Remote car starters can be simple devices with a few features or complex devices that provide significant controls over your vehicle. We researched the best remote start kits, and the OSOYOO Robot Car Starter emerged as the best overall, with its long-range remote, two-way LCD display with climate monitoring, and SmartStart compatibility, which gives you control via a smartphone app.
Top 3 Best Remote Car Starters
- One-mile range
- Two-way remote
- Cabin temperature monitoring
- Complicated installation
- No security features
- Cabin temperature monitoring
- SmartStart compatibility
- The remote range is not listed by the manufacturer
- Panic mode is too easy to activate
- Remote is bulky
Compustar Prime 901
- One-mile range
- Easy-to-read LCD display
- Rpm monitoring
- Very expensive
- Very complicated installation
- It awkward fit on a keychain
Why Trust Us?
We have covered remote car starters since 2015. In addition, we review more than 16 auto tech categories each year, ranging from car alarms and car stereos to baby car seats and car battery chargers. We spend hundreds of hours each year researching, testing and evaluating the best in-car technology.
I’ve been reviewing and testing automobile technology since 2013. I’m an expert on car audio, radar detectors, backup cameras, Bluetooth car kits, and more. I have logged thousands of miles on road trips, developing a keen interest in cultivating the best-quality drive.
What We Tested
We didn’t physically test the remote starter systems because of the complicated installation process that most kits require. We made our picks based on the following criteria:
Remote Design & Performance
When it comes to the performance of a remote car starter system, you should start with the remote. Does it fit on a keychain without being awkwardly bulky? If it has a display, is it easy to read? Those are the basic questions pertaining to design.
We focused a great deal on the range specifications. Many people see a long-range and ignore it because they think they’ll never need to start their car from a mile away. And that’s true. You’re not going to care about the remote’s range unless you’re about to leave Disneyland and you’re parked at the very edge of the massive parking lot. Instead, we looked at range in terms of wireless power. A long-range means the signal is more reliable and consistent in shorter ranges. A powerful signal from a long-range remote is more capable of going through the walls of your home, around the trees, and onto the street where your car is parked.
System Features & Potential
Some remote car starters are simple. They do little more than start your car, though even the most basic kits also provide keyless entry. However, the best car starters have multiple auxiliary channels, which can be used for additional controls, like a setting to activate the window defrost.
Cabin Temperature Monitoring
The main purpose of a car starter kit is to start your car so that the internal temperatures can adjust before you enter it. That is why they are popular in areas of extreme cold or extreme heat. Since temperature is the driving force for this technology, we looked at systems that relayed cabin temperatures on the remote. These are typically available only on high-end systems, but it’s an important feature to consider. With cabin temperature monitoring, you don’t have to guess when it’s comfortable to enter the car. That saves time and also keeps your car from idling unnecessarily.
What Else You Should Consider
When considering the purchase of a remote start system, the choices are confusing and overwhelming, potentially leading you to opt for an unsuitable model. Using the factors below, you can make an informed decision and choose the remote start that best suits your needs
Engine-speed sensing is a vital consideration. A remote car starter without engine-speed sensing cannot tell whether it has successfully started the engine. This can result in the remote car starter essentially not working, leaving your car freezing cold. Nor can it tell if the revs per minute are too high. This puts the engine at risk of flooding or burning out. With some sensors, the engine can be set to shut off in that scenario, saving your engine from potential damage.
There’s an extensive range of additional features for remote car starters. You can opt for a keyless entry model that locks or unlocks your vehicle remotely. As an added safety feature, consider a hood safety switch that prevents the remote starter from activating the engine while the hood is up. Some two-way models come with a small LCD panel that provides status alerts; others can activate your rear windshield heaters. As an extra security feature, many models have alarm functions or alarm alerts.
Remote car starters aren’t simple installations. They involve adding components to your car’s computer system, which means that mistakes can have huge implications. Most manufacturers recommend getting a professional installation.