A remote car starter can offer both convenience and a sense of safety to your daily commute. But figuring out which brands are worthwhile and installing them can be a bit time-consuming. Luckily, we organized and list of the top seven most popular car starters and ranked them. Read on if you want to know which one is the best.
Anyone who lives in a cold climate with regular snow seasons knows the pain of starting the car and waiting fifteen or more minutes for everything to thaw properly. You cannot leave the car with the keys in the ignition because they might get locked in or stolen. As such you need to wait patiently in the freezing car until it is ready. Luckily, the addition of a remote car starter to your vehicle can solve this problem. With a remote car starter, you can turn your car from your house, let it warm up and then get inside when you are ready.
Or, on a hot summer day, you can turn the car on and wait for the air conditioning to cool everything down a little before entering. Also, many car starters feature additional security features. If you are interested but do not know where to start, then you came to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through which car starter brands offer the best reliability, as well as some basic tips for installing them in your car. But first, let us take a look at how we select the best possible car starters for this list.
How We Rank the Car Starters on this List
We rate the car starters on this list by looking at three distinct areas for each brand’s product. Specifically, we look at the product’s usability, ease of installation and price. For each of these areas, we ask a series of questions that help us determine the pros and cons associated with each product. Based on these strengths and weaknesses we rank the car starters using a five stars system. Here are some of the questions we consider when assigning a score:
- Usability — Is the product intuitive, or does it take a while for you to understand it? How long will it last? Does it come with any added features?
- Ease of Installation — How hard is the product to install? Can you do it yourself? Or does the dealer require professional installation?
- Price — How much does the product cost? Does the quality justify this price? Is the car starter a good deal?
Top Seven Best Car Starters
Here are some of the top selling car starter currently on the market. We ranked them from best to worst.
1) Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote
With the Avital, you can do everything you would expect from a car starter system — remote panic mode, remote start, trunk control — as well as more. The included valet mode allows you to keep the security system disarmed and enable the car to remain running even after you remove the key. The system utilizes an A-D converter which is much more energy efficient than the standard tachometer wire. In addition to being an all-around solid product, the starter also holds one of the best values on this list — one system with two remotes only costs fifty-five dollars.
The biggest drawback with the Avital system is that you need to get it professionally installed. While this might be a deterrent for some do-it-yourself enthusiasts, we see it as a potential benefit. Many of the problems associated with some of the systems at the bottom of this list come from confusing guides or lack of video instruction for installation. As such, this method at least removes a lot of potential for error that might occur with installing a car starter by yourself.
2) Compustar CS4900-S (4900S) 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 3000-ft Range
If you prefer installing the car starter yourself, then we believe that the Compustar CS4900-S might be the best option for you. Though it is a little more expensive than Avital, it comes with everything you need to wire in the remote car starter system by yourself. You can remotely start the vehicle from a distance of three thousand feet. Another cool feature includes smartphone access. You can lock or turn on your car with the help of the Compustar drone app. While the starter does work with any diesel engine, you should be aware that the system only works with an automatic transmission.
At eighty-four dollars the Compustars represents a good median between the upper-end starters and some of the cheaper model. We should note that installing the system is still very difficult and you should only attempt it if you are confident that you can complete it. For some experienced installers, the experience took over twelve hours. However, you can still get a professional mechanic for installing it. If you install it yourself, then make sure you get either a bypass or a blade.
3) Crimestopper RS7-G5 Cool Start 2-Way Remote Start System
The Crimestopper car starter looks a lot like the previous model, but the main difference is that one of the remote pagers comes with an LED screen. This screen allows for some interesting features — like setting limits on your distant start time. AS the name suggests, this product puts a heavy emphasis on the security features associated with car starters. As such, the trunk pop features, remote panic mode and remote unlock all play a substantial role.
Though the Crimestopper RS7-G5 claims to fit into every car, it works best with vehicles that hold large ignition wires that pass between high current ignition switch ignition. We also believe that installing this model is more streamlined than a lot of other products on this list — though you will still need to be savvy to the intricacies of automotive electrical wiring. Like the Compustar, the Crimestopper costs eighty-three dollars (a saving of one buck!).
Unfortunately, they did not make the product correctly. Many customers reported issues with the two-way remote included — the one with the LED screen. However, this issue seems to be frequent among all the LED controls. While the remote will still turn on, it loses all its connections and will not interact with the system. This issue is not a universal problem, but it is something we recommend you be aware of before buying.
4) Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System
If you want long range usage over affordability, then you should go with the Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security system. However, we should note that the Viper car starter remains one of the more expensive models on this list. One arrangement with one remote control starter costs two hundred and forty-five dollars. However, while the Viper is no doubt a quality product, we cannot find enough added benefits to justify this price increase.
Added features like the remote temperature checker allow you to check on the heat in your car before going out to it. That way, if it is snowing or sunny, you can be sure the vehicle is ready without even leaving the house. The system also works at a range of a mile — roughly two thousand feet more than most models on this list. So, if you do not mind paying the price increase for the increased range, then the Viper is not the worst choice on the menu.
