5 of the Best Remote Start Systems for Your Automobile

As convenient as it would be for most car models to automatically have a keyless entry and start remote, unfortunately, the opposite is currently the case. While your car may not have started with a remote start system, it is possible to have a system installed at any point in the car’s life, making your life that much easier.

Whether you’re sick of jamming your key into the lock on the side of your car to get into it or you just want to save some time getting into and starting your car each day, there is a perfect remote start system for you and your vehicle. Each remote start system handles a variety of needs you may have, so we’ve hand-picked a few options based on affordability, features, convenience and even added security.

Buyer’s Guide

When selecting a remote start system, it’s important to keep in mind that not every system will be compatible with your vehicle. This is also why we’ve provided a list of options so that we might accommodate for a wider range of automobiles.

Most of the remote start systems on our buyer’s guide will be compatible with quite a variety of vehicles, but it’s best to keep your make and model in mind while reading through our review. Also keep a close eye on the features that stand out for you, as our best overall recommendation may not be the specific type of system you and your family need.

AVITAL 5303L Remote Start – Best Overall

This remote start security system offers a keyless entry that includes a 4-button remote as well as an LCD remote. Providing both active and passive arming, a two-way security system, and a generous four AUX outputs, we were able to rate this remote as the best price for the features offered.

Packaging and Product Information

At 3 x 3 x 3 inches, this is the smallest product on our list. The package will include one LCD remote as well as a four-button remote. It also weighs in at under three pounds. One AAA battery is required to fully take advantage of this system, which doesn’t appear to come included.

Performance and Technical Issues

Most technical issues reported appearing to be from outright defects when initially receiving the product or after professional installation. Fortunately, given that they are hardware defects, the manufacturer can extend a warranty replacement for it. Defects include things like the doors not locking/unlocking shortly after installation and the remote start not working, so if either of these defects happens, a replacement is possible.

Recommended or Not

This might be a good recommendation for someone who wants a little extra security added to their automobile. The visual warnings on the remote interface make it easy to see what’s happening to your car even if you’re a distance away from it, lowering or even eliminating the risk of theft.

Pros

• Start your engine before getting into the vehicle so that it can warm up the engine and transmission to proper operating temperatures
• Cool down or heat up the inside of your automobile before having to sit inside of it, whether it’s summer or winter
• LCD remote display warnings whenever trunk, doors, or hood are open
• Emits radio frequency to prevent anyone from being able to enter your vehicle without the wireless transmitter

Cons

• Does not come with the installation guide – rather, you must use the link provided to you after the purchase of the system to download the installation instructions
• Is not designed with multiple users in mind

FAQ About This Product

What is compatible with it?

One of the reasons we rate this as the best remote start system overall is because of how many vehicles it is compatible with. Any vehicle with an automatic transmission should be able to utilize this system. If a car or truck can’t use the system outright, it’s possible to make the vehicle compatible using a bypass module.

What is the set time limit for this remote start?

Every remote starter operates for only a set time limit before automatically turning the car off if it hasn’t been engaged with. For this remote start system, the time limit is 10-15 minutes before needing to be restarted by key or remote again.

Does it come with everything needed to install?

As mentioned in the cons, the biggest downside for this system is the lack of instructions with the product itself. Rather, you must download the instructions yourself using a link that is provided when you buy the remote start system. Besides the instructions, it does technically come with everything necessary for install.

Viper 5305A 2-Way Car Remote Start – Full Feature Alarm System

The Viper 5305A is on this list despite it being the remote start system that we would least recommend for a DIY installation. While you would want to get this system professionally installed, the functions that you get out of the system to make it completely worth it. The intelligent encryption designed for added security allows you to disarm and arm the car, as well as set it into an auxiliary or panic mode. Comprehensive, the Viper takes a few extra steps when it comes to security and safety.

Packaging and Product Information

With dimensions coming in at 4.7 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches, the Viper is one of the smallest bundle packages on the list. That includes one four-button LCD two-way remote as well as a four-button one-way remote. You’ll need a paid subscription and an additional module to make it Viper Start Smart capable, which allows you to actually use the remote start feature.

Performance and Technical Issues

While the Viper boasts about a quarter-mile range, there are potentially range issues with some models. It is possible to receive a bad alarm brain, which makes the sensitivity, signal, or both too low to function properly. There does appear to also be a minor delay with response to remote commands.

Recommended or Not

All in all, this might be a good option for those looking to put in the extra time to have a start system professionally installed.

