Best Remote Car Starters: Start Me Up

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Top 7 Best Remote Starters

Clambering into a cold car before the sun comes up ranks down there with a root canal and talking to an accountant. Alternatively, for those of you residing in a part of the country where conditions do not currently resemble the surface of Hoth, sitting on scalding hot seats or touching a flesh-searing belt buckle in the summer months can also be unpleasant.

These are but two of the reasons why remote car starters were invented. We’ve taken a look through Amazon and selected a few aftermarket units for your perusal. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t run your car in an enclosed space and, if you’re not sure how to install these things, please seek out someone who can.

Now, go enjoy that warm car!

Table of Contents

1. Editor's Choice: EasyGuard Remote Starter & Car Alarm System

This option kicks off our post-Christmas list thanks to your author’s bizarre lifetime infatuation with Ford’s keycode entry system. Like the Blue Oval, this unit permits owners to unlock their rig by punching in a numerical code though, thanks to this keypad’s decidedly un-integrated look, we would recommend buyers not to simply stick it onto a car door.

A handful of ratings have gifted the EasyGuard a perfect five-star rating, with real-world buyers praising the ease of installation and helpfulness of the seller. It also works as a passive keyless entry system, meaning the tech in the package will allow for the automatic unlocking (and relocking) of doors as the keyfob moves in and out of the unit’s range.

Pros

  • Push button go, passive entry, that keypad tho

Cons

  • That keypad is also extremely ugly

2. GIORDON Remote Start with Smartphone App

Calm down. This isn’t one of those ‘phone as a key’ devices that all you lot seem to hate for no apparent reason. It is true that this unit permits operators to use an app on their smartphone to fire up their car. However, there is also the backup security of twin keyfobs for all the Luddite security-minded readers in our audience.

Like the system listed above, this product comes with a start/stop button to mount inside the car, giving your clapped out 1993 Ranger Splash something in common with a 2019 Challenger Hellcat. Speaking of fire, the advertisement includes a phrase stating “the car is a flameout” while discussing proper operation of the remote starter.

Pros

  • Hand smartphone app, two keyfobs

Cons

  • English-as-a-fifth language ad copy

3. Innova 3630 Remote Starter Switch

This isn’t precisely what VerticalScope brass had in mind when selecting this topic but I feel it is appropriate to mention in this setting. Presented here is a device that allows a mechanic to engage the ignition of a car without having to suffer the annoyance of alighting from under the hood to re-enter the car and twist a key. This is very handy when trying to diagnose problems or performing a compression test.

Naturally, you’ll want to hook this thing up properly (read: not to any super-high voltage leads) lest the works of it meltdown like Reactor Number Four. Your author once wired a household light switch in the starter circuit of a tattered 1992 Crown Victoria, proving this type of tool can work safely. In other words, this tool speaks to the starter through a solenoid, not the power-hungry starter itself.

Pros

  • Handy beyond words during certain repairs, cool trigger grip

Cons

  • Incorrect installation could be disastrous

4. Compustar All-in-One 2-Way Remote Start

Priced on the higher end of our list, this remote start kit includes a car alarm as it is capable of adding impact sensors to vehicle entry points. In the event of an intrusion, the 2-way LCD remote included with this system will alert you what's happening to your vehicle. Its 105dB alarm is louder than my house on Christmas morning.

The included keyfobs have the expected quartet of buttons on their face plus a neato LCD screen on the anterior side. This provides two-way communication with your car, meaning you might have better conversations with it than your spouse. The screen will show confirmations of locking and starting commands, plus the attempts of ne’er-do-wells trying to steal your collection of Boney M cassettes.

Pros

  • Includes a car alarm, dandy keyfobs

Cons

  • Brand name like a ‘90s PC

5. Avital 4105L Avistart Remote Starter

This thing is probably what springs to mind when someone mentions the word aftermarket in the same sentence as a remote starter system. Priced less than a steak dinner, the unit shown here is free of any added features like an alarm or push-button start or even attractive keyfobs.

It allegedly plays well with any existing keyless entry systems, meaning you’ll have to fumble with two fobs on yer chain - one for this starter and one for unlocking duties. Though it goes unsaid in the ad copy, one assumes this means the lock and trunk buttons on this keyfob don’t do anything.

Pros

  • Very affordable, plenty of positive reviews

Cons

  • A remote start system and nothing more

6. Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks

This example of product from the company Start-X is specifically for Ford pickups and a couple of other Blue Oval whips. However, as The Man once said, other varieties are available. The neat feature of this system is that it permits owners to simply use their stock keyfob, even if it doesn’t have a remote start button.

It accomplishes this electronic wizardry by incorporating a plug-n-play device into the vehicle’s existing wiring. From there, owners can press a sequence of buttons almost worthy of the Konami Code to fire up their rig (actually, it’s a simple lock-unlock-lock pattern).

Pros

  • No extra keyfobs required

Cons

  • Don’t forget a specific hood pin at installation

7. Prestige Two-Way LCD Remote Start & Alarm

Residing in the $100+ bracket is this starter which includes a couple of LCD-equipped remotes and an option to work the thing from a smartphone app. The average rating left by real-world customers is acceptable, including some footage of the starter firing up a camo-laden Super Duty.

Specific product detail and description are lighter than others on this list. Nevertheless, there is enough description to know this unit provides varying auto-start times and different programmable modes. A purported range of one mile means one can start their car from the lower troposphere.

Pros

  • Lots of features, attractive keyfob

Cons

  • Report of LCD screen failure

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Love the wind / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
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