But, keep in mind that many people reported that the LED remote stopped working after a while. What is worse, customers note that Viper’s warranty is a nightmare so getting a replacement can be hard or impossible. Considering the Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security system is one of the more expensive products on this list, we think all the parts should work above and beyond the call of duty.
5) BANVIE 1-Way Car Security Alarm System with Remote Engine Start to Warm Car
Overall you can think of the Banvie as a cheaper version of the Viper. One system with two starters costs around fifty-five dollars. Unfortunately, this price reduction comes with some significant setbacks regarding the installation. The installation process for the device is not natural, and the manufacturer does not do any favors regarding making it more accessible. For example, the system does not include a bypass so you will need to order one separately.
But, installing a separate bypass means that you cannot use the included remote. On top of this issue, the instructions were translated from a different language poorly making them quite difficult to discern during the installation process. Many users had minor but annoying hiccups after they installed the device into their car. For example, one individual’s car would go off into panic mode every time the user turned on the car via remote start. While some of these problems might come down to user error, we believe a lot of the blame lies with the Banvie company.
6) EASYGUARD EC002-NS PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System Remote Start Starter
Easyguard is another one of the high-quality luxury brands available on this list. Like the Viper, the Easyguard teeters on the expensive side — with one comprehensive system costing one hundred and forty-five dollars. However, unlike Viper, this product contains some cool features not included with the other seats. These features include things like the shock sensor alarm and the analog keypad. However, the DIY enthusiast will need to look elsewhere — the system requires professional installation.
When you couple this with the initial high cost, then the Easyguard can quickly become one of the most expensive options. Considering this fact, you would think that all the pieces that arrive would be of sure how quality. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case.
For many individuals, the product came slightly used or damaged. What is more, the material used — like the aluminum coating of the central console, or the fragile switches — all feel like they will break at the slightest misuse. If you drop the remote control device, then you can almost be sure that it will no longer work.
7) CarBest Vehicle Security Paging Car Alarm 2 Way LCD Sensor Remote Engine Start System Kit Automatic
The CarBest car starter remains at the bottom of our list because it does not provide much flexibility — both in the features included and in the installation method. Like some of the products on this list, the CarBest requires professional installation for use. Unfortunately, even with a professional installation, the product still comes with glaring issues.
Often the security features refuse to work. Some people even had their windows broken, and the alarm system still did not go off. This error comes from a faulty shock sensor associated with the product which will not recognize any shockwaves from the impact. Considering you paid for an added security method, it makes no sense to add a shoddy device to your vehicle.
What is more, even if the car starting system works when you install it, it will likely not stay that way. Many people reported that after three to six months, the product stopped working entirely. As such, we cannot recommend this product to anyone. Instead, go with one of the options located higher up on this list.
Car Starter Buyer’s Guide
Shopping for a car starter is usually pretty easy since they all include a lot of the same base features. However, there are some considerations you should know about before your purchase. Things like the distance at which the remote start works and add-on features like a keypad or temperature check can make life, even more, more comfortable when you buy a car starter. It is also essential that you decide whether you will get the car starter professionally installed, or if you want to attempt the process yourself. Installing an electrical system into a car is not an easy task, so you should be aware of precisely what it entails. To give you a general idea, we included the basic outline of the installation process. Go over it and see if you can understand all the instructions before proceeding.
The first step for installing the car starter is deciding which features you want to include. Some aspects like the remote car start will require additional connections than merely establishing the base security system. Once you determine which elements you want to wire, then take out the negative terminals and panels from the car battery. This step will ensure that you do not get electrocuted during the installation process. Next, you should remove the panels on top of the dashboard.
Now you can access the entire wiring system of the car. Next, find the central processing unit within the cavity. Now, glue the new car starter to the group underneath the panels — make sure that you secure it properly. Next wire the features from the system that you want to use. You will need the manual for this step, but make sure that the cable you connect with electric tape. Leave four inches for connecting the end of the wire.
It can also help simplify things if you use color wired for each of the different features included. After you label the wires, strip some of the plastic material with wire strippers. Next, remove the wires on the car starter system itself. Once the exposed strips of wire are ready, you will need to smolder them together. Once you smolder, all the cables use electric tape to secure the new connections.
During this process, you will want to make sure that the central black wire remains firmly grounded in the main console unit. Once you make the connections reconnect it to the negative terminal in your car. Then, test the links and make sure that everything works well. Congratulations! You successfully installed a remote car starter.
We hope this article helped you find the best remote car starter for your needs. While there are lots of products out there, they do not all offer the same regarding features, ease of installation and overall value. We do not think you can go wrong with items included within the first half of the list — but beware of certain brands. The manufacturers do not make all remote car starters equally. We also recommend that you make sure you know what you are doing if you install the car starter yourself. Otherwise, you may damage the product or your car. Good luck during your shopping process!