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When it comes to the seasons, there are two types of people. The sun worshippers among us long for the sweltering days spent burning at the beach. Then, there are those who can’t handle the heat and instead, cherish the cold winter nights wrapped up by the fire. Yet what both types of people can agree on is the universal hatred for driving in these extremes. There’s nothing worse than entering the sauna that is your car in the summer, burning yourself off its leather seats in the process. Although, it could be argued that having to endure what seems like hours shivering in your car as the heating slowly turns on gives it a run for its money.
Imagine life without this unpleasant element of your daily commute. Remote car starter systems alleviate any possibility of driving damaging the perks of your favorite season. After much debate, we’ve chosen eight of the best remote car starters on the market. With a wide variety of features and price, there’s certainly one for everyone.
The Best Remote Car Starter
First up, Avital Remote Start Systems puts other car starter systems to shame with their high-tech developments. The two remotes both possess unique AUX outputs and boost range due to being combined with a Superhet receiver. A wide variety of features are available; such as lock, unlock, remote start, and even a trunk release. An optional anti-grind relay ensures that your system is secure by preventing the starter system from engaging if your ignition key accidentally switched to the start position during remote start operation.
If you’re planning to install this car starter yourself, the handy incorporation of Virtual Tach converter – which samples a vehicle’s voltage hundreds of times per second – allows for the bypassing of installing a tachometer wire connector, collectively hated by DIYers everywhere. What are you waiting for – invest in your comfort today by purchasing Avital’s remote start system.
Valet mode ensures that vehicle remains running after the removal of the key
Comes with full manufacturer warranty
Versatile by fitting numerous models of vehicle
Virtual Tach converter disregards the need for a tachometer wire connection
Optional Horn and Anti-Grind relays
- Weight1.55 pounds
This incredible product is ideal for adventurers and non-adventurers alike. Say you’re coming back after a long day on the slopes and want nothing more than for your car to be lovely and warm. Alternatively, you could even be walking back to the parking lot after a big game and, having spent the last few hours outside in the freezing cold, desire a little comfort. Viper’s remote allows for a full one-mile range so this way, your vehicle will be heated upon your return.
Worried that the temperature isn’t warm enough? By selecting Active Temperature check, you can now see the car’s temperature prior to entering the vehicle. If you’re still not satisfied, utilizing the Runtime Reset option allows runtime to be prolonged, so your vehicle can reach your preferred temperature. And if that’s not enough, this nifty device arranges the wide array of features according to how you prioritize them. What’s more, you will be instantly informed of any change occurring in the status on your vehicle. You simply can’t do better than this.
One-mile range offered
High-tech text screen on LCD display allows the control of twenty-four different functions on two cars
Active Temp Check allows viewing of the temperature inside the car from the outside
Unassailable security system blares Revenger Siren Tones immediately if breached
Alluring design is slimmest display remote on the market
- Weight2.9 pounds
There is no doubt that Crimestopper’s remote wishes to provide its user with flexibility. The system, as well as being multi-operational, allows two separate vehicles to be controlled on just the one remote (provided that the same Crimestopper remote start system is equipped in them both). On this note, this system is designed to work in automatic or manual transmission vehicles including diesel, hybrid or gas engines.
The several options of starting up, stopping, locking, and unlocking your vehicle from as far as 2000 feet away. If you’re having a lazy day, Crimestopper’s remote even releases the trunk and opens sliding doors for you. And for all you the tech nerds out there, the Rockford-Fosgate app allows for the remote start of your vehicle and can even locate your car! Both secure and sophisticated, the Crimestopper is the way forward.
Allows for 2000 feet of range
Mobile Phone start-up option available
Simple data module hook-up provided by two-way data port
Multi-functioning remote is fully compatible with two automatic or manual vehicles
A variety of systems such as trunk release and opening of sliding doors included
- BrandCrime Stopper
- Weight2.93 pounds
In the world of remote car starters, Compustar’s model is certainly a cheap and cheerful alternative in comparison to some of the fancy remotes on offer. Yet for an incredible price, it offers everything your average Joe needs and more! Seasoned DIYers rave about how simplistic this car starter was to install with the support from both the manual and numerous sources online. Afterwards, its countless features, which range from the smartphone control to keyless entry, are available in abundance.
Don’t be put off by several critics who claim that the Compustar remote range isn’t reliable. For well under one-hundred pounds, the 1000-feet range that this model offers is nothing short of spectacular. What’s more, the heating and cooling features exhibited assure the safety of the driver, as their personal optimal conditions can be met. If you’re searching for a top-quality product that won’t break the bank, then look no further.
Fully operational up to 1000 feet away
Smartphone control and GPS tracking can be obtained by pairing system with DR-3400
Keyless entry from extended distance
4 button sidekick transmitter
Extremely easy to install
- Weight1.5 pounds
How can a remote work efficiently with only one button available? Don’t worry; Avital’s remote was designed to under complicate things. The keyless buttons available on the screen are specifically constructed so no button can accidentally be pressed. What makes this product even more desirable is the availability of outputs for optional Horn and Anti-Grind relays.
