Remote control starter systems have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, over a million are sold every year in North America alone and that number continues to grow. Remote start enables the ability to start your car without every having to enter your car. You could be in your house getting ready to go to work in the morning and want to have your car warmed up by the time you get to it. Or want the air conditioning blasting by the time you get back to your car that's been parked in the sun all day. With Remote Start, drivers get an added convenience and security feature to their car.

Some remote start systems operate using an independent remote, others use a smartphone interface. Some remote starts can work from long distance, while others require you to be within 100 feet of the vehicle to work. Many remote start systems need extensive wiring in order to integrated properly, while others only require a few changes. There are dozens of remote start systems with tons of features that flood the market today, how do you find the best? CarAudioNow has assembled a list of the Top Rated & Best Remote Car Starts that combine the best features on the market, in order simplify the search for a system.

Also check out CarAudioNow's Best Car Alarm Systems with integrated car alarm, keyless entry and remote start features - all in one!

Here is a list of 2017's top rated and reviewed car and truck remote starts to help you choose the best products for your vehicle:

Best Remote Start For Cars & Trucks | Top 6

Our RankRemote StartPaging TypeRangeSmartphone AppPrice
1Viper LC3 4706V2-WayOne MileYes$$
2Crimestopper RS7-G52-Way3000ftNo$$$
3Python 4806P2-WayOne MileYes$$
4Compustar CS4900-S2-Way3000ftNo$$
5Avital 4103LX1-Way1200ftNo$
6Code Alarm CA11531-Way1500ftNo$$

Best Remote Car Starter | How We Tested

In order to find the best Car Alarm System with Remote start, CarAudioNow has combined many reviews across the industry with first-hand tests. There are multiple criteria that we take into consideration when rating and reviewing each remote car start system, including:

  • Style (Looks, Design)
  • Display Type (LCD, Dotted, LCD Text, etc.)
  • Features (Range, Auxiliary Outputs, Trunk Release, 2-way Paging, etc)
  • Price
  • Quality (Materials used, manufacturer, etc)
  • Online Reviews (From multiple vendors such as Sonic Electronix, Crutchfield, Amazon and more)

The result from our combination of sources and testing is a list of the top rated and reviewed Remote Car Starters. And in addition to our compilation of best rated products, CarAudioNow also provides multiple comparisons of prices from vendors to try to get you the best price for all of your products. But in the end, the best remote start is one that meets your specific needs and is compatible with your car.

The Best Remote Car Starter List

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 2 Way Paging
- One Mile Range
- Rechargeable Remote
- Smartphone Smart Start Feature
- Keyless Entry

Price Comparison

Viper LC3 4706V Quick Review:

The Viper name has become synonymous with everything car security, including remote start, and the 4706V is the perfect example of why Viper has become a leading brand and provider for car security products. Innovative features like a rechargeable remote, a 1 mile working distance, SmartStart compatibility (a smartphone app that allows you to control your remote start from your phone), and even dual car integration (use the same remote to start two cars!) - the Viper 4706V is the top choice for remote control car starting systems.

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 2 Way Paging Remote
- 3000ft Range
- LCD Remote
- Keyless Entry
- Trunk Release

Crimestopper RS7-G5 Quick Review:

One of the more expensive remote start kits, this has an impressive list of functions and capabilities. Unlike many competing products, it works with manual transmission vehicles as well as automatics. Both gasoline and diesel engines are supported, as well as hybrid vehicles. Multiple programming functions mean it can be used on almost any make and model, including older vehicles.

The RS7-G5 combines two essential features: long range (up to 3,000') and 2-way operation, although this is only on the primary remote. The secondary or "sidekick" remote has a range of just 2,000' (still long enough for most users,) and lacks the 2-way function. There's no danger of picking up the wrong one as the primary has an LCD screen which displays visual confirmation that the requested action has been performed.
Keyless entry and remote trunk release functions are also available from the remotes, which will start two vehicles if both are equipped with the Crimestopper RS7-G5 system. The remote start module also has a data port terminal for connection to other systems. The kit includes the control module, a separate transmitter and all necessary wiring.

Pros: 31 programming functions simplify initial setup. Can start two vehicles. Programmable for both tach and tachless as well as hybrid tachless connections. (The source of the engine start confirmation.)
Cons: Expensive

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 2 Way Paging
- One Mile Range
- LED Remote
- Smartphone Smart Start Compatible
- Keyless Entry

Python 4806P Quick Review:

The Python (Directed Electronics) 4806P is an excellent choice for a remote start, and comes packed with all of the features you need - 2-way communication, LED remotes, one mile radius range, 4 auxiliary outputs for additional remote triggers and more. The only thing that the 4806P doesn't come standard with is SmartStart app for smartphones, but if you add Python's DSM200 or DSM250 module, you'll have full compatibility with their SmartStart app too!

