- 1 Best Remote Car Starter Reviews (Editors’ Picks)
- 2 What is a Remote Car Starter?
- 3 Remote Car Starter Buying Guide
- 4 Factory vs After-Market Remote Start
- 5 Top 5 Benefits of Remote Car Starters
- 6 How a Remote Starter Can Prevent Vehicle Theft?
- 7 How to Safely Use a Remote Car Starter?
- 8 How to Install a Remote Starter in a Car
- 9 FAQs and Answers
- 10 Best Remote Car Starter Comparison Chart
- 11 Conclusion
Why should you only invest in the best remote car starter and not the one available in your local car market? For starters, these devices help you monitor – and control – your car’s climate, which means you’d never have to come sit in a car that is exceedingly hot or frigidly chilled.
Secondly, some of them come with smartphone connectivity and trunk-release buttons. You can also use them to warm up your car by starting it as you’re preparing breakfast in the kitchen. What’s more, provided you have deep pockets, you can also get a device with a built-in carjack protection feature.
Think that isn’t possible? That we’re just making claims which are too tall to be true? Then you must check out our remote car starter reviews. Only then you can get to know why these units have helped millions of drivers to go keyless.
Viper 5706V 2-Way Remote Start System
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Directed Electronics Python 5706P Security Remote Start System
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Directed Electronics Python 4806P Remote Start System
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Start-X Remote Car Starter Kit
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Avital 5105L 1-Way Security & Remote-Start System
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Compustar CS800-S 1-Way Remote Start
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Avital 4105L Avistart Remote Start
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Best Remote Car Starter Reviews (Editors’ Picks)
1. Viper 5706V 2-Way Remote Start System
One of the most high-end remote start systems on the market, the Viper 5706V is powered with a rechargeable Li-ion battery with micro-USB recharging. It provides a one-mile range and displays all the information regarding your vehicle’s status on its easy-to-read LCD display.
Provided you don’t like hearing the alarm at night, it comes with a feature that reroutes all your car’s alerts through the remote. You can activate its Active Temp Check feature to see the inside temperature of the car, so you’ll know when it’s cozy enough to leave the office.
Furthermore, if anyone wants to tamper with your vehicle, the loudness of its alarms would wake up the whole neighborhood. It also stops you from being careless by immediately sending an alert when you have left the car’s door open. And on top of everything else, you can use it with up to two cars at once.
2. Directed Electronics Python 5706P Security Remote Start System
Just like the Viper 5706V that we saw above, the Python 5706P too comes with two remote controls. One of them features an LCD screen with two buttons on the bottom, whereas the other contains five buttons using which you can lock/unlock the car, open the trunk, reset runtime, and perform other functions.
One of the outstanding features of this tool is its compatibility with Viper’s smartStart app. Inside the app, you’ll find the ignition kill switch feature. You can activate it to lock the engine to ensure that the car can’t be driven without its keys. That reduces the chances of car theft.
In the unfortunate scenario of the car getting stolen, you can turn to this tool’s GPS tracking feature. Apart from letting you monitor your car’s location, this feature, via the smartphone app, lets you control it. Add to the equation its 6-tone siren and stinger DoubleGuard, and this tool will surely deter thieves.
3. Directed Electronics Python 4806P Remote Start System
One of the most inexpensive options on the market, the Directed Electronics Python 4860P has the features to give competition to tools costing twice as much. Its dual, five-button remote features door lock/unlock buttons, auxiliary buttons, and remote engine start, in both one- and two-way modes.
Provided you can afford to separate purchase the DSM 200 SmartStart module, you can take advantage of this tool’s smartphone compatibility. That would mean enjoying features like locking/unlocking doors from your smartphone, trunk release, car finder, and panic mode.
On top of everything else, the 5,820 feet range of this model won’t be affected by walls. You can even use it from a location where there’s no direct line of sight between the remote and your car. Also, it has different tone alarms that can differentiate between accidental contact and a forceful one.
