It’s cold outside. Winter is taking its toll. All you want is to get in your car and leave as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you cannot do so since the temperature is too low for your body to bear. This is where the importance of a remote car starter enters the picture.
What is a Remote Car Starter?
This is perhaps the question that you are asking if it is your first time to hear about it. Well, it is as simple as it sounds – it is a device that will allow you to start your car remotely or at a distance. You do not need to be there in the driver’s seat to turn the engine on.
A remote starter is a device that is radio-controlled. In the case of newer and high-end vehicle models, this is a feature that is factory-installed. Nonetheless, this can also be installed as an aftermarket part, provided that it is compatible with the car that you own.
This device often exists in the form of a small keychain remote. When you push the button, the vehicle will automatically start. This also means that the cooling or heating system will be instantly turned on. When you get inside the car, it is already comfortable and you can drive away without worries.
The things that a remote starter can do will depend on the brand and model that you will choose. Aside from turning on the engine, as well as activating heating and cooling, it can also be used for locking/unlocking doors, activating panic button, activating alarm system, and activating de-icer, among other things.
One thing that makes one model different from the other is the distance at which they can be activated. It would be better if you can use it at a generous distance from the vehicle. In most models, they will work when you are about 500 to 1,000 feet away. Some expensive models can even offer a range of one mile.
What are the Parts of a Remote Car Starter?
When you purchase a remote starter and when you open the box, there are two main parts that you will find:
Remote Starter Module: This is the bigger part of the two and the one that needs to be installed in your car. The specific location of where it should be installed will depend upon the requirements of the manufacturer.
Remote Starter Transmitter: This is the actual remote and the one that you will bring with you. It has one button if the sole purpose is to start the engine. For more expensive models, they can have up to five buttons for different functions. They can also be equipped with a small screen.
Will it Work for your Car?
This is another question that you possibly have in mind by now. The answer is that it depends. Compatibility will depend on the brand and model of the vehicle that you have. It is best to consult the manual of your car and the remote starter so that you will not end up wasting your money.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of the remote starter will vary from one manufacturer to the other. Whether you have a limited budget or you do not mind spending a lot, you will find an option that is perfect for your needs. Nonetheless, the price should not be a primary deciding factor. Quality and performance should be seen as more important considerations.
The good news is that aftermarket remote starters are quite affordable, even those that are made by reputable brands. The more features they have, the more expensive they become. You can even find models that are less than a hundred dollars. The cost, however, is exclusive of installation fees. You have no choice but to rely on the help of a professional installer since the assembly of the system is quite a complicated task for someone who lacks technical knowledge.
How to Install Remote Car Starters
As it has been mentioned above, this is one thing that is better left in the hands of experts since it is not a straightforward task. If you are curious, however, here is a glimpse of how it is done:
- Decide on the location of the starter module. Consult the instructions from the manufacturer if they have recommendations. It must be in a place that is hidden and secured. As a general rule, do not place it in the engine compartment or in any place it will be prone to vibration and heat. You can place it above the glove compartment or radio.
- Before anything else, make sure that the car is turned off and that the battery is disconnected, which will allow you to work safely.
- Create an opening in the area where the module will be installed. After which, you can now proceed to wiring. Make sure that all the wires are connected properly.
- Connect the battery and test if the starter is already working.
Again, the steps mentioned above is just a summary of what needs to be done. Making the connection is perhaps the most tedious from these steps. This is why you are better off letting the pros do the work for you.
Talking about the installation of the remote starter, there is one important component that needs to be highlighted. The by-pass module. Simply put, this is the one that receives a signal from the remote, allowing the engine to start once the button from the transmitter is pushed. 95% of the cars will need a by-pass module before the installation.
Will it Affect your Car’s Warranty?
A lot of people may have hesitations in the installation of aftermarket accessories like a remote starter, thinking that it will void the warranty. Generally speaking, this is not going to render the warranty void, as long as you make sure that it is installed by a pro. If ever there is a problem, go to the installer to have it fixed and not to the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Does it Work for Both Manual and Automatic Transmissions?
Advancements in modern technologies have made it possible for remote starters to progress. Indeed, they have come a long way. In the past, they are used exclusively for vehicles with automatic transmission. These days, even for manual transmission, a remote starter will be compatible.
Indeed, a remote car starter is an essential investment for automobile enthusiasts. As long as it is compatible with your car, it is going to make your life a lot easier. Some of them can be expensive, but they will be worth your money given the many benefits that they can bring to you. No more need to wait to be seated before you can turn on and the engine and start the heating/cooling system!