How to Remote-Start a Car

by Palmer Owyoung

Having the ability to remote-start your car can be handy when it is late and you are in a parking garage by yourself. Getting the car started beforehand is not only a time saver but can also scare off any unwanted attention. In addition, it can be used to warm up the vehicle on cold days or to turn on the air conditioner on hot days. Most remote starters also come with keyless entry systems and a car alarm.

How to Remote-Start a Car

Purchase a remote car starting system. Numerous choices are available at your local auto supply store and online. Some things to consider when buying a remote car starting system include the unit's range and whether it includes such features as an alarm system, a keyless entry system, a starting timer, and some sort of visual confirmation that lets you know your car has started. Of course, price is always a consideration. As of 2009 most kits cost between $140 and $200.

Have the system installed. You will likely want the system installed by a qualified professional rather than doing it yourself. If you purchase your kit over the Internet, you will need to find someone in your area to install it. Most shops that do car alarm and radio installations will also install remote car starters. However, be sure to verify that they are certified to do so.

Remote start the car by pressing a sequence of buttons--usually the star button or an icon that looks like a car. Of course, it depend on the manufacturer of the system, but for most remote starters, you must either push a combination of two buttons at the same time or the same button twice. The combined or two-step process prevents you or your children from accidentally start your car. Because many systems have a range of a up to one mile, you could easily start your car and never know it. For example, on the Clifford 50.5x model, you press the star button twice within 3 seconds of one another. Once the vehicle is on, it will adjust itself to your temperature settings, turning on either the heater or the air conditioner. The vehicle will usually run for a cycle of 5 to 30 minutes and then shut itself down if you do not enter the car. Once you have remotely started the car, you can enter the vehicle, put in the key and turn the ignition to on.

Set a timer for your car to start in the morning. You can set a timer for your car to start at the same time each morning or at intervals--say once a week if you are on vacation. To use this feature on the Clifford 50.5x model, press the "Timer" button and adjust the time and press the "Timer" again and hold it for 2 seconds.

Items you will need

About the Author

Palmer Owyoung holds a Master of Arts in international business from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a trained molecular biologist. He has been a freelance writer since 2006. In addition to writing, he is a full-time Forex trader and Internet marketer.