Remote Car Starters – Buyer’s Guide

remote car starter
Written by Ken Coul

One of the luxuries of the digital age is a remote car starter, and yes, today there are many brands that come with a built-in remote starting kit, but for the majority, this option has to be bought and installed. The benefits of a remote starter are not just in the ability to start the vehicle before you get in, but also allowing the engine and car to heat up a bit in colder weather, and even cool the car with A/C in summer.

Top-Rated Remote Car Starter List:

PhotoProduct nameFeatureProsMore info
1. Viper 4706v 2-Way LCD Remote Start System1. Viper 4706vFlex Relays Onboard for Remote Start and Light Flash

  • Priority Icon Map with LCD Display

  • 1 Responder LC3 2-Way and 1 5-button 1-Way

  • Up to 1 Mile Range

More Information
2. Crimestopper Rs7-G5 Cool Start 2-Way Fm/Fm LCD Paging Remote-Start & Keyless-Entry System with Trunk Pop2. Crimestopper Rs7-G5 Cool StartProgrammable engine sense for Tach, Tachless, and Hybrid modes

  • 31 programmable options

  • Multi-vehicle functionality

More Information
3. Directed Electronics Inc 4806P Python LED 2-Way Remote Start System3. Directed Electronics IncManual transmission compatible

  • 4 auxiliary channels

  • LED command confirmation

  • Rechargeable battery

More Information
4. Compustar CS4900-S 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 3000-ft Range4. Compustar CS4900-SDiesel-Engine Safe

  • Remote Start

  • 3000 feet Max Range

  • 2-Way LED Confirmation

More Information
5. Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote5. Avital 4103LX Remote StartSuperhet receiver (HX)

  • Virtual TachTM eliminates tach wire

  • D2D serial data port for Xpresskits

  • Bitwriter programmable

More Information
6. Code Alarm Ca1153 Car Security and Keyless Entry System6. Code Alarm Ca1153Two one-way 433MHz 4-button metal remote controls

  • The unit will accept up to 4 remote controls

  • 125dB weatherproof siren

  • The dual-stage magnetic shock sensor

More Information
7. Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System7. Viper 5706VD2D Serial Data Port for plug-and-play connection to XPRESSKIT interfaces

  • No tachometer wire connection required

  • Flex Relays Onboard for Remote Start and Light Flash

More Information
8. Viper 4105V 1-Way Remote Start System8. Viper 4105VGreat simple starter

  • 2 4-button 1-Way

  • Up to 1/4 Mile Range

More Information
9. Bulldog RS82-I Do It Yourself Remote Starter9. Bulldog RS82-ITach or tachless operation (Input)

  • Built-in relays

  • Runtime 15 minutes

  • Dedicated start and stop buttons
More Information
10. Crimestopper SP-402 Car Alarm with Remote Start, Keyless Entry and Engine Disable10. Crimestopper SP-402 Car AlarmGas, diesel and hybrid compatibility

  • Parking lights output

  • Positive and negative door inputs

  • Starter kill option

More Information

There are different levels of functionality with remote car starters, and the best remote car starter will come with added features that include IoT control from smartphones, to control over alarms and other functions.

This article will present a number of car starter devices, including the best remote car starter with iPhone app, and for Android, as well as car-specific devices, such as the best remote car starter for Subaru. So, without further preamble, let’s dive into the list of the top 10 best car remote starter kits.

Best Remote Car Starter Reviews:

1. Viper 4706v 2-Way LCD Remote Start System

The Responder LC3 is an advanced, upgraded device; it is the 3rd generation of Responder.

This model comes with SST One Mile Range, a 20% larger LCD with new Priority icons, an integral lithium-ion rechargeable battery with micro-USB connection. This device presents you with easy to see frequently used icons, any unused icons disappear from the screen.

The device has five buttons, and 24 functions that you can use to control for 2 cars. With this model, you get a D2D Serial Data Port that provides you with plug-and-play connections to XPRESSKIT interfaces. It has a wireless tachometer and comes with onboard Flex Relays Remote Start and Light Flash.

The Control Center has an integrated Status LED, Valet Switch and 2-way Antenna, that combine to provide a fast and drill-free installation.

