Aside from looks, performance and reliability, convenience is an essential selling point for virtually any car. A premium is often placed on cars that have power features, wireless smartphone connectivity or even a cooled glovebox, all in the name of enhancing the driving experience; after all, comfortable drivers are happy drivers.
One of the more obscure automotive convenience features, at least in our part of the world, is the remote car starter. Simply put, this device allows you to start the car even before you enter the cabin.
The remote starter’s primary use involves the weather; having remote start capability on your car means you can have the climate control running to cool down or warm up the cabin as needed before you even open the door. Remote car starters usually come stock, although a number of them are available as aftermarket installations.
Car remote starter allows you to start the car even before you enter the cabin
Choosing the best remote car starter is not as easy as it sounds, as there is a real possibility of you ending up with an unusable product if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Unlike pre-installed remote car starters that operate according to factory specifications, aftermarket kits are marketed as “one-size fits all” solutions that are hardly the case. Also, remote car starters aren’t cheap, so you'll have to take a closer look and find out which ones are compatible with your particular model.
Philkotse.com presents some tips to help you choose a remote starter kit if ever you feel the need to up your car’s game. Apart from convenience, it’s also a neat parlor trick you can show off to your friends.
1. Ask the right questions
Getting the most out of your money with a compatible remote car starter for your vehicle is the goal here, which is why you’ll need to evaluate your needs and whether or not the particular kit you’re eyeing checks the right boxes for you.
- What features and items are included in the kit?
- What additional upgrades are possible with the kit?
- Does it work with OEM anti-theft systems or not?
- Is there fuel delivery control?
The top two questions determine which remote car starter kit proves the most beneficial as time goes by. We listed “anti-theft compatibility” because this is an absolute necessity if you want your kit to work your vehicle’s security measures. The fuel delivery control feature is also crucial if your engine runs on the old carburetor-type fuel delivery system.
Getting a compatible remote car starter for your vehicle is important
>>> You might concern: DIY car remote starter installation: 8 steps to follow.
2. Narrowing your options
Before browsing the range of remote starter kits available, know first which features you’ll need; this will prevent you from getting a seemingly expensive kit with features that are unnecessary or incompatible with your ride. If the various features being marketed by sellers seem confusing, here are some of the more relevant features that may interest you:
The operating range of remote car starters is usually displayed at the front of the packaging. If your car is usually parked at a distance greater than that indicated on the product, then you’ll need to consider another kit that has a greater range.
Note that obstacles between the remote starter and the car, such as walls or other sizable structures can considerably affect the advertised range.
The operating ranges advertised depend on unobstructed contact between the transmitter and the car
Number of key fobs
Many aftermarket remote starter kits typically come with just one remote transmitter, and that’s fine if you’re the only one who’ll be using it. But if you need a kit that has more than one remote, you’ll need to choose another brand that does., or try to see if your preferred single-remote kit is expandable.
There are aftermarket remote starter kits that come with a single remote
>>> Check out: Potential dangers of Start/Stop push-button.
Engine speed-sensing capability
A remote car starter that includes this feature can monitor your vehicle engine’s RPMs to determine if the engine fails to start or suddenly dies. This feature lets the kit automatically attempt to restart the engine.
Manual kill switch
As an added layer of safety, aftermarket kits come with a manual kill switch that allows you to override the remote starter if there’s a problem.
We’re able to do an increasing number of things with our smartphones, and starting our car’s engine is no exception. If you want to have the option of controlling the car’s systems such as doors, the engine via smartphone, you need to buy a kit that has functionality.
Other features you might look for in a remote starter kit include :
- Vehicle alarm system
- Vehicle Locator /Panic button
- Anti-grinding function (for protecting the starter)
- Keyless entry
- Two-way LCD keyfobs
- Heated seat activation
If you want to have the option of controlling the car’s systems, you need to buy a kit that has functionality
Some of these features might be purely for convenience, while others such as the vehicle locator can prove to be a godsend to those who are given to experiencing senior moments at the parking lot. Meanwhile, the LCD-capable key fobs can display relevant information such as cabin temperature.
>>> Also check: Top 8 symptoms of a failing car starter.
3. Carburetor vs. fuel injection remote car starter kits
Many remote car starter kits in the market are made for fuel injected vehicles; this is because a fuel-injected engine is largely computer-controlled. This makes it easier for the remote starter to be integrated within the system.
A fuel-injected engine makes it easier for the remote starter to be integrated within the system
>>> Tips for you: 8 essential tips when buying car accessories online.
Carbureted kits, on the other hand, are more complicated since carburetor-type engines need to warm them up first, and it’s easy to end up with an incompatible product for your car if you’re not careful.
That’s why you need to pay attention to your purchase, whether you're buying online or at a physical store. Don’t be afraid to voice out your questions if you have any, even at the risk of sounding like a noob; it’s better to be informed than end up with buyer’s remorse.