Best Remote Car Starters

When there’s bad weather, it’s nice to be able to get your vehicle warmed up quickly before you get in. And warming the engine up before setting off helps make the oil less viscous too.

Similarly if you have air con in the car, it’s nice to get that to automatically come on in the summer when it’s hot. You don’t want to step into a sauna.

So, getting yourself kitted out with a remote car starter is a good decision. You can solve all of the above, and remote start the car without leaving the keys in, making it secure against theft. And that’s not all, having a remote car starter set up can also increase the resale value of your car. Not bad hey?

We’ve been checking out some of the best remote car starters that are out on the market today, and after much deliberation we came up with our top 5 picks. 

Many remote car starters are brand specific, but seeing as we don’t know what car you drive, we just selected universal ones. Just to give you the heads up. If you want one specific to your make of vehicle, you may still find this article useful.

We’re going to show you our reviews on those very shortly. After that we’ve also got a handy little buying guide for you which walks you through everything you might want to think about before you settle on which one to buy. 

This buying guide also includes an important section on how to avoid keyless car theft.

Then we’re going to top that off with another section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

Here goes…

Top 5 Best Remote Car Starters

OUR TOP PICK

Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One 2-Way Remote Start and Alarm Bundle w/ 3000 feet Range

When we saw all the features on this beauty we just had to make it our number 1 pick!

It’s not just a remote starter, but is also an alarm bundle too, which includes the remote itself, a case for the remote, a control module, a dual-stage shock sensor, a siren, LED lights, and a back up remote. Quite the list hey?

With this kit, you can lock or unlock your car, open the trunk, or start the engine.

It has a really long maximum range, coming in at 3000 feet, which can come in really handy if you haven’t managed to park close.

When you’ve successfully started the car you get immediate confirmation, via both a noise and the LED lights on the car. 

It’s security system is really good. There are loads of different places you can add the impact sensor, such as the door, the hood, or the trunk.

And if someone tries to intrude into your vehicle, not only does an impossible-to-ignore 105 decibel siren go off, but, thanks to the 2 way communication with the remote, you also get  an alert via the remote too.

It’s also diesel engine safe.

As far as we can see, the only drawback is the price, which is hefty. But with such top features you’ll probably decide it’s worth it.

Pros:

  • Alarm bundle included
  • 3,000 feet maximum range
  • Diesel engine safe
  • 2 way remote

Cons:

  • No spare fob
  • Premium product at a premium price
  • If you want the accompanying 1 year warranty, you’ll have to register with the manufacturer

EDITORS CHOICE

Compustar CS4900-S (4900S) 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 3000-ft Range

What impressed us with this remote start kit was that it’s compatible with smartphone control, via Drone Mobile.

We were also impressed with the range - this beauty can get your car started from up to 3000 feet away. 

This is great if the car is parked at the other side of the yard, or if you didn’t manage to park too close to the building. You can almost guarantee that the inside of the car will be more comfortable by the time you get there.

You get not one but two remotes. You will need to mark which one is which though, because one of them is a two way remote while the other one is a one way job.

You can also remote stop the engine, lock or unlock the car doors, or open the trunk.

Everything you need to install it comes included in the price, all in the box when it arrives. That said you might want to consider professional installation if you can.

This remote starter can be safely installed onto a diesel-engine vehicle. Which might be good to know for some of our readers.

There’s a limited lifetime warranty available on the control module, but just 1 year’s warranty on the key fobs.

It’s a little pricey, we agree, and to be honest, we’d personally prefer to pay the extra $50 or so and get a remote start and alarm bundle in one, like our number 1 pick. But we’ll leave that up to you.

Pros:

  • 3,000 feet maximum range
  • Diesel engine safe
  • 2 way remote & a 1 way remote
  • Smartphone compatible
  • Warranties available

Cons:

  • It’s for cars with Automatic Transmission only
  • Bypass module not included
  • You need to buy a subscription for the smartphone compatibility

BEST VALUE

Compustar CS920-S (920S) 1-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 1000-ft Range

Now, compared to our number 1 pick, this baby is quite the bargain.

It comes with not one but two remote controls, which is ideal for those who share a vehicle. Or alternatively you could just keep one aside as a spare.

With the remote, all you have to do is hold down the KEY button for 2.5 seconds, and it will remotely start your engine to heat up or cool down your vehicle. And this will work from up to 1000 feet away. 

The same range also goes for locking or unlocking the doors or popping the trunk. This is great because it gives you a chance to put your coat on in the doorway before you make the mad dash to the car when it rains.

This is an upgraded version of Compustar’s older modules, with about 50% better performance and reliability.

It has a load of other cool features too. You can activate valet mode, horn honks and arming functions by using additional button combinations.

This remote starter can be safely installed onto a diesel-engine vehicle. Which might be good to know for some of our readers.

If you head over to the manufacturer’s website (unfortunately you can’t buy it from the manufacturer’s site), you can register for a 1-year warranty against both defects and malfunctioning components.

Pros:

  • Loads of cool features
  • Good, sensible range
  • Includes a spare key fob
  • 1 years warranty available

Cons:

  • Just a one way remote
  • Compatible with automatic and CVT transmission vehicles only

RUNNER UP

Audiovox APS997E TWO-WAY REMOTE START

This remote car starter may not come from such a well known and established brand, but it does come highly recommended.

On the Amazon page for example, it’s earned an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5. Even after well over 50 individual customer ratings.

This is actually an upgrade on the company’s previous model. It has a long list of different features, which to be honest we weren’t expecting at such a good and affordable price.