The bottom line is that this device is the top of its game, and is one of the leaders in versatility and functionality as a remotes starter. It does not come with security/alarm support features.

Specifications

  • Remote Confirmation: Priority Icon Map with LCD Display
  • Remotes: 1 Responder LC3 2-Way and 1 5-button 1-Way
  • Range: Up to 1 Mile
  • Security: No
  • Remote Start: Yes
  • Keyless Entry: Yes
  • Trunk Pop: Yes
  • SmartStart Compatible: Yes
  • Encryption: SuperCode™
  • Domelight Supervision: Yes
  • Failsafe Starter Kill: Option
  • # of Auxiliary Channels: 4

 

 

2. Crimestopper Rs7-G5 Cool Start 2-Way Fm/Fm LCD Paging Remote-Start & Keyless-Entry System with Trunk Pop

The CrimeStopper RS7-G5 is a 2-Way LCD remote starter. This device delivers 31 programmable options including the basic start, stop, lock, unlock, release the trunk or open a sliding door, and all from the distance of 3000 ft.

This kit comes with an extra one way remote, the difference between the two remotes is that the primary remote comes with an LCD display that provides you with confirmation of control activation.

This device comes with 31 programmable functions that make this compatible with many vehicles and provides positive and negative ignition as well as accessory and starter controls.

This model does not support security/alarm control features.

Specifications

  • System Type: 2-way
  • Range: 3000 Ft.
  • Data Port: Yes
  • Remotes: 1 x 2-Way FM/FM LCD pager

1 x 1-Way “Sidekick” transmitter

  • Security: No
  • Passive Arming: No
  • Keyless Entry: Yes
  • Remote Start: Yes
  • Dome Light Supervision:Yes (Optional)
  • Horn Honk Output: Yes
  • Trunk Release: Yes

 

 

3. Directed Electronics Inc 4806P Python LED 2-Way Remote Start System

The Direct Electronics device uses Digital Spread Spectrum Technology (SST) that enables it to operate from as far as 1 mile. It comes with a Data-to-Data (D2D) system that connects remote starters and hybrids to matching XpressKit interfaces.

The SuperCode technology defines the functionality of the Responder LE. This is an intelligent system that drives the devices advanced features. This is a software-based protocol signal encryption system, which replaces cloneable hardware devices.

As it is SmartStart Compatible, if you have a Python remote, the DSM200 or DSM250 will add this function to your system.

This is an advanced system that provides both car controls as well as security/alarm controls.

Specifications

  • Security System Type Keyless Entry with Remote Start
  • Car Alarm Yes
  • Remote Start Yes
  • Keyless Entry Yes
  • 2-way Paging Yes
  • Number of Remotes 2
  • Main Transmitter Type Button(s)-only with LED Lights
  • LED/Display Color Multiple Color
  • Auxiliary Outputs 4
  • Compatibility iPhone, Android, & Blackberry

 

 

4. Compustar CS4900-S 2-way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System with 3000-ft Range

The Compustar CS4900-S is a 2-WAY remote start that comes with 2 remote controls that will work up to 3000 feet of range.

This device features their Superheterodyne Plus (SP) Technology, that powers the signal, and a 2-Way LED Confirmation screen that receives and delivers to you instant visual and audible confirmation from the remotes blinking LEDs.

This device will control your car’s doors and baggage, as well a power liftgate too, and is compatible with diesel engines.

With this kit, you get a second remote, and you can program the remotes to control two cars.

Specifications

  • Type of Remote Starter: 2-way
  • Operating Range: 3000 feet
  • Remote Controls Buttons: 4 Button ( Lock, Unlock, Trunk Release, Remote Start/Stop )
  • Remote Starter Model Number: CS4900-S
  • Compatible Antenna Number: ANT-2WSP
  • Compatible with Smartphone Control: Yes
  • Manual Transmission Compatible: No
  • Diesel Compatible: Yes

 

 

5. Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote

The Avital 4103LX is an OEM keyless remote with a virtual tach that has a dedicated A-to-D converter which eliminates the need for a tachometer wire connection.

The D2D serial data port connects our device to other interface devices using the cables, and the XCR onboard relays provide excellent remote starting performance.

This model is good for locking/unlocking, popping the trunk and starting your vehicle remotely without the need for a key.

