If your car didn’t come with a remote start, don’t worry—you have recourse: aftermarket remote starters. These systems can be installed to deliver convenience, as well as comfort and security. A preheated car proves easier to defrost and works better in cold conditions. And, some aftermarket remote start systems feature enhanced security protocols and alerts.
Keep reading to learn what to consider when buying an aftermarket start system, as well as which specific models provide top performance.
The 6 Best Remote Car Starters On the Market
Remote start systems are popular, meaning you’ll find a lot of options and price points. Our advice? Stay focused on quality and features, and remember that you get what you pay for. A higher out-of-pocket cost could save you money in the long run. Here are our top six, picked for their perfect blend of functionality and reliability.
#1. Compustar CS800 Remote Car Starter
The best for the do-it-your-self penny-pincher
The Compustar remote car starter is cheaper than most, and it boasts a range of 1,000 ft.
The Compustar isn’t easy to set up, and it only takes care of the basics—starting the car. If you’re not a DIY type of person or you want more functionality, go with a more expensive remote car starter.
#2. Python LED 2-Way Security and Remote Start System
The best for adding smart functionality
This Python solution offers basic functionality and adds a smartphone application that can act as a back-up remote control.
Python’s remote start system integrates a shock sensor. If someone hits your vehicle, the system issues an audible alarm to your remote control fob.
Installation is a bit more involved, and some users have had trouble with the remote holding a charge.
#3. Crimestopper RS7-G5 Cool Start
Crimestopper’s solution works perfectly for anyone seeking to add a remote starter and keyless entry to an already robust car security system.
Pros: Crimestopper’s system provides two rechargeable remotes, one with an LCD screen and the other with button-only functionality. It can also be programmed to open a vehicle’s trunk or automatic sliding doors.
Cons: The remote starter works well but lacks basic security features such as a shock sensor or panic mode. It also relies on FM signals, which can be prone to interference.
4#. Avital 4103LX Remote Car Starter
Avital boasts a solid reputation, from its low-end remote start systems to higher-end ones. The 4103X rests at the lower end of the cost spectrum, but it claims a number of positive Amazon reviews.
Pros: This remote starter offers the best bang for the buck. It includes basic elements like locking features at a budget-friendly price.
Cons: The multiple-button setup, which unlocks additional functions, proves unwieldy.
Whatever your budget, you should find a remote start system on this list that works for you. Install one and enjoy an immediate increase in both convenience and security.
#5. AutoPage C3-RS730 LCD Alarm with Remote Car Starter
AutoPage weds great functionality with a mid-range price point. Its various features all work exceptionally well, too.
Pros: AutoPage’s features of note include keyless entry, valet mode, shock sensor, and panic mode. The system also provides two remotes, one of which includes an LCD screen.
Cons: The range can be a downside; users report that signals transmit reliably up to 500 feet—a far cry from what others on this list offer.
*SafeWise has conducted impartial research to recommend products. This is not a guarantee. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Remote Car Start System
When you’re looking for a remote start system, several factors matter, including these five. Keep them in mind, and you’ll find the remote starter that best fits you and your automobile’s needs.
- 1. Additional Features. Some remote start systems include nothing but the basics, while others add keyless entry, smartphone compatibility, and defrost settings. You should decide which features matter to better weigh purchasing options.
- 2. Quality. When evaluating remote starters, consider quality before price. You’ll be happier in the long run.
- 3. Range. All remote starters list some sort of range, usually between 500 and 3,000 feet. The number cited refers to ideal conditions; that is, it’s the range you’ll see without walls and other obstructions in the way.
- 4. Engine speed sensing. A good remote start system monitors RPMs to prevent over-revving. It also ensures the car actually turns on as it’s supposed to.
- 5. Warranty. You should always read the fine print for a remote starter. The system, or “brain,” usually comes with a warranty that lasts as long as you own the car. The remote control typically claims an expiration date.
Installing a Remote Start System
Remote start systems range in complexity, but most demand some rewiring work. It’s usually best to seek the aid of a licensed technician unless you’re familiar with electrical engineering and soldering. Installation used to take a sizable time investment, but these days you’ll likely spend just a little over an hour waiting for a technician to install the system.
If you do opt to attempt a self-install, follow the kit’s instructions carefully, and don’t forget to disconnect your car battery before attempting any wiring work.
How to Avoid Auto Theft with a Remote Start System
A remote start system can help prevent theft. Many newer models include alarms, notifications, and encryption to thwart thieves. The features don’t make the system impervious to attack, though, so you should use the following four tips to further decrease your risk.
- 1. Check your security settings. Some remote start systems allow you to update proximity settings, and others can be set to require an interaction with a remote control’s button prior to starting or unlocking the car. Customizing both of these options ensures you retain control over your remote start system.
- 2. Invest in other security measures. Thieves won’t disappear any time soon, so it could be a good idea to purchase a home security camera to keep an eye on your vehicle. Placing motion sensors in or around your garage could also help.
- 3. Change your passwords. If you pair a mobile phone with your remote control system, take proper precautions. Change its default password to a secure one that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- 4. Follow standard safety and security advice. Basic safety guidelines still apply. Park your car in public, well-lit driveways and parking lots, and tuck valuables into the trunk or under the seat.