Ever have trouble with your remote car starter?

geepondy

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I have an automatic transmission 2002 Saturn SL1 with no alarm or power anything and was considering getting a remote car starter. I happened to talk with a local corner service station owner and he said although not always the case, did not recommend an aftermarket non-OEM remote car starter. Said he has seen too many instances of them causing starter and battery problems. What do you think, any evidence to support what he says?
 

Sigman

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I had an aftermarket "CompuSTAR" (remote start only) installed in my 98 Dodge Ram in 98. NEVER had any problems with it and it's got a lifetime warranty. I'm very satisfied with mine!!

We got another aftermarket starter (I think it was an Audiovox or ??? - sold and installed by Best Buy)...have had it for several years with no problems as well.
 
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WNG

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If the unit is not from a reputable company, and if it was installed by the bunch of trunk monkeys, then yes, his statement is valid.

If the engine 'run' sensor inputs are fubar-ed, then the unit will keep cranking for the programmed amount of time. If the engine was in fact idling, then starter damage will occur.
Usually, if the car doesn't start up right away when attempted with a key, then the car's ignition/fuel systems aren't healthy enough anyway.
The remote start will just crank until battery is run down or starter overheats.
 

Sigman

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WNG said:
If the unit is not from a reputable company, and if it was installed by the bunch of trunk monkeys, then yes, his statement is valid.
That's a FACT! Living in a cold climate, we've got a lot of "mobile retailers/installers" trying to get our $$.

I'd ONLY buy a brand name unit from a reputable company! I was actually a bit concerned with the Audiovox, but I must have won the lottery on that one (not that they're "that bad"), however there are certainly some better names out there.

I'd never have any problems recommending CompuSTAR units!
 

MarNav1

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Don't know what brand but my folk's put one on their 98 Regal, nary a problem except
change the remote batteries.
 

Sigman

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I don't want to hijack the thread or take it off "too far"...but it's related, and if geepondy objects - I'll gladly delete this to start another....really!

I've been looking to put one on my wife's "manual transmission" Escape - I guess they just add a bypass/neutral monitoring circuit...still there's a big liability if you don't ensure it's in neutral. Though they're sold - I'm not sure the insurance companies endorse them.

As geepondy has stated already - he's looking for one on an automatic.
 
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geepondy

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Yes, I had read problems and liabilities about putting them in standards which is why I mentioned mine was an automatic. I also had read problems about interacting with already installed alarm systems which is why I stated mine did not have one. So I think it would be an easy install for me.

A local car security place has been recommended to me by the Saturn dealer. I will call them, are there specific questions I should ask?

Gary
 

Sigman

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Does your car have a "pass key theft deterrent system" (chip or resister in the key)? If so, you'll probably need a module (extra $$) that allows the starter to work without that key. Also, if your car doesn't have electric locks - they can add relays to make that happen on doors of your choice (for more extra $$ of course).

Make sure you get instructions if your unit is programmable for starting in cold weather every few hours (frequency of starting & runtime duration). There are other options as well.

A 2-way LCD screen is really nice! Instead of merely beeps - you get the graphic status as well of your car's status (running or not, locked or unlocked, etc). Range is of course another consideration...more $$ typically = greater range.

I'm certainly not the one to really be answering though...I may steer you down a wrong road! :ohgeez:
 
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flashlite

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I don't have one but my dad does. Occasionally, his car will just start up on it's own. Fortunately, there's a timer that will automatically turn the car off if you don't put it in gear after awhile. I'm not sure what brand it is but it's installed in his Cadillac, so I'm sure he didn't go cheap.
 

Glock40

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Had one installed a few years ago for my Wife for her birthday on her 2001 Ford Focus. It works very well never had any problems with it. Car still has the original battery. Was not cheap. around 300 bucks if i remember. Viper i think was the brand but not sure about that.
 

Mike Painter

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I've never had any problem with mine and used it for more than a year with a fuel pump that shouldn't have started the car much less keep it running according to my *very* trusted mechanic.
Just the fun of starting the car when there is an adult standing next to it is worth the cost. Kids don't seem a bit phased by it.
 

Bright Scouter

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I have one on a 2000 Chevy Venture with a factory alarm and power everything. Needed a module to work with the factory alarm, but never had any problems.