There is an LCD remote and one 4 buttons spare remote with this package. You also get a panic mode that sounds the car’s alarm and flashes the vehicle lights. Which is actually useful when you forget where you parked the car in a multi-storey car park.

Specifications

  • Security System Type Remote Start
  • Remote Start Yes
  • Keyless Entry Yes
  • Number of Remotes 2
  • Number of Vehicles 1

 

 

6. Code Alarm Ca1153 Car Security and Keyless Entry System

The CA1051 is an entry-level car remote that also controls security and alarm functions. This kit comes with 2 x 1-way 433MHz 4-button remote controls. It also comes with an onboard dual stage shock sensor and a 125dB siren.

This remote will enable you to enhance your vehicles Security Alarm, provide horn output, gives a Hi-jack mode, and delivers a wicked progressive car finder function.

The unit is designed to work with up to 4 remote devices and has an integrated interrupt output with the relay. You get parking light and trunk outputs, negative door lock and unlock outputs, optional trunk release and valet mode.

You also get a great panic mode, making this one comprehensive and very affordable, money for value kit.

Specifications

  • Security System Type Security
  • Car Alarm Yes
  • Remote Start No
  • Keyless Entry Yes
  • 2-way Paging No
  • Number of Remotes 2
  • Number of Vehicles 1
  • PC Programmable No

 

 

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

This is the advanced Responder LC3, the difference between this model and the one I reviewed above is that his 5706 model comes with security control features.

The 5706 like the 4706 provides SST One Mile Range, a 20% larger LCD with new Priority Icon Map™ system, an integral lithium-ion rechargeable battery with micro-USB connection. This device presents you with easy to see frequently used icons, any unused icons disappear from the screen.

The 5706 also has five buttons, and 24 functions that you can use to control for 2 cars. With this model, you get a D2D Serial Data Port that provides you with plug-and-play connections to XPRESSKIT interfaces. It has a wireless tachometer and comes with onboard Flex Relays Remote Start and Light Flash.

The Control Center has an integrated Status LED, Valet Switch and 2-way Antenna, that combine to provide a fast and drill-free installation. It also displays the cars temperatures you can prepare to enter a cooler car on hot days or a warmer car on cold days.

Another fab feature is the silent mode, where your car horn will not sound, only your remote will notify you. This is one exceptional model, and if you are into remote starter kits, this is a perfect middle ground model.

Specifications

  • Remote Confirmation: Priority Icon Map with LCD Display
  • Remotes: Includes 1-Way Companion Remote
  • Range: Up to 1 Mile
  • Security Yes
  • Remote Start Yes
  • Keyless Entry  Yes
  • Trunk Pop Yes
  • SmartStart Compatible Yes
  • Encryption SuperCode™
  • Domelight Supervision Yes
  • Stinger DoubleGuard Shock Sensor Yes
  • Neo Revenger 6-Tone Siren Yes
  • Failsafe Starter Kill                 Yes
  • Guaranteed Protection Plan (GPP) Yes
  • # of Auxiliary Channels 4

 

 

8. Viper 4105V 1-Way Remote Start System

The Viper is a very basic starter remote; it’s actually one of the beginner models I tend to offer first-timers with less expensive car models. The Viper comes with very basic and simple features and starts your car from up to ¼ mile away.

If it’s simple, but efficient, with no frills or bells, attached, then this is the model you want, and it will fit only any vehicle you decide.

A true universal mode, the Viper, is designed for automatic transmission fuel injected, diesel, and hybrid vehicles only. It comes with two 4-button 1-way transmitters.

The Car Finder feature flashes the car’s lights five times slowly, and the Panic Mode requires you connect the horn circuit to the system. There are two auxiliary channels for adding optional functions, and this kit is compatible with the XpressKit DBALL2 vehicle interface module as well as being interfaceable with all Viper SmartStart smartphone modules

Specifications

  • Remote Confirmation: None
  • Remotes: 2 x 4-button 1-Way
  • Range:Up to 1/4 Mile Range
  • Encryption 66 bit
  • # of Auxiliary Channels 2

 

 

9. Bulldog RS82-I Do It Yourself Remote Starter

The Bulldog is a DIY Remote Starter, which is also a very basic kit for the car enthusiast seeking an inexpensive and easy to install model. This device operates up to 400 feet and comes with a comprehensive installation video DVD.

