Beware of aftermarket remote start units

clearconscience

Messages
10,261
Reactions
29,062
So my wife nice enough to buy me a remote start for xmas that I wanted.
So I had it installed yesterday and it would start then shut off after a couple mins, then try to start 2 more times before giving up. Every once in a while it would start as it's supposed to and work right.
While diagnosing this I noticed the locks operating while it was starting.

I checked and sure enough it unlocks the door when you remote start it then after 5-10 secs locks them again.

So I take it back today and ask them about it, the starting may have been due to programming or a bad module, but they say it's suppoed to unlock and relock when starting thats how it bypasses the factory alarm.
I in amazement told them that's not okay.
After more checking he says yeah thats how it works. So I told them I would be back next Saturday to have it removed and get my money back (wife's money)

So as a precaution to everyone out there. Find out before you have one installed.
This was on a new vehicle 2016.

I wonder how many people have this happening on their vehicles and have no idea they are at risk.
 
I was just thinking of having this added to my 2015 Forester. Hmmmmm
 
OP
clearconscience

clearconscience

Messages
10,261
Reactions
29,062
Yeah most of them have that feature. The anti-theft.
I actually had (and used to install myself) remote starts back when they first came out around 2000, 1999 some where around there.

They said it was mostly with the Hondas and Toyotas, but I would check it you have one installed.

Seeing how I usually have my tools and a handgun in my car having it automatically unlock for any period of time is a no go
 
Those things have always been finicky. Some cars they work great, some you have to spend hours on a tech help line. Back in the late 80's I used to manage a Sears autocenter. We used to sell a line of add-on cruise controls. Some worked fine but most were a royal pain. Needless to say I learned back then to be wary of these things. Nowadays with the complicated logic circuits and AI interfacing with all of the various body control modules who knows what your car will be doing once you install this stuff? If you're really lucky, when you start the vehicle it will backflip down the driveway, make a Starbucks run for you and then just flash all the lights until you validate it's feelings. Never trust AI.
 
OP
clearconscience

clearconscience

Messages
10,261
Reactions
29,062
Truth!
I remember when we would install them around 2000 we had to have customers sign waivers for manual trans. If they leave it in gear and remote start it that thing would jump forward about 15ft and run down anything in it path.
 
Messages
4,851
Reactions
10,743
I would never add an aftermarket item like that - I've seen way too much of the aftermarket stuff freak out and disable the car, which means it winds up needing towed in to be fixed or removed.

Had one the other day - I showed up for what was said to be a battery service call - elderly lady whose grandson had installed an alarm that had a cellular device that would text/call him if there was an issue. It also immobilized the vehicle when it detected a break in. Problem was that it disabled the car when Grandma was trying to go to the store. Second problem - it was not a permanent install - so even IF someone actually broke in - 30 seconds of looking would've allowed them to disable the alarm - because it had two main components - a plug in device that used the OBD-2 port, and what I'm assuming was the brain/cell device of the unit which was clipped to the passenger side sun visor.

The car would *not* start no matter what we tried before I discovered that the alarm was a temporary install. I unplugged the OBD-2 unit and the power unit (plugged into the cigarette lighter - the constant power draw would no doubt have drained Grandma's battery after a while if she didn't drive the car once in a while, as there was no battery tender plugged in to maintain the charge) - and the car started right up for me.

Saved Grandma from having the car towed and being stroked for an expensive repair.

Honestly - car alarms are way more problematic than they are worth. First - no one listens to car alarms. They tune them out or assume it's nothing. Even if someone witnesses someone getting into a car with the alarm going off - no one does anything about it.

Secondly - they are far more likely to trip and keep someone from using their own vehicle as they are to stop an intruder or thief. I'd say maybe as much as 20% of the cars I towed were security system related, because the reset procedures didn't work or something in the unit itself was fried.

Remote start devices can likewise fail and actually prevent your car from working properly - and it seems much more common with aftermarket than factory units.

Factory "passive" anti-theft systems are bad enough - the active units just plain suck. And the worst part? These security systems freak the F out when the battery gets low, and as soon as you put power back to the car to boost - they start blaring the horn. Which is just frickin peachy when you're standing there next to the damned thing with the hood open when it goes off...
 
