Frequently asked questions about remote starters
Q: What is a remote starter?
A: A remote starter is an electrical automotive device that allows you to start your vehicles engine remotely using a handheld key fob.
Q: What’s the difference between a “1-way” and a “2-way”?
A: A 1-way remote starter is a basic system that allows you to send a command to the vehicle. If you are within its operating range, then it’ll work. If you can’t physically see the vehicle then you won’t know if it worked or not. A 2-way allows you to know if your command was received by the vehicle by getting visual confirmation on the handheld remote itself.
Q: What is a bypass module, and why do I need it?
A: A bypass module is another part that is hooked up in conjunction with your new remote starter that temporarily overrides the factory immobilizer that most vehicles have. This allows your vehicle to start remotely.
Q: What is a factory immobilizer?
A: An immobilizer is a passive form of anti-theft that prevents potential thieves from being able to “hot wire” your vehicle. It was mandated for all Canadian cars in the year 2000. Inside of your key there is a small chip with a special code on it that’s programmed to your specific vehicle. Your car reads this chip EVERY time you turn the key to start the car. If someone were to copy your key at a hardware store, and attempt to start your engine, they will be unsuccessful since that key won’t be programmed to your vehicle. A bypass module is designed to “learn” your programmed factory key, and use that information to allow the vehicle to remote start. It’s a smart device that will bypass that security feature ONLY during remote start. This means that the immobilizer stays 100% functional while the remote starter is not in use.
Q: How long does the car run for when I remote start?
A: Generally the car will run for a maximum of 12 minutes before it shuts down.
Q: Is a remote starter safe for manual transmission vehicles?
A: Yes! Using a compatible remote starter will allow you to remote start your manual transmission vehicle without worrying about it potentially driving off and causing injury or damage.
Q: Is there a lot of wiring involved in the installation of a remote starter?
A: There is quite a bit of wiring involved usually, and therefore it’s always recommended to have it installed by a true professional with years of experience.
Q: Can a bad installation ruin my car?
A: In most cases a bad installation won’t completely ruin a car, but it CAN definitely damage it and render it immobile. This especially holds true for newer vehicles as they are full of computer systems.
Q: Does the installation of a remote starter void my factory warranty?
A: NO! This completely depends on your specific situation though. If the system was done professionally then the dealership has to prove that your remote starter damaged the vehicle. Generally the dealership will always tell you that anything they don’t install themselves will void your warranty because it isn’t OEM. This is completely untrue.
Q: What type of warranties do remote starters have?
A: We can’t speak for everyone, but we offer lifetime warranty on all remote starters that we provide and install. Remote controls carry a one year warranty.
Q: My mechanic said remote starters will ruin my engine. Is this true?
A: NO! Sorry but your mechanic is wrong. IF the remote starter is installed by professionals like us, then it is merely mimicking what you would be doing if you were sitting inside of the vehicle yourself turning the key (or pushing the start button)
Q: Why does it cost so much to install a remote starter in my BMW/Audi/Mercedes/Jaguar/Alfa Romeo?
A: Generally anything european is going to cost you more. These vehicles always require special interface modules that are able to talk to your vehicles complicated on-board computers. Because these systems are so specialized, there is a premium that is associated with this type of install.
Q: Can a thief steal my car while its remote started?
A: NO. This is impossible because in order to move the vehicle, they would need a key to take over. As soon as they push the brake to put the vehicle into gear, the engine will shut down. For manual transmission vehicles the engine will shut down as soon as they release the parking brake.
Q: Can a remote starter be removed from one vehicle and installed into another?
A: YES! Sometimes it isn’t worth it from a cost perspective, but if you have a higher end model, then sometimes it is worth your while.
Q: I paid $60 for a remote starter at Canadian tire. Why does it cost more than that to install it?
A: The price of an installation is NOT based on what you paid for your unit at Canadian tire. The amount of work it takes to install it is a constant, as is the necessary bypass module (if applicable). It’s almost like having your mechanic replace the engine on your vehicle. You might find a good used engine for $500 but your mechanic will charge you $1500+ to install it due to the parts and labor involved…it has nothing to do with what you spent for that used engine.