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Learn About Remote Car Starters and How They Benefit Drivers

You've got your car keys in your hand and you're headed to the door, ready to go to work, a social engagement or to pick up the kids. You get inside your car and suddenly you realize your windows are so foggy and iced-over you won't be able to see the road for at least five minutes. It's also freezing. Or maybe it's summer and that black leather upholstery that looks so good is burning your skin because you parked in direct sunlight.

A remote car starter could have helped you avoid these headaches. A relatively simple device designed to allow you to get your car started before you're even in it, remote car starters can be a game changer for people who rely on their cars -- which is pretty much all of us. Use this quick primer to learn more about remote car starters and how installing one in your vehicle could benefit you.

What's a Remote Car Starter?

A remote car starter is everything that its name implies: it is a device that remotely starts your car. It is a lifesaver during cold days, allowing you to start up the engine from someplace warm, presumably your home or workplace. And for those of you that live in hotter climates, there are models that can reduce the temperature of your car. Some remote car starters even give you control of the doors, letting you open the trunk and manage other car functions. So, you can rest assured the upgrade of a car starter is not something that just lasts for a season.

How Do Remote Car Starters Work?

A remote car starter, sometimes called an auto starter, can seem a bit like a magic button for the uninitiated. They're actually pretty simple once you break down the components involved and how they get your car to start before it’s within arm's reach.

Auto car starters consist of two basic parts: a receiver and a transmitter. The receiver is installed in your car, and it does the heavy lifting to turn the vehicle on. The transmitter, which is typically a key fob that you'll keep with your main car key, has a push button that sends a radio signal to the receiver to start the vehicle.

The average remote starter you would install in your car has a wide range of operation. Basic models tend to give users about 150-metres of range. More complex models can provide 1.5-kilometres of range or more. Poor weather conditions can reduce the range of remote car starters in some cases.

One-Way vs. Two-Way Remote Starters

Take a quick look at remote car starters and you'll start to see that they fall into one-way or two-way configurations. The difference between the two is quite simple, but in use, one may be better than the other.

A one-way starter sends a transmission only from your autostart remote to the receiver installed in your car. A two-way starter will send the same transmission from the remote to your car, but it will also send a signal back to let you know that your vehicle did in fact start. Typically this is done with a light on your key fob, but some models do vary based on manufacturer.

For most people, the best remote car starter is a two-way model. Without the two-wayfeature, you may find that your car didn't actually start ahead of time if you were out of range, leaving you to sit and wait for the defroster, heater or AC to turn warm up so you can get on the road. Two-way car starters typically cost a little bit more, but many users find the convenience and guaranteed start of a two-way system preferable despite a higher initial expense

When Will I Use a Remote Car Starter?

Once installed, remote car starters are very easy to use. In fact, just a push of a button—literally—will get your car running and ready for you. You'll find a variety of situations where your remote starter helps you have a more enjoyable ride.

Cold Weather

Cold weather and snow, especially in the winter, can keep you from hitting the road on time. Use your remote car starter to get the defroster working so you can see before you're behind the wheel. A remote starter can also be used to turn the heater on so the car is warm when you get in.

Fog or Rain

Fog, rain and general low visibility conditions require you to defrost your windows. Auto starters can provide clear, fog-free glass so you can see once you get in your car.

Hot Weather

Getting into a sweltering car and waiting 10 minutes for the AC to kick in is no fun. Use your auto starter to get the air conditioning going to make for a more pleasant trip.

Vehicle Security

Remote car starters also do their bit in terms of car security. They come with auxiliary outputs that can be connected to the car's security system. Once that is done, you will receive alerts and other useful information that is vital to keep your car and its components safe.

Keyless Entry

Owning a remote starter also means you have access to something that's really cool: keyless entry. This replaces the conventional method of locking car doors with keys. Once you have the appropriate module or component installed, all you need to do is walk near your car and press the corresponding button. Some models cut out button part and only require you to be within a specified range of the car with the key fob, revolutionizing the way you unlock car doors.

More Resources

Remote car starters make frosted windshields, ice cold interiors and hot-to-the-touch upholstery a thing of the past. Explore more car tech and learn about ways to improve your driving experience with these helpful resources.

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