4. Start-X F150 Remote Car Starter Kit
First things first, unlike other remote starters that you see in this review, this one doesn’t offer (almost) universal compatibility. Make sure it fits your vehicle before proceeding with the purchase. That’s because while others are remote starters, this one is a kit that will attach to your existing remote.
Provided it works with your car, you can enjoy its plug-n-play remote starter kit. Apart from defrosting the windshield in less than 10-minutes, the kit makes its installation a cinch. Its climate-control feature not only lets you increase the temperature inside your vehicle but also brings it down.
To provide you with an additional layer of security, its manufacturer has provided this remote with a self-learning algorithm. After the first time of connecting it to your vehicle, the device will only connect to your specific key fob. That reduces the chances of anyone hijacking the system.
5. Avital 5105L 1-Way Security & Remote-Start System
Of all the remote car starters that you have seen thus far, the Avital 5105L is by far the most inexpensive. Does that mean the cutting of corners to keep its price low? Of course not. This system provides the same dual-remote operation which most users find – and like – in the premium security systems.
This system reduces the likelihood of hackers intercepting signals between itself and your car’s alarm system by emitting encoded signals. Aside from signal encryptions, it also features sensitive shock sensors. They trigger warning chips in the instance of a serious disruption or impact to keep your car safe.
If you want to reduce the occurrences of false alarms, you can increase the sensitivity of the shock sensors. Equally useful is its LCD display whose icons let you know when the trunk, hook, or door is left open. Also, this system’s alerts identify specific parts of your vehicle that might have been tampered with.
6. Compustar CS800-S 1-Way Remote Start
The Compustar CS8000S is one of the few remote start systems in this review that don’t come with an LCD display. It features an LED indicator that lights up the moment you press any button, though the absence of 2-way communication means that you can’t know whether your car has received the memo.
Should you be concerned about this shortcoming? You won’t have to if the distance between your car and the remote is less than 1,000 ft., which is the range of this tool. Once you are within that distance, you can press the buttons on its control panel to have your car undertake an automatic cold/hot start.
The remaining three buttons on this remote let you lock/unlock the doors, open the trunk, and adjust the alarm’s volume. You can double press the alarm button to mute it altogether. However, we wouldn’t do that if we were you, as silencing the alarm would mean you would become oblivious of your vehicle’s status.
7. Avital 4105L Avistart Remote Start
Apart from coming at a wallet-friendly price, the Avital 4015L also provides an attractive set of features. It comes with two one-way remotes and has four buttons using which you can start the engine, lock and unlock the doors, as well as release the trunk. For easy access, keyless entry is also available.
Since this product is aimed at budget-minded users, it tries to attract them with its gas-saving feature. It lets you decide how long the vehicle will run without the insertion of the key. If no key is inserted during that time period, the car will automatically shut down, resulting in gas savings.
On top of that, it offers a decent level of security by reducing the likelihood of thieves ‘hot-wiring’ your car with a feature called Fault-proof starter. This feature makes sure that nothing is awry as the vehicle is started. You can also count on it to detect false alarms, so the system won’t bother you without purpose.
What is a Remote Car Starter?
As their name implies, remote car starters are wireless devices that let you start your vehicle’s engine from a certain distance. In most cases, these devices come in the form of key access fobs. Little remote controls which have pressable buttons enabling you to perform various functions.
In addition to starting the engine, there are innumerable other functions that these tools can perform. You can count on them to turn on your vehicle’s heat, open the trunk, and lock/unlock the doors. Among them are some fancy models which even provide smartphone compatibility.
To enjoy all these features, make sure to check the range of your device. Some of them let you control your vehicle from as far as 1-mile away. Others stop dead in their tracks after a few hundred feet. Choose the range of your starter based on the distance between your sitting space and the car’s parking space.
How Does a Remote Starter Work?
To understand the working of remote starters, it is crucial that you know about the two components which make the entire system tick. These components include a) the receiver and b) the transmitter. The receiver is connected to the ignition system whereas the transmitter is inside the remote.
When you press a button on the remote, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver (which is in the form of a box). On catching the signal, the receiver activates the ignition system, and your car’s engine kicks off.