Pros

• A quarter-mile range for remote start function
• Comes with a two-way pager remote and a one-way five-button remote
• Lightweight, less than three pounds

Cons

• It’s recommended that this be professionally installed into the vehicle – while DIY is an option, it’s safer to have someone professionally install the system for you
• If it’s not automatically compatible with your vehicle it may require an additional part to get it installed properly
• Requires a paid subscription to utilize the two-way system to its fullest extent

FAQ About This Product

What is compatible with it?

While it is a bummer that you must purchase a bypass override for most vehicles when it comes to the Viper, that does ultimately mean that most vehicles are also compatible. It’s even offered as a combo for some vehicles.

What is the set time limit for this remote start?

The remote start runtime is either 12 minutes or 24 minutes depending on if you have the one-chirp or two-chirp settings in place.

Does it come with everything needed to install?

The Viper remote start systems are all intended for installation by a professional remote start installer only. Not only does attempting to install it yourself void the warranty or the system and potentially even your vehicle, but it also can result in severe damage to your vehicle’s components and electrical system.

In addition, it’s important to note that you will need an additional module and a subscription in order to utilize the actual remote start capability.

Audiovox APS997E 2-Way Remote Start – Most Features

One of the top remote start systems for any current list, the Audiovox APS997E has a single or two-user programmable remote with separate control outputs. You can select and customize everything, even down to the runtime. The glass mount antenna has a built-in LED light and valet switch for ultimate convenience.

Packaging and Product Information

The Audiovox dimensions are 8.2 x 6.2 x 3.7 inches, but that’s including all the components necessary to install the system – besides the AAA battery, which does not appear to come included. Only one battery is required. Additionally, the total product comes in at under three pounds.

Performance and Technical Issues

The APS997E appears to have a lifespan of at least one year. With proper care and maintenance, it should last longer than that, although there are reports of certain aspects becoming defective after a period.

Recommended or Not

This could be a good option for those that like to micromanage their day, optimizing whenever your car is started and warmed up for you and saving you time. For those on a strict schedule, this could also be the best option. This goes especially for this model because of its programmability with selectable run times.

Pros

• Whopping seven-function LED – disarm, arm, zone 1, zone 2, zone 3, arming, and valet
• Multi-tone siren and car horn output for additional alarm response
• Variety of start modes/reasons, including a cold temperature start mode and a two or four-hour start mode depending on preference
• Multiple warning beeps before the alarm goes off
• Multi-vehicle capable
• Headlight control output – it basically controls everything

Cons

• While this one is a little easier to DIY install, a professional installer is still recommended to really get the job done right
• It’s possible to get a defective one that doesn’t work – fortunately, the customer service for Audiovox appears to be top notch and they’re able to handle replacements easily

FAQ About This Product

What is compatible with it?

The remote start system is compatible with all vehicles that have an automatic transmission and the appropriate key pattern for installation. Like we’ve mentioned with other remote start systems above, if you discover that your vehicle isn’t compatible outright, it’s possible to make a vehicle compatible after utilizing a bypass module.

What is the set time limit for this remote start?

Once you press and release the programmed channel of your keychain transmitter two times within two seconds, the vehicle remains on for 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes depending on the pre-programmed time you have it set up for. Likewise, the parking lights will flash or turn on to let you know that the vehicle has been turned on with a visual indication.

Does it come with everything needed to install?

While Audiovox naturally recommends having the system set up with the recommended installation center, it does appear that everything necessary for the install does come with the purchase of the product. To get it working you will need a AAA battery.

Directed Electronics Inc 4806P Python Remote Start – One-Mile Range

We were so impressed with the sheer range that the remote start system works at. Indeed, being a mile away from your car and knowing that your remote is working is a pretty tough feature to beat. The soft-chirp, six-tone siren allows for a fast response from you, whether you’re 100 feet away or 3000.

The LED Python remote start system comes with two two-way remote controls that both have LED confirmation, as well as one one-way four-button remote that still has an auxiliary mode.

Packaging and Product Information

At under two pounds altogether, this remote start system is the lightest on the list. The dimensions together are 6 x 6 x 6 inches, and that includes all components necessary. It’s important to note that two CR2 batteries are required, though they do come included with the initial purchase.

Performance and Technical Issues

The only reported issue for the 4806P is the product not working through brick materials. For those who don’t work or live in a brick building, this might remain a good option for you. If you are around brick walls, this might still be a good option for you if you can get outside the brick material quickly. Otherwise, there may simply be options that are better equipped to work through whatever building material you work or live behind.

