Remote car starters provide the ability to warm or cool a vehicle before you even step foot in it. Unless you live in a perfect climate, you’ve probably given some thought to a remote car starter. There are common questions that come up when researching remote car starters. In this article, we will answer the most common questions about remote car starters truthfully. These tips might even help you save on dollars and hassle.
How do remote starts work?
We live in an age of advanced technology, so sitting in a frozen vehicle for 10 minutes while waiting for your windows to defrost seems silly. Remote car starts are electronic devices that can tell your vehicle to start-up and run for a predetermined length of time to warm or cool the vehicle.
Current systems do not require alterations to the vehicle’s factory wiring and some are even plug-in. These new systems are programmed with firmware that is specific to your vehicle’s information and communicate via can-bus for most controls. Current technology does not require as many hardwired connections to the vehicles so there is less chance of human error and provides more reliable results. Granted, hardwired connections should rarely be an issues if you are working with properly trained technicians.
Do they cause issues with vehicles?
If not installed correctly, remote starts can very well cause issues in vehicles. Because of the high demand for remote start installations, shops pop up in strategic geographic locations every winter to capitalize on the need. These shops are pretty easy to spot. Look for the following details in order to avoid shops that are trying to exploit a need and might not always have the experience required for proper remote start installation:
- They will probably only offer a couple of models.
- They will use online coupon sites to get customers because they have a weak presence in the marketplace.
- They will advertise super low prices, but will most likely end up selling extra parts that they will try to convince you are necessary for the install.
It’s always a good idea to stay away from any deal that seems too good to be true. Typically, these type of deals will conceive ways to institute “extra charges” that could force you to pay almost the same as more experienced shops, and you will most likely end up having issues with either cheap products, or worse, your vehicle.
When remote car starters are made of quality materials and installed by a trained professional, there are almost never any issues. Remember, these are electronics and there can be a small percentage of defects, but if installed correctly, they will never affect the vehicle’s normal operation and will not void your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty.
How do I know which one to buy?
There are a few factors to consider when choosing which remote start system is best for you.
- How far away from the vehicle will you be when you are going to be using the system.
- Do you want a transmitter that can start the vehicle and do door locks as well?
- One-way or Two-way?
A one-way system sends a signal from the remote to the vehicle.
A two-way system will send to the vehicle, but then the vehicle sends confirmation back to the transmitter to let you know if the vehicle successfully received the command. This can be very beneficial when out at restaurants, movie theaters, and other locations where you cannot see the vehicle.
Talk to the professionals when deciding what system is perfect for you, as there are tons of options ranging in features and price point. If it seems like you are being up-sold or pressured into buying way more than you need, you are probably talking to the wrong people.
Where do I go for remote start install?
Selecting the best place to purchase your remote start is important. Stay away from all online coupon sites, as they are too risky. Check out reviews online and talk with the salespeople to determine who sounds knowledgeable and professional about the product and the installation. If they are truly a professional, they should be interested in getting you the best system that fits your needs, rather than pushing for the upsell. Be wary if the shop is in someone’s personal garage or in a shop that does not carry insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask the following questions to get a solid idea of how professional the company is:
- Do you solder all your connections?
- Do you have insurance?
- Are you a PRO dealer?
- What’s your warranty?
There are plenty of quality shops out there. Big box stores usually feel safe because they are a corporate giant and sometimes they do have great installers. However, the big box stores are also usually where many installers start their careers, so it is difficult to know how much experience the person working on your vehicle has. Specialists are your best bet and you can find them at stores that only sell car accessories and electronics. These guys make a living and feed their families installing remote starts and other accessories all year long, so they are likely to have the most experience in the field. These types of shops will have all the latest tech and training to ensure a smooth experience.
How much do they cost?
Remote start systems range in price from $250-700 depending on what kind of system you are looking for. Remote start systems are universal and therefore 95% of all vehicles need a vehicle-specific part to allow them to work. The pricing you see in this range should include this part and any price you see below $250 is not realistic. If you are looking for a quality unit that will work for years to come and give you good distance and 2-way feedback, then you should expect to be in the $400-600 price range. This may seem high, but that is only because advertisements are structured around price leaders that do not include vehicle-specific parts and will always end up in these price ranges after you call and ask for an out the door quote. Try and find a place that has the total price listed on the website. These are usually the places that you can trust the most.
We hope this article has been informative and from all of us here at Mobile Installation Services: stay warm this winter!