Autoblog is not affiliated with the brands featured in our articles, but when you make a purchase through links on our site we may earn a commission.
Starting your car has never been easier than with a great remote car starter. Check out everything you’ll need to know about remote car starters. Imagine waking up late for work on a cold winter morning only to discover that your car doors are jammed shut due to last night’s snowfall. This can be frustrating and a huge inconvenience, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to advancements in technology, we now have remote car starters that allow us to sit in the comfort of our homes and get our car ready for the drive ahead.
Remote starters are a handy gadget for your car, allowing you to heat the engine, open or close your trunk and doors and keep your car secure. As these remote starters are integrated with the car’s system, installing a substandard product could be catastrophic. To help you find the right one for your vehicle, we’ve compiled a list of the most secure and advanced remote car starters to make your life a little easier.
Top remote car starters of 2022 reviewed in detail
This remote car starter from VIPER is a two-in-one device that covers both the remote unlocking and security of your vehicle. This remote car starter features a four-channel security system, making it one of the most secure gadgets on this list, and its remote features five configurable buttons, letting you perform up to 24 different functions from the comfort of your home. With this remote car starter, you can start your car, open or close the trunk, turn on the air conditioning or heating and even display the car’s internal temperature. You’ll also be pleased to know that the remote has ample range, allowing you to control your car from up to a mile away for long walks back to your vehicle.
- Both a security system and remote starter
- Long-range remote
- Performs various functions
- Prominent display for all notifications
- Relatively high pricepoint
The Start-X Remote Starter kit is one of the easiest kits to install– all you’ll need to do is find the OBD2 port in your vehicle and plug in the device for future use. This remote car starter programs itself to your car’s original key, so you won’t have to carry around an extra remote with this starter. With the program mapped to your car’s original key, this remote car starter will cater to the same range and features as your current electronic car key. You can turn on your car simply by pressing your key’s buttons in the following sequence– Lock, Unlock, Lock– and you can repeat this sequence to turn off your car as well. The only catch with this remote car starter is that it’s only compatible with the following Ford models and years– F-150 (2015 to 2020), Edge (2016 to 2019), and Expedition (2018 to 2019).
- Easy to install
- No need to carry extra keys
- Auto-adjusts car temperature
- Limited vehicle compatibility
If you drive an automatic Jeep Wrangler (2007-2018) then the MPC Remote Start is a great choice for you. To install, simply remove your car’s steering cover and plug in the remote car starter. The installation should take a maximum of 15 minutes, with the majority of the time spent removing the steering cover. If you happen to have a tough time, the manufacturer offers complete technical support and an online tip sheet to help you out. This remote car starter doesn’t include any extra remotes and instead syncs with your car’s existing factory remote. This means that the range of the remote is as long as the range of your car’s original key, and simply press the “Lock” button three times to start your car. Sit inside your cozy home and get your car to the perfect temperature before heading out for a hectic day of work.
- Quick and easy installation
- No wiring required
- No need to carry extra keys
- Customer support available
- Limited to automatic key-to-start vehicles
Compustar’s remote car starter has a remote range of 3,000 feet, allowing you to turn your car on and off from inside your home and anywhere else in range. Along with a long-range remote, you’ll also get an adjustable shock sensor, a 105 dB alarm siren, and even a two-way interactive LCD remote. If you’re one to worry about your car’s safety, this remote car starter allows you to add a door, trunk, or body sensor all around your car that keeps you updated through the remote’s LCD screen. This remote car starter also offers a plethora of other features like an oil sensor, temperature sensor, siren with horn, and can even support two vehicles at a time.
- Long-range remote
- Can support two vehicles
- Two-way communication
- Must be installed by a professional
The Avital 4105L remote car starter features a remote with a whopping range of one and a half miles. Whether you’re in your apartment or trying to escape the office at the end of the day, easily get your car ready to drive without having to put the key in the ignition. The remote car starter not only allows you to start your car, but it can also lock and unlock your vehicle, and even open the trunk. This remote car starter can keep your car safe thanks to its anti-theft and loud alarm system, making sure no one gets their hands on your ride. The alarm system ranges from gentle chirps to an all-out siren depending on what you need, and if that isn’t enough, the remote car starter is also SmartStart compatible, allowing you to access your car from anywhere with your phone.