Same thing with my parents Olds Silhouette. No problems. Just bought a 2005 GMC Envoy a year ago and the dealer stated that they recommend NO remote starters for the new vehicles. Many have blown one of the onboard computer boards. He said to see if an installer even knows his stuff, ask if he knows what has to be done differently, or what to be carefull of on the new GM vehicles. If he gives you an empty stare, run away.

I asked the dealer if they would put one on for me. Mostly just to see if it was a ploy to get the business and he said no. They won't do it.

Makes me wonder. I still haven't put one on because of that. So if anyone has something like a newer Envoy/Trailblazer and has one, what kind did you have put on?
 

bfg9000

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flashlite said:
I don't have one but my dad does. Occasionally, his car will just start up on it's own. Fortunately, there's a timer that will automatically turn the car off if you don't put it in gear after awhile. I'm not sure what brand it is but it's installed in his Cadillac, so I'm sure he didn't go cheap.
Some of them can be set to automatically run the car if the battery gets low. Not something you want programmed "on" if it's parked in a closed garage.

No matter how reputable the brand, everything depends on the installation.
 

Manzerick

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The salesman actually convienced me not to buy it from him at POS!!!


Imagine? I was sold but he gave me the line that it messes with the electrical system blah blah blah
 

Xygen

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Sorry, but what is a remote starter good for? For warming the car? I was told, not to let the engine run till its warm.
I have a auxiliary heating system to warm the car. It has a timer and a remote control.
I heard in scandinavia they have outlets at their parking lots to power an electrical heater which warms the engine and the passenger compartment....
 
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Monolith

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I have a self-installed compustar system. I don't recommend doing it yourself. Compustar does not support the DIY market (only qualified dealers). Most people have problems with wiring dual ignition wire systems and the accessory power, not to mention the by-pass modules. The modules are often "configurable" for different systems which makes installation even more of a challenge. Been trying to help too many people fix bad installs to recommend anything other than a competent dealer install. Look at the cost of the install as a liability shift and the price becomes cheap considering the cost of electronic ignition parts, ECU's etc. Not to mention most folks skip all of the safety inputs because it's just more wires....not good.

I like the compustar because of its range, reliability and upgradeability. You can install a one way 900mhz system and upgrade to two-way 900mhz or even go to the 2WSS systems. Upgrades require swapping the antenna and remotes.
 

LEDoutlet

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I don't know about scandinavia but here in canada we do have outlets to plug in our vehicles so they don't freeze on us. It heats up the oil pan/engine block so that the motor oil actually flows like it is supposed to instead of being the consistency of honey/grease.

As for remote starters... DON'T! 2 trucks, 2005 Diesel Ram and 2005 Duramax chevy both with "ultrastart" brand remote starters. both have problems. Both starters cost upwards of $600. on the ram it randomly honks the horn and had a range of 20 feet instead of advertised 700 feet. (new batteries line of sight etc.) On the chevy once it got cold (-40C) when you really want to use it it doesn't work and completely fried the computer in the truck once, requiring a tow to the dealer and a bunch of work. 2nd time it self-destructed itself. Both vehicles now DO NOT have Remote start capability even though they are still installed. Simply gave up and said never again.:rant: *EDIT (forgot)*Both vehicles also had the install done at each respective dealer so i am assuming they know enough to install correctly.

Other brands may be better but i do not have experience with them. Also, as an aside here in canada don't leave alkaline batteries/flashlights in the car since when you'll really need them 90 miles into the bush at midnight in january they won't work. Only lithium.

There! now i feel better.:)
 

VWTim

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Compustar makes a good manual transmission remote starter. It leaves the engine running until you shut the last door. That way it knows the car was in Neutral when locked up.
 

Monolith

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LEDoutlet said:
I don't know about scandinavia but here in canada...
It should be noted also that due to frequency restrictions, US and Canada frequencies used by remote starters are vastly different and not compatible (most companies sell a US version and a Canadian version). Thus, range may vary on the same brand depending on which country it was intended for.
 

chmsam

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My wife has one on her car that my stepson got her for Christmas. One thing about the model she has -- if the car is running the doors will lock automatically after a short period of time. Do not leave the keys in the car or it will lock you out.
 
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