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remote starter for my car
le_y_mistar
Member #8,251
January 2007
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Winter is couple of months away, cooler temperatures in the morning have started to set in here in canada and i've caught my first cold.

And so, instead of purchasing a 4x4, i'm going to put winter tires, rustproof my car, and put a remote starter in preparation of yet another wet winter.

Can anybody suggest a decent remote starter? I'm hoping to keep it under a 100$ in parts. Shopping at ebay motors.

Thanks

PS: I drive a year 2000 acura integra special edition (non vtec)

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Billybob
Member #3,136
January 2003

I drive a Mustang and built the remote starter myself. It's pretty neat, I just wake up and push a button next to my bed. The device then dispenses oats into a container and begins playing classical music to awaken the Mustang. By the time I get out there he's happy and ready to be saddled and ridden to work.

le_y_mistar
Member #8,251
January 2007
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Billybob said:

The device then dispenses oats into a container and begins playing classical music to awaken the Mustang.

I'm not installing proganisms here.

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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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...a 100$...

You're going to have to go through the DRD[1]. I don't know much about remote starters, except that if your car has degrading security systems they can get in the way of the remote starter. :P After about a year of always having to wonder whether my car was going to turn over, remote or locally, we've finally disabled the stupid security in it and it starts perfectly now every time! :P

References

  1. Department of Redundancy Department.
Neil Walker
Member #210
April 2000
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I see some issues here:

1. What happens if you leave your car in gear when you get out of the car the night before (which is recommended in the event of handbrake failures)
2. If the car is outside then somebody could steal it and your insurance would void you
3. If the car is in a garage then you could push toxic fumes throughout your house (if attached).

Or am I missing something from what you mean by remote starter? In which case, surely the answer to save the above and to reduce costs is to get up and start the car 5 minutes before you leave the house.

Neil.
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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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1. What happens if you leave your car in gear when you get out of the car the night before (which is recommended in the event of handbrake failures)

Most cars are automatics, especially in North America. I'm not sure about Yves' though. I noticed that remote starters for manual transmissions are more expensive than the automatic variant, so perhaps their is something to account for that. Perhaps either censors to check that the car isn't in gear (therefore requiring it to be in neutral to use the remote starter) or perhaps some kind of mechanism to automatically disengage the clutch. I'd want to make sure the system was safe and reliable before installing it in my car.

2. If the car is outside then somebody could steal it and your insurance would void you

Why? :-/

3. If the car is in a garage then you could push toxic fumes throughout your house (if attached).

That's something you could account for with a ventilation system in the garage (making sure it doesn't vent into the home at all). It probably should be there anyway. :P

Neil Walker
Member #210
April 2000
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bamccaig said:

Why?

Because it's the same as leaving the keys in the ignition.

Neil.
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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Because it's the same as leaving the keys in the ignition.

No it isn't. A special frequency/code is needed to trigger the remote starter and most remote starters refuse to let the car be driven without the keys (for example, my remote starter immediately kills the engine if I even put my foot on the brake without the key in the ignition). Either way, a car thief has to hot-wire the car.

james_lohr
Member #1,947
February 2002

Billybob said:

The device then dispenses oats into a container

I switched full-time from breakfast cereals to porridge oats (with oodles of cinnamon and brown sugar!). Remote-oat-loader has a nice ring to it, and I, for one, would pay dearly to have one.

Bob Keane
Member #7,342
June 2006

This is the one I use.
And Bamccaig is right, the engine will die if you try to put the car in gear or step on the brake when the key is not in the ignition.

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Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

What the freak is a remote starter? You start the engine without being there? What for? That's the dumbest thing I've heard. In Finland we use electric warming of the coolant as well as a fan that warms up the indoor. Usually the engine starts just as if it had been used a minute ago. And everything is warm and cosy.

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Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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Because you don't want to walk outside in the cold to start your car. Give the car a chance to heat up and you can dash straight into it.

My '94 BMW supposedly has a way to schedule the heater to turn on a specific time. It's in the manual but ofcourse it doesn't actually work :'(

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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Just have a contractor build a heated garage, after all, you're pulling down big bucks at your job, and only spending a dollar at at time on your girl, right?

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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What the freak is a remote starter? You start the engine without being there? What for? That's the dumbest thing I've heard. In Finland we use electric warming of the coolant as well as a fan that warms up the indoor.

We've had block heaters for as long as I can remember to warm the engine up[1] (I've never heard of anything to warm the passenger compartment though), but they take a lot longer to work and require preparation and planning (i.e., you have to remember to plug them in and unplug them, and leaving them plugged in when not using the vehicle is a waste of energy). With remote starting, you can get much quicker results at the press of a button with no preparation or planning. Also, remote starting works to defrost the windows and warm the passenger compartment[2], something the block heater obviously doesn't do. At the worst, you wait an extra 10 minutes before departing.

