Best Remote Car Starter: A Guide for a Well-informed Decision

best remote car starter

Nowadays, new car models usually come with the remote-start feature, and as seen from raving reviews, we can see that this is a welcome add-on amongst car enthusiasts. It can warm your car’s engine long before you drive and it can also already start cooling or heat up your vehicle even before you slid on the driver’s seat, which is especially helpful for those who are residing in cities with extreme temperatures. Isn’t it nice to get into an already cold or warm vehicle, instead of waiting for several minutes before you get your desired temperature?

If you think you will greatly benefit from this feature but your car doesn’t come with it, do not fret. You do not have to buy a newer vehicle just yet since there are a lot of remote car starter kits being offered in the market now. They can be easily installed in your vehicle and sometimes even come in with additional features like added security and alarm. In this article, we will discuss what things make a best remote car starter, and also review some products that you can consider when looking for one.

Important Things to Consider When Buying a Remote Car Starter System

Since there are a lot of choices for the remote-start unit, it pays that you know what factors you should take into account before buying one. Here are five basic questions to ask yourself that can serve as your guide when choosing a system. Remember, the best remote car starter should be able to answer all these questions without any reservations.

1. Is it compatible with my car?

Although most units are compatible with almost all car models, it is still advisable to make sure that it can really work with your vehicle. When getting one, let the sales associate know your car model/brand so he will suggest only the units that work well with it.

2. How far can it detect remote car starting?

This is definitely one important factor to consider when buying one. It should be able to cover enough distance for you to comfortably remotely start your car. As a start, it is best to know how far your parking is to the farthest point of your home and make that your minimum distance range when shopping for a unit.

3. How is its RPM monitoring?

A good system should constantly be monitoring your car’s RPM to avoid over-revving the engine. This also safeguards that your vehicle will actually start once you start it.

4. Is it high-quality?

You may be tempted to buy the cheapest one, but you should make sure that it is also of quality or else you are just wasting your money on something that won’t last. Make sure you do thorough research on the brand you are getting. Also, it is good to check on its warranty policy so you know if there is offered free service or replacement should you get a unit that is defective.

5. What other features does it have?

There are basic remote starters, but also models that have additional features like added security alarms and parking light flash. Ask yourself what works for you so you know what to get, just bear in mind that units that have add-ons can be a bit pricier.

Installing Your Remote-Start System

Installing a remote car starter into your car is quite easy, but it needs technical know-how. If you are not knowledgeable on your car’s engine or how it works, it is advisable to seek help from a professional technician as there are electrical works involved.

If you have some electrical background and think that you can do the installation yourself, feel free to do so. Most units come with instructions, just make sure to follow it very carefully so as not to mess with the engine. Also, it is best to check first if your car’s battery is disconnected before doing any work.

Installation may take a little over an hour or longer depending on who is doing the work. If you get an experienced person to do it, expect the work to be done the shortest time possible. Either way, you have to allot time for installation to make sure everything is in place and working. You do not want to end up with a non-working unit or a faulted one just because you scrimp on the installation time.

Debunking the Damage Myth

The main concern of people who are new with remote car starters is if it will damage their vehicles. It sure is a major concern and a legitimate one at that. You do not want to install something that will only ruin your car’s performance over time, or worst put your safety at risk.

Most cases of damage come when the unit is not properly installed or you got a cheap knock-off that does not work as it should be. This is why it is not only important to get a brand that is known to be of quality and reliable, but also have a professional install it to avoid any untoward incidences.

5 Best Remote Car Starters You Can Consider Buying

Here, we will help you narrow down your choices for remote car starters as we list down five models you would want to check should you find yourself looking for one. We provided a short description below and weigh in on their pros and cons as well to give you a better view of what each product offers. We hope this will help you decide if any one of them is indeed the best remote car starter for you.

1. Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote

One of the cheapest remote car starters you can find, the Avital 4103LX is a good alternative for those who want a basic unit. Distance for remote start, although not as far wide as other systems, is already good enough for home-to-parking use. You should be able to remotely start your car effortlessly from any point of your house.

Another thing that people love about this is the key size. The remote is very compact and light, great for those who do not carry bags all the time as it can easily slid in jeans or short pockets without the bulkiness.

It also comes with the Panic mode, which is a simple, but necessary, an add-on for your vehicle’s security. It will put out a sound alarm and flash your parking lights should anyone jump in on your car.