Remote Car Starter Buying Guide
At the cost of puzzling you, we recommend that you don’t make a selection from the abovementioned list before going through this buying guide first. Wonder why? Because only after going through this section you can be sure of features that separate the top-rated remote car starters from the riffraff.
Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying a Remote Car Starter
Following are the questions that will present themselves when you go shopping for a remote car starter:
Model of Your Vehicle
One of the features of the remote car starters which attract people is their universality. In other words, you can use them with any device. Though we’d still recommend to double-check the device you’re looking at and check whether it’s compatible with your vehicle.
Older Engine Models
Provided you’re driving the same car which your parents did in their heyday, chances are that it would be running on a carbureted engine. These were models that had low fuel efficiency and a bigger carbon footprint.
More importantly, such engines require devices that come with fuel delivery controls. These are car starters that turn the vehicle on/off by resuming/cutting the fuel supply. Make sure your device has these three words written on its package if you’re driving a carbureted engine model.
Newer Engine Models
Also known as immobilizers, the anti-theft module remote car starters protect your vehicle from being ‘hot-wired’. That means that they won’t let the engine start unless the correct transponder car key is present.
Cars that are running on state-of-the-art engines come with the same anti-theft module. As a result, they require their remote car starter to be compatible with the same, failing which they won’t let it tinker with the car’s functioning.
One-Way or Two-Way Remote Start System
How far will you normally be when you’d press the ‘on’ button on your remote car starter? The answer to this question will determine whether it’s a one-way or two-way system that you need. Though there are other factors that also play a role in your selection between the two choices.
One-way remotes are similar to your TV’s remote control. That means that once you’ve pressed the button, their screen would display no information to tell you whether or not the car got the prompt.
Put simply, if your car isn’t nearby and you cannot hear the beep, you’d have to ‘press and pray’ that it got the memo. Otherwise, you’d have no choice but to go sit in a car that’s as dead as when you left it locked in the morning.
As you might have guessed by now, two-way remotes operate on prompts. The moment you press any button, their screen will display a message telling you whether or not your command was delivered to your car.
That makes buying choosing them over their one-way counterparts a no-brainer, right? It does, provided you can pay the astronomical price which two-way remotes demand in return for their functionality.
Expandable or Non-Expandable Fob
How many persons drive your vehicle? Do you have the vehicle at all times or do you share it with someone else in your family? Once you have the answer to this question, only then you can be sure whether an expandable or non-expandable device will work for you.
Provided you share your vehicle with multiple drivers, expandable remote car starters might be the best bet for you. They come with multiple access control fobs to let each driver have their own remote.
If you are the sole driver of your vehicle – and have no plans of sharing it with anyone in the future – we see no reason why you should pay extra for having multiple access control fobs in your kit.
Remote Car Starter Features and Specs
Here are some of the most features and specs which are a must-have for the top-rated remote car starters:
- Defroster and Heater Activation: While the former melts ice and snow that may have accumulated on your vehicle, the latter brings the car’s temperature to a comfortable level.
- Adequate Operating Range: Depending on how far your vehicle is normally parked from your house/office, you can get systems offering as much as a 1-mile operating range.
- Manual Cutoff Switch: Gives you an added layer of security by letting you manually shut down the remote starter.
- Tachometer Monitor: Notifies when the engine hasn’t started despite the attempt, before attempting to automatically restart it.
- Enough Remote Key Fobs: To be on the safe side, make sure that the remote starter kit you’re looking at allows the addition of key fobs down the line if/when you might need them.
- Two-Way LCD: Lets the driver know when the car has received and acted on the remote’s command. Additionally, it gives other information like the car’s inner temperature.
- Car Alarm Control: Sound an alarm whenever anyone tries to tamper with the vehicle. Make sure the tool contains two types of alarms: the first one should only sound when there’s a forceful contact whereas the second should be for accidental contacts. Here’s what to look for if you want to buy the best car alarm possible.
- Starter Disconnect: This feature may act alone or might be paired with the alarm. Its main function is to prevent your car from being ‘hot-wired’, failing which it shuts down the engine, leaving the poor thief thinking there are ghosts in your car.