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 2 Way Paging
- 3000ft Range
- 4-Button Remote
- Keyless Entry

Compustar CS4900-S Quick Review:

The CS4900-S combines a remote start with keyless entry. Range is up to 3,000', so you can start your car or truck while walking towards it, then unlock the doors as you get closer. A separate button pops the trunk or opens a power liftgate, making it easier to load up with groceries or other supplies.

Two remotes are include in the kit. One has full 2-way capability with LEDs that light to confirm the requested operation has been completed. The other is a back up 1-way remote without the ability to confirm the action.
The installation kit includes both key fob remotes along with the CM900 control module, a wireless receiver/transmitter and all the necessary wiring. The system works with diesel engines but is not suitable for manual transmission vehicles.

Pros: Good range, 2-way remote
Cons: will need to add an ignition key bypass for newer vehicles

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 1 Way Paging
- 1200ft Range
- 4-Button Remote
- Keyless Entry
- Turbo timer

Price Comparison

Avital 4103LX Quick Review:

Another 5 Star Remote Car Start, the Avital 4103LX comes complete with two remotes with dedicated aux outputs, keyless entry, dedicated trunk release, Superhet receiver for extended range (1500 ft), XpressKit compatibility and more. It has all of the necessities, however smartphone compatibility or add ons is missing. But if you're looking for an incredible value (a price around $50 bucks), the 4103LX is the unit for you.

Editor's Rating:

- Remote Car Start System
- 1 Way Paging
- 1500ft Range
- 4-Button Metal Clad Remote
- Keyless Entry

Code Alarm CA1153 Quick Review:

The Code Alarm CA1153 is another great unit. In addition to the standard features like keyless entry, 4 button remotes (2), auxiliary outputs and etc, what sets the CA1153 apart from other remote start systems is it's innovative unique features. With this Code Alarm, you have great and unique features like a starter interrupt feature which shuts down ignition during unauthorized use, ignition-activated door locks, a valet mode that overrides the alarm and more. And with a price tag around $70 bucks, it won't break the bank either.

What To Look For In A Car Alarm System

Car theft is one of the most common types of crime today. Whether it’s an iPod, cash, or the whole car – most people have had their cars broken into or know someone who has. It’s a terrible feeling to walk out to your car to find that your car has been broken into or stolen, especially when most peoples’ cars are a valued possession and a necessity for every day life. A car alarm could be the difference between a break in and a walk by. They are incredibly effective at deterring auto theft and break ins.

When you’re looking for the best car alarm for your vehicle, there are various features and systems to compare. Even though it’ll help to have any car alarm, knowing the difference between them and choosing the one that best fits your needs will maximize its effectiveness and keep your car secure at all times.

Common Terms & Features

There are many different types of car alarms, some with more standard features than the other. Knowing what type of feature is what will help you make an informed decision.

Keyless Entry – Keyless entry systems allow you to unlock your car doors by pushing a button on a remote. The remote connects with the alarm system to unlock/lock the car’s doors without the use of a key.

Remote Start – Remote start is a feature that enables you to start your car’s engine without actually being inside the car. You can use a remote or other device (depending on the unit) to remotely start your vehicle from hundreds of yards away.

Trunk Release – Trunk release is a form of keyless entry that is specific to remotely opening the trunk of your car. It enables you to open the trunk without unlocking the door from a remote. Sometimes you may want to just open up the trunk without necessarily opening up all of the doors, trunk release allows this.

Car Location – Car location is a form of panic button that gives you the ability to track down your car when you may not know exactly where it is. For example, you go to a concert, or a baseball game and don’t remember the exact row you parked in. The car location feature will turn the alarm noisemaker on so that you can follow the sound to find your car.

Two-Way Pager- Two-way pager alarms are those that not only send information from your remote to your car (like unlocking the door), they also receive information from your car. These types of alarms allow you to see in real time when an attempt to break in is happening, and alarm you from your remote when it happens. Some two-way pagers can work up to a mile away, giving you the confidence that your car is safe no matter where you might be.

Alarm Noisemaker – The alarm’s noisemaker is the most basic feature on a car alarm. It’s what makes noise when your car is being broken into in order to discourage the thief and draw attention to the car. Basically a loud speaker, the noisemaker is measured in decibels and the higher the decibels, the louder the sound.

