for you. While many aftermarket shops will install stereos and amps purchased elsewhere, few if any will install a remote start purchased elsewhere. During remote starter season, the good shops are busy enough trying to keep up with their own work. If you find a shop that will install someone else’s remote starter, they are likely not very busy. Do you want to trust your vehicle to that guy?

There is another very important reason not to buy a remote starter at one place and have it installed at another. Let’s say something goes wrong. A remote starter is an electronic product and can fail. The guy that puts it in will blame the product and the manufacturer will say that it was installed wrong. Guess who is stuck in the middle with no recourse. When you have the shop that you buy a remote starter from install it, you have one place to go in the event of a failure. There cannot be any finger pointing.

2. Go to a Specialist

Look for a specialty shop. Not to bash any of the chain stores, but they have a much higher turnover rate with installers than a specialty shop. These are people that likely have less experience than a long term employee at a specialty shop. It is my experience that many installer “cut their teeth” at a chain store and, once they have more experience, move on to a specialist (We pay more!).

Many specialists (not all though) will solder all of their connections. I feel that this is very important. Crimp connectors can save up to an hour of installation time, but when dealing with the vehicle’s electrical system, I want a rock solid connection. The only way to get that is by soldering the wires together. Mobile Edge has soldered every connection on every job for nearly 15 years.

Will a remote starter from a specialty shop cost more than from a chain store? Sometimes yes. But put that into perspective. Even if the job cost $100 more from a specialist, that difference is less than 1/10 of 1% of what you probably paid for your car. Why take the risk. Not to mention, when you deal with a specialist, you can talk to the installer, salesman and, in many cases, the owner. There is definitely a value in that.

1. More than Just a Remote Starter

Make sure that you review all of the convenience features that can be added to your remote starter with your salesperson before the installation! Most higher quality remote starters will allow a ton of cool features to be added or controlled from the remote. Anything from heated seats to keyless entry and rear defrost can be integrated with most better systems. It is A LOT cheaper to have this done at the time of installation. If you want to add it later, you may be paying for several hours of additional labor.

The Bottom Line

In summary, the cheapest price does not always save you money! When selecting a shop to have a remote starter put in, ask a lot of questions. How long have they been in business? How much experience do their technicians have? Do they have sophisticated computer programs to aid with installation? How do they handle warranty issues? You get the idea. The better shops will clearly rise to the top. They might cost a little more up front, but that extra expense will pay dividends in quality and piece of mind. I am sure that you will find that Mobile Edge is one of the best shops for your Remote Car Starter Installation.

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How Remote Car Starters Work

During the blazing hot dog-days of summer, or the bone-chilling cold of winter, remote car starters work wonders for making your car comfortable. Without one, in the winter you have to bundle up to rush outside into the arctic blast of a cold-winter day, fumble with your keys as your hands go numb to unlock your door, and try to pry open your frozen door. Your teeth chatter as you start your car, then you rush back inside where it’s warm while you wait for the car to warm up. But if you have installed a remote car starter, you push a button from inside where it is warm and cozy, and wait in comfort till you are ready to get into a warm, defrosted vehicle. But how do remote car starters work?

Remote car starters bypass the ignition switch, essentially allowing a control unit to “hotwire” the car to start by remote control. Several components must be installed and work together to make this possible.

The common components in remote car starters are:

  • Transmitters- the key fobs that have the remote buttons.
  • Receiver- the control unit that is installed in the car, generally under the dashboard.
  • Relay set- controlled by the receiver, to handle the connections to bypass the ignition switch.
  • Hood Safety Switch: If the hood is open, the remote car starter is disabled to prevent injury when someone is working or checking fluids.
  • Wiring Components: Fuses, wiring connectors, antennas, zip ties, and other installation items.

Also, for many modern cars with anti-theft, you must purchase a separate kit specific to your make and model of car to bypass the anti-theft feature that prevents your car from starting if it were “hotwired”.

As a safety feature, remote starters cannot be installed in manual transmission vehicles. There’s not a reliable way for the control unit to verify the vehicle is not in gear. The last thing you’d want is to try to start your vehicle, and watch it take off with no one driving.

The transmitter is a miniature radio device that transmits an encoded signal telling the car to start. The antenna installed inside the car receives the signal, and carries it to the control unit. The control unit compares the encoded signal and verifies that the signal is from you. You wouldn’t want a thief or a neighbor to be able to start your vehicle! Once the signal is verified, the control unit blinks the parking lights on your car so that you can see the command was received.

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