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What is a Remote Starter? A Comprehensive Guide


Pragya ChauhanPragya ChauhanMay 27, 2024

A remote starter lets you start your vehicle’s engine from a distance, typically using a key fob or smartphone app. With a simple button press, you can warm or cool your car before you even step inside the vehicle. Because of this convenience, this technology is growing in popularity, especially in regions with extreme weather conditions.

However, as the technology is relatively new, many of us don’t know much about it, and some lingering doubts and misconceptions exist about whether remote motor starters are safe. To clear all those doubts, in this guide, we will dig deeper into the remote starters to find out if they are safe and if you should consider them.

What is a Remote Starter?

A remote vehicle starter is a wireless, radio-frequency-controlled device that can start your vehicle’s engine from a specified distance using a remote control. Some automatic starter models work at a range between 500 and 1,000 feet, while other models will work at further distances. You can find the specified range of a remote car starter on its packaging.

Remote Starter

Car starter solutions use devices such as key fobs or small remote controls with buttons for starting the ignition, along with other functions, such as:

  • Locking and unlocking the vehicle doors
  • Turning on the heat or AC
  • Popping the trunk
  • Warming up the seats

Pressing the ignition button on the key fob or remote control sends a radio signal to a box connected to your vehicle’s ignition switch and starts your engine. The radio signal is unique to each remote car starter system, so you won’t have to worry about interference with other systems.

Also Read: Remote Key Fob Replacement: Everything You Need To Know

How does a Remote Starter Work?

To understand how a remote starter works, let’s take a look at the three main types of starter and their functioning:

How does a Remote Starter Work?

1. One-way Remote Starter

In a one-way remote starter, the signal only goes one way, from the remote control to a unit installed in the car engine. This is the simplest model and only starts the engine remotely. However, others can also open the trunk, lock or unlock the doors, or activate an alarm.

2. Two-way Remote Starter

A two-way signal confirms that the remote starter has worked. The system also receives information from the vehicle, such as the interior temperature, whether the doors are closed and locked, and the battery's health.

3. Smart Remote Starter

These starter models let you use your smartphone as a remote control to operate the unit. You use a mobile app to remotely start your vehicle or lock and unlock the doors from any location, as long as you can access a cellular network. Some smart remote starter models also allow you to locate your car in a large parking lot or set a speed limit.

What are the Benefits of Using a Remote Starter?

Now that we’ve covered what remote motor starters are and how they work, you may be wondering why you should use them. To answer this question, here are the top reasons or benefits of using a remote car starter:

You Can Start Your Car Remotely.

Start Your Car Remotely.

A remote vehicle starter lets you start your car without a physical key. This remote start is handy in winter when you need to warm up your vehicle and let the ice and snow melt off before you start driving. So, instead of braving the cold to start your car and chip away at the ice, you can save time and prevent yourself from freezing by starting your vehicle remotely.

Remote Starters are Good for Your Engine.

Remote starter enables you to start your car remotely before you’re ready to drive, giving your car time to warm up. You will increase your life and performance by providing your engine enough time to warm up before moving. Warming up your vehicle for a few minutes before driving also thins the old and improves your gas mileage. Otherwise, if you start your car and drive off right away on cold days, your engine will have to work harder and consume more fuel.

Provide Security.

Many automatic starters also come with built-in anti-theft security features. These security features will keep the doors locked if you start your vehicle remotely. The ignition key must be inserted before driving, so if someone manages to break into your running vehicle and tries to drive off, the engine will shut off when the brake is pressed.

Some remote starters also have additional security features that you can activate if your car is stolen, such as setting the alarm off and disconnecting the starter once the car is shut off. GPS-enabled smartphone remote starters let you track your vehicle online so you can keep an eye out on the location of your car for safety and security.

Recommended Read: 7 Advantages of Installing a Car Alarm

Increased Re-Sell Value.

Cars equipped with remote car starters will have a higher re-sell value than those without, especially since cars and trucks with remote car starters are in higher demand, especially in locations with extreme climate conditions, like Ottawa. In short, remote starters make life a whole lot easier.

Are Remote Car Starters Safe?

