12-volt & Electronics

 
 
 

One Thing To Never Do With A Remote Start Unit

Nov 28 2016

A remote start unit is the ultimate convenience accessory for almost any vehicle. Start your car from the remote and have the inside all toasty and the engine warmed up before you leave for work. Start your car as you leave the store and by the time you get across the hot parking lot, the interior is nice and cool.

Definitely a luxury. A remote start unit is a luxury in cold weather.

But there are a few things you need to know if you’re thinking about buying a remote start unit for your vehicle. For one thing, you should never buy a remote start unit online (buy one at Chux Trux in Kansas City instead!).

Why shouldn't you buy a remote start unit online?

Well, they’re cheap. Yes, cheap as in a low price, but also cheap as in cheap junk. And that’s not all.

Here are several reasons why you should never buy a remote start unit online:

The units themselves are cheap because the labor for installation, which takes around three or four hours, is where the price gets high.

Why does that matter? Thought you’d never ask.  

 Don't order your remote start unit online.

 Most reputable shops (like us) won’t install parts that you buy online. We will install some parts bought online, but not remote start unites. Many are cheap, no-name brands that we aren’t familiar with (for good reason). We install top brands that offer quality units and we know them inside and out. If you do happen to find a place that will install your cheap online part, they will probably be second rate at best and will most likely charge a higher price for installation than they would if you’d have bought the unit from them, or a high quality unit from one of our Kansas City stores.

But they definitely won’t warranty any of it. If you need warranty work for parts you bought online, you have to go back to where you bought it, NOT who installed it. So you save a little cash up front on the remote start unit, but you end up paying about the same in the end after installation, minus any kind of warranty.

And with a remote start, you need a warranty on the part and the installation. That second rate shop who installed your cheap unit won’t fix it when the unit stops working a month after the install. Now you are out the cheap part price, the labor and you don’t have remote start.

Don’t think about fixing it yourself.

 Remote starts are easy to use.The wiring on these units looks like spaghetti-gone-wild. You have to be an expert in 12 volt wiring installations to install these correctly. This is not a DIY job or a job for a buddy that has wired in a few speakers. A mistake could end up damaging your wiring on your vehicle. Even your regular mechanic shouldn’t install this thing.

And since you’re dealing with professionals and experts for your installation, they are going to want to see your online-bought, off-brand remote start unit before they agree to install it. That means you make a trip to their shop, let them look it over and then schedule an installation date.

On top of all of this, 99% of remote start kits you buy online won’t come with the bypass module that is absolutely required for 95% of vehicles on the road.

So in the end, buy your remote start unit from you local reputable dealer/installer in Kansas City, like Chux Trux. You end up saving yourself time and money. You also have peace of mind knowing that the kit actually works on your vehicle, and you have a warranty if something goes wrong. Not to mention buying local supports your local economy.

Come and see us at any of our three Chux Trux Kansas City stores for your remote start unit or check them out here. We offer great quality brands and our installers are top-grade professionals.


 
 
 

Cold Butt? Put it in the Hot Seat with Seat Heaters

Feb 12 2014

 

Seat heatersAhhh, heated seats! Who wouldn’t want to jump into a car on a cold frosty morning and find,  instead of a pucker inducing, freezing cold sheet of frigid vinyl, a nice warm heated seat? Well sure, anybody would, but until now, heated seats were only possible in high end luxury cars. Not anymore Bucko, now anybody can enjoy the luxury of a warm seat to greet you on a cold winter’s morning.

Basically a seat heater has a flexible heating element that is molded into the bottom and lower back of your vehicle’s seat. It can be thermostatically or digitally controlled to produce heat in the range of 135 to 150 degrees. This will provide a surface temperature of 105 to 115 degrees within two to three minutes after activating the system. That’s more than enough to keep your butt and your lower back nice and toasty warm. And with gas prices what they are these days what better way to have a warm place to sit than running the engine for ten minutes to warm up the entire inside of the car!