Immobilizer – An immobilizer is a device that allows a vehicle from being started unless you have a key/remote that matches to the device. The key typically has a chip installed that communicates with the immobilizer in order to allow the car to start. This prevents thieves from being able start your car, even if they break into it.

Automatic Window Roll-Up – Automatic window rollup is a feature that will roll up the windows of the car after you have turned it off. Even though most of the time, you might be conscientious of your windows when you leave your car, the automatic window roll-up will automatically roll them up in the case that you forget.

Compatibility

Most of the aftermarket car alarms are compatible with any car, as long as it has a 12-volt system. However, there are some car alarms that don’t work with specific vehicles and it’s always best to check the alarm manufacturer’s website to check for compatibility.

Installing a Car Alarm System

You're invested in your car and you don't want anyone messing with it, or worse, taking it. That means it's time to fit an alarm. Maybe it didn't come with one from the factory, or perhaps you're looking to upgrade. Many modern systems include a very useful cell phone app. You could go to an installer and pay an arm and a leg, or you could do it yourself.

Car alarms are surprisingly easy to fit. In most cases the hardest part of the project is reaching the wiring harnesses beneath the steering column. That means sliding the seat all the way back, opening the door wide and twisting yourself into position! But so long as you're pretty flexible there's no good reason for not doing this job yourself.

Here we'll explain how to install a car alarm. Some alarms come with a remote starter. Alternatively, you may want to fit a separate starter kit. As the two projects are very similar, we'll cover how to install a remote car starter at the same time. The sections we'll go through are:

  • Whats in the box
  • Tools, materials and information
  • The mounting process

Whats in the box

The parts that come with an alarm depend on its specification. At a minimum you'll have:

  • Instructions for mounting
  • Control box
  • Siren
  • Starter kill relay
  • LED indicator
  • Shock sensor
  • Wiring harnesses
  • Keyring remotes etc.

Some of these might be combined into a single unit. The siren might be built into the shock sensor. You might also add other components. For example, an ultrasonic or RF proximity sensor will protect a convertible left with the top down.

Tools, materials and information

The single most useful thing to have is a wiring diagram for your vehicle. These are usually found in workshop manuals. This will tell you what color wires you're looking for and where they are. In addition, you will need:

  • Multimeter with test probes. This lets you see when a wire has power. A wire probe or test light will do the job too.
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pick tools
  • Electric drill
  • Wire strippers
  • Pliers
  • A strong light (a headlight device might be useful.)
  • Electrical tape
  • Cable ties

Depending on how you like to join wires, you may also use:

  • T-taps
  • Soldering iron
  • Heat shrink sleeving

Soldering is the best method because the last thing you want is a bad join. That will probably leave you unable to start your vehicle. However, T-taps can work if fitted with care.

The alarm mounting process

This splits into seven steps:

  1. Overview of the process
  2. Siren mounting
  3. Control box mounting
  4. Door and hood switch connections
  5. Other components
  6. Remote start
  7. Test

1. Overview of the process

Depending on how your alarm is designed you'll be mounting two or three main pieces. These are the siren, the controller and possibly a shock sensor. The siren goes under the hood with a wire fed through the firewall to the control box. The shock sensor needs mounting to a rigid surface. Under the kick panel, (the panel in front of the door,) is a good place. There may also be an LED to show when the alarm is armed.

The control box mounts close to the ignition wiring harness. That's best reached under the steering column. The controller goes here because you'll be connecting to three wires in the harness. These are: a 12V constant (always on,) the Ignition wire and the starter wire. The Ignition wire is live when the engine is running but the starter connection only comes on when you're cranking the engine. In addition, you'll need to provide a good ground.

Most alarms connect to the hood and trunk opening sensors. Consider adding these if your vehicle doesn't have them.

The steps for fitting a remote start are very similar to those for an alarm.

As with any electrical project on your vehicle, disconnect the battery before starting work. This prevents any short circuits.

2. Siren mounting

Find a solid mounting location under the hood. (The firewall is a good place.) Orient the siren so it points down to prevent water getting in. Drill mounting holes and fit the siren, then thread the wires through the firewall into the cabin. If the alarm instructions suggest a ground under the hood, make this happen.

3. Control box mounting

This usually goes under the steering column, near the fusebox and ignition wiring harness. If your alarm has a separate ignition kill relay mount this in the same place.

Remove the plastic trim panels, and also any metal brackets that may be in the way. (Check there are no airbags down here. They need careful handling!)

Join the wiring harness supplied with the alarm to the controller. Also connect the siren.

Now you need to decide which of the ignition harness wires to connect to. Even if you have a manual telling you what colors they are, check this with your multimeter. (You will need to reconnect the battery first!)

