If your vehicle doesn’t have a remote starter system, it’s worth considering adding an aftermarket one for the convenience and security it offers.
Remote starters are standard on most newer vehicles because of the many benefits they provide, including:
- Warming up and cooling down your vehicle to make it comfortable depending on the weather
- Ability to use your smartphone as a control for your car
- Adds additional security for your car
- Adds resale value to your vehicle
If your vehicle didn’t come with a remote starter, don’t worry because adding one is easy and inexpensive, and we look at how you can do that right now.
Cost of a Remote Start System
An aftermarket remote starter is like any other aftermarket product in that they range in price depending on the features you want. A basic remote start system can be purchased for as little as $99, but that only gets you remote start and maybe unlocking capabilities. However, if you want more bells and whistles like additional FOBs, longer range, a smartphone app, etc., prices can go up to $300, which still isn’t bad.
However, the cost of the unit itself is only half the equation when determining the overall cost of a remote starter installation. Next up, we look at putting the starter in yourself versus having a professional do the job.
Installing a remote starter system yourself is the cheapest option since all you’re paying for is the cost of the remote start system and not the labor. While you may have a few extra expenses such as tools and electrical tape, these are insignificant and won’t add much to the total cost.
However, installing a remote starter isn’t for everyone; people who aren’t handy or don’t enjoy working on vehicles are likely to have a rough go at installation. And while there’s a wealth of information online and tutorials one can follow, these jobs are best left to people with a little ‘know how’ because of the potential to damage your vehicle’s electrical system if you get something wrong. Also, depending on the year in which your vehicle was purchased, you could invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty by installing a remote starter yourself.
So, if you’ve decided to do it yourself, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Make sure you get the necessary tools for the job and have them laid out before you begin. The last thing you want is to stop what you’re doing to hunt down or have to go buy the tool you need and break your concentration.
Make sure all of your electrical components are working before installation, so you don’t have to guess if the system you need went out because of your facility or if had been out before.
Most reputable aftermarket remote starters come with detailed instructions, however, if you get stuck, there are plenty of online video tutorials that should get you back on track.
If you’re not handy, or not familiar with electrical systems and don’t want to risk damaging your vehicle, the best way to get your remote start system installed is to take it to a dealer or to a professional. Having the job done by a professional ensures the job is done right and that all systems will be in working order. Also, many newer vehicles with anti-theft systems require those systems be bypassed when you install a remote starter which is best done by a pro with a working knowledge of a vehicle’s electrical system to ensure the installation doesn’t disrupt the anti-theft device.
So, how much will it cost? Well, the short answer is, it depends on your location and the shop doing the install.
As mentioned, the cost of the unit itself can run anywhere from $99 to $300 and more, which isn’t bad. However, the price jumps considerably when you take it to a dealer or pro because you have to pay for their labor.
Estimates vary from place to place, but in general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $199 to $699 for installation. But remember, that gets you a professional job that’s done right, and sometimes the work is warranted for a period.
A remote starter is a superb device that no driver today should be without; it offers security and convenience. And the good news is you can purchase one for very little money and put it in yourself if you know what you’re doing or are good at following directions. However, for best results, take it to a dealer or a pro to ensure no damage is done to your electrical system, your vehicle warranty remains intact, and everything works for the best result.