Are Remote Car Starters Worth It? Here's What You Need to Know
Last updated on April 29, 2021
What is a remote starter?
A remote car starter is exactly that: a way to start your car, securely, from afar… whether afar is from the dressing room at Nordstrom, your office on the 32nd floor, or the warmth of your own bed on a cold morning. And depending on which one you get, remote car starters come in three basic forms: some are aftermarket fobs that you put on your key ring, some can be integrated into your car’s own original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fob (your car key), and some come as apps that work on your smartphone. We’ll explore different types in a moment, but let’s start with “why you want one.”
Two great ways to outsmart Mother Nature:
1) On chilly fall or winter days, the 5 to 10 minutes it takes for your car to warm up on a frigid, can’t-feel-your-toes morning can feel like forever. And even worse when you have to scrape the sheet of ice off the windshield. Or when it's 11:30 pm on a Saturday night, and you're at the movies and now it's time to go home and it's 5°F outside... with a wind chill of minus 20°F. Because cold HURTS. But with a remote car starter, you can start your car from inside the house and stay warm, one-upping mother nature while your car warms and defrosts by itself.
2) According to the CDC, when temperatures outside reach 80°F to 100°F, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 130°F to 172°F. Meaning: by the time air conditioning can cool things down, you’re already sweating like a pig in a sausage factory. (Even worse if you’re sitting in black leather seats.) But with a remote car starter, you can start your car and cool it down while you wait – inside. Where it’s cool.
What if your car already comes with a car starter?
Some do, but most stock OEM car starters come with a very limited range (30 or 40 feet give or take.) Compare that to some of our remote car solutions that start your car from 500 feet to a mile away, and come with other very cool perks as well. (More on that in a bit.)
There are even car starters that can be integrated into your existing car key. (So you don’t have to carry around another gadget, it’s already there.) These systems are primarily for newer vehicles with the more advanced factory-installed data systems, but your vehicle could very well be a candidate if it was made in the past few years. Once the system is installed, simply press the “lock” button 3 times, and your vehicle will turn on a few seconds later. No added mess to your key ring, and it operates almost exactly like the factory-installed remote start systems.
Which remote starter should I get?
That’s up to you, your budget, and your car’s make and model. You'll also want to consider what range you need and if you want a 2-way remote starter.
Get more peace-of-mind with a 2-way remote start system.
In most cases, starting the car is a breeze: you grab your car keys, push aside the curtains, and hit the corresponding button to have the vehicle remote start. The lights flash on the car and a few seconds later, it starts up. You smile and prepare to leave. Now, what about when you’re at work and your car is buried in the building’s rear parking lot? How do you know it’s started so you’re not coming out to a vehicle encased in ice? (Nothing worse than that.) Enter Viper’s 4806V 2-way remote start system. One of the remotes in this system incorporates 2-way functionality meaning that when you prompt the car to start (or lock/unlock/trunk pop), the remote confirms whether or not the car got the command. No more “pressing and praying!”
Choosing the right range.
How far are you from your vehicle when you’re at home? What about when you’re at work? Chances are good that those distances will vary greatly. If you opt to have a system installed that uses your vehicle factory key fob to initiate the remote start activation, you’ll be limited to maybe 30-40 feet. Is that enough? If not, consider a system that comes with its own key pads, as these will have a much longer range – upwards of a mile! Sure, it’s a new remote that may have to find a home on your already-cluttered key ring, but trust me...it is worth its weight in gold!
If you’re adamant about a clutter-free key ring, then consider Viper’s SmartStart remote starter system. This allows you to activate the remote start from an iPhone or Android smartphone. This SmartStart system also offers an unlimited range (as long as your phone has service, of course) so you can start your vehicle from just about anywhere. Best of all, the SmartStart program runs off of Verizon’s 4G LTE network, so you’re all but guaranteed an excellent connection to the network. Please note that a subscription must be purchased to enjoy this feature.
To help you find what you need, World Wide Stereo has already done the hard work, collecting the best of the best at the best prices. (We don’t do junk.) And if you’re not sure what to get, just contact one of our car experts for a free consultation.
Can a remote cart starter mess up your vehicle's engine?
We get this question a lot — both in-store and online. A remote start system can really make our lives a little bit easier, but there are some factors that come into play when you’re entertaining the idea of putting one in your vehicle. For example, you'll want to ensure that the system you’re looking at is from a reputable manufacturer and offers some sort of warranty. The other (and probably larger) bit to consider is the installation. It’s quite easy for an installation to go poorly if you don’t have a dedicated professional doing the work. Remote start systems are integrated rather intimately into the vehicle and should be done by someone with the experience and know-how to not only get it done right, but also to troubleshoot if an issue does arise.
Who should install your new (and/or much better) car starter?
Installing a new car starter can be tricky depending on your car, but there are authorized dealers who’ve done thousands of installations and are quite good at it. If you live close by, World Wide Stereo’s award-winning car techs are pros at installing car starters. (We’ve been installing car starters since car starters were even a thing.)
Note: Remote starters are generally not installed on vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. It’s not that they won’t work — most places just won’t do it as it’s too much of a liability (if the car is parked in gear and remote started, it’s going to lunge forward).
You will LOVE your new car starter.
No more freezing your toes off on cold winter mornings. No more saunas while on your way to an important meeting. No more losing your car in a crowded lot or parking garage. What’s not to love?
To learn more, contact our installation experts today.