A remote car starter is nice to have in different situations. I have known people who have used their remote car starter to get their car started, so the air conditioner has time to cool the car down during hot days. And another person used it to get their car warmed up in the morning.
A remote car starter can help you get going faster and more comfortable when you are ready to drive to your destination. Yet, installing one yourself may range from easy to difficult. Should you get someone else to do it?
I don’t have a car starter but can see how helpful it can be to get the car started before you get in your car. If I want to save some money, have enough spare time, have the right tools, and have enough the right information, I might try to install a remote starter myself.
Is It Worth it?
When looking at different types of remote car starters, you may want to determine how you will be using them most often. If you will be using it once a year, it might not be worth it to get one, while if you will be using it weekly it can be worth the time and effort to get one installed.
If you have already used a remote car starter that was installed on a car that you previously own, you may have already found out how helpful it can be. But a remote car starter that is not OEM or doesn’t have a lot of good reviews, may not be worth buying.
They can be difficult to install and if it starts malfunctioning a couple of months after, you will have a lot of headaches trying to fix them or remove them.
These systems should normally be installed by a professional, who has had experience with remote car-started installation. Lots of mistakes can be made that can cause many headaches if you are not properly educated about all your car’s systems and how they will be affected by the remote car starter.
If you are well experienced with the electrical system of your car, you may want to try the installation yourself, just consider getting advice and watching several videos if this is your first time installing a system.
What to Look for
If you are interested in an aftermarket remote car starter, look for these indicators to determine if the system will work with your car.
A remote car starter can have a variety of ranges. Decide how far away you will likely be when starting your car. Viper even has an app that you can use to start from your phone. If you will be far away, like when at an office building or store, you may want a long-range car starter.
If a car is older, it most likely won’t have a remote car starter that is OEM that you can buy. You’ll need to purchase an aftermarket remote car starter. Here’s a video of some advice on what to look for when you’re looking for an installer to help you install your remote car starter.
Many car starter kits come with alarm systems as well. If that’s an option you are interested in, then you’ll have many options available to choose from.
Sometimes you may find a remote car starter that is specifically designed for your car. This would likely be an easier process to install and add to your car.
To self Install or Not
One of the most important processes of getting a remote car starter is to decide how you want to install it.
One of the first things I would want to do if I had never installed a remote alarm or car starter on my car is to go to a couple of installation centers.
I would see what options for remote car starters they have and what prices they are asking for the alarm systems, and how much the installation would cost.
It’s important to be forthcoming when asking questions and let the installation center know what it is that you want exactly. You’ll get better information and they will feel you are being more sincere.
If you want to buy something from Amazon or another online store, and what the store to install it for you, ask your local store if they will do that for you.
It is likely they will have something that works well for your needs at the store for a competitive price. If your set on a specific product that they don’t offer, see if they will install it for you, and see if you can get an estimate.
If they are not forthcoming with information, then it might be a good idea to try another shop if possible.
If you decide that you’re up for the challenge of installation, then I would watch several videos and read many reviews about the products that you want to install, so you will have as much relevant information pertaining to your car and the product that will be installed.
Remember that a remote starter may be great but if the company doesn’t have any customer service, you are out of luck and will need to ask for help from a friend or a shop, which could cost a bit of money.
Features to Consider
If your car already comes with a remote fob, some remote car starter systems can be integrated into your existing car fob or you can replace it with the new car fob from the car remote start installation kit.
Some kits will have some of the various items:
Common Features to Consider
1. Door Lock and Unlock
If you have doors that are automatic, you’ll be able to lock and unlock them with the new key fob.
2. Trunk Unlock
It can be nice to easily unlock the trunk with your key fob, and most systems will have this option.
3. Remote Start
The remote start activation may be different depending on which system you install. You can start your car from a distance to get ready for the cold or the heat.
4. Alarm Arm and disarm
Kits may have the option to activate and deactivate the alarm system on your car.
5. Control Two Cars
If you have two cars with the same system installed, it may have the option to control both cars from one fob.
6. Phone App
Your system may allow you to control your car using a phone app.
7. Range of the System
A long-range remote car start system will use an antenna to help you gain control of your vehicle from up to a mile away, although some have a much shorter range.
If you’ve installed your remote car starter, yet your car is not starting well or at all, you may need to do some problem-solving.
This is where electrical or car starter expertise comes in handy. You may need to fix one or more issues related to starting your car, then you may find it starts much better.
If it still is having problems starting quickly then you’ll need to consider that there is still a condition that needs to be fixed first.
Doing a tune-up can help you recognize what may be causing the problem. If you look at this article, DYI Tune-Up Guide, it may guide you to a course of action to take.
Sometimes you know your car better than a mechanic if you’re paying attention to its various sounds, smells, and vibrations. It is likely the installation is why your car isn’t starting, yet it could be something different.
If you go to a mechanic to get your remote car starter to work, be as clear as possible about the conditions you experience and your installation.
The better grasp you have of the issue and how to explain it, the more likely a mechanic will focus on that detail.
They will usually try to sell you services that you may or may not need. Be prepared for how you will respond, and what you might expect needs to be serviced on your car, so you can make an educated choice about what to do. You can always get a second opinion.
Pros and Cons of Self Install
When you are not sure if you should get a remote car starter, you may want to consider what are the pros and cons of having one.
A car starter can greatly enhance some individuals’ car experience, while not making much of a difference to others.
Remote Car Starters
- Comfort is Improved
- You can get the car cooled down when it’s hot and warmed up when it’s cold.
- You have control of the Locks
- You can lock and unlock the doors and trunk for quicker access to your car and knowing your car is locked.
- Your Time is Managed Better
- You can get things done without waiting inside the car for the engine to warm up and the snow to melt away from the windows.
- It usually adds security to your car, and sometimes there are advanced features that can tell you what is happening to your car.
- The Installation is Difficult and a bit Costly
- If you are familiar with wiring in your car, you may be able to figure out how to install it.
- They are Usually Only Recommended for Automatic Cars
- Manual transmissions can be more dangerous to install if someone forgets to put the car in neutral.
- After Market Risk
- Depending on the system you buy, you may risk lower levels of customer service or warranty.
- Not Saving Gas
- If you forget and leave your car on, you could empty your gas tank quickly. The further away you start, the more gas you’ll likely spend.
Remote Car Starter Systems Options
Here are a few types of car starters to look at from Amazon.com. There are many types available and you will likely see more options when you go to an installation shop.
You will likely want a remote car starter because you’re living in either cold or hot places.
Having the right temperature in your car can make a big difference. Deciding on how you will use your remote and what’s your budget like, may big the biggest factor in getting one.
Here are some tips before you buy:
- Determine your budget and learn about how much the product and installation will cost.
- See if you can find videos on how consumers like their remote starter, so you can feel out what your likes and dislikes are.
- Make sure the remote car starter will work with your car before purchase.
- Find out about the quality and customer satisfaction.
Whether you get a cheaper model or a more expensive one, expect to pay the most for installation if that is needed. Add the cost of the kit and $200+ for installation to get a more accurate price of what you need to budget.
Getting a remote car starter can be a fun and useful accessory to have for your car. It will help you manage time a bit better, keep comfortable, and may add security to your vehicle.
Most people will want a professional installer to help them get the best service and fewer headaches for their remote starter system.
Before you know it, you’ll be clicking the start button on your key fob to start your car and get the AC or heater going, so you can be off to your next destination in the comfort of your vehicle.
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