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8 Common Questions About Remote Car Starters

Answering Google’s Burning Questions

If you have an older car, you might be asking yourself, what is a remote car starter? In short, these starters are a convenient way to start your car’s engine from a distance. It’s especially useful when you want to cool your car’s interior on a hot summer day or to heat it up on an exceptionally cold winter morning.

With automotive technology constantly evolving, it’s no surprise to see remote car starters as standard. Keep reading to learn what a remote car starter is, how they work and the effects of installing one aftermarket.

What Is A Remote Car Start?  

A remote car starter is a feature that allows a driver to start their car’s engine from a far distance. There are many benefits of a remote car starter. However, the biggest benefit comes from the extra time the remote starter gives your vehicle to reach its optimal operating temperature.

The extra time helps heat up the engine and makes the oil less viscous. This, in turn, allows the oil to flow smoothly throughout the engine, creating a warm and comfortable ride.

It’s also helpful when you want to cool down your car’s interior on a scorching summer day or if you want to heat it up so it’s nice and toasty on a harsh winter morning.

Even if your car doesn’t come with this feature, you’ll be happy to hear that installing a remote starter is entirely possible! Most manufacturers, like Ford, that built cars in 2016 and beyond can be fitted with a dealer-installed remote start system. Many cars from this time should already have one installed if it was available for the model and trim.

If your car was built before 2005, you would likely need an aftermarket starter professionally installed. Installing it with a reputable chain or shop can ensure that the job is done correctly and you receive some warranty in the event it fails.

Are Remote Car Starters Expensive?  

Now that you know what remote car starters are, you may be wondering how much a remote start costs. The remote car starter cost for most aftermarket systems typically runs between $200-$300, but many European cars fitted with transponder keys can run as high as $800.

The higher cost is due to the more complicated electronics that come with European models.

In order to get a more specific answer on the final cost, you must ask yourself or Google, “How do remote car starters work?” That’s because these systems come with advanced features, which, if installed, can significantly raise the price.

Some advanced features include:

  • Two-way remote notification
  • Longer-range remotes
  • Ability to lower windows
  • Smartphone remote start control

These are just a few features, but it definitely goes beyond the basic remote start option and, for some, can be worth the additional cost. Although it’s not entirely cheap, you want to avoid purchasing a cheap remote starter system online and attempting to install it yourself.  

Can A Remote Start Be Added To Any Vehicle?  

If your car was built in the mid-2000s or a remote starter was available for your exact model, trim and transmission, a remote starter system can be added to the vehicle.

Although most cars can be fitted with a remote starter system, they’re not available even for newer cars with a manual transmission. However, even if you find aftermarket systems that can be installed to a stick shift, it’s not recommended.

That’s because even with fail-safes, stick shift cars have the potential to try to start when it’s been left in another gear, not in neutral. This can cause the car to jerk forward and cause damage to whatever lies ahead of it.

Can A Remote Starter Burn Out The Car Starter?  

This is just a myth. However, to increase the chances of a remote starter not burning out the car starter or causing any damage, you want to have it properly installed by professionals and ensure it’s a high-quality, not cheap, system.

The consensus among mechanics is that remote starters are actually good for your engine — even more so for diesel and turbo engines.

Does Having A Remote Car Starter Make My Car Easier To Steal?  

With one car stolen every 48 minutes in Ontario, it’s understandable to want to know the security aspects of any system before adding it to your car.

Fortunately, having a remote car starter doesn’t make your car easier to steal. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Any high-quality system will keep the doors locked when you remote start your car.

In the event a thief makes it inside, some systems are designed to shut down the second someone touches the brake pedal before turning on the ignition.

Additionally, many systems will ensure your steering column remains locked until you specifically get into the car to turn it on.

Does Installing A Remote Car Starter Void Your Warranty?  

The simple answer is no. Installing a remote car starter will not void your warranty. However, it must be installed properly by a professional in order to not void the warranty. This is because remote starter systems fall under the Consumer Protection Acts, the Canadian equivalent of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Are Remote Car Starters Easy To Install?  

Remote car starter kits are relatively inexpensive, and technically anyone can install the system in their vehicles with a little patience. However, the difference between a home installation and a professional installation is huge.

First, you not only have to know how to identify wiring and how to make exact splices, but you also may need to know how to bypass an antitheft system and a few other steps depending on your car’s make and model.

At the end of the day, it’s always best to work with professionals to handle the installation process.

Do Remote Starters Work On Manual Cars  

You can install remote starters on manual cars, but it’s a much more complicated process than for automatic cars. There are several considerations to account for to avoid issues, such as the remote starter jerking your car forward when it’s in any gear other than neutral.

You can make it work as long as the remote car starter disables the clutch interlock, ensures the transmission is in neutral and can verify an activated parking brake.

Ultimately, you can install remote starters on manual cars, but it’s not highly recommended.

The Takeaway  

Remote car starters are a fantastic addition to any car and can provide a long list of benefits that you can enjoy for the life of your car. If you’ve been contemplating installing a remote car starter, get in contact with our automotive professionals for a quote today!


About AudioMotive

For over 10 years, AudioMotive has and continues to be, Ottawa’s premier vehicle upgrade experts. With more than 25 years of combined industry experience, we proudly specialize in all things related to HID lighting and mobile electronics sales and installation.