And this is all perfectly safe if installed correctly in the application they were designed for.  All of the seat heater systems that Chux Trux sells have at least two levels of temperature control built into the design.  These are self limiting heating elements and bi-metallic thermostats and electronic digital controllers. These seat heaters run off the 12 VDC system of your vehicle and only draw 3 to 5 amps.

Seat heaters can be installed in cars, trucks, SUV’s, and more.  There can be custom installation done too, like in golf carts, motorcycle seats, and even boat seats, but odd shapes will require a carbon fiber seat heater, which must be trimmed to fit. Seat heaters will stretch and bend with the foam of the seat and they will not change the comfort or the appearance of the seat. Our seat heater systems have been subjected to an automotive, simulated 10 year durability test and passed.  They have also passed the off-road vehicle seat cushion durability test SAE-J1454 and the Heavy Truck, Million Mile Shaker test. These heated seats normally carry the same warranty as the seat they are installed in which ranges from 1 to 3 years.

What do seat heaters cost? Installation will start about $200 per seat and could go slightly higher depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the type of seat heater system being installed, and the number of other options being installed at the same time. This includes the cost for parts for the heating elements, the switch design, harness lengths, and the features of the system.

Heated seats, or seat heaters if you prefer, also make one of the best Christmas gifts around. As one of the more unique Christmas gifts, it's hard to go wrong giving a gift that will keep someone warm.

So if you’re tired of that ice cold seat welcoming you into your car or truck every morning talk to guys at Chux Trux and find out how easy it is to get yourself fixed up with a couple of nice warm seats for the rest of the winter.

 


 
 
 

Remote Starts & Car Alarms: 1-way vs. 2-way Communication

Feb 12 2014

 

There are, quite literally, dozens and dozens of remote car starter systems and keyless entry systems available for your vehicle. The market can be very confusing, especially if you are not sure whether you need a 1-way system or a 2-way remote start system. But what does that mean?

Remote start key fob 4 button

Basically a 1-way remote starter only communicates with your vehicle in one direction, or one way. In other words, you send the signal to trigger the remote starter, or set the alarm, or disable the alarm, or any number of other commands, and the system does it. But if you are away from your vehicle, in the office, or inside the house, there’s no way for you to know if you are in range and the system actually worked.

 

A 2-way remote starter system communicates back to you and tells you what’s actually going on with your vehicle. It lets you know that the engine is now running, or the alarm is set. Think of how handy this would be, for instance, if your work place is out of the sight or sound of your vehicle’s car alarm and some creep starts messing with your ride. A 2-way remote would tell you that the alarm has been triggered. It can also tell you what zone of the alarm were triggered. If the doors, hood, or trunk were opened, or the motion sensor was set off.

 2-way remote start fob

Typically, the fob, or control unit with the buttons on it, will have either LED lights to "communicate" with you, or an actual LED or LCD screen on the unit.  For 2-way communication in a remote start or car alarm, you have to have some sort of visual.

 

If your vehicle requires you to turn the ignition key over more than once to start it, we’d first recommend a good tune-up.  But we’d also recommend a 2-way unit for you.

 

Another consideration beyond the need for 1-way or 2-way is do you want a 1–button remote for remote start only, or do you need a 4-button remote to operate keyless entry or with keyless entry plus a car alarm system?   If your factory ignition key has the door lock/unlock buttons built into the black head of the key (and you don’t have a key fob, like new Ford F150 trucks, Hondas and many others), you only need a 1-button, unless you want an alarm. If you currently have a key fob in addition to your keys, we recommend getting a 4-button unit with keyless entry. This would replace your factory key fob eliminating the need to carry two key fobs.

 

Many of the top brands, like Python, have a clear line of sight range of up to 2,000 feet. This is more than adequate for most applications, but if that isn’t enough, there are apps that will enable you to control your remoter starter and car alarm system from your smart phone. In that case all you need is to have your vehicle in a place where there is a cell phone signal and that is just about everywhere these days. You could lock or unlock your car doors in Los Angeles from a smart phone in New York!