Worried about installation? Avital has you covered. Several easy-to-follow manuals are available online and, similar to their other designs, the Virtual Tach invalidates the need for a tach wire. If you’re often described as a straightforward kind of guy, opt solely for simplicity by choosing Avital.
Bitwriter programming system allows for simplistic setup
Diverse options of 12, 24, or 60 minutes run time available
Auto-locking doors upon remote start with alternative option to unlock afterwards
Connection with other interface devices made possible by D2D serial port
One-year warranty provided
- BrandDirected Electronics
- Weight1.71 pounds
Although this product is a little on the pricier side, we promise that this remote car starter is worth its weight in gold. With a lengthy range of up to one mile, gone are the summer days of burning yourself of your car’s roasting leather. Python treats the security of a vehicle as a top priority: with a six-tone siren, a guaranteed protection plan, and even onboard door-lock relays, you’ll never have to worry about your car again.
You can be sure that every instruction will be followed by the horn honks. This nifty feature encourages the user to feel even more secure that their car will be a suitable temperature upon their arrival. We recommend seeking professional help to install this set, as buyers often complain about the instructions provided being impossible to follow. However, considering how cheap this product is for the quality you get back, we believe that this cost is a price worth paying.
A range up to one mile
Emergency Override feature protects your vehicle by allowing the safe disabling of the system
Neo Revenger Soft-Chirp six-tone siren
Includes four auxiliary channels
Confirmations for basic or advanced commands indicated by horn honks
- Weight1 pounds
Say hello to Directed Electronics’ revolutionary Responder. This remote start system is packed with goodies that just keep on giving. Our personal favorites have to be the countless security features on offer. If there is a breach in your system, several vibrations, icon displays, and tones are activated to inform you of any changes. It’s a little like owning a smartphone, though one that’s hundreds of pounds cheaper and arguably more reliable.
Another incredible security feature that this gem of a remote start has to offer is Silent Mode. If the user chooses the activate this feature, they will still be alerted of any intrusions which may occur but the car itself won’t light up or siren. A pretty nice feature to avoid annoying the neighbours if your car regularly allows any small bump to set it off!
Possesses a reputable one-mile range
Silent mode alerts user of any intruders
Advanced remote start functions included such as RunTime Reset and Start Start
State-of-the-art control centre with integrated text display
Internal cabin temperature displays available
- BrandDirected Electronics
- Weight3.48 pounds
Several buyers when first stumbling across this remote start are instantly scared off by the lofty price. Don’t let this dissuade you! The Responder HD is arguably Viper’s most advanced model to date. For those who find other car starter remotes to be bleak and dull, Viper adds a splash of color into theirs by providing a 128 x 128 pixel high contrast panel with 900 MHz Spread Spectrum Technology.
Does this feature just seem too good to be true? We’re far from finished. The real-time security system ensures that the user is made aware of any changes by identifying the name of the developing zone and displaying a unique icon in the Status Screen. The only prevalent complaint buyers have is that the keypad buttons work too well. This being the main complaint surely proves that you can never go wrong with Viper’s product!
One-mile range control remote
Attractive full-color interface display with 262K and 65K full colors, incorporated with an anti-glare polarizer for easier daytime usage
Built-in information center displays vehicle interior temperature and remote start run-time remaining
Sensor bypass option shown by updated icons
Operational with two vehicles
- Weight2.95 pounds
Best Remote Car Starter Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying a Remote Car Starter
Rookies of the car starter world simply do not understand why prices for clickers vary to such an extent. Depending on your primary concern - whether that be temperature, security, or both - the clicker you choose may be a little pricier than the other. Nonetheless, there is a lot to consider when purchasing your first remote car starter. Here's several features to consider beforehand so you don't find yourself suffering from that dreaded 'buyers’ remorse'.
Do you live in a moderate environment and therefore, would be happy starting up your car when strolling from your house to your vehicle? Or, do you want to be able to start up your car from the comfort of your home to save yourself from the winter chill? Depending on their price, all car remote starters are equipped with differing ranges. When making your final decision, don't just consider the walk from your house to your car - think about all the places you frequent on a daily basis such as the mall, the shops, and your work.
As cool and high-tech as remote car starters have become, it's always recommended to possess a back-up manual option if technology - as it unfortunately often does - decides to go haywire. Before purchase, check that your remote car start comes equipped with a cut-off switch under the hood. This way, anytime the hood of your motor is open for any maintenance and repair, any potential injuries can be prevented by manually switching off the starter beforehand.
Remote Car Start Installation
We strongly suggest sacrificing some hard-earned cash to employ a qualified technician to do the job. If you think you're up to the challenge, then go for it by all means. However, in the majority of cases, warranty dictates that this device is installed by a professional.
Top Tip - Before purchase, make sure that the remote starter you have your eye on is compatible with your vehicle.
How to Avoid Keyless Car Theft
Alongside technologies breakneck advances in the last few decades, thieves are rising up to the challenge. Criminals are now using new high-technology to break into vehicles without even touching them.
