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How Does Remote Car Starter Work

 how remote car starters workIt could be extremely cold even freezing outside but your car has being out there all night where the snow and sub-zero temps have turned it into a very large refrigerator. Are you scared of going out there to start it, crank the heat, and scurry back inside while it warms up?



If ever you have faced this challenge countless times and wonder how to get over it, we have an introduction to the solution and can gladly advise that what you need is a remote car starter. Also, in this article you will get all answers on how do remote car starters work.

Then you may not have the slightest idea of what exactly it is, the good ones around, how much it costs, or how you can get one and install for your car? Remote car starter can be one of the best additions that you can add to your vehicle.

Making a good choice can also be daunting. Our intent with this post is to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make when buying remote car starters.



What is a remote car starter?

Remote car starters are simply wireless radio-controlled gadget that starts your car’s engine from a certain defined or programmed distance away. Most often, these tools come in the form of key fobs, or little remote controls with buttons for engine ignition and sometimes other applications.

The distance from which one will work differs from that of others but are always listed on the item’s packaging from the manufacturers. Some models will work within a distance of 500 or 1,000 feet, while more robust starters come with ranges stretching as far as a mile.

In addition to starting your car, some models will also let you lock and unlock the doors, turn on the heat, pop the trunk, warm up your seats, or even control things from your phone. Amazing! Isn’t it?

Do not expect this luxury from all models available as many models include extras like keyless entry, but be sure to read your device’s specifications to be totally sure about all it can do in relation to what you desire before making a purchase.


 does remote car starter work

How does a remote car starter work?

Remote car starters work via radio frequency. A box is connected to your car’s ignition switch and other basic startup mechanisms.

By just pressing the ignition button on your key fob or remote, a signal is sent to the box to turn on the system which automatically starts the engine.

The radio signal is unique to each model, so you don’t need to worry about pressing a button and accidentally cutting the ice cream man’s engine as the information of what to do would have been adequately supplied through the manufacturer’s manual that comes with every purchased item.


Can I install my Car starter remote by myself?

It depends on you. Remote starters are convenient, inexpensive and easy to install gadgets provided you are a person that pays attention to details as outlined.

It will present a great experience as you do it yourself with simple tools and strict adherence to the supplied wiring diagram.

However, we suggest you need a professional to do it because some remote starters might seem basic in a sense—some models even come with instructions on how you can install by yourself.

But remote starter installation is best left to someone whose job it is to do it because of its technicalities and the problems it may pose thereafter unless you are a highly skilled auto technician yourself, you may not know how to handle such.


Who can Install a remote car starter perfectly?

Ideally, remote starters should be installed by a qualified technician because improper installation can damage the gadget, cause problems for the entire wiring system of your car and create a regrettable scenario to the vehicle itself.


How long does it take to install a remote car starter?

There cannot be a straight-jacket answer to this as it depends on the expertise of the technician, availability of the necessary tools, the type you buy and technicalities involved and your vehicle. Basically, an average of 3 to 4 hours will be enough to do a good job.


What is an average Cost of a Remote car starter?

Aftermarket remote-start systems typically cost $200 to $330, including parts and labor, but systems for European cars with transponder keys can run as much as $800 because of their more complicated electronics.

However, advanced types of remote car starters, such as a two-way remote that can notify you when your car has been started will cost more to install because of the technicalities involved.

There are many other factors that can add to the cost of installing a remote car starter such as purchase of other accessories like a bye-pass module to make it compatible with your car, a longer-range location that is if your car park is a long distance from your workplace.


Which vehicle can use remote car starter?

You may be wondering if your car can use a remote car starter or not? Well, cars built before 1999 may have to undergo some procedure but such cars built after year 2005 would probably come with one from the dealer or the automaker.

If a remote starter was available for your car’s model and transmission when the car was new, you should be able to have one added to your car otherwise, you should contact your dealer to figure out whether your car can use one.


How do I tell if my car already has a remote starter?

You could get this information if you check your car windshield that is closely fitted to the rear-view mirror. If your car comes with a remote starter, then an object similar to man’s hand will prop up showing the sensor that receives the signal from the key remote.


Can I install a remote car starter in my manual transmission car?

Cars that have manual transmission may likely not have remote car starters but it can be installed by a qualified technician following the instructions on installation manuals.

However, there are strong recommendations against this as mistakes could arise in that you try to remote-start the car when it has been left in a gear and not in neutral could cause the car to jerk forward and hit whatever is in front of it.

So for safety and liability reason, we do not advise that you install a remote starter in manual-transmission car.


Any warranty for your remote car starter?

If your car came with a factory-equipped remote start, the system is usually covered under your vehicle’s basic new-car warranty. The length of the warranty may vary if it is installed by a dealer after the original new-car purchase.