Recommended or Not

For someone mechanically inclined enough to self-install, or someone willing to pay for a professional install, this might be a good recommendation. Likewise, you may want to consider a different remote start if you anticipate brick being between you and your vehicle on a regular basis.

Pros

• Onboard stinger double-guard shock sensor that’s remote-adjustable – most of the other start systems do not automatically come with a shock sensor included
• LED command confirmation
• Lightest-weighted system on our list, weighing in at under two pounds

Cons

• You’ll likely need a bypass kit for your specific vehicle
• It’s recommended that you get an installer to install the system for you as it can easily become complicated very quickly

FAQ About This Product

What is compatible with it?

This remote is compatible with every vehicle that has an automatic transmission; however, an additional bypass part is almost definitely necessary to fully utilize all the features the remote has. Without the bypass module, the remote push-to-start aspect of the remote won’t work or won’t work properly, rendering the whole thing essentially useless for its original purpose.

What is the set time limit for this remote start?

There are actually three runtimes for the remote start depending on what option you select. Option one is 12 minutes, option two is 24 minutes, and option three is a whole 60 minutes of runtime before automatically turning off.

Does it come with everything needed to install?

If you don’t need a bypass module, you’ll have everything you need to get started with the installation for the Python. Do bear in mind, however, that the installation for this system is considered pleasantly complex and possibly complicated – then again, so is every other system on this list.

Crime Stopper SP-402 with Remote Start – Most Affordable

Coming in under 60 dollars, the Crime Stopper SP-402 is the best frugal option for a remote start system. This remote start provides the standard keyless entry, as well as an engine, disable the feature for added security. The SP-402 comes with two of the same five-button transmitters, allowing multiple users the same level of access and security. Second on our list as far as range is concerned, the Crime Stopper has a range of 2,300 feet.

Multi-Vehicle System

The fact that it comes with two identical remotes also means that you can utilize it for more than one vehicle. Each remote has four auxiliary outputs, a dual-stage shock sensor, and a high-powered, single-tone siren. Versatile, it can be switched to a two-way system from a one-way system with the purchase of a two-way remote pager and an antenna.

Packaging and Product Information

The product dimensions for this system are 9.3 x 6 x4 inches, and that includes all the necessary vehicle security components, including all starter outputs, sirens, and shock sensors. Altogether, those items weigh in under three pounds. The smartphone interface port allows you to use features of the system straight on your phone.

Performance and Technical Issues

The remote start does occasionally need to be programmed again if it gets out of sync or needs to be recalibrated. In other instances, the remote may come preprogrammed to the unit, just adding to the convenience of your overall situation.

Recommended or Not

While this device is universal and works with most vehicles without even needing a bypass, it may only be a good option for someone very mechanically inclined to self-install it. Otherwise, you’re saving money on the device to pay for a professional to install it for you.

Pros

• Fairly simple install, even if you’re doing a DIY install
• Universal, works on most vehicles without needing a bypass module
• Provides a lot of options for under 60 dollars
• Comes with the harness and manual installation guide – no need to download the install guide after your purchase

Cons

• Additional purchase of two-way remote pager and antenna to get the two-way system – the other systems on our list are designed as only two-way systems
• If you’re not mechanically inclined, the instructions for install can seem a little daunting

FAQ About This Product

What is compatible with it?

This remote start is compatible with just about any automobile that has an automatic transmission. Universal compatibility means you will likely not even need a bypass kit to be able to utilize the SP-402.

What is the set time limit for this remote start?

You can program different times into the remote start engine runtime depending on how long you want the vehicle to warm up before you start driving. You can set the engine run time to three, 10, 20 or 30 minutes as desired.

Does it come with everything needed to install?

Yes, it does! You shouldn’t have to purchase anything additional unless you want it to be converted into a two-way system. The instruction manual comes included, as well as a few accessories to make installing it even easier.

Conclusion

The biggest take away from researching all aftermarket remote start systems is that even though it is an aftermarket item and not a necessity for the automobile, professional installation is still highly recommended unless you already know what you’re doing.

DIY installation is completely possible for a couple of these remote start systems but letting a pro handle it would be the best recommendation. Plus, you’d be optimizing just how long the system will last in your automobile by letting a professional handle the meat of the matter.

It comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that so many types of automobiles now have access to remote start systems just through simple DIY installation. Now that we’ve provided a comprehensive list of various remote start systems and what they offer as far as features and benefits go, we hope you feel more informed on your decision to purchase the right one for yourself.

No matter which system you decide on, you can feel better about how much time you’re saving and safer about every aspect involving your car with the added security the system provides.

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