How to Buy a Remote Start System

by Contributor

A remote start system allows you to warm up your car during cold days before you leave your home or office. Moreover, it can be used to turn on the air conditioner during hot summer days or the heater during cold winter days.

Selecting a System

Select a system that will give you visual confirmation that the remote start is engaged. This can be achieved by flashing the headlights or parking lights.

Make certain that the system includes a pin switch on the hood of the vehicle. The switch will sense when the hood is open and prevent the remote start from starting the car. This protects you or a mechanic who may be working on the car.

Make certain that the system can incorporate the foot brake so that the remote start system cuts off when the brake is tapped.

Make certain that the system can monitor the transmission to assure that it is in park when the remote start system is engaged. If the transmission is out of park, this monitoring feature will prevent the system from starting the car.

Make certain that there is a relay added to the starter of the car so that the starter will not grind if you engage it while the engine is already on. Remember, you will have to turn the ignition switch on with the key when you enter the car after you have remotely started it. The antigrind feature protects the car's starter from damage if you accidentally engage the starter while turning on the ignition switch.

Make certain that the system includes a temperature sensor or an oil-pressure circuit to sense whether the engine is overheating. It should be able to shut off the engine if it is too hot.

Select a system that allows you to program what button or buttons you use to engage the remote start. If you have children and they like to play with your remote transmitter, this feature can prevent them from accidentally starting the car. The installer can simply program the remote so that two buttons need to be pressed simultaneously to engage the remote start.

Choose a system that allows you to stop the remote start via the transmitter.

Select a system that will turn the engine on if the ambient temperature drops below a certain level if you live in a very, very cold climate.

Select a system that has a range of at least 400 feet.

Select a system that can bypass the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) immobilizer systems if your car is equipped with one. The OEM system requires a key with a microchip imbedded in it to start the car. Some manufacturers have created ways to bypass this when engaging their remote start product.

Once you have decided on the features your remote start system will include, shop around. Talk with various retailers about the products they offer. Many times they will have a demonstration unit set up. Once you have settled on a unit, go online and compare prices with online retailers and even eBay.

Select a Shop to Install the System

Ask the salesperson how long his or her shop has been installing remote start systems in your type of car.

Find out whether the installer has been certified by the Mobile Electronics Certification Program.

Ask the salesperson to show you the quality elements of an installation and how the safety features work.

Ask to see photos of their installations of remote start products. Ask the salesperson to point out features of the photographed installations that show the quality of work that the shop performs.

Get the installer to thoroughly go through the installation with you to make sure that everything was done properly.

Read the owner's manual to see what features are supposed to be on the system, and then test the system and its safety features to be certain everything has been connected and works properly.

Items you will need

About the Author

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