Best Remote Car Starters 2019 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Starting your car when it is cold out is not a pleasant task. Getting into a warm car that is already running with the heater on is much nicer. Either you can talk someone else into starting your car or you can install a remote car starter. Remote car starters come in various models with a wide variety of available features. We’ll compare several of those different models and provide you with some advice on how to shop for the best model to fit your needs.

Top Rated Best Remote Car Starters Reviews

Avital 4105L Avistart Remote Start

One of the top name brand manufacturers of remote starting and auto alarm systems makes the Avital 4105 L Avistart Remote Start system. This model sets the average price and a solid median standard for the reviews included in this list.

The one-way communication system of this starter is what keeps its price low. You get a range from between 200 and 500 feet with this starter. It includes two 4-button key fobs with lock/unlock, trunk pop and starting. Also featured is a virtual tack system to monitor your vehicle’s voltage. This unit, like most Avital units, uses XCR onboard relays and is expandable with other Avital components.

This is a good entry-level remote starter at an affordable price, but it is only one way, so you will want to be able to see that your car started, because you will get no response signal.

Pros:

• Quality built system with two 4-button key fobs.
• Decent range.
• XCR onboard relay and expandable with other Avital components.
• Virtual tack system.
• Affordably priced.

Cons:

• One-way communication.
• Instructions and customer support are lacking.

Compustar CS4900-S (4900S) 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System

A higher level 2-way system at a budget-friendly price is the Compustar CS4900-S (4900S) 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System. The features on this unit and the fact that it is a trusted brand name make it worth careful consideration.

Two 4-button key fobs with lock/unlock, trunk and remote start are also included with this system, but includes the added convenience of two-way communication to let you know your car started or has been running for nearly 15 minutes, so you can get a move on. This unit has a range of 3000 feet, is diesel engine safe and works with automatic transmissions.

The affordability of this 2-way system makes it an attractive buy and it has sufficient features to justify its value, but it lacks expandability and only works with automatic transmissions.

Pros:

• Comes with 2-way communication.
• Quality built 4-button key fobs.
• 3000 feet range.
• Water-resistance.
• Affordable among 2-way systems.

Cons:

• Only works with automatic transmissions.
• Required blade is sold separately and not mentioned in instructions.

Compustar CS800-S 1-Way Remote Start

Compustar also makes a more affordable 1-way remote system. The CS800-S 1-Way Remote Start has the quality features you are looking for in an entry-level remote starter.

This system also comes with two 4-button key fobs with entry and starting applications, but on a 1-way communication system. Its range is 1000 feet, which is certainly adequate. It is compatible with diesel engines as well as gas engines. An added extra to keep in mind with this system is its smartphone connectivity feature.

The standout features of this remote starter system are its smartphone connectivity and diesel engine compatibility, each of which add plenty of value to its slightly higher than average price.

Pros:

• Quality, 4-button key fobs.
• Diesel engine safe.
• 1000 feet range.
• Smartphone connectivity.
• Still affordable.

Cons:

• One-way communication.
• Not many added features.

Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System

Another top name in remote starter and auto alarm systems is Viper. Their 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System is an integrated option with the top price point on our review list.

You get a 5-button LCD display transmitter along with a second, 5-button sidekick key fob, which features 2-way communication with your cars starting and alarm system. This system has a range of up to one mile. It features a lithium-ion battery with micro USB charging capabilities. You are able to monitor various vitals of your car using the 24 functions and it includes a D2D serial data port and is smartstart compatible among its wide range of features.

This is a pretty pricey system, but it does just about everything. If you are looking for an integrated system with both starting and alarm functions and car vitals monitoring, this unit is probably worth the money you will have to spend.

Pros:

• Quality built product from reputed brand name manufacturer.
• Integrated security and starting with 24 overall functions.
• Smartphone and D2D connectivity.
• 2-way communication with LCD display.
• Extreme range capabilities.

Cons:

• Expensive.
• Overloaded with features if you’re looking for something simple.

Viper 4105v 1-Way Remote Start System

Viper also makes an old style remote 1-way starter system that includes their quality design features. The 4105v 1-Way Remote Start System combines some new technology with its older style modeling.

