The Car Remote Starter Won't Start

by David McGuffin

Car remote starters are luxury aftermarket upgrades that allow vehicle users to start their car or keep the engine running without a key in the ignition. As a result, those who choose this option for their vehicle will be able to start and warm up their car during the winter months without having to go outside in the frigid temperatures. Many remote starter kits also have bonus features, such as being able to remotely open the trunk, or other security features, such as an upgraded alarm system.

Step 1

Check the battery in the starter and the receiving unit. Most remote starters have an LED light display showing that the battery is powering the keyless starter properly. A bad battery is often one of the main reasons for remote starters to stop working. If the remote starter has been newly installed and it has not worked at all, then you may have a bigger problem than the batteries.

Step 2

Put your ignition key into the vehicle's ignition, but do not turn on the vehicle. Push the remote starter button to start up the vehicle. If it starts with the key in the ignition, then your car most likely has an immobilizer system in the key. The immobilizer system is a small microchip that is implanted in some models' keys since the early 2000s. Call the dealership of the vehicle and ask for the parts department to confirm that the key does in fact have an immobilizer system installed in it. If so, install a transponder unit alongside your remote starter's receiver box in order to bypass the security system.

Step 3

Push the start button of your remote starter once more while standing directly behind the vehicle. Many remote starters offer diagnostic codes, which are signals based on the blinking of the taillights and the pauses in between. Diagnostic codes are translated in the manufacturer's user manual for the remote starter. Diagnostic codes can often tell the user whether or not there is a wiring problem or a blown fuse.

Step 4

Remove the paneling underneath your vehicle so that you can check the wires of your receiving unit. Use a voltmeter to check each of the connections, joints or solders so that you can see if any of the wires are not connected properly. Reconnect any wires that are not getting any voltage or any wires that are loose.

Step 5

Test the car battery. Even if the remote starter is functioning properly, the car still will not work without enough of a charge in the battery. Try starting the car with your normal ignition key. If it still does not start, have a friend or nearby motorist give you a jump by using jumper cables.

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