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What is Vehicle Remote Start?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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A vehicle remote start is a device which allows someone to start a car remotely. These devices are commonly used by people who like to climatize their cars before getting into them. In extremely hot or cold climates, preparing the car before a drive can make a significant difference in comfort. A remote start system can also be used in an extremely cold climate to automatically start a vehicle if temperatures fall to a dangerous level, ensuring that the car will remain functional.

Some car manufacturers produce remote start systems which can be installed as an added feature when a new car is purchased. It is also possible to order third party systems which can be installed by a mechanic or dealer. The cost of a remote start system varies, depending on the type of features it has.

A basic remote start system is a simple fob which someone can press to turn the car on. Often, several buttons need to be activated, which is designed as a safety feature so that people do not automatically turn the car on. The remote start is also sensitized so that it will not activate if the car is not in park or the hood is up. These basic safety procedures are intended to protect people who may be working on or around a vehicle.

Many remote start systems flash the lights or beep the horn when they are activated, so that someone can see that the car has been started. When the car starts, the doors remain locked, and the climate control systems kick in. When someone is ready to drive, she or he can approach the car, unlock the doors, put the key in the ignition, and get going.

Some remote starters are bundled in with a security system. In this case, the fob which controls the remote start also handles security issues, such as activating the alarm or panic button. The fob also usually contains buttons which can be used to lock and unlock the vehicle remotely, so that a user can unlock a vehicle as it is approached.

When selecting a remote start system, people should confirm that it will work with their vehicle. It is also a good idea to think about desirable features ahead of time, generating a list which can be used to pick out the most appropriate system. It may be a good idea to check with a dealer about any conflicts and issues which have been documented with remote start systems and that particular model of car.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WikiMotors researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon193293 — On Jul 04, 2011

I like your article. I also say to guys, a car remote starter is a radio controlled device, which is installed in a car by the factory or an aftermarket installer to preheat or cool the car before the owner gets into it.

Once activated by pushing a button on your key chain remote, it starts the vehicle automatically for a predetermined time. Different models have keyless entry as well. Most newer cars need some kind of bypass module to bypass the factory anti-theft system, so the car can be started without the ignition key in the ignition. This is bypassed only to start the car, which, after it is running returns to its original state.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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