- Very affordable price
- Compatible with various vehicles
- Long remote range and keyless entry
Buying guide: Remote car starters
Most remote car starters are integrated into the car’s electrical system, and a subpar device can end up causing significant issues to your vehicle. To ensure that you don’t end up in a bad situation, we’ve compiled some important things you should consider before buying a remote car starter.
Factors to consider
Some remote car starters can be installed without having to cut any wires, and you can perform this simple installation setup yourself. All you’ll need to get your remote car starter ready to go are good instructions and sometimes a car’s wiring diagram.
If it’s not a simple plug-and-play device, you may have to book an installation appointment with an expert. Risking a shoddy DIY installation simply because of the cost is never a good choice, and many people have learned this lesson the hard way.
If you’re looking to buy a new remote car starter for your vehicle, remember to check your car’s compatibility with the device– if you don’t, you could waste your money and end up with a very expensive paperweight. You can’t expect every remote car starter to work with every car model, and compatibility information can easily be checked on the seller’s website to avoid a bad experience.
Most people purchase a remote car starter so that they can use it from a long distance when they’re not near their car, and this gives you the ability to perform other essential tasks while your car is getting ready for the road. Some car starters use the car’s factory-dispatched keys to work, which have a short range, while other car starters use external remotes, which are more powerful and have a better signal and range. You should also consider the average distance away from the car you’ll want to use the remote car starter and pick out a remote that satisfies your needs.
Key fob types
A key fob is a device that you use to interact with the remote car starter installed inside your vehicle. This can either be a simple one-way communicating fob or a more interactive two-way communication fob, but you may be wondering– what does one-way or two-way even mean?
If the outgoing signals travel from your remote and perform a task inside your car, but there is no way for the car to communicate back to you via the remote, this is called one-way communication. With a one-way communication car starter, you can turn your car on or off, adjust the air conditioning or open the doors, but any additional security features won’t work. Such a device also doesn’t feature an LCD, which can show any necessary notifications.
In a two-way channel, communication happens back and forth between you and your car using the remote. The car can send you messages like “Door Open,” show the internal temperature or even ring an alarm and display the reason for the alarm on your remote’s LCD screen.
If you’re looking for a complete experience, you should opt for the latest two-way remote car starter system instead of one with one-way communication. Keep in mind, though, that two-way communication systems are generally more expensive than their one-way counterpart.
Security features to look for
One of the main reasons for buying a remote car starter is to secure your car. Here are some essential security features which can make or break a remote car starter for you.
Some remote car starters come with an alarm feature. If anyone tries to touch the car while the alarm is on it will go off, alerting you on your car starter’s remote and making the vehicle’s siren go berserk.
With high-quality remote car starter systems, you’re able to change the sensitivity as needed so the alarm won’t go off at the slightest touch. High-quality car starters also allow you to adjust the volume of the alarm to your liking.
An LCD screen inside the car starter’s remote provides a user-friendly experience and shows you important notifications regarding your car. You can monitor your car’s temperature, check its oil and look at various other things inside a remote starter’s LCD screen. With an LCD screen, you can also see whether the command you sent through the remote was performed inside your car or not.
Keys can easily be copied and remade, allowing anyone to open your car and steal it. With keyless remote car starters, though, your vehicle becomes quite safer. The keyless feature uses pre-programmed numeric codes to open or close your car, automatically starting the engine when in sync with the car’s system.
Remote Car Starter FAQs
Q: Will installing a remote car starter void my car’s warranty?
Generally, a remote car starter will not void any warranty as today’s systems are completely compatible with the electronic systems of newer cars. With that said, it’s advisable to confirm this with your car’s dealership or manufacturer, just to be safe.
Q: Is it dangerous to overuse the remote car starter?
Yes. If you keep your engine running for a long time before driving it can cause issues, but this is subject to frequency and manner of usage.
Q: Does the remote starter drain the car battery faster?
Just like any other electronic device working in your car, the remote car starter consumes electricity from the car’s battery. This battery consumption is quite minimal, though, so you shouldn’t worry about it too much.
Q: Can I perform the installation myself?
Installation is effortless in some remote car starters, and all you’ll have to do is plug and play. For more complicated models, though, you’ll have to seek the service of an expert to avoid damaging your car.
Q: How long can I keep my car running from the remote self-starter?
Remote car starters are usually programmed to run for a fixed 10 or 15 minutes, but in most modern remote car starters you can program and change the setting according to your preferences.