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How to choose the best remote starter

The imminent arrival of winter presents a dilemma for many Canadian drivers: choosing the best remote starter for their vehicle. It’s important to understand your needs and make sure you rely on qualified experts for a seamless installation.

With the cold winter months inching closer to us, the idea of a warm, frost-free car is a good reason for taking the plunge and invest in a remote starter. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

The importance of signal range

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 main entrance?

Have you answered yes to any of these questions? If so, consider installing a remote starter with a long signal range.

The maximum distance your vehicle can be from the actual remote control is determined by the signal range. If you have to park in a large parking lot or far from work, a long range would be ideal. Doors, walls and windows are obstacles that can impact the signal quality and reduce the range.

Two-way remote starters range from 250 to over 900 metres, depending on the model you choose. Whereas a one-way remote starter has a wide range of up to 900m.

Lastly, you can rely on a smart starter even when several kilometers away from your vehicle – as long as you have access to reliable a cellular network.

Avoid a DIY mishap

Though it may seem easy to some, installing a remote starter requires knowledge of electronics and specialised equipment. If the idea of using a soldering iron or a digital multimeter seems foreign to you, enlist the expertise of a trusted technician!

Liability damage, personal injury or compromising your vehicle’s electronic system are some examples of what the outcome of an improper installation would be. To make matters worse, car insurance companies are much more likely to deny all coverage in the event of an accident claim.

Thus, we strongly recommend leaving the installation of such a device to experienced technicians like those at your local VitroPlus location.

What are the pros of a remote starter?

Pros of a remote starter:

  1. Warm up your engine with the click of a button. Ensure a gentle wake-up call for crankshafts, pistons and pumps numbed by sub-zero temperatures.
  2. Efficiently demist the inside of your windshield which prevents it from becoming brittle from temperature variations, without draining the battery too quickly.
  3. Standing in the cold to scrape snow and ice off your windshield and windows will be a thing of the past!
  4. If you’ve made the switch to an electric car, have peace of mind knowing that there is no environmental impact. The use of battery power on a plug-in vehicle is limited and in turn will improve system efficiency by preheating the battery.

Is it safe to use a remote starter?

Some may think that there is a risk of theft when using a remote starter. However, if a remote start is activated, as soon as a door is opened, the engine will automatically shut off. Therefore, there is no risk associated when using this feature. On the other hand, if your remote control can also unlock doors, the signal emitted could be intercepted and hacked by certain electronic equipment.

Which is why it is recommended to keep your car keys away from a house entrance or to keep them in a metal box to avoid signal interception.

What are the different types of remote starters?

Certified VitroPlus technicians follow a continuous training program to stay abreast of new technologies.

Remote starters are available in a variety of models to better suit your needs.

One-way remote starter

A one-way remote starter allows you to start your car’s engine with a single button. A small device is installed in the engine and paired with a remote control.

Upon starting, a signal is sent to the starter module installed in your car and starts the engine. If looking for additional features, certain models will be more costly and have an impact on the installation price:

– Additional remote control

– Locking and unlocking the doors

– Trunk release

– 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)

 Two-way remote starter

Similarly, to a one-way remote starter, a bi-directional remote starter receives additional information from your vehicle. This includes interior temperature, battery status, whether the doors are locked or not and whether a door is not closed properly. A confirmation that the remote start has been activated will be received.

The transmitter also has other useful capabilities, such as displaying the time and acting as an alarm clock. As they are higher-end models, the transmitters for these devices are usually larger and have an LCD screen to clearly display information about your vehicle.

Smart Starter

A standard remote starter model with a remote control has a range of 50 metres. If looking for a longer range, consider having the remote control installed on your smartphone. With this option, you will be able to start your car from as far away as you’d like.

Forgot your keys and cellphone in your car? Simply have your partner unlock your car with their 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 VitroPlus, we offer 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), create mileage zones, set speed limits and much more.

Which are the different models available?

Here is a summary of the different types of remote starters so you can make an informed choice.

It is important to determine the pros and cons of each model. Depend on our qualified team of experts to help you select and install your remote starter. Find a VitroPlus location near you.