If making soldered joins, strip each wire and solder it to the appropriate wire from the alarm controller. (They'll be identified in the instructions.) Alternatively, make good connections with the T-taps. Cover these with electrical tape. Ensure any ground wire in the alarm harness is connected to the vehicle body.

Install the ignition kill relay, making the appropriate electrical connections.

Mount the control box and relay securely. These are usually small so can be cable-tied to the wiring harness.

4. Door and hood switch connections

You'll want the alarm to sound if the doors are opened. You do that by tapping in to the wires from the door switches. These are usually found behind the kick panels. The manual will indicate the wire color. Again, confirm you have the right wires with your meter.

Follow the instructions to join the alarm controller wires.

If you are linking to the hood and trunk switches, make those connections at the same time.

5. Other components

If your alarm system has a proximity sensor, LED indicator or other components, fit them now. Follow the instructions in the box. It's a good idea to hook in your lights to the alarm as flashing lights make it obvious which car is being broken in to. To do this, connect those wires to the controller as explained in the instructions supplied.

6. Remote start

The process for fitting a separate remote starter is similar to that for the alarm controller. It goes under the steering column and connects into the ignition harness. Use your multimeter to find the wires you need. These are the constant 12V, the cranking circuit, the running circuit, (sometimes termed “Ignition 1” and “Ignition 2”,) and the Accessories. As with the alarm controller, connect to these wires following the instructions supplied with the remote start kit.

7. Test

Before refitting the various trim pieces it's a good idea to test that the system works correctly. Reconnect the battery if necessary, then go through setting and activating the alarm. If you installed a remote start, check that operates as expected.

If you find any problems check that wires are all connected as shown in the instructions. Then make sure each connection is good. (Your multimeter will help.) Also check that you have a good ground. If the alarm still isn't working after doing this contact the manufacturer for support.

Go steady, don't rush

The thought of fitting an alarm system or a remote start can be pretty daunting but it shouldn't. It's a job someone with just a little experience of vehicle electrical systems can undertake. Start by reading the instructions thoroughly. Then get familiar with the system components and go slowly. In a couple of hours you'll be enjoying greater security and convenience.

Here's a great video for those who are looking into installing a remote car starter in their own vehicle:

14 Comments to “ 6 Best Remote Car Starter Units to Buy in 2018”

  1. Jerry says :Reply

    Biased “5 Best remote start units”
    Compustar Pro T11 has a 3 mile range

    I say biased because all of these products are made by Directed.
    Forgetting about Comustar and Fortin.

  2. David Wanner says :Reply

    I have a Toyota Corolla and I know some remote car starter but If you tell about some remote car starter please say.

    1. Samuel Douglas says :Reply

      Go back to 3rd grade English.

      1. Lynn says :Reply

        You are rude!

  3. Jenny says :Reply

    Hi: I have a 2007 Ford Edge with keyless entry lock and would like to have a remote starter installed. What would be the best remote starter to buy?
    Thanks for your help!

  4. Isaac says :Reply

    I have a 2011 Lexus GS 350 AWD, what is the best option? I heard that Lexus dealer options suck and to purchase an outside source.

  5. Jeffrey Foxworthy says :Reply

    What is the good, better, best optios for a remote starter on a 4 cylcinder, push button start, 2017 VW, Tiguan?

    Thank you

  6. Terry Wilson says :Reply

    I have a resto-mod 1982 dodge d150, anything appropriate for vehicle this old in remote starters?

    1. windog says :Reply

      this is easy relatively speaking. It does not have the security features of a modern car. the only concern would be the tach wire. I suppose you would have to find that wire or you could do what is called “virtual tach”. This wire will supply the necessary input to the starter to tell it when to stop cranking the starter. Otherwise the rest of the installation is as for other cars.

  7. Miguel Laylo says :Reply

    I have a 2014 hyundai santa fe sports. What kind or type of remote car starter is compatible to my car? Please reply. Thank you.

  8. Chip glaser says :Reply

    I have a ford ranger 2008 with manual windows and locks what is the best remote start for me?
    Thank you

  9. sarbjit says :Reply

    i have 2015 toyta corala le what is best remote control stater please tell me thanks

  10. Marissa says :Reply

    I have a 2008 Toyota Avalon Limited with push to start. What is the best recommended remote car starter for a car with push to start?

    1. CarAudioNow says :Reply

      Hello, we would recommend the Viper SmartStart VSS5X10 for OEM Push Start vehicles. You can find it here: https://www.caraudionow.com/product/viper-vss5x10/

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