Precautions to take before installing your remote car starter

We recommend, for safety purpose that your remote car starter be installed by an expert as any error in installation will cause expensive damages to your car’s electronic systems.

However, if you feel safe installing it yourself base on your knowledge in vehicle electronics system, knowing what to do will not likely be an issue when installing your car remote starter.

Time spent in sourcing for a technician and the cost of hiring one will be saved. Following these steps will assist greatly.

  • Ensure you choose a compatible remote starter that is compatible with your car systems both in brand and model. Read the manual that comes with the gadget or contact the manufacturer. Read the installation instructions carefully as they vary according to brands and models. It is important you read, understand and follow strictly most especially the wiring diagrams to avoid hassles.
  • Read your vehicle’s owner manual and repair guides to be familiar with your car wiring system. Knowing the right wire to match, where to work and what to do at an appropriate place and at what level will assist you not to make a costly mistake that can be regrettable.
  • Gather all the tools needed and go through the manuals once again to determine what tools are to be used for a particular place and problem. Tools like utility knife, wire strippers, cutters, solder and soldering iron, digital multi-meter, electrical tape, wrenches or screwdrivers shall be needed. You will require a digital multi-meter for testing during and after installation.
  • Decide where to place the main module so that you can drill it open. The module must be hidden in a secured location that will not require extending the supply wires. It is normal and safer to house it inside the hollow under the steering wheel to enhance a direct connection to the ignition wiring or above the radio compartment or above the dash-board fuse box. Do not place it in the engine area to curtail exposure to extreme vibration or heat.
  • Check the car for proper functioning before you start to install the remote starter. Before you commence this process, ensure that your battery, switches, lights and other electrical systems are in perfect order. Fix any error detected before you start the process. This will assist you to know if after installation, it does not work properly and then guide you as to what went wrong and where.
  • Remove the seat under which the module will be hidden if necessary, to create enough space for the gadget or slide backwards to create space for your work if you cannot.
  • Disconnect your battery terminal before installation. Make sure you disconnect your car battery at any time you desire to work on your car’s electrical system to prevent shocks.
  • Reconnect the battery for testing but be sure you disconnect again if you want to sold together the wires .

Mistakes to avoid when buying your remote car starter

  • Buy a remote car starter with enough range. Some manufacturers have no choice but to put “500-foot range” or “3,000-foot range” on their packaging. It is important to note that this will only be absolutely perfect numbers and range in environments with no hindrances, no RF interference, no walls, no windows and no buildings to go around which may be a herculean task. You know what you want and where to use it, so decide on your actual need if sure remote car starter is what you want. As range may not be so important to most people, as not many people will need up to about 1,000 feet before starting their vehicles yet almost everyone wants to start a vehicle from inside a building. That is where transmitter power becomes important.
  • Do not confuse yourself on usefulness of range and importance of transmitter (power). Your car starter will be useful in more places than your home or workplace. You will want to use it from the mall, sporting events, parking garages, hospitals, restaurants, etc. so if you are convinced of its ability to deliver, pay a little more to get a more powerful unit if you want your remote car starter to respond whenever you desire its performance.
  • Get professionals to do the installation for you even if the price is slightly higher than others. Do not trust your vehicle to the lowest bidder! Remote starters involve complicated procedures in today’s vehicles, so it is important that the installation be done properly. One mistake can create thousands of dollars’ damage not covered under your vehicle’s warranty. We are not try to scare you with this but to stress the fact that getting a trained professional to do the job correctly and avoiding costly mistakes will help you to maximize the enjoyability of your new remote car starter and save costs.
  • Do not trust the family or your local mechanic for the installation. You wouldn’t bring your vehicle to the local mobile electronics installer for an engine overhaul or transmission repair. This is not a job to give to a trusted cousin, your friend or your cousin’s friend to do! Unless someone is a seasoned installer with real-world training and experience they are not qualified to work on today’s vehicles. Go to a specialist!

We know for sure that there may be exceptions to the above suggestions and comments, where they exist, if at all they do, we advise you decide on what to do!


List of some best remote car starters in town

The following names are some of the best brands and types you can affordably get in the market online with reasonable guarantee to serve you better.

  • Compustar CS800-S 1-Way remote start with 2 remotes – best on our list
  • Bulldog RS82-I do it yourself remote Starter
  • AVITAL 3300L security & remote start System
  • Viper 4115V1B 1-way remote start system
  • Viper 5706V 2-way car security with remotes tart system.



A remote starter is an awesome addition to any vehicle. Get informed about what to look out for and what to avoid as outlined above and you are sure to make smart decisions.  We hope now you can answer “how do remote car starters work?”. If you have a comment or question, leave it in the box below, we will be glad to hear from you.