References

  1. I haven't seen them used since I was young though so I don't even know if they're equipped on new vehicles.
  2. Unfortunately, this requires you to remember to configure climate controls when you park the vehicle, at least in my particular car. As a force of habit, I turn off the fan, etc., so the only thing that happens for me is my engine is warmed up, but it still speeds up the whole process.
Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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bamccaig said:

I haven't seen them used since I was young though so I don't even know if they're equipped on new vehicles.

Really? I thought everyone still plugged their block heaters in on cold days.

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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Really? I thought everyone still plugged their block heaters in on cold days.

You're a little further North than I am. ;) We can usually get by with just remote starting the car 10 minutes prior to cleaning it off. There are the occasional days where warming can take a lot longer and using the block heater would have been beneficial, but again that requires preparation and planning (or just defaulting to it) and it's usually not necessary.

I'm sure there are people in the area that still do it, but I don't recall seeing anyone I know doing it. I certainly don't bother.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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As a teenybopper in North Dakota in the '70's (before global warming), low temps in February commonly stayed below -30F for three weeks at a time, usually the lowest nighttime temp in a given year was -45F. Plugging in the "heater" (a coffee-percolator device in-line with the bottom radiator hose) and simultaneously putting a 30 amp battery charger on the battery at shutdown would allow the engine to start in the morning as if it was a balmy +20F. The inside of the car would still be colder than a witches tit, but I'd go out and fire it up and set the heater on HIGH, and 20 minutes later it'd be pumping out some heat. I still had trouble with the snow accumulating under the foot operated headlight dimmer switch though, it'd build up without melting ever for 3 months.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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Remote starters aren't used for the same purpose as block heaters. If it's too cold to start the car, then a remote starter won't help. :o

A remote starter would be nice for my car, since the doors freeze shut during the night. ;D

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Rub a bar of soap around to kill the adhesion. le_y_mistar wanted a comfy car when he got in, he didn't say it wouldn't start.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

Remote starters aren't used for the same purpose as block heaters. If it's too cold to start the car, then a remote starter won't help. :o

True. :-[ I don't use them so what do I know. :P

A remote starter would be nice for my car, since the doors freeze shut during the night. ;D

Yeah, that's happened with my current car and the one before it. Remote starting is usually not enough to have the passenger compartment warm enough in the 10 minutes it's running... You could run it through a few times to get desired results if you had time, but I rarely do. I've always forced the driver's door open, but the mechanism would usually stick in the open position so the door no longer latches when closed. I'd usually hit the door locks, slam the door (the locks would then stick trapping me inside ;)), and hope by the time I get to work the door has unstuck. :-/ There's stuff you can buy that's supposed to prevent the doors from freezing, but in my experience it hasn't worked (albeit, I don't know that it was being used properly).

le_y_mistar
Member #8,251
January 2007
avatar

Rub a bar of soap around to kill the adhesion.

as a rule of thumb, never bend over to pick up a bar of soap :-*

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I'm hell of an awesome guy :)

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Your prison experience? Or the school showers?

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

I would say that when you actually benefit from remote starting - when it's that cold - you benefit much mor from the block warmer, if you don't count the "inconvenience" of preparing the thing the evening before (and use a timer for heaven's sake). It's not only what you have to suffer, it's about what the poor engine has to put up with. An engine that starts after the block warmer has been on, has a pre-heated oil, which starts much quicker to lubricate the camshaft and stuff. The remote starter starts an ice cold engine. You don't warm the oil with the engine to save the engine :P.

I remember when my mother had a Datsun 100A. In those days the synthetic oils were way too expensive. Or so we thought. You could hear the moment when the cold oild got its way up to the valves. Some 5 seconds of terrible noise. Could have been some other part of the engine, too, which needed the lubrication. It wasn't an OHC, but still. Then we installed the block heater. And started to use synthetic oils. One could hear the effect. You got almost immediately the normal idle sound. Actually we had at least 3 of those Datsuns. My dad broke one engine a cold morning, when he ran the engine too early.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Years of thorough research have revealed that the red "x" that closes a window, really isn't red, but white on red background.

Years of thorough research have revealed that what people find beautiful about the Mandelbrot set is not the set itself, but all the rest.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I've been repeatedly told that it isn't a problem anymore starting a cold engine and just driving away with newer cars. That might not account for Alaska/NWT cold, but certainly for the Great Lakes area. ;)

le_y_mistar
Member #8,251
January 2007
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Considering i dont plan on driving the car for more than 5 years, installing a block heater would be a waste of money. The engine currently has about 180,000 kms and can easily do 350,000 kms. I clock about 1000 to 2000 kms a month. Cars just depreciate in value, so sometimes, it's better to cheap out on some things that prolong engine life.
Besides, my car has never had problems starting in winter.

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