Remote start - preheat your car

Imagine it’s early on a wintery February morning. It’s as cold outside as your ex-wife’s heart. You’ve got to go to work which means going out and getting in your car or truck and parking your butt on that ice cold seat. No fun, is it? Or it’s the middle of August and your vehicle has been sitting, closed and locked, out in the hot sun all day. It’s 140 degrees in there and you know that by the time the A/C kicks in you will have died from heat stroke. Okay, maybe died is an exaggeration, but I think you get the point.

There is a great solution to both of these common problems. All you need is a remote start system. Basically a remote car start system will enable you to start your car’s engine from inside the comfort of your home or office or just about anywhere so that the interior can be nice and warm or cool, as appropriate, before you have to get in and drive away. It’s like having somebody available to go start your car for you ahead of time without having to actually have somebody on staff. (Having somebody on staff is not only expensive, but there’s a lot of paperwork involved.) An alternative is to install heated seats but, of course, that only works in the winter and isn’t much good in the summer.

One common misperception about remote car starters is that someone can drive away in your car or truck.  WRONG. 

A remote starting system can be installed on almost any car or truck with an automatic transmission.  Some can be extremely complicated such as most German cars like Audi, VW, Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes. If your vehicle already has a keyless entry system in many applications a remote starting system can be a simple add-on.

If you get a combination remote start with keyless entry, then you only need to carry one remote key fob with you instead of two.  

Almost every vehicle now uses an ignition key with a “chip” in it that transmits to your car’s computer telling it “Yeah, I’m right here inside the car so it’s ok to start the engine”.  Almost all vehicles made after 1999 require a “bypass module”. This is a device that tells your vehicle’s computer to “bypass” the requirement to have the actual key in the ignition switch for starting. These bypass modules are vehicle specific and will incur about $70 to $80 in additional cost. (Of course the guys at Chux include all of this in the quoted price, so there are no hidden fees).  All newer cars will need to have one key kept in a hidden location inside the car. The computer needs to “see” that chip nearby in order for the car to start. And if you are worried about some dirt bag stealing your car while you’re still inside searching for your sunglasses, have no fear. If the car is put in gear without the key in the ignition switch, the system kills the engine.

No discussion of a remote starting system would be complete without talking about safety. You wouldn’t want somebody in the house to start up the car while you were out in the driveway working under the hood, or worse, if you were under the vehicle changing the oil. Most systems include a “hood pin”. This is simply a plunger that is depressed when the hood is closed. When you raise the hood, the plunger is released and the system is deactivated.

Now, what about the installation? Installing a remote car start system is certainly not impossible for someone who is experienced in 12 volt electronics on late model vehicles.  But vehicle technology has taken enormous leaps in the last few years and installing a remote car starter isn’t for the faint of heart as you will be delving into the inner workings of your vehicle’s computer and ignition systems. You’ll be cutting and splicing into some very important wiring and one wrong move could turn your car into a pretty expensive piece of driveway art. A good working knowledge of automotive electronics in general and your specific vehicle in particular is necessary. This really is a job that is best left to the professionals. 

Of course you want to be careful about who you choose to buy your remote car start system from and who you have install it. Remote car starting systems for cars built after 1999 are going to cost over $200.  Period.   Beware of the old bait and switch tactics.  You’ll see some companies advertising them for $99 or so.  And you CAN buy a cheap (read that as poor quality) system for $99.  HOWEVER, if your memory is good enough to remember what you read just 3 paragraphs ago, then you know that all cars built after around 1999 require a bypass module  which costs upwards of $70.  So how much does their $99 remote start cost?  You’re at $169 minimum and you haven’t factored in labor costs yet.  These “creative marketers” are out there so buyer beware.  If the advertised rate for buying and installing a system seems low, when you get there they will probably tell you need a more expensive system because of the type of vehicle you have.  When you see these guys, run like hell.  Chux lists our installed prices for what our remote starts cost on our 12-volt electronics site. 

In the Kansas City area, Chux Trux sells and installs Code Alarm products. You can call them anytime to get advice on what would be the best system for your vehicle, get price quotes, and set up an appointment for the installation.

So what are you waiting for? Do you like sitting on cold seats? Do you enjoy getting your buns baked waiting for the A/C to work? Call Chux Trux today, right now, and get started on your way to never having to get into an uncomfortable vehicle ever again!