- Trunk Opening: Self-explanatory.
Factory vs After-Market Remote Start
You might have heard some drivers boasting that their car came with a factory-installed remote starter. Does that mean that it’s better than the one that’s available in the market? To answer this question, let’s have a brief look at the major differences between both these types of remote start systems.
Major Differences Between Factory and After-Market Remote Starters
Winner: Aftermarket remote start system
One of the major differences between a factory and an aftermarket remote start system is their operating range. Generally, factory remote start systems offer mediocre range. You’ll be lucky to get a pre-installed system which will come handy more than a few hundred feet away from your car.
That isn’t the case with aftermarket remote start systems. While almost all of them offer a few hundred feet operating range, some of the pricier ones can work at a distance of up to 3 miles away from your vehicle. You might want such an operating range if the distance between where you sit and where the car is parked is considerable.
Winner: Aftermarket remote start system
Most of us don’t know that the factory-installed remote starters come in two types. The first category, which might compete with their aftermarket counterpart, is manufactured by the car manufacturer. The second, however, is installed after the purchase at the demand of the customer.
No such shenanigans are at play with the aftermarket tools. If you have deep pockets, you can make sure your device has all the features mentioned above. That means you can enjoy features like defrost activation, smartphone compatibility, heated seat control, among others.
Winner: Aftermarket remote start system
You don’t need to take our word to believe that most factory remote starter systems have a runtime of only 10 minutes. That might seem enough for you, however, if your car is under layers of ice, nothing will defrost in 10 minutes.
Contrast the runtime of factory-installed systems to the ones you see in this review. While most of them have a runtime of at least 15 minutes, some go as high as 25 minutes. There is a small category whose runtime is as high as 45 minutes.
Winner: It’s a stalemate!
Provided you’re dealing with an amateur car dealership, they might have told you that if you install aftermarket remote starters, they would void the vehicle’s warranty. That’s a blatant lie. As the Magnussen-Moss Warranty Act tells us, we can install whichever product we want for our vehicles.
Having made clear that point, let’s compare the warranty of both these remote systems. Interestingly, most state-of-the-art remote car starters – whether they come pre-installed or you purchase them from the market – come with lifetime warranties. So there’s nothing to separate them in this regard.
Top 5 Benefits of Remote Car Starters
Apart from the obvious advantage of letting you start your car from a distance, these tools provide multiple other benefits. Some of the major ones among them are as follows:
- Pre-Heat or Pre-Cool
One of the major benefits of remote car starters is that they let you pre-heat or pre-cool your car’s interior. In this way, you won’t ever have to sit in a car whose temperature isn’t comfortable.
- Increase the Engine’s Life
Experts tell us that we should warm the car’s engine before driving, especially if it’s cold out there. Remote car starters let you do that to make sure the engine is properly revved up before you start driving.
- Improve the Car’s Safety
Some of the high-end remote starters come with alarms that start sounding the moment someone tries to tamper with your car, thereby helping against car-theft.
- Increase Resale Value
Do you live in an area that witnesses temperature extremes? Then, due to the above mentioned benefits, you can demand more money for your vehicle if/when you intend to sell it.
- Defrost the Vehicle
Some remote car starters come with the defrost function which lets you melt the ice and snow off the vehicle. So you’d never have to drive by creating a peephole in the windscreen.
How a Remote Starter Can Prevent Vehicle Theft?
If you’re unsure how this tool can keep your vehicle safe from the thugs, you aren’t alone. Most people aren’t aware of the features using which it can prevent vehicle theft. That’s why we’ve decided to reveal the three-layered protection using which this tool secures your vehicle.
Three Layered Vehicle Protection
First Layer of Protection
Ever turned the key into your home’s door, only to remember you forgot to lock your vehicle? We aren’t saying that you’re careless, because nobody can remain a hundred percent attentive all the time. But guess what, remote starters are always on the watch. They lock the doors after a few seconds of inactivity, thereby making sure that no thief can get into the car and drive it away.