 

Chux Trux carries the full line of Python remote starter systems and alarms. And they also carry another very popular brand, Avital. For nearly 20 years, Avital has been one of the biggest names in car alarms and remote start technology. The staff at Chux is experts in all of this remote start technology and can help you decide on the exact system that’s right for you.

 

See just a few of our remote start systems and ask our experts about different options for your car or truck, starting at just $259 installed! 

 


 
 
 

Top Reasons You Need a Car Alarm with Remote Start on Your Truck

Feb 12 2014

Car thief

 

Imagine the scene; you’re having a movie night, or you and your buddies are at the basketball game and when you get outside your vehicle is gone! The parking space where you know you left it is empty. It’s a horrible feeling and it happens all too often in cities all across the country.

 

There’s an old saying that if a professional thief wants your car or truck there’s nothing you can do to prevent him from taking it. And while that’s true, there’s no reason for you to make it easy for Mr. Thief. Make him work for it, make it harder for him to steal yours by adding a car alarm with a remote starter and he just may move on to an easier target.

 

Just like the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds", real life does imitate art.  Theives like to steal certain vehicles because they are easy to steal, have a high value, or both.  While you can't (and don't really want) to lower the value of your car or truck, you can make it harder to steal.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that in Missouri and Kansas, the most popular vehicles for thieves to steal are pickup trucks? Here are the stats:

 

Missouri

  • #1 - Ford Full size Pickup (F150, F250/F350/Super Duty)

  • #2 - Chevrolet full size pickup (Silverado, HD, C/K)

  • #3 -Dodge full size pickup (Dodge Ram)

 

Also included in the top 10 for Missouri are:

  • Ford Explorer
  • Chevy Pickup (downsize)

 

Kansas

  • #2 - Ford Full size Pickup (F150, F250/F350/Super Duty)

  • #3 - Chevrolet full size pickup (Silverado, HD, C/K)

  • #5 Dodge full size truck (Dodge Ram)

Also included in the top 10 for Kansas are:
  • Ford Explorer
  • Chevy Pickup (Colorado, GMC Canyon) 

 

As you can see, thieves like trucks. So what can you do to cut down on the chances that your truck will be added to these statistics?

 

If you use several layers of theft deterrent making it more trouble to steal your vehicle, you stand a better chance of thwarting the theft. The first layer of theft deterrent is common sense; remove your keys from the ignition, lock your doors and close your windows, and whenever possible, park in a well-lit area. The next layer of theft deterrent is an audible car alarm. A third layer is to use some sort of disabling device such as smart keys or some sort of wireless ignition authentication like the types included in most remote start systems.

 

The best way to add those second two layers is through the use of a remote starter in combination with a car alarm system. And there are several good reasons to do so; Car, truck, and SUV alarms deter thieves. Installing such a system may get you a discount on your car insurance. And it’s usually only about $20-$50 more to buy an alarm with a remote start over a remote start only.

 

So, you live and work one of these two states and you own a truck, who can you see about getting help to safeguard your truck against these thieves? Chux Trux that’s who. Chux can take care of everything you need from selection, to purchase, and installation of a complete system that will help protect your truck and make sure it’s always sitting there in the parking lot right where you left it!

 


 
 
 

What's the Coolest Automotive Smart Phone App? A Remote Start

Feb 11 2014

 

Remote Start Smart Phone AppRemember when a computer took up most of a large room? Well no, I suppose some of you don’t because today most of us carry a very powerful computer around in our pocket. That’s right, your smart phone is much more than a mere telephone with a camera. It’s a computer that can do all sorts of things that even that big room-size computer couldn’t do, like use it as a remote start for your car.  Want the best remote start system for you Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Nissan or Toyota?  Then you’re looking at it.