This system includes two old style 4-button, 1-way transmitters with keyless entry and an auxiliary function to which you can add another feature. Its range is up to 1500 feet. You can safely use this system with fuel injected, diesel and hybrid vehicles if they are equipped with an automatic transmission. As with all Viper model systems, this one is also compatible with their SmartStart module that allows it to integrate with your smartphone.

In spite of being an old school 1-way starter system, this unit has a couple of pretty good features to keep it in consideration. It is a little bit pricey for what is offered, but it is a name brand product with a reputation for quality.

Pros:

• Safe to use with fuel injected, diesel and hybrid vehicles.
• Auxiliary channels can be programmed for additional functions.
• Compatible with most factory security systems.
• Utilizes clone-safe, code-hopping security technology.
• SmartStart compatible.

Cons:

• Pretty expensive for a 1-way system.
• Only works with automatic transmission vehicles.

Viper 4806V 2-Way LED Remote Start System

Viper’s 2-way remote starter systems with added auto alarms are among the best, but these two models leave off the alarm system. The Viper 4706v and 4806v systems are virtually the same except for their transmitters.
The transmitters included with this unit are two 5-button LED transmitters with 2-way communication capacity and a range of up to one mile. Featured with this system are visual LED commands and engine-temperature checking technology. Its auxiliary buttons can also be programmed for expandability and it is SmartStart compatible as well.

This is a pretty solid system if you really aren’t into all of those extra monitoring features. If you are, then you want to take a closer look at the 4706v.

Pros:

• Quality built product from reputed brand name manufacturer.
• Starting and keyless entry with expandable auxiliary buttons.
• Smartphone connectivity.
• 2-way communication with LED response display.
• Extreme range capabilities.

Cons:

• Expensive.
• Lacks monitoring features, which you can have with the 4706v for not a lot more money.

Viper 4706v 2-Way LCD Remote Start System

Viper’s 2-way remote starter systems with added auto alarms are among the best, but these two models leave off the alarm system. The Viper 4706v and 4806v systems are virtually the same except for their transmitters.

This system also comes with two remote starter key fobs, but one of them has an LCD display screen for monitoring car systems with two-way communication. The range on this starter system is one mile. Included features are a lithium-ion battery with micro USB charging capabilities. You are able to monitor various vitals of your car using the 24 functions and it includes a D2D serial data port and is smartstart compatible among its wide range of features. Using its auxiliary function, it allows for a auto alarm system to be added at a later time.

This is a pretty pricey system, but it is set up for compatibility with an auto alarm system that can be added later. If you are looking for a system with both starting and car vitals monitoring, this unit is probably worth the money you will have to spend.

Pros:

• Quality built product from reputed brand name manufacturer.
• Starting and monitoring with 24 overall functions.
• Smartphone and D2D connectivity.
• 2-way communication with LCD display.
• Extreme range capabilities.

Cons:

• Expensive.
• Overloaded with features if you’re looking for something simple.

Avital pairs up with Directed Electronics to put together a package deal which includes its 5305L 2-Way Remote Starter System and DE’s DB3 auto alarm system. This integrated package is surprisingly affordable.

The package starts with a 5-button LCD display remote transmitter along with an LED remote transmitter with 2-way functionality and range extending IR remote technology. The Avital portion of the package includes cabin temperature monitoring and control and anti-hotwiring security. It includes smartphone connectivity as well. The alarm system has an anti-false alarm function that makes it a much friendlier option your neighbors will appreciate.

This system has some nice extras and is built by a well-reputed manufacturer. With the two systems together, you are getting a pretty decent value to price ratio.

Pros:

• Quality built name brand product.
• 2-way communication with LCD and LED transmitters.
• Cabin temp monitoring.
• Quality security functions.
• Smartphone connectivity.

Cons:

• Not as many monitoring systems included as comparable Viper models.
• Complicated installation with poor customer support.

Remote Car Starters FAQs

Most people are unfamiliar with remote car starting systems unless they already have a factory-installed version in their car. Consequently, there are a lot of questions to be answered when it comes to remote car starters. Here are some of those questions and answers.

Why do you need a remote car starter?

If snow and freezing temperatures are the norm where you live, this is one question to which you have a ready answer. Remote car starters allow you to start your car while enjoying indoor comfort and allow you to enter a warm car when you go outside.

