Everything You Should Know About a Remote Car Starter

Starting the engine of your car remotely when the mechanics need to be hot in winter, for example, is now possible thanks to the remote starter system. You can even activate other functions via the remote control or a smartphone application. Let’s discover the possibilities of the remote car starter, whether it is offered as original equipment or as an accessory.

Function and Use of the Remote Car Starter

The remote car starter is an electronic system that allows the engine of a vehicle to start by radio waves without using the ignition key or electronic card.

The most common circumstance remains its use in extreme weather conditions. In extreme cold, it allows the engine to heat to limit or even eliminate the engine’s heating time in order to drive with optimal performance. The remote starter also allows, depending on its options, to activate the air conditioning system so as to heat the car’s interior and defrost the windows, or to cool it during hot summer weather.

Depending on the characteristics and the different functions available or activated by means of options, the remote car starter also allows you to start your car from a distant.

Good to know: Systems using smartphone applications allow you to locate the location of your vehicle by GPS, allowing you to find it if you can’t remember where you parked it.

Features of Remote Car Starters

The integrated systems originally installed on automobiles by their respective brands, as well as those offered by automotive accessory dealers, have in common the following technical characteristics:

  • an electronic starter module;
  • one or two remote controls;
  • the kit wiring.

Different Types of Remote Car Starters

Three types of remote starters are available on the market, the unidirectional starter, the bidirectional starter, and the smartphone application-controlled intelligent starter.

Unidirectional Starter

It communicates with the car via a simple remote control, up to an average distance of 100 m. It is the basic system to which a multitude of options can be added, depending on the use you want to make of it and the budget you have.

You can add a second remote control, an extended range option up to 900 m, door locking and unlocking, trunk opening, an alarm and headlight locator to locate your vehicle, and also a mode to disable the remote start function.

Advantages:

  • It is the simplest system.
  • It is also the cheapest.
  • It can be equipped with many other options.

Disadvantages:

  • It does not send you information about the successful start of the engine.
  • It must be checked for compatibility with the car’s electronic management systems.

Bidirectional Starter

The two-way starter communicates with the vehicle and sends you back information about the functions you have activated via the remote control to warn you that they are activated. Their transmitter (remote control) has a liquid crystal display, displaying information about the status of your car, which allows other functions such as a time display.

Advantages:

  • It provides you with information on the actual starting of the engine and other functions associated with the system.
  • Its range is larger and can be modified in the settings parameters.
  • It can be equipped with additional options.
  • It has a liquid crystal display.

Disadvantages:

Smart Starter Paired with a Smartphone Application

Once you have had a remote starter of this type installed, simply download the smartphone application of the remote starter brand to your phone. You can then adjust the way your car starts according to the weather, to have a lot of information about the condition of your car: location, locking of the doors, GPS location in case of theft, etc.

Smart remote starters use GSM phone networks and WiFi, allowing you to be in permanent “contact” with your vehicle.

Caution: the remote start systems offered by car accessory dealers are not compatible with cars equipped with smart cards.

Similarly, cars produced after 1997 with a coded key require a bypass module to be able to start, provided that it is possible to extract the transponder from the original key. A conventional bypass module is required when the transponder of the original key is integrated into the electronic circuit or the key is molded.

Good to know: some smartphone applications to remotely start a car exist for new or recent cars of specific brands, they are available from car manufacturers’ websites. In this case, you do not need to install an auxiliary system.

Advantages:

  • Variety of functions.
  • They are integrated into the smartphone and do not require additional remote control.
  • Its scope is almost unlimited.

Disadvantages:

  • It requires a smartphone that is obviously compatible.
  • It must be checked for compatibility with the car’s electronic management systems.

Installation and Price of a Remote Car Starter

The sophistication of the on-board electronics of today’s cars requires that such systems be installed by highly qualified professionals.

Good to know: Pay particular attention to the alarm and immobilizer systems already in your car.

Changing settings and connecting additional cabling to an existing network can cause failures that can completely block a vehicle.

So it becomes imperative to make a diagnosis of the car’s computer to make sure that everything is working perfectly.

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