Installing a remote starter in your car is definitely a good idea. Especially if you live in Canada where cold weather dominates a good portion of the year. However, how well your remote starter serves you depends mostly on how it was installed, and, for that matter, who installed it. If you get a remote starter installed by an unreliable and uncertified professional, or even by yourself, you might end up with many problems. It is these unprofessional installations that make for a lot of common myths and misconceptions about how remote starters actually work. Here are some common questions that our clients have asked us over the years:
What is the Signal Range for a Remote Starter?
It depends on the model of the car and the starter itself. Different remote starters have different ranges, and it all depends on what type of model you have. For example, some remote starters can be accessed via smartphone, which means you can start your car from anywhere in the world! However, an improperly installed remote starter can experience various signal issues. For example, as reported by CTV News, a malfunctioning remote starter interfered with other key fobs and even activated other vehicles’ alarms in a parking lot of a Calgary grocery store last year. The remote starter, as it turns out, was stuck in transmit mode, which caused other key fobs in its proximity to stop working, which is why shoppers at this local store weren’t able to open their vehicles, and some even had their alarms triggered. You can read the entire article here.
What is the Average Life Expectancy for a Remote Starter?
There is no expiry date for a remote starter, or at least there shouldn’t be. That is, of course, if the starter is properly installed. Furthermore, licensed installers will provide you with a lifetime warranty, so if anything happens, they can quickly identify and resolve the problem at no extra cost.
What are Some of the Common Problems with a Remote Starter?
As mentioned above, it should be noted that the most common problems with remote starters occur when the device is improperly installed. In that case, you may experience a variety of issues, including signal interferences, ignition problems, and others. It is always best to have your remote starter installed by a licensed professional because that way, you have your warranty to fall back on (assuming you haven’t made alterations that would cause the malfunction to begin with).
Is the Remote Starter Bad for the Engine?
A remote starter can be bad for the engine if it was improperly installed. That’s the danger of shopping for products uninformed and looking for a cheaper deal. Damage to the engine can occur only if you used an incompatible model or because of poor installation. The reality is that a remote starter can actually benefit your vehicle, especially in cold weather. Allowing your vehicle to warm up before you start driving will make the oil less viscous, which allows it to flow freely through the engine.
Does a Remote Starter Kill the Battery?
Another common misconception about remote starters is that they are bad for the battery. Unless the product is defective or improperly installed, it absolutely doesn’t affect the battery whatsoever.
Can a Remote Starter be Hacked?
The thing with remote starters is that, even though one may attempt to hack it and succeed, they cannot drive without the key. So if somebody actually does accomplish this, which is very rare, the only thing they can do is start your car. They won’t be able to drive it away.
Can you Install a Remote Starter in a Car with Manual Transmission?
Yes, of course. A licensed and fully trained installer can set up a remote starter for a manual transmission car with no issues.
Will Installing a Remote Starter Void My Warranty?
We get this question very often. The simple answer is that, if the remote was installed properly and by a licensed professional, it will not void your warranty. In fact, many dealers install aftermarket remote starters which are not made by the vehicle manufacturers to begin with.
Can I just Buy a Remote Starter Myself and have Someone Install It?
Yes, you can buy your own remote starter and have a professional install it. However, before you make your purchase, make sure that the product is actually compatible with your vehicle. Ask a licensed installer what remote starter would work best with your vehicle. They’ll be able to give you all the information you need and even recommend a good deal.
The benefits of installing a remote starter are numerous, and once you’ve experienced the comfort of not having to sit in a freezing car, or scrape off ice off your windows, you’ll learn just how much of a life saver it can be. However, many drivers make the mistake of going to an unlicensed installer or even installing the remote starter themselves, all for the purpose of saving a few bucks. This can cause multiple problems for you and your vehicle, and the hassle is never worth the money saved. Think of the famous words said by Benjamin Franklin when shopping: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”