Last updated on December 15th, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Why would anyone want a remote start? It seems like such a useless option.
Then, it’s summer and you walk four blocks in the sweltering sun, only to find that the interior of your car feels like a blast furnace when you open the door. With one of our recommended best remote starters, you could have started your car when you left the store and had the A/C blasting like a freezer by the time you got inside.
Or maybe it’s December and the snow just won’t stop falling, but you still have to go to work. Start your car from the kitchen with a remote car starter, and it’ll be warm as Grandmas house by the time you get down the driveway.
There are literally thousands of remote start systems on the market today. Prices vary from “Whoa, that’s cheap” to “OMG, who can afford that?” and every price point between. Identifying the best remote starter system for your car is a serious challenge. We did the hard work for you and narrowed the options down to only the best.
It should be noted that almost every installation will require additional components to function, but are vehicle-specific. Some remote start systems will require reprogramming of factory systems. Every remote start company out there recommends a professional installation. These systems involve complex wiring to function correctly. Improperly installed systems can malfunction in bizarre ways.
The following remote start systems are intended to provide remote start and other related features, but are not intended as a car alarm system. DIYers looking to add an alarm with remote start can check out CarAudioNow's Best Car Alarm Systems with integrated car alarm, keyless entry and remote start features – all in one!
Best Remote Car Starters List
Viper LC3 4706V Quick Review
The Viper 4706V has been one of the most popular and frequently installed systems over the last several years. High build quality and reliability have kept this system near the top since 2013.
This system features some of the nicest looking key fobs around, but recent reviewers have noticed poor quality and flimsy-feeling buttons. The icons used by this remote start system are among the most easily understood. The LCD screen features bright, clear fonts and displays all the types of info you would want to know, including status, timers, and many other features.
The price of the Viper is significantly higher than other systems, and enters the price-range typical of alarm-and-remote start systems. The Viper provides amazing range of up to a mile.
The Viper is considered to be one of the more difficult to install remote start systems, largely due to programming requirements. Product support in terms of installation is only provided to authorized installers. Many people who have professionally installed Viper 4706V remote start systems find them to be durable and useful.
- Outstanding control range – 1 mile
- Smartphone control
- Great functionality
- Intuitive and long lasting battery life
- Price is on the very high end
- Some users have reported interface flaws at times – wrong codes being displayed
Crimestopper RS7-G5 Quick Review
The RS7-G5 earns top ranking for the sophisticated technology it incorporates. The RS7-G5 has a great, easy to understand LCD remote fob that shows the active functions. This way, you will always know whether your car is running or not. The readout shows a countdown timer that lets you know exactly when your car will turn off.
Versatility is key, and the Crimestopper remote start system is one of the most easily integrated into a variety of vehicles. Reviewers comment on the overall quality of the product. Crimestopper includes wiring schematics, a nice touch that not all products include. This remote start is smartphone-enabled to allow you to control the functions without the key fob in hand.
Versatility, an easy to use key fob, and a high build-quality make the Crimestopper RS7-G5 a top pick. It works on gasoline and diesel engines, and even works with manual transmissions.
- Supports a wide range of vehicles
- Built with plenty of features for improved performance
- Can start two cars
- 31 programming functions to enhance functionality
- Can be programmed to open a car’s trunk or sliding doors
- In the expensive range
- Lacks basic security features like a shock sensor or panic mode
- Relies on FM signals which can occasionally be prone to interference
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. It's also set up to support keyless entry and a security system.
Many reviewers lament that the 4806P does not come equipped with smartphone integration, particularly considering that the key fob does not include an LCD screen with status updates. Python has addressed this issue, but it requires that you add Python's DSM200 or DSM250 module to have full compatibility with their SmartStart app.
The Python is the only remote starter system on this list that has only positive reviews from users, but as it is a newer system, the reviews are slanted more than some of the more popular and older systems that have hundreds of reviews.
- Comes with all the features needed in a remote start
- Also has a wide radius coverage – 1 mile
- Stylish and sleek remote design
- Requires a module to be Smartphone app compatible
Compustar CS4900-S Quick Review
The Compustar CS4900-S is one of the newer remote start systems on the market. It is also one of the very best you can buy. As an ala carte piece of the All-In-One system from Compustar, the CS4900-S makes a great add-on option for drivers desiring remote start capabilities. And because this remote start is part of a package of convenience and security features, additional equipment, like car alarms can easily be added later.
The full features include the ability to lock and unlock doors remotely and open the trunk. The range of the remote is up to 3,000 ft, making the CS4900-S one of the best in its class. The remote start system can also be linked to a smartphone, allowing remote start without the key fob.
As with several other remote start systems, the CS4900-S lacks a display screen on the key fob, which some users found to be disadvantageous because it can be difficult to tell if the desired command was actually received and engaged. Linking to a smartphone eliminates this problem.
- Good control range
- Uses a 2-way remote system
- You will need to add an ignition key bypass for newer models
Avital 4105L Quick Review
Simple is what this remote starter is all about, and that is why it lands in second place despite being a low-cost option. It functions exactly as expected, without a bunch of additional frills. As far as a remote starter system is concerned, though, the 4105L is hard to beat. It unlocks and locks car doors, starts the engine, and prevents thieves from stealing the car.
The 4105L does these simple functions reliably and well. It uses a two-way, four-button remote (two included) that is simple and easy to use. Don’t let the low cost of the Avila 4105L remote starter fool you into thinking this is not a high-quality product. Simplicity plays in the 4105Ls favor, as it is a robust and largely trouble-free remote starter.
Avital includes a dedicated A-to-D converter that samples vehicle voltage constantly. This eliminates the need for a tachometer connection, which is considered one of the more difficult connections to make.
- Great functionality at the price point
- Low price
- Not smartphone compatible
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.
- Offers plenty of unique features
- Simple-to-use remote set-up
- Superb functionality at the price
- A bit more difficult to install than others on our list
How We Chose
We update our list of best remote starts frequently. Our process to choose includes a number of factors, including first-hand tests in some cases. We combine extensive research with user reviews and opinions to ultimately narrow down and assemble our recommendations. For remote starts, we consider a few specific things:
- Display Type (LCD, Dotted, LCD Text, etc.)
- Features (Range, Auxiliary Outputs, Trunk Release, 2-way Paging, etc)
- Quality (Materials used, manufacturer, etc)
- Online Reviews (From multiple vendors such as Sonic Electronix, Crutchfield, Amazon and more)
- Installation (How difficult it is to install a remote starter)
- Security features (Does it have a security system included or is it compatible with other systems?)
The result from our combination of sources and testing is a list of the top rated and reviewed Remote Car Starters. Additionally, CarAudioNow provides price comparisons from multiple 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.
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.
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.