For many Canadian drivers, the arrival of winter presents a dilemma: choosing the best remote starter for their vehicle. It’s important to understand your needs and make sure it’s installed by qualified experts.
With the cold winter months upon us, the prospect of a warm, ready-to-run car is sometimes a good argument for taking the plunge and buying a remote starter. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.
Determining which starter power to choose
Here are some questions that may help you in your purchase:
– Do you park your car on the street?
– Do you have sheltered parking for your car?
– At work, do you park far from the front door?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider installing a remote starter with a long signal range.
The signal range determines the maximum distance your vehicle can be from the remote control. A long range comes in handy if you have to park far from work or in a large parking lot. Obstacles such as walls, doors and windows can affect the signal quality and reduce the range.
A one-way remote starter has a wide range of up to 900m. Two-way remote starters range from 250 to over 900 metres, depending on the model you choose.
Finally, you can use a smart starter even when you’re miles away from your vehicle – as long as you have access to a cellular network.
Can you install a remote starter yourself?
Installing a remote starter requires knowledge of electronics and specialised equipment, such as a soldering iron and a digital multimeter.
Improper installation could result in personal injury and liability damage or compromise your vehicle’s electronic and computer systems, not to mention the fact that car insurance companies will drop all coverage in the event of an accident claim.
It is therefore best to leave the installation of such a device to professionals – such as those in our team of technicians.
What are the advantages of a remote starter?
Benefits of a remote starter:
- Quick and efficient demisting of your passenger compartment – The ability to use a soft remote starter prevents the windshield from becoming brittle from temperature variations, without draining the battery too quickly.
- Snow and ice removal from the windshield – You won’t have to go out and scrape the windows.
- Early engine warm-up – Starting your car’s mechanics will be made easier by this gentle wake-up call for crankshafts, pistons and pumps numbed by the polar cold.
- No environmental impact for electric cars – On a plug-in vehicle, the use of battery power is limited. The whole system will be even more efficient if it is possible to preheat the battery.
Are remote starters safe?
If a remote start is activated, as soon as a door is opened, the engine automatically stops. There is therefore no risk of theft directly associated with the use of this feature. However, if your remote control also controls the unlocking of the doors, the signal emitted could be intercepted and hacked by certain electronic equipment.
For this reason, it is generally advisable not to keep your car keys near house entrances or to store them in metal boxes to avoid any possible hacking.
What are the main types of remote starters?
UniglassPlus’ certified technicians undergo a continuous training program to stay on top of new technologies.
Remote starters are available in a variety of models.
One-way remote starter
A one-way remote starter allows you to start your car’s engine with a single button. It consists of a small device installed in the engine and a small remote control.
When starting, the signal is sent to the starter module installed in your car and starts the engine. Some models come with additional features that can have a direct impact on the price of the device and its installation:
– Additional remote control
– Locking and unlocking the doors
– Trunk release
– Emergency call button (panic button)
– Valet mode (to disable the remote start function of your vehicle)
– Locator (activates the horn and flashes the headlights)
– Extended range (900 metres)
Bi-directional remote starter
Using a similar system, a two-way remote starter receives additional information from your vehicle such as interior temperature, battery status, whether the doors are locked or not and whether a door is not closed properly. You also receive confirmation that the remote start has been activated.
The transmitter also has other useful functions, such as telling the time and acting as an alarm clock. The transmitters for these devices are usually larger and have an LCD screen to clearly display information about your vehicle. These are high-end models.
The standard remote starter models with the remote control have a range of 50 metres. For an even longer range, you can opt for the remote control installed on your smartphone. This allows you to start your car from as far away as you like.
If you forget your keys and mobile phone in the car, your partner can unlock your car with his or her smartphone. A mobile application makes it possible to lock, unlock and start your vehicle from virtually anywhere. Advanced features also make it possible to limit the maximum speed and locate your vehicle.
At UniglassPlus, we have remote starters that work with our exclusive and free mobile application Auto360.
There are also models that allow you to start your car in advance according to the weather, locate your car (car theft), obtain detailed information about your car (door and trunk locks, among other things), create mileage zones, set speed limits and much more.
Comparison table of the different models
Here is a summary of the different types of remote starters so you can make an informed choice at a glance.
It is important to determine the pros and cons of each model. Rely on our qualified staff to help you select and install your remote starter. Find a UniglassPlus location near you.