How do remote car starters work?

If you have or know someone who has an auto alarm system on their car, you already understand how a remote car starter is possible. By connecting a box to your car’s ignition switch and other components of its startup system, you can send a unique frequency radio signal from a handheld unit, which will activate those systems and start your car.

What is the difference between one-way and two-way remote car starters?

A one-way remote starting system sends a signal from your handheld unit to start your car, and that’s pretty much it. However, a two-way unit allows you to send a similar signal to start your car, and then the starter system will send a signal back to your handheld unit letting you know that the procedure was successful. People often pass up two-way starters for cheaper one-way starters and later regret the decision when they walk out to a cold car, which they assumed was running.

Can you install your own remote car starter?

On some models, installing a remote car starter is fairly simple, but on others it can become an expensive nightmare. Generally speaking, unless you really know what you’re doing, you’re probably better off allowing a professional to do the installation.

What are bypass modules?

The device that allows the remote starter’s signal to start your car is a bypass module device. They are a necessary component in the majority of remote car starter installations. What they do is trick the car’s anti-theft ignition system into thinking that there is an actual key in the ignition when you press the start button on your key fob. If you have someone else install your remote starting system, make sure that the installation of a bypass module is part of the deal.

Remote Car Starters Mini-Buyer’s Guide

When selecting a remote car starting system for your car, there are several different features and benefits to keep in mind. You can use them as a standard of comparison between various models in order to narrow down your selection to the one that best suits your needs.

One-way or Two way

Remote starter systems are basically just like a pager. Either type will send a signal for your car to start with the same level of efficiency. However, the advantage of a two-way pager is the fact that you receive feedback about whether or not your car was actually started. This feature costs a little bit more, but that cost might not seem so bad the first time you go out to get into a car you thought was already running and warm.

Range

This is one way various manufacturers try to make their remote starting system appear more valuable when compared to their competitors’ units. Obviously, you want your unit to have sufficient range to reach from inside your house to where your car is parked curbside. It’s also not a bad idea to have enough range for it to reach from your office to your parking place at your workplace. However, some systems exaggerate the range of their starters to lengths that are beyond reason in order to catch your attention. Who is going to start their car from a mile away, and then walk to it?

Keep in mind that range can be limited by obstacles and product manufacturers have a tendency to exaggerate the range of their systems based on ideal conditions, which might not exist in real world application.

Installation

Whether you are going to install the system yourself or have someone else do it for you, ease of installation is an important feature. An easy to install system will save time for you or a professional installer, which in the end reduces the cost and/or headaches involved in the installation process. Keep in mind that self-installation sometimes effects whether or not a product’s warranty is honored and might even effect the warranty on your car.

Programming

The convenience of being able to program starting your car is a feature that sets some remote starting systems apart from others. This feature is particularly valuable if you leave at the same time on a daily basis and sometimes forget to press that start button before you have to rush out the door. Another useful programming feature is the ability to set a specific, unattended time limit that your car will run before it shuts off, just in case you get held up getting out the door.

Engine Sensors

Basic engine sensors are an essential element in remote car starting systems. Engine sensors allow the starting system to recognize when the engine has started and is running so that it does not continue to try to engage the ignition and damage your engine and ignition system. However, some units come with more advanced engine sensors that provide you with feedback on specific RPM levels and shut off your car automatically if RPM levels become too high.

Additional Features

Remote starter systems can also provide a variety of additional functions, if those functions are provided for in the system or the system is expandable to be able to include them. Some of the common features to look for are:

• Alarm systems.
• Trunk or door unlock.
• Window defrosting.
• Lights.
• Temperature control.

Keep in mind that the greater number of additional features your remote car starting system includes the more complicated it will be to install, you run a greater risk of malfunctions, and you will have to provide space for more modules.

Conclusion

It takes little to convince those who live in cold weather climates of the value of remote car starters. Getting into a warm car when it’s cold outside is incentive enough. However, selecting the best remote car starter to fit your needs can be a challenge unless you are familiar with the various features available. Our reviews and buyer’s guide have provided you with all the information you need to make an informed choice as you shop for a remote car starting system for your car.