Second Layer of Protection
Let’s assume for a moment that the thief has breached the first layer. They are able to unlock the door by whatever means, and are now sitting in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately for them, the car won’t turn on.
They just cannot ‘hot-wire’ the car out of your garage as vehicles with remote starters need to have their ignition switch turned to the ‘On” position. If that isn’t the case, the engine will automatically shut down the moment the brake is depressed.
Third Layer of Protection
Imagine that by some marvel of engineering, the thief managed to overcome the first two layers and took your car away from where you parked it. What would happen then? That’s when the built-in ‘timer’ will come into play. It will shut down the vehicle once the pre-determined time – mostly 10 to 20 minutes – has passed. That will leave the thief stuck.
How to Safely Use a Remote Car Starter?
Although these are tools that add convenience to your lives, remote car starters can pose worries like fumes and accidental starting if you don’t know how to use them safely. As a result, if you want to use them with no worry, act on these tips.
4 Tips for Using a Remote Car Starter
Don’t leave the car running in enclosed space
Ever wondered why health experts warn us against letting running cars idle in an enclosed space? Among the toxins that the car releases is carbon monoxide which, if inhaled for a certain period, can be dangerous, if not outright fatal.
Therefore, before remote starting your car, make sure it’s outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use the remote starters to start a vehicle in your garage. It’s just that you shouldn’t leave the car running idle in an enclosed space for long periods.
Use its built-in Safety Features
One of our favorite safety features of the remote starters is an automatic door lock. Some state-of-the-art starters have a door lock feature that triggers the lock whenever you remotely start the vehicle. That would make sure that nobody can take away the vehicle.
Equally useful is automatic shut-off. Provided your tool has this feature, it will let it shut down the engine after a specific time period if the ignition contains no key. This feature comes handy if thieves have stolen your car but don’t have the original key, as the car will stop dead after a few miles.
Deactivate the passive locking feature
Provided your remote starter has a passive locking feature, it will lock your car after a certain period of the engine being turned off or the alarm being activated.
That creates the possibility where you’re outside the vehicle, and its doors get suddenly locked with keys inside. Provided you want to say goodbye to keys, you might want to deactivate this feature altogether.
Don’t keep the fob in your pocket
Make sure that the fob isn’t in a location where someone could accidentally hit the start button. There are loads of areas which we can state here, including your back pocket, the kids’ playing area, etc. Store the fob where only you can access it.
How to Install a Remote Starter in a Car
Instead of explaining the installation mechanism, we recommend that you should not try to install your remote car starter. What we mean by that is you should get a professional to do it.
How Do You Install a Remote Car Starter?
Here’s why we think like that:
- Older models can complicate matters. Most new cars that you see running on the roads might have the capacity to deal with remote starters. But you cannot say the same about the ’72 Cheverly that’s parked in your garage.
- New cars can also pose problems if you aren’t careful. Most of them are equipped with built-in theft deterrents and alarms. You need to bypass them to properly install a remote starter. And guess what, you won’t be able to do it unless you’re a pro.
- European makes, those with manual transmission and hybrid vehicles pose their own issues. It’s best, therefore, that you hire a pro.
Not in the mood to heed our advice? We have got one way using which we might dissuade you: the remote car installation process. Click on this link to access the remote car installation guide, and we’re confident that the difficulty of the process will convince you to hire a pro.
What are Bypass Modules – and Why are They So Important?
The device that is installed on your vehicle as you go about installing the remote car starter system is known as a bypass module. More often than not, remote starters rely on bypass modules to start your car with their signal.
Put simply, then, bypass modules are crucial to the performance of a remote car starter. If they for whatsoever reason aren’t working properly, the performance of the remote will also go south. Want to know why that’s the case? Here’s why:
Bypass modules trick your car’s engine
- Newer model cars come with an anti-theft module which prevent the engine from starting as long as there is a physical key in the ignition. However, as you know, remote car starters work by starting your car, well, remotely.
- That’s the reason why bypass modules are so crucial. Without going into technicalities as to how they manage to do it, bypass modules ‘trick’ your car’s engine into believing that there’s a physical key in the engine.