The remote comes with the most basic of functionality, this includes a start and stop buttons, provides both a tach or tachless operation (Input) with Pitstop features and comes with all the built-in relays.

Since this is a DIY kit, the specs are rather long, so I have linked the installation video directly. Note that when you buy this kit, you get all the documentation required that explains how to link all the wires up correctly.
 

 

10. Crimestopper SP-402 Car Alarm with Remote Start, Keyless Entry and Engine Disable

The CrimeStopper SP-402 is a comprehensive universal remote start and security system.

While it is universal, it is also one of the most comprehensive and adaptable systems there are on the market today. This one comes with two remotes, both have 5 buttons and operate at a 1,500-foot range. This kit includes a full car and security/alarm functionality.

This model has 35 programmable options and works with both automatic and manual transmissions as well as with diesel and gas-powered engines. This model also comes with a programmable engine sense feature and is Tach, Tachless, and Hybrid mode compatible. The manual transmission mode is activated by the e-brake or the remote.

This is a very comprehensive model, and if you want a leading yet affordable unit, this is the one to buy. Check out the extensive specifications to see why I close the list with this model.

Specifications

  • System Type 1-way
  • Range 1500 ft.
  • Data Port Yes
  • Remotes 2 x 1-Way 5-button transmitters
  • Security Yes
  • Passive Arming Yes
  • Keyless Entry  Yes
  • Driver’s Priority Unlock Yes
  • Remote Start Yes
  • Dome Light Supervision Yes
  • Shock Sensor Yes
  • Siren  Yes
  • Horn Honk Output Yes
  • Starter Kill Output Yes
  • Trunk Release Yes
  • Auxiliary Outputs 3
  • Carjack Protection Yes
  • Remote Panic Yes
  • Silent Arm/Disarm Yes

 

 
FAQ

What is a two-way remote car starter?

A two-way remote is a remote that receives back a confirmation signal that the action was received. This means, for instance, if you press the start button, the vehicle will start and will send back a start confirmation light, sound, message, or combination, dependent on your remote model.

Just so you understand the difference between a two-way remote starter and a one-way remote starter, the one-way remote starter will only let you transmit an action; it will not confirm it. The advantage of a two-way remote is that when you are not close to the car, you at least get confirmation that your order was received and activated.

How much does it cost to install a remote starter?

The cost of installing a remote is actually dependent on the vehicle and the level of functionality your remote device provides. The more features usually relate to more wires that need to be connected. The more wires to connect, the longer and more complex the installation, and hence the more expensive the cost. Also, from experience, a brand-new Maserati owner will pay more than a used Subaru owner.

Take into consideration that the actual cost of the remote is not in direct relation to the installation process. As a general rule of thumb, installations will range from the lowest of the low around $250 to a mid-range of around $400, anything above this is truly bespoke.

How do remote car starters work?

Remote car starters are radio frequency devices (RF). They transmit on a specific frequency and the actual control box, receives the signal, translates the action and operates the necessary action. Consider that apart from all the supplementary features that some remote starters provide, the main function is to start the car. This means that the remote starter has to simulate the key turning process. With temperamental cars, where the key turning process is more of a ritual, don’t expect the remote to perform very well. In fact, adding a remote to a temperamental car is detrimental and really not a good idea.

Most new OEM that comes with a remote starter has security bypasses installed that provide anti-theft functionality. Consider this issue when you buy your remote, try to integrate some kind of bypass or anti-theft system with the remote, if you are already planning to fiddle around with your car’s wires.

Should I install the kit myself?

To be honest, unless you are an experienced car electrician, (not mechanic) I would not suggest you perform this by yourself. However, if you are an electrician, or have experience in wiring computers and other electronic devices, then wiring this into your vehicle should not pose too much of an issue.

If however, you are a DIY person, but without electronics knowledge and experience, the number of wires, and issues that can arise from incorrectly wiring in a remote system will damage your vehicle. If it’s a few hundred bucks, you want to save, consider the above, and think how many bucks you will save if you don’t screw up your cars electrics.