I live in Chicago (actually a northern suburb) and own two cars: 05 Scion xB and an 03 Accord (4 cyl Auto). Due to logistics, day care, scheduling, and the like, both cars are used every day for the 1.5 mile drive to different train stations. And as you can imagine, we have some mighty frigid days here in the Windy City, and getting into a frozen car is not a whole lot of fun.
So I was thinking about installing an after-market remote starter in one or both of the cars. My questions are: Is this EVER a good idea? And if so, which types/brands should I look for and what professional installation gotcha’s should I beware of? And will the installation possibly reduce the future reliability of my car’s electrical/starter systems with the installation of such a device.
Assuming a quality aftermarket installation, my question to you is: when is this ever NOT a good idea?
I only have one reason against this upgrade. There’s a (valid) school of thought that you should not let a cold motor idle around with cold oil: taking forever to warm up with no engine load, adding a ton of friction to the system for no good reason. But OTOH, who gives a crap?
The extra engine wear could be minimized with a switch to fully synthetic oil. And sometimes it gets so frickin’ cold outside that the motor needs to idle a bit just to safely drive the car on nearly frozen fluid. And most people don’t keep cars long enough for this type of engine wear to matter. And replacement motors from the junkyard are cheap…
I think you see my point. Find a reputable automotive aftermarket trim installer in your area (Yelp.com, ask local car dealerships, etc) and buy a kit they recommend to make this as easy as possible. With those two hurdles cleared, you shouldn’t have any problems for years to come. Especially on the somewhat simplistic electrical systems of late model Hondas and Toyotas, as opposed to something BMW-like. Fingers crossed on that!
Question is, does anyone north of my hot H-town homeland disagree with this assessment?
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