- As a result, when you press the button on the fob, the engine starts up without forcing you to enter the car and insert the key into the ignition switch, which is what you might have to do had there been no bypass module.
Tip: When shopping for a remote car starter system, don’t assume that the bypass module will automatically be a part of the entire package. Provided you do that, and your assumption turns out to be wrong, you might have to pay as much as an additional $150 to separately purchase the bypass module.
Don’t forget to check our homepage to see the most useful accessories for your car at www.caroutfitter.com!
FAQs and Answers
Q: Do remote starters work with manual transmission vehicles?
A: In contrast to the commonly-held perception, some remote starters do work with manual transmission vehicles. The reason why some car nerds think otherwise is that they know that an additional clutch bypass connection would be required to make these systems work with stick vehicles.
Hence the reason why, if you scroll above, you’d read us recommending that you should only hire a pro to install a remote starter. These are experts who will add an additional bypass clutch connection to your manual transmission vehicle, after which you can safely use the remote starter to operate it.
Q: Do remote starters work with hybrid vehicles?
A: Yes, remote starters do work with hybrid vehicles, though the installation process might be more technical. That’s mainly because the latest eco-friendly cars require their remote starter to have a ‘hybrid’ programming function. And for that you need the help of a pro.
Q: Do remote starters drain the car’s battery?
A: Unfortunately, we have no single answer to this question. That’s due to the fact that while some people complain of remote starters draining their car’s battery, we have also seen others whose car’s batteries are working perfectly fine with this system.
However, since this issue is serious, we have a tip using which you can find its answer. Go to the professional who installed the remote starter in your car. Ask them to disconnect it completely, and if the battery isn’t drained in remote starter’s absence, you’ve found the culprit.
Q: What are the do’s and don’ts of buying a remote car starter?
A: Let’s look at the top do’s first:
- Do ensure your remote starter’s range meets your requirements
- Do make sure it comes with a rechargeable battery
- Do make sure its warranty period is considerable
Now, let’s turn our attention to the don’ts:
- Don’t try to install your remote car starter yourself
- Don’t go for the cheapest option available
- Don’t forget to match it with your car’s make and model
Q: Will my vehicle consume more fuel after the installation of a remote starter?
A: On the contrary, if the remote starter is used correctly, it will improve your car’s mileage. It will do that by allowing the engine to warm up before you start driving, thereby thinning the oil. Otherwise, if you drive a ‘cold’ vehicle without giving its engine any time to warm up, it will have to work harder and will, therefore, consume more fuel.
Best Remote Car Starter Comparison Chart
|PRODUCT||PRICE||WEIGHT ( OUNCES )||BATTERIES REQUIRED||RANGE ( MILES )||TYPE|
|Viper 5706V 2-Way Remote Start System||$$$$$||7||1||1||2 way|
|Directed Electronics Python 5706P Security Remote Start System||$$$$$||32||2||1||2 way|
|Directed Electronics Python 4806P Remote Start System||$$$$||16||2||1||2 way|
|Start-X Remote Car Starter Kit||$$$||11,4||-||-||-|
|Avital 5105L 1-Way Security & Remote-Start System||$$||40||1||0,18||1 way|
|ompustar CS800-S 1-Way Remote Start||$$||26,4||1||0,18||1 way|
|Avital 4105L Avistart Remote Start||$||26||1||0,28||1 way|
Ask people who have lost their cars to thieves, and you’ll come to know that the mental trauma is equally unbearable, if not worse than the financial setback. If you don’t want to experience this, investing your money in the best car remote starters will provide you with an added peace of mind.
After all, as you’ve seen in our remote car starter reviews, they do more than simply turning on your vehicle’s engine. The best ones among them come with features that make them all but impossible for a thief to get away with your vehicle.
Even if you think that your area is safe, there are other reasons, namely your comfort and convenience, which should encourage you to give these car starter systems a go. None of us like sitting in an extremely hot or cold car after a long day at the office and these systems will make sure that you don’t have to.