How is this even possible? Well, by purchasing a relay amplifier and a transmitter, a car can be tricked into thinking their real fob is being used. This is made possible by an amplifier detecting the real fob's signal and sending this signal to the transmitter, which ultimately becomes the 'key'. This entire process can be carried out in under two minutes while you're sound asleep with the real remote beside your bed. Yup, it's scary stuff.
To combat this dishonest method altogether, we must start ensuring that our vehicles are safe and secure. There are a number of ways in which to avoid keyless car theft:
- Store Keys and Fobs away from Doors and Windows
We know it's incredibly easy to leave your fob in your bag beside the door all night. Yet this placement - although handy for sourcing your car keys in the middle of the 'morning rush' - makes it easier for car thieves to pick up their signal. One top tip that experts recommend is storing fobs in a Faraday container or metal tin to block off signals.
- Steering Wheel Lock
Purchasing a steering wheel lock is the more extreme option of the two, yet rather this than waking up in the morning to find that your car is missing. Hi-tech thieves will be stopped in their tracks by even inexpensive steering wheel locks. It will even act as a deterrent - no car thief in their right mind would rather battle through removing a steering wheel lock on one car, when a similar car down the road is lock-free.
Best Remote Car Starter FAQ:
Q: How Much Do Remote Car Starters Cost?
A: For the extra levels of security and comfort that remote car starters offer a user, they're extremely reasonably priced. Ranging from around 50 to 200 pounds, you can start up your car with just the click of a button. However, be aware of subsequent installation prices which can sometimes be up to several hundred pounds.
Q: How Do Remote Car Starters Work?
A: Before we start, what is a remote car starter exactly? Often known as a remote ignition system or a remote start system, this futuristic gadget is able to start a car with no physical help from the driver.
To enable a system like this to work, a small box - the actual remote starter - must firstly be set up in your car. This box must be connected to several easily identifiable wires in your vehicle, such as the ignition switch, the power wire, the starter wire, the ignition wire... you get the picture. When the tiny remote controlled by the user is activated, all these systems will be switched on - allowing the engine to start and important controls like heating to become activated, so you don't have to spend the first part of your winter commutes freezing cold. We know this all sounds pretty complicated right now but it works wonders.
Q: Can a Remote Starter Be Switched to Another Vehicle?
A: This eternal question is one that doesn't have a simple answer. It is technically possible to switch a remote starter to another vehicle; but be sure to prepare yourself for a whole load of hassle along the way. Here's a list of some complications which may arise below.
The technical workings of a modern car are advanced yet also incredibly specific. A vehicle interface is a piece of hardware that connects to the car's control area network and is why modern cars are so advanced. However, not many vehicles have the same interface to prevent car thief. If your vehicles don't take the same interface, you'll have to buy a new remote car starter.
When it comes to any remote car starter, having the correct warranty is a top concern. It's very rare that remote starter manufacturers will warrant more than one vehicle; removing the starter from one vehicle and installing it into another essentially makes the initial warranty null and void. Check your remote car starter's warranty before taking any risks.
- Money, Money, Money
You may think that investing in switching a remote car starter from one car to another is a bold and cost-effective move. However, the additional charges will have you sprinting to your nearest hardware store. As well as paying to have the system removed, you're paying to have it reinstalled with a number of potential complications which could easily arise - waiting to rob you of even more money. All in all, we'd recommend steering clear of this misery and treating your new vehicle to a contemporary system with fewer potential complications.
Q: Does a Remote Starter Drain the Battery?
A: Unfortunately, the numerous advantages that a remote start offers are often closely associated with several disadvantages. A remote start isn't designed to drain a car's battery. However, several installers whilst fitting the remote starter set it up to automatically turn on the vehicle every half an hour at night if you live in a chilly climate. Our advice would be to take the car back to where you got the car starter installed and enquire about their installation process and what they can do.
Q: Will Having a Remote Car Starter Installed Void a Vehicle's Warranty?
A: No, it is illegal for a dealer to void warranty if additional equipment is added to a car. However, if the installation of this equipment causes any damage to the vehicle then the warranty can be voided. For this reason, only the most talented DIYers among us should consider fitting a remote starter alone, and 99% of buyers should get theirs fitted by a professional company. It's expensive, we know; but a whole lot less expensive if your warranty is voided and vehicle is damaged or stolen.
Our Top Pick
We bet you're all wondering, out of all the astounding products presented, what would be our top pick? Avital's 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote takes the prize. This car starter possesses all the key features of the most expensive models but only for a fraction of the price. Some of distinctive characteristics include its Panic Mode, which flashes lights and sounds the alarm of your vehicle when its security has potentially been compromised. Furthermore, Valet Mode ensures that the vehicle remains running, even after the key has been taken out. Finally, the remote start feature will guarantee optimal temperatures when entering your vehicle. Avital have been inspiring customers for decades. Give into temptation and allow yourself to become inspired too.
- How to Choose a Remote Car Starter - wikiHow