It does the usual remote start or stop thing, plus it locks or unlocks doors, and it releases the trunk. But it has and does a lot more besides.

Here are some of the highlights. Cold temperature start mode (handy come winter), intrusion alert, Multi tone siren, Dual stage shock sensor, Headlight control output, Car horn output. You should really check out the Amazon page for the full list - there’s like 40 items on there.

Our favorite function though has to be the parking meter countdown timer mode - so handy for city dwellers or townsfolk for that matter.    

We also love that there’s a limited lifetime warranty available. You have to register with the manufacturer for that though.

It’s excellent value for money.

Pros:

  • Good affordable price
  • Great customer feedback
  • Loads of great features
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not such a well known brand

RUNNER UP

EASYGUARD EC003 Smart Key PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System Push Start Button Remote Engine Start Remote Trunk Release DC12V

Some people don’t like the idea of having a really long range for remote starting or remote unlocking for their vehicle, and they may even consider using it at a long range to be a security risk.

It could make it easier for a potential car thief to make off with your car before you get the chance to stop them.

If this describes how you feel, then this may be the remote starter for you. It only works when the remote is at least 6 feet close to the vehicle.

In addition to remotely starting the engine to warm up or cool down your vehicle before you get in, it will also lock or unlock the doors, arm or disarm the vehicle, and remote release the trunk. 

You can decide to disable the keyless entry altogether if you prefer, and just use the remote start. You can keep the keyless entry as an emergency back up.

There’s no need to insert the key into the ignition cylinder at all once the entire kit is properly installed. This makes it a good choice for those who get pain in their hands when they try to turn a key.

Pros:

  • No need to turn a key at all
  • Good, affordable price
  • Short working range

Cons:

  • It’s not compatible with every type of vehicle - please check out the Amazon page for further details
  • Professional installation is recommended
  • Very short working range

Best Remote Car Starters Buying Guide

Let’s get straight to it.

Safety Features

We think safety features are important. And that is why we recommend gadgets that have manual options as a back up for when technology fails, as we all know it sometimes does.

For example if you’ve got the hood of your motor open for any maintenance or repair, then it’s nice to have a manual off switch to avoid any potential injury.

Range

If you keep your vehicle in your garage or on a drive, then maybe you don’t need such a long range for the remote starter to work. The same goes for if you have your own parking space for work, or if you use disabled car parking spaces right next to the grocery store.

However, if you rely more on on-street parking, and can’t always get your car parked as close to building entrances and exits as you like, then you might want to consider going for a remote car starter with a longer range.

Keyless Entry

Most remote starters also come with keyless entry functions as standard, which is something that’s certainly worth considering.

Price Point

Remote car starters can vary quite considerably in price.

You can expect to pay at least $60 for a good set up, but depending on what sort of features you happen to be looking for, you may find that you’ll end up paying more than double that, if not three times as much for one that comes with an alarm and sensor components.

Brand

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that 3 out of our 5 top picks for remote car starters all come from the same brand, Compustar.

Compustar remote starters are currently dominating the best seller lists with online retailers, and their only real competition is the vehicle specific counterparts, which we’re not covering in this article.

How to avoid keyless car theft

Some common criminals have taken to utilising modern tech to carry out their thefts and break ins. All they really need is a relay amplifier and a transmitter, and a car can be fooled into thinking the real fob is being used. 

And worse yet, this can all be carried out in less than two minutes. Worrying hey? But don’t worry, we’ve got some top tips for you.

Tip 1 - always keep your key fob in a Faraday container or metal tin in order to block off the signals. These are readily available with good online retailers, like Amazon.

Tip 2 - Get yourself a steering wheel lock. Even the most high-tech thieves can be stopped in their tracks by such a simple device. It also works as an effective deterrent. They’re quite inexpensive to buy, often costing less than $30. A very worthy investment if you ask us.

Installation of your remote car starter

If you consider yourself quite the accomplished DIY enthusiast, you could decide to install the device yourself.

If you’re not quite confident however, or if you don’t want to void the accompanying warranty, you might be better off hiring a qualified technician to it for you. And hopefully a quick Google will help you to find someone in your local area to install it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a remote car starter?

We think remote starters are well worth the investment. As we made reference to in our introduction earlier, in the summer you can use it to cool the car down if the air con is switched on, and in the winter you can get the car warmed up before you get in.

And you can also increase the resale value of your car, which is a good reason if ever I heard one. You can leverage it and ask for a higher trade-in value.

What is the best 2 way remote starter?

After much deliberation, we concluded that the best 2 way remote starter is our number 1 pick, the Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One 2-Way Remote Start and Alarm Bundle.

Why not check out our mini review again and see if you think so too.

How much does it cost to put a remote starter in a car?

Now this is an important question. The truth is that there are a number of different factors that can influence the installation cost. You can generally expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500.

The factor that will have the biggest impact on the installation cost is whether you also need a bypass module installed to make it compatible with your particular vehicle.

Can I install my own remote car starter?

You can install your own remote car starter, but a word of warning, this may affect the warranty.

Here’s a link for a YouTube video which shows you how to install your own remote car starter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xiuuxtiC0g.

How long does a remote car starter battery last?

A key fob battery will usually last around three to four years before it will need to be replaced.

Can remote start be added to any car?

If a remote starter was available for your car's model, trim, and transmission when the car was new, you should be able to have one added to your car. Cars built before 2005 will probably need an aftermarket starter, however.

If in any doubt, check with your car dealer.

What cars come standard with remote start?

There are loads of great cars that come with remote start as standard, including many Hondas, some Hyundais, some Fords, some Subarus, some Nissans.

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