It can also lock and unlock your car’s doors and trunk, tell you exactly where you left it parked, and do several other things too. Did you accidently lock your keys in the car? Unlock it with your smart phone. Suppose you went on a business trip and took your car keys with you. Your wife calls and she needs to get something of hers out of the trunk of your car. You’re in Los Angeles and the car is in New York. No problem, just open up the Smart Start app on your phone and press the button and bingo, your wife is happy.  And when she’s happy, everybody’s happy!

You can remote start, lock or unlock your car just by pushing a button on your Smartphone using the exciting new Python SmartStart app from Directed Electronics. Just stay inside on those cold mornings and start your car from your phone. It will be all warmed up and ready to go when you are.

The easy to understand graphical interface gives you complete remote control over your installed Python remote start system. From your phone you can; lock your car and arm your security system, unlock it and disarm, perform a remote start, pop the trunk, use the panic or car finder. And if you have multiple vehicles in the family, you can also control all of them and assign more than one user to control a vehicle. It's really that easy with SmartStart!

And all of this will work anywhere in the world as long as your car is somewhere there is cell phone reception. Although it may not work very well in an underground parking structure, for example.

So what’s the price of a remote start app for my phone? What will all this cool technology cost me? Well, as usual, that all depends on the features that you want. Of course you must have a compatible remote starter system already installed on your vehicle and your own iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android: SDK 1.6 or newer device.

But no worries, because the guys at Chux Trux can figure all that stuff out for you. They have all of the systems in stock and the knowledgeable staff to help you through the selection and installation and get you on the road and in complete control of all your technology today!

So get over to Chux Trux and give that computer in your pocket more to do than just playing Angry Birds!

 

By: Chris Ripper


 
 
 

Why Does a Remote Start Need a Bypass Module (and what is it?)

Feb 11 2014

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have a remote start system on your car or truck when you live in Kansas City?

Remote start for cars, trucks and SUV's

You know, its freezing cold outside, you’re inside sipping the morning cup, you press a button on the remote starter and, outside in the driveway, your car fires up and gets all nice and warmed up with the windows defrosted while you finish getting ready for work. Wouldn’t that be great? 

Well, there are plenty of these types of systems on the market and shops that will install them for you. And the prices may seem reasonable but what they don’t tell you is that you need more than just the remote starter itself. 

Almost all vehicles built since the late nineties, especially those with so-called “keyless” entry, have an electronic anti-theft system that prevents starting unless the vehicle “sees” that the correct key is in the ignition or it is receiving the correct code in its computer. You’ve all heard about keys with a chip inside and that’s what it’s for.  So for any remote starter to work it must “trick” the vehicle into thinking that the key is in the ignition, and that’s where the bypass module comes in. Whether they’re called an ignition immobilizer interface, transponder bypass kit, or a passlock interface, they are all bypass modules and they do the same job.

Part of the reason for the different names is the differences in circuitry from one make and model to another. Many of the latest bypass modules on the market are on-line programmable to work with the software for a variety of different vehicles. Sometimes one bypass module can cover several different vehicles, but other times a different interface module will be necessary depending on the vehicle.

Do you have an alarm system on your vehicle or are you planning to install one?  Some car alarms have the option of integrating a remote starter into the system and that’s something that you should verify with your dealer if you already have an alarm or are going to buy one.

So now we know that a bypass module is absolutely required for a remote car starter to work. Most of the ads you see for remote starter installation do not include the price of the bypass module in their $99 - $149 quote. You should not do business with anybody who does not include the price of the bypass module in their quotes for a remote starter system. To us, it’s the same thing as a “bait and switch” tactic.  If it’s a required part, it should be included in the advertisement.

All of the remote starter installation quotes from Chux include the bypass module, installation of the complete system, and is the out the door price. There are no surprises when you’re dealing with Chux Trux.

So this winter you can sit back and relax, fire up the car from inside where it’s nice and warm and have another cup of coffee. By the time you’re ready to leave your car will be too.

 


 
 
 

Why Buy a Remote Car Starter and What Do They Cost?

Feb 10 2014

 

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!