Troubleshooting Remote Car Starter Problems

by Dianne Christensen-Herman
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A remote car starter allows the driver to start the vehicle's ignition without being in the car but near the vehicle. Remote car starters are often sold as aftermarket options for vehicles. These devices can be ideal during colder months and provide the driver the luxury of not stepping out into the cold to warm up the car. However, with their convenience, problems can appear with remote car starters, and there are troubleshooting techniques to resolve the issues.

Step 1

Inspect the LED on the remote car starter where it is installed below the dash to make sure the battery is fully charged. If it is not, the remote car starter will not work.

Step 2

Install a relay to isolate the door pin circuit from the remote car starter's alarm. Occasionally, a remote starter's car alarm will enact on its own after the vehicle has been locked for 30 minutes or so. When the starter goes into its "sleep" cycle to save power, it can cause the door pin input to alter its state.

Step 3

Enable the vehicle's parking lights by pressing the button on or near the dash if the car will not start with the remote. Most remote car starters allow the driver to observe diagnostic codes through the blinking parking lights. Study the diagnostic codes through the parking lights and consult the owner's manual to determine what the problem is.

Step 4

Install a transponder unit to bypass the car starter's security system if the vehicle turns over but does not complete the start cycle. Factory installed immobilizer systems have a computer chip as a security measure in the vehicle's key. The chip has to be in the key for the vehicle to start. Insert your key in the ignition and press the button for the remote starter. If it completes the start cycle, install the transponder.

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