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Experience's with remote car starters?

BigAl_50

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Hi, I'm thinking of purchasing a remote car starter for my my wife for Christmas, I'd be interested in experience you may have had. Brands to avoid or general things to consider / watch out for. Thanks to all who reply.
Al
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
The Movies.

A remote starter would be just the thing to foil those murderous movie plots by the bad guys who wire up a car to explode when the key turns in the switch to start it up.

Instead of putting oneself at risk in that cinematic way, just use the remote starter -- from a safe distance.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

beatja

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My husband got me one for my car several years ago and I absolutely love it! I can start my car from my office and the heat or air conditioner is running by time I walk across the parking lot. I would recommend it highly.
 

dougp26364

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We had one installed in my wife's car when we bought it new from the dealer. I'm not certain of the brand. In general, it works fine when we use it, which is a lot less frequent than I thought it would be. I have an issue remembering the steps I have to go through to turn it off and drive away without it thinking someone has stolen the car and shutting off the engine (anti-theft protection that turns out to be anti-owner in my case). The wife doesn't have a problem remembering but, that's either being smarter than me or the fact she drives the car and uses this device more frequently than I do.

I picked up on disturbing aspect that causes me to not want to install one again. Under normal conditions one has to push the button twice to start the vehicle remotely. For whatever reason, the other day the car started up on it's own while in the garage. My keys were in my pocket and I suppose that someone I managed to hit that button twice but, it got me to thinking what about the potential implications if this device malfunctioned and started the car up, in the garage, on it's own.

I had never heard of this happening before and doubt that it is a common problem. However, it did happen and, should it happen again I will likely have the device removed from the car. Once would be an odd thing, twice would be to much risk.
 

pcgirl54

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Big Al

I requested one last Christmas from my hubby. I just love it. A nice warm car before and after work. It's very easy to use. You just have to be careful how you carry the remote in your purse as you can set it off by accident. I have a couple of times.
 
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TUGBrian

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it can make for an interesting spectacle if you install this on a vehicle with a manual transmission =)
 

Jbart74

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it can make for an interesting spectacle if you install this on a vehicle with a manual transmission =)
I installed one on our Hyundai Elantra, Manual Transmission about four years ago. It's hard to find them for manuals, and no professionals will install them on manuals, but you can buy them from a couple of online stores and do it yourself. It took me about 10 hours over two days to figure it all out, get it installed, and working properly. There are many failsafes for manual transmissions, which I think is why it took so long. Like finding the wire that tells the dashboard light that the Parking brake is indeed on. Then the wire that guarantees the car is in neutral. And so on.... It was impossible to start the car remotely unless it was in nuetral and the parking vbrake was engaged. Believe me, I tested every possible accidental situation before handing the keys over to my partner. He loved it 100% for all of the reasons that others have posted. Unfortunately, we traded the car in a year later so it was short lived. No way would I do it again myself, but it was good while it lasted!
 

JeffW

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For doug26364, besides the safeguards that jbarr74 mentioned, there are also others (or at least should be on a quality installation):

- on hood switch (so that the remote starter can't start the engine with the hood raised (and possibly someone working on it).

- an interrupt to the running engine if the brake pedal is pressed (usually required to change gears) and the key hasn't been inserted

- a maximum run time (from typically 7 to 20 minutes) if there hasn't been a key placed in the ignition (and it turned to ON).

Some of the remotes are so small (mine is about the size of a thumb, just a single start button) that I don't think the circuitry for the remote transmission is that complicated. My wireless house doorbell goes off occasionally, I assume from spurious signals around us. Maybe your starter had the same problem.

For those wanting to get one, I'd recommend paying a bit more to get a decent installation. I know 2 people that went the Pep Boys route, and both had issues.

Also, in both cars that I had them in (an 02 Toyota, and 06 Acura), once the car is remotely started, the factory remote was disabled. With my 02 car, the remote starter had it's own buttons for door unlock (also trunk, but they weren't able to get that to work). For the 06 one, I either need to unlock the door and/or trunk before I start my car remotely; once started that way, I can only use the key.

Jeff
 

Jbart74

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For doug26364, besides the safeguards that jbarr74 mentioned, there are also others (or at least should be on a quality installation):

- on hood switch (so that the remote starter can't start the engine with the hood raised (and possibly someone working on it).

- an interrupt to the running engine if the brake pedal is pressed (usually required to change gears) and the key hasn't been inserted

- a maximum run time (from typically 7 to 20 minutes) if there hasn't been a key placed in the ignition (and it turned to ON).

Jeff

Agreed! Those were also part of my system, and more of the resaon it took me so long to install! Very good and important safety features. I had forgotten the details. Thanks Jeff!
 
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