Yes, remote car starters are safe as soon as a door is opened, the engine stops. A thief can’t just run away with your car running. However, if your remote starter can unlock the doors, some devices can pick up and hack into the signal, similar to automatic garage doors.

But at the same time, the technology offers many benefits such as you don’t have to go outside to warm up your vehicle and defog the windows – push a button, and you’re ready to go. The heat also helps loosen the snow and ice so you can remove snow from the body and quickly scrape the windshield. If it’s freezing, warming up the engine before you drive allows the oil to lubricate it, which is suitable for the engine.

How much does Remote Starters Cost?

The exact remote starter price in India can vary depending on some factors, but according to Justdial the average cost of a remote car starter kit seems to be around ₹4,903.

Remote Starters Cost

Prices can range anywhere from under ₹4,903 to over ₹20,000. This variation depends on features, brand, and whether installation is included.

Here's a breakdown of some factors affecting the cost of remote motor starters:

  • Features: Remote starters with more features, like keyless entry or smartphone app control, will be more expensive.
  • Brand: Well-known brands might cost more than lesser-known ones.
  • Installation: If you factor in professional installation, the total cost will be higher.

For a more specific price, it's best to research online retailers. Look for remote car starter systems on websites like Amazon. to get a good idea of current prices and features. You can also contact car accessory shops; they can provide quotes based on specific models and features you’re interested in.

Don’t Skip: 8 Tips on How to Keep Your Car Keys Safe

How to Choose the Right Remote Starter for Your Car?

The following are some important points that you can consider when looking for the right remote starter for your vehicle:

1. Start range

Start range

When it comes to remote starters, you may think that all you must do is push the button, and you’re good to go. Sadly, that’s not the case. The efficiency of your starter system depends on what's around your car and from where you’re attempting to start it. Buildings, trees, and busy streets can impact the functioning of remote car starters. A remote starter may have a range of anywhere from 500 to 3,000 feet. The higher the range, the better it’ll work for you.

2. Compatibility

Finding if the remote control starter you’re interested in will work efficiently with your car is critical. Be sure to do your research before you go ahead and purchase the system.

3. Smartphone compatibility

A remote motor starter that works with your smartphone may integrate additional functionality into your system.

4. Know your options

A basic automatic starter system may be for you if you want to start your car. However, you'll need a more advanced starter system to do other things with it, such as turn on your heated seats or open your trunk.

5. Number of key fobs

If you’re sharing your car with other family members, you may need more than two key fobs. That’s why it’s important to make sure that additional fobs can be purchased and added to your system.

Must Read: How to Replace Your Car Key Fob

6. Consider professional installation

Although professional installation services can cost more, their expertise and knowledge of cars make your system run more smoothly. Also, if you tried to install it on your own and made a mistake during installation, it could cost you even more if it causes damage to your car.

7. Don’t focus on price

When you’re considering installing a remote starter, don’t just focus on purchasing a cheaper product as they can in poor quality and may not last longer. Take these points into consideration before you decide to buy a remote starter.

In case, you are searching for a professional remoter auto starter installation service, contact Keyenzy. We partnered with thousands of auto locksmiths to provide top-notch remote starter installation service. Get in touch with us today to know how we can help you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does a remote starter do?

Ans. A remote car starter lets you start your car’s engine from a distance, typically using a key fob or smartphone app.

Q. What is the advantage of remote start?

Ans. Some advantages of installing a remote start include climate control, convenience, remote defrosting, and security features.

Q. What are the cons of remote car starters?

Ans. The cons of remote car starters include installation and the system cost, if not installed properly, it could compromise your car’s security system, and letting your car idle for extended periods contributes to pollution.

Q. Can any car get a remote start?

Ans. No, not all cars can be equipped with remote starters. It depends on the car’s make, model, and year. To know if your car is compatible with an automatic starter, it’s best to connect with a car accessory shop or car dealership.

Q. Do remote starters need batteries?

Ans. Yes, remote starters use batteries. Different starters use specific types of batteries and replacing them periodically is necessary to ensure proper operation of the remote start.

Q. What is the range of remote start?

Ans. The range of a remote starter can vary depending on the model and terrain. It typically ranges from 50 to 500 feet, but some can reach up to 1 mile with certain upgrades.