Messages
2,396
Reactions
3,873
I did manage to stomp, trudge, scrunch, wobble and slip my way to my "Ring Ding", (2001 Suzuki Vitara Baby Jeep 4x4 SUV) to try to get in to start her up. Been 9 days. Did manage to get inside. She started right up. The new wintertime big battery was a wise investment.

Then walked away to do chores. Came back in about 15 minutes. Nice warm interior. The outside was still a big white blob. We got at least 24 inches on the ground. Some parts of the higher Illinois Valley SW OR got 36 inches. Some friends up higher got even more snow.

I had a spare set of car keys in my deep pocket. I did not trust myself to unlock both doors during all the exercise and excitement. I did forget. Only the drivers side door remained unlocked. The primary keys were in the car. I dodged a stupid time bullet. Just barely.

Point of my post here? I goofed. Did not unlock BOTH doors. But ... did have spare keys in my pants pocket. My feeble point here is that I make mistakes and try before hand to proof against such. Ran her hard in 4WD Low range. No overheating which was good.
 

v0lcom13sn0w

Messages
10,574
Reactions
38,983
if you can, pay the extra money for a factory installed remote start if available. on GMs we have to hit lock twice before it will remote start.
 
Messages
4,851
Reactions
10,743
if you can, pay the extra money for a factory installed remote start if available. on GMs we have to hit lock twice before it will remote start.
My Cruze has factory remote start - which I dig. I have to hit the lock button once, then press & hold the remote start button for about 5 seconds. I think I need to get a new remote soon though - because the range on it is stupidly short, compared to my buddies Colorado, which also has remote start. He can start his from at least 50' away, I'm lucky if mine works at 10 feet. It's not just the remote start, it's the lock/unlock/trunk buttons as well. My neighbor also has a Cruze, and complains his remote is toooo good - he's had numerous occasions he says he'll bump his remote at work and come out to find his car unlocked and his trunk popped open. o_O I'd be happy with 30 foot range from mine... I just don't wanna drop $200 right now on the remote. I'm pretty sure it's the remote, or the receiver in the car, I put brand new batteries in it, and still had limited range.
 

v0lcom13sn0w

Messages
10,574
Reactions
38,983
My Cruze has factory remote start - which I dig. I have to hit the lock button once, then press & hold the remote start button for about 5 seconds. I think I need to get a new remote soon though - because the range on it is stupidly short, compared to my buddies Colorado, which also has remote start. He can start his from at least 50' away, I'm lucky if mine works at 10 feet. It's not just the remote start, it's the lock/unlock/trunk buttons as well. My neighbor also has a Cruze, and complains his remote is toooo good - he's had numerous occasions he says he'll bump his remote at work and come out to find his car unlocked and his trunk popped open. o_O I'd be happy with 30 foot range from mine... I just don't wanna drop $200 right now on the remote. I'm pretty sure it's the remote, or the receiver in the car, I put brand new batteries in it, and still had limited range.
likely its a remote. what year is the cruze?
 
OP
clearconscience

clearconscience

Messages
10,261
Reactions
29,062
Yeah the only reason I wanted it was so I can warm up the car or cool it down for my kids.
I could care less.
I usually go start it now then hope no one steals it.

I remember the problems we had back in 2000 with alarms and remote starts can't imagine trying to get them to work now with the computers and gadget these cars have.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Project Appleseed
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show 2021 show is cancelled
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA
22 Rimfire Challenge
Redmond Rod and Gun Club
Redmond, OR 97756, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Sound Loan and Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Definitely recommended
    friendly people, great prices on guns ammo tools, jewelry, other pawn shop stuff, always been easy to deal with
  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Responsive, courteous, great comms and absolutely reasonable!
    Bought a firearm from a local NWF's member and as I live in Idaho it had to transfer through a local FFL. The Seller picked A Cut Above... The...
  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Another sterling experience A+
    Tyler is a great man and this place is a treasure. Reasonable fees and excellent service. Kind and polite. No BS. I will keep coming back.
  • A Cut Above Pawn
    5.00 star(s)
    Great FFL Gun Transfers.
    Last Saturday morning. Me & the wife bought a pistol from another great Northwestfirearm's member. Meet up A Cut Above pawn shop. Wife had a...
  • TJ Gun Sales
    5.00 star(s)
    TJ Gun Sales
    Needed some sights for a Glock 19. Found them here for a good price and free install. :)
Top Bottom