Remote starters make life more convenient and keep drivers safe. However, most older vehicles lack remote starters and the extra features they offer, but, thankfully, you don’t have to go without one of these helpful devices any longer.
There is a wide range of aftermarket remote start devices available for almost every vehicle, and in this article, we show you how to install one and tell you some of the many benefits they offer.
What Is A Remote Starter?
Before we delve into installing a remote start device, let’s look at what it is and how it works.
Stated by 12 Volt Solutions, remote starters are wireless devices that use radio waves to start your car’s engine from a distance. Most remote starter devices come in the form of fobs, which is a tiny remote control that most people attach to their keyring.
These remote controls, and remote starters in general, vary in price and features. Simple remote starters provide engine ignition and nothing more, while advanced devices allow you to lock and unlock the vehicle, control the heat, pop the trunk, turn on the defroster, and sync with your smartphone.
Remote starter kits come with the fob and a box that you hook up to your vehicle’s ignition switch. When you press the appropriate button on the remote, it sends a radio signal to the box to turn on the engine or trigger any other feature you have.
Benefits Of Installing A Remote Start
Many people who use a remote start for the first time wonder how they ever lived without one of these devices, so let’s look at why they’re so popular and why you might consider one if you’re still on the fence.
One of the most significant benefits of having a remote start is the ability to get into a comfortable vehicle regardless of the weather. If you’ve ever spent a morning slogging through the snow to start the car and warm it up before going to work, you know how awful an experience it is.
On the flip side:
Getting into a car during the summer is an equally painful experience when seats and steering wheels are so hot they burn your skin.
A remote starter allows you to start the car from the comfort of your home and have it the perfect temperature when you’re ready to drive.
A warmed-up vehicle is safer to drive, especially in winter. As the car heats up, snow and ice melt away from windows and the windshield, making it easier to scrape away. Visibility is essential on the dark, winter mornings, so having a clear windshield is key to safe driving.
Better For Your Engine
Freezing temperatures cause oil and other engine fluids to become thick, making it difficult for them to lubricate the moving parts and protect your engine effectively. A remote start allows your vehicle to warm up slowly and for these vital fluids to do their job thus being easier on your engine.
Increases Resale Value
One thing people don’t consider when deciding on a remote starter is how it can boost the resale value of your vehicle or make it more attractive to a buyer.
How To Install A Remote Starter
For best results, it’s wise to let a professional technician install your remote starter because you can damage your vehicle’s electrical system if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Also, damage done to your car’s electrical system from installing an aftermarket remote starter may void your warranty, leaving you on the hook for the repairs. However, if you’re set on installing one of these devices yourself, here’s how to do it.
Before you purchase a remote start system, make sure it’s compatible with your vehicle and your anti-theft system if you have one. You might have to buy an extra anti-theft bypass module to make the remote starter work with your vehicle.
Study The Instructions
Each remote start system has different installation instructions depending on the brand, features, and the vehicle in which you’re installing. If the remote starter comes with printed instructions, study them and the wiring diagrams to ensure you know exactly what you’re going to do once you begin.
If you don’t have written instructions, check the brand’s website to see if they have instructional videos you can watch to prepare for installation.
Familiarize Yourself With The Wiring
Check your vehicle’s manual to familiarize yourself with the wiring and study any repair guides you can to make sure you know which wires connect each function.
Disconnect The Battery
Once you have all of your tools and you’re familiar with the wiring diagrams, disconnect the battery to prevent shocks.
Once the battery is disconnected, remove the panel under the steering wheel and any other panels so you can access the starter.
Connect the wires and make sure they’re secure with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing. Connect the ground wire to a metal surface on the vehicle to ensure the proper function of the system.
Attach the power wire to the 12V wire constant wire in the vehicle. Find this wire by reading the owner’s manual. (click here for manuals). Once connected, attach the accessory wire that controls heat and AC.
Next, connect the ignition wire and then the starter wire. Again, use your vehicle’s wiring diagram to locate these wires.
If you have a vehicle with an anti-theft system, connect this component now. Once all of the wirings is complete, secure the wires with tie wraps to keep them out of the way of moving parts, and to make it look neat.
Now that you’ve hooked up the wires connect the battery and test the electrical functions to make sure everything works properly, including the lights, blinkers, radio, defroster, and so on. Also, make sure the car starts and that all of the dash lights work correctly.
Once you’re satisfied that everything is working, replace the panels you removed when you started and take the car out for a test drive on your street or somewhere away from traffic to double-check that everything is working.
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