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What is a Plug and Play Remote Starter?

by Brandon Woodring 01 Jul 2019
What is a Plug and Play Remote Starter? - 12Volt.Solutions

Remote starters are common on most new vehicles, but if your car didn’t come with one, you’re missing out on convenience and security. Consider the following benefits:

  • Starting your car on a cold morning without going outside and having it heat up so it’s comfortable, and the windows are defrosted when you’re ready to go.
  • Getting the air conditioner turned on when it’s blazing hot outside so you don’t burn yourself on the steering wheel or other hot interior components.
  • Finding your vehicle in a crowded lot among similar looking vehicles. 
  • Added security of a car alarm to protect your valuable vehicle from theft.

If your vehicle didn’t come with a remote starter from the factory, you’re in luck, because there are a variety of aftermarket systems to choose from at prices most people should be able to afford.

What Types Of Remote Starters Are Available?

Lucky for you, if you have a vehicle made within the last 10 years, there’s a good chance you can find a high-quality remote starter to work with it. While prices vary, you can go for something basic to fit a modest budget that gets you just remote start capability and little more, or you can opt for a model with all the bells and whistles that includes additional key FOBs, a long-range, LED screens, and smartphone capability. 

Plug and Play Remote Starters

If you want to get the benefits of having a remote starter but don’t want to pay a remote car starter dealer or a professional to install it, consider getting an aftermarket plug and play system for your vehicle. The advantages of a plug and play system are that they’re made for your specific vehicle and since that’s the case, don’t require a lot of wiring like a lot of the cheaper models do; this is ideal if you’re not handy or good at reading wiring schematics. Most experts say if your vehicle was made after the mid-2000s, you should have little trouble getting a plug and play system to install. Vehicles older than say, 2005, probably need an aftermarket starter, in which case you’ll either have to have it professionally installed or do it yourself if you’re comfortable.

plug and play remote start

How Much Does A Remote Starter Cost?

While prices differ, you can find a high-quality remote starter for $200-$300, but that doesn’t always include labor if you’re having it professionally installed. Also, the cost of your system depends on the features you want. If you want a basic, no-frills unit you can get one for under $100. However, if you’re spending the money, consider getting the best you can afford because the more features you get, the more useful and convenient the system will be.

What Features Should You Look For?

If you’ve taken the plunge into the world of remote starters, consider getting the best one you can afford with as many features as you can get. Features to look for are:

  • Transmitter Range: The transmitter range is important because it allows you to start, lock and unlock the car from a great distance. While you may say your car is always in the driveway, you might find yourself having to park way out in the parking lot at the mall, and having a way to start the car from inside is convenient when it’s cold or hot outside. Look for a transmitter that has a range of at least 800 feet and go for a 1-mile one if you can.
  • Engine Speed Sensor: A high-quality remote starter should sense the engine RPMs because if it doesn’t, the system doesn’t know if the engine is on or not. Sometimes, the engine won’t start the first time you hit the button. Without an engine sensor, you will think the car has started when it hasn’t. 
  • Two Way Remote: A two-way remote is better than one way because it tells you the vehicle has started, which is important if the vehicle does not turn on for whatever reason. 
  • LCD or LED Screen: Having a large, LCD or LED display allows you to see additional information about your vehicle including the inside temperature and how long the vehicle has been running. It can also alert you if you’ve left your door or trunk open.
  • Smartphone Capability: If you use a smartphone, getting a remote starter that allows you to check vehicle status and even start your car from your phone is a great feature.

As you can see, getting a remote starter for your vehicle isn’t as tough as you would think, especially if you have a plug and play system that requires little work to install. If you have a late model vehicle, finding a system that works should be no trouble at all.

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