5 Mistakes People Make When Buying a Remote Car Starter

Not Buying a Remote Car Starter with Enough Range

I use the word “range” all though I do not want to. Manufacturers have no choice but to put “500-foot range” or “3,000-foot range” on their packaging. It is super important to keep in mind that these are perfect numbers – in environments with no interference, no walls, no windows & no buildings to go around. In other words: In the middle of the desert!

Range is not very important to most people. Not many of our clients need to start their vehicles from more than 1,000 feet away. But almost everyone wants to start a vehicle from inside a building. That is where transmitter power becomes important.

Don’t shortchange yourself with transmitter range (power). You are going to use your starter in more places than your home or workspace. You will want to use it from the mall, sporting events, parking garages, hospitals, restaurants, etc. If in doubt, pay a little more to get a more powerful unit. There’s no worse feeling than walking towards your car to realize it never even warmed up!

Not Having your Remote Car Starter Professionally Installed

Professional installation is the key to a quality remote car starter experience. Don’t trust your vehicle to the lowest bidder! Remote starts involve complicated installs in today’s vehicles, so it’s important that the installation be done properly. One mistake can create thousands of dollars in damage not covered under your vehicle’s warranty.

I don’t say that to scare you off – a well trained professional can do the job correctly, avoiding costly mistakes & helping you maximize the enjoy ability of your new remote car starter. Also – a properly installed remote car starter won’t void your vehicle’s warranty, regardless of what your dealer says!

Don’t trust the install to your family or your local mechanic. You wouldn’t bring your vehicle to the local mobile electronics installer for an engine overhaul or transmission repair. Go to a specialist! Unless someone is a seasoned installer with real-world training & experience, they aren’t qualified to work on today’s vehicles.

Buying a Poor Quality Remote Car Starter

You can buy a remote car starter at the local auto parts store for $79.99. It comes with an instructional DVD that claims you can install it yourself. Don’t believe it – you probably can’t! These remote starters are usually of lower quality than the units that you would buy at a specialty retailer like Extreme Car Audio. In most cases, a quality manufacturer of remote car starters will require professional installation & frown upon over-the-counter sales. They know that the odds of failure decrease exponentially when a professional does the work.

The problem is that most people don’t know a high quality brand from a low quality brand when it comes to remote car starters. A good rule of thumb is to search out the best shop in your market. It’s a fair assumption that they will sell & install what they perceive as a high quality brand. If you trust the stop, you can trust their choice in the products that they carry.

Think about it this way: If that’s a good shop, they probably sell & install tons of remote starters. Do you think they would choose an inferior product, knowing that is would create all kinds of headaches for them? Probably not. Compustar Remote Car Starters at Extreme Car Audio, we proudly offer the Compustar brand of remote car starters. We invite you to browse Compustar remote car starters here.

Not Getting a Remote Car Starter with the Proper Feature Set

Remote car starters offer a lot of convenience options. Be sure to ask the right questions when buying your starter. Some models are simply what they sound like: a remote car starter, and nothing more. They start up and stop your vehicle from a distance. That might not be good enough for you. Others have multiple functions, ranging from keyless entry & trunk release to heated seats & rear window defrost.

A common mistake when considering options includes assuming that certain things might “just work” with the starter. For example, the rear window defroster will not just come on if you left it on. It’s on a latched output that resets when the power is shut off – that is, every time you turn off the vehicle. This feature has to be specifically added to almost all installs.

Another common mistake isn’t adding keyless entry on newer vehicles. On most new vehicles, the factory keyless entry doesn’t function when the vehicle is running. This mean that, when your vehicle is remote started & you walk up to it, the factory keyless won’t unlock the doors. You would have to use the key in the door (old school) or shut the car down with the remote starter, unlock is with the factory remote & then restart it with the key.

The solution is to choose a remote starter that incorporates keyless entry. A remote starter quipped with keyless entry will allow you to unlock the vehicle without having to shut down the car.

A quality shop can talk you though these options & make recommendations based on your needs. If you find a shop you trust, the rest is easy.

Buying a Remote Starter at One Place & Getting it Installed at Another

NEVER EVER buy a remote starter at one shop and have it installed somewhere else. That is the BIGGEST mistake you can make. You always want to have your starter installed at the very same place where you bought it. Most quality shops won’t install a remote starter that was purchased elsewhere. You will be left with the second & third-tier shops that might agree to do this.

If the place you are considering buying a remote starter doesn’t offer installation, don’t buy it from them.


A remote starter is an awesome addition to any vehicle. Use the tips in this blog post & the vast amount of information on our site about remote starters, & you are sure to make smart decisions. It’s not that difficult a decision when you are armed with the right information. Good luck!