It also has a Valet mode that disarms the alarm, and a Valet take-over feature that keeps your car running for a few minutes even the key has been dislodged.

Things We Liked

  • Affordable
  • System works well
  • Lasts for a very long time

Things We Didn't Like

  • The unit came with a very minimal installation instructions
  • Requires additional parts or module

2. Avital 3100LX 3-Channel Keyless Entry Car Alarm with Remotes and Failsafe Starter Kill-Set

The Avital 3100LX unit does exactly what it says—it is a remote car starter and can open and lock doors in a push of a button. If these are the only functions you are looking for, then this is one model you can consider. It is very affordable and its system works great.

The remote is light so it is very easy to carry around. Compared to other brands, installation for this system is quite easy and can be self-installed if you know your way around your car’s engine.

Things We Liked

  • Easier to install compared to other remote systems
  • A great beginner remote car starter since it is very affordable
  • Simple to use

Things We Didn't Like

  • Remote-start range is not very good
  • Remote is cheap-looking

3. Directed Electronics Inc 5906P Responder SST 2-Way Security and Remote Start System

If you are not tied to a budget, Directed Electronics Inc 5906P is a system that you can consider since it packs a lot of additional features. Aside from its 1-mile remote range, it can also check your car’s temperature and activates defroster.

The defroster feature is extra helpful for those living in areas with low temperature and experience a lot of snow. In addition, it has Smart Start technology that lets you control the unit using your mobile phone, which means you can start your car even if you are in other city or state just as long as you have cell service.

Directed Electronics Inc 5906P also has a proximity sensor for added security and parking meter timer feature so you will never have to miss your parking limit again.

Things We Liked

  • Comes with security alarm
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Can resist heat and moisture

Things We Didn't Like

  • Price is higher compared to other remote car starter systems
  • No instruction manual

4. Viper 4706v 2-Way LCD Remote Start System

Made by a well-known brand, this remote-starter system is one option for those looking for units that have two-way remote controls. The Viper 4706v has a remote with priority icons and one that has an LCD screen. Icons are mapped out according to their critical use, which makes it a lot easier to use.

This model also offers an active temperature check that lets you know the temperature (Fahrenheit or Celsius) inside your vehicle. This feature ensures that you get your desired coolness or warmth even before you start your drive.

If you need additional time to get to your ideal car temp, you can easily do it by doing a Runtime Reset.

Things We Liked

  • Works flawlessly even in long distance
  • Reasonable price for a 2-way remote-starter
  • User-friendly

Things We Didn't Like

  • Does not come with manuals, thus you need to hire a professional to install
  • Lacks security system

5. AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

For those with a little extra money to spare, you may want to check out AVITAL 5303L remote car. This mid-priced system comes in with a number of additional features. Aside from the usual temperature check, motion sensor, and panic mode features, it also equipped with multi-level security arming that lets you choose alarms to be made active or bypassed.

This is a good option so you can customize the security settings according to where you are and how long you will be putting your vehicle in remote start.

Editor Rating:

AVITAL 5303L also has a dual shock sensor that lets you adjust your system’s sensitivity to lessen false warnings and alarms. This is actually a nice and useful add-on so you don’t find yourself waking up at night just to see a cat or something unthreatening moving around your car.

The remote is also very light and compact, making it easy to slip in your bag or pockets. Added to that, the system comes with a two-way LCD remote and a one-way button remote. All buttons are placed strategically for easy navigation.

Things We Liked

  • Price is fair for its features
  • Has excellent security features
  • Available in a user-friendly design

Things We Didn't Like

  • Remote battery drains quickly
  • Limited distance range compared to other models in the same price range


All in all, the best remote car starter depends on what you want out of the system. If you want an extra layer of security, then buying a basic unit won’t be enough. You need to be a responsible buyer, which means that you should carefully evaluate the possibilities in the marketplace. Rely on the reviews of other people. Pay attention to the technical details and research about what the specifications meant. Best of all, do not be tempted to choose one product only because it is cheap.

If I had to choose between the five products above, I would go for AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System because of its added security features. It is nice to know that my car is well protected while it is in remote-start. The added layer of security will give me peace of mind especially when I keep my car running when doing small and quick errands. Its price is also a determining factor. It is not cheap, but won’t break the bank. I can say that this unit is definitely value for money and a great option for those wanting to add remote car starter in their vehicles.

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