How Remote Car Starters Work for Your Car

Remote Start Your Car From Inside Your Home

It’s a cold winter day and you’re standing around waiting for your car to unfreeze, huddled in your jacket, rubbing your hands together for warmth and wishing you’d brought gloves.

If only you could remote start your car and turn on the heater from inside your house where it’s warm.

Remote car starters do exactly that. A remote car starter looks like a key fob, but in addition to locking and unlocking your car door, it can also start your car and turn on the heater and defroster.

You can also use remote car starters on hot days to activate the AC, so your car is nice and cool when you first step inside, even on sweltering summer days.

How Do Remote Car Starters Work?

Compustar, a remote car starter company, explained that, “Remote start systems consist of two key parts: a control module/radio receiver and a remote transmitter. The control module is installed into a vehicle, which allows for remotely starting a vehicle with the push of a button on the remote transmitter.”

Essentially, you install a device in your car that syncs with the transmitter that you can keep on your keychain. Older cars don’t usually come with built-in remote car starters. Newer cars often come with remote car systems, but must be activated to be a fully engaged remote car starter.


When buying a remote car starter, you’ll want to consider the range. Will it work when you’re 60 feet from your car? One hundred?

How much range do you need? How close is your car when you’re inside your house or office? There are some remote car starters that work from over a mile away, but do you need one like that? The higher the range, the more expensive the remote car starter, so think about how much range you actually need.

Carbon Monoxide, Manual Transmission, and Potential Dangers

According to Consumer Reports, you should never remotely start your car while it’s in an enclosed space (like a garage) because of carbon monoxide poisoning which could be fatal. Only remote start your car if it’s outside.

Alabama Media Group quoted a police department that said, “We want to remind our neighbors of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Starting your vehicle inside an enclosed garage can lead to a buildup of the odorless fumes which may cause you to feel suddenly tired, dizzy, and or nauseated. Continued exposure can lead to unconsciousness and even death.”

They gave several carbon monoxide safety tips including:

  • Don’t leave a car idling in a garage (or other enclosed space)
  • Drive with the window slightly open during cold weather
  • Have a certified mechanic check your exhaust system
  • Don’t run the engine for long periods of time with the windows up.
  • If you feel carbon monoxide symptoms, get to fresh air and call 911.

Be careful that the buttons on the fob aren’t accidentally pressed. You don’t want to activate your car accidentally.

Additionally, do not try to install a remote car starter in a car with a manual transmission as that could be dangerous. Consumer Reports explained, even if the starter comes with fail-safes, “the car could potentially try to start when it has been left in a gear, and not in neutral, which could cause the car to jerk forward and hit whatever is in front of it.” This could damage your or another person’s car or even hurt or kill someone.

Two-Way Remote Car Starter Systems

You click the button to activate your car’s heater, but how do you know it worked? You don’t want to step outside and find the car remote didn’t work because you were slightly out of range.

Two-Ways Remote Car Starter Systems help solve this problem by allowing the system to communicate both ways. Your remote starter can send signals to the car, and the car can send signals to your car remote. Specifically, your remote car starter will tell you whether the car got the signal or not. That way, if you try to activate your car but are too far away, your remote will tell you and you can get closer.

Remote Starter Cost

Our remote car starter systems range from $60-750. Most, however, are closer to $200. Do not try to DIY install a remote starter system. Instead, we can do it for you!