After more than 14 hours of research and testing, the best remote car starter is the Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One Two-way Remote Car Starter. It is an all-around dynamo with a generous 3000-foot range, two-way confirmation with visual and audio alerts and ear-piercing 105dB siren.

Choosing the best remote car starter could mean the difference between a scorching steering wheel (or a freezing one) or a nice air-conditioned vehicle to step into. Our evaluation focused on range, one-way vs. two-way communication, and signal strength.We also explored auxiliary features such as smartphone compatibility and the number of key fobs. Keep reading to learn more about the Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One Two-way Remote Car Starter and six others that made the grade.

Top 6 Best Remote Car Starters

 #1  Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One Two-Way Remote Car Starter

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best remote car starter, featuring two-way confirmation, a siren to deter would be thieves and a massive 3000-foot range which works great if you live or work in a large household or commercial office

Pros
  • Very loud & effective siren
  • Two-way visual and audio confirmation
  • Intuitive LCD screen & responsive security sensors
Cons
  • May be too bulky for some keychains
  • Does not include additional harness & only includes one remote
  • High cost

This remote car starter is very easy and intuitive to use. It only needs a 2.5-second press of the key button to turn your car on. Two-way confirmation also uses a visual and a horn to inform if your vehicle received the command, which we found very useful. There are also other features, such as trunk releases for shoppers and keyless entry system with lock and unlock buttons.

To deter would-be thieves, this remote car starter comes with a 105dB+ siren, which is about as loud as a police siren or jackhammer. Other security features use Intelligent security sensors that monitor your trunk, hood, and doors when sensing impact This is a great way to alert of a possible intrusion, especially useful if you frequently walk in poorly lit areas. If you think that your issue goes beyond just a jump, use your best car diagnostic scanner to figure out what’s wrong.

 #2  Avital 4105L One-Way Remote Car Starter System

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to hot-wiring (by would-be thieves) protection and the ability to program how long your vehicle remote starts, we like it for fuel-conscious people who want to prevent theft.

Pros
  • Extensive anti-theft options
  • Best budget
  • Includes two remotes
Cons
  • Only one-way communication
  • So-so customer service
  • Instructions could be better written

Thanks to a 1,500-foot range, remote starts are easy in Walmart sized parking lots, but not likely usable indoors if your car is on the far side. We love its no-frills features, such as remote lock unlock and popping the trunk. Kudos for including two remotes, providing a leg up over our #1 pick Compustar CS7900-AS’s single remote, where the trade-off of a lower range may be worth it.

This remote car starter system comes with a hot-wiring prevention system that suspends the vehicle’s motor while remotely locked to prevent theft. It also comes with a dual-zone impact sensor that emits a loud siren if impact is detected. This panic mode system should provide greater peace of mind for people living in rough neighborhoods. The best car alarm is also a good safety tool.

 #3  Start-X Remote Car Starter

Award: BEST FOR AMERICAN TRUCKS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This remote starter kit works for 2015-2019 Ford F-150 Trucks and select vehicles using your own OEM key fob, making it great for people who prefer not to own separate fobs.

Pros
  • Integrates with OEM remote
  • Very easy to install
  • Vehicle can be started remotely using the app
Cons
  • No audible remote start notification
  • Range could be better
  • So-so customer service

This remote car starter is the easiest to install on our list. It just needs to be plugged into your OBF2 port before pressing a lock and unlock sequence on your OEM remote to start your car. It is also compatible with CarLink, an aftermarket remote start add-on with a smartphone app that allows you to start your vehicle with a tap.

Note, this remote car starter has a limited range (30-40 feet), a pittance compared to the 3000-foot Compustar CS7900-AS and the 1500-foot Avital 4105L. However, we love the fact it uses your OEM remote and no other key fobs, saving space in your pocket. Kudos for its no-honk remote start, which could be useful in unsafe neighborhoods to not attract would-be carjackers. If you want to solve this issue before you even need a jump, consider investing in the best car battery now.

 #4  Prestige APS997Z Two-Way LCD Command Confirming Remote Car Starter

Prestige APS997Z Two-Way LCD Command Confirming Remote Car Starter

Award: BEST LONG RANGE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best remote car starter with iPhone app, along with two-way confirmation and 2500 foot range, working great for people who prefer not to have to fumble for a key fob to remote start from time to time.

Pros
  • Excellent and easy to read screen
  • Intuitive LCD screen
  • 2-stage alarm system
Cons
  • No silent alarm mode
  • Instructions could be better specified
  • Steep learning curve to install

This remote car starter is an all-around workhorse, including a two-way LCD screen remote, cabin temperature, and glass/tilt sensors. It also comes with two-stage sensing, with the first stage detecting light impact and a louder, second stage alarm blast with a popped hood or door.

Other than the LCD display, our favorite feature with this remote car starter is its CarLink-compatibility, which allows users to get phone alerts. Trunk release, lock/unlock, and engine stops can also be activated through your phone, making it a nice alternative if your keyfobs become lost or stolen. We also like its auto-idle feature, which stops the car engine if it is turned on too long. For the ulitmate in music for your car, consider upgrading to the best car stereo too.

 #5  Remote Car Starter Kit for Jeep Wrangler 2007-2018

Award: EASIEST TO INSTALL

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best remote car starter kit for 2007-2018 Jeeps, coming play and play-style for people that prefer a more simple installation using their own OEM fob.

Pros
  • Uses the cars included FOB fob
  • Intuitive start sequence
  • Very easy to install
Cons
  • Only compatible with key engines
  • Technical support could be better
  • Limited range (up to 60 feet)

We love the fact this remote car starter kit uses the factory remote. It is very easy to use – simply press a lock-unlock-lock sequence to remote start and activate your AC to warm or cool before stepping into the vehicle.

Though this remote car starter is very intuitive and responsive, it carries a limited range (up to 60 feet) which we consider a trade-off for a much easier installation. If you want to be able to charge your phone on the go, you might also want to grab the best car charger to keep your phone charged.

 #6  Viper 5305V 2 Way LCD Vehicle Remote Car Starter

Award: BEST ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best Viper remote car starter for people who live or regularly park in unsafe areas with an anti-theft GPS tracker, shock sensing, and ear-blasting 125 dB siren.

Pros
  • Built-in GPS tracking
  • 120 dB siren & compatible with SmartStart
  • Includes spare remote
Cons
  • High cost & monthly subscription needed for tracking
  • Slight learning curve to install

Ths remote car starter has a generous 1,320-foot range and two-way confirmation, meaning you will know if your car has responded after pushing the button. An LCD screen is also very easy to read.

Aside from the Viper name, we also enjoy its security features. A Stinger DoubleGuard SHOCK SENSOR sounds off when an impact is detected and a 125 dB siren rocks your ears off. The remote car starter is also compatible with SmartStart systems that allow you to remotely start using your phone and track your car’s location using GPS. If you want to keep your vehicle clean too, take a look at the best garbage can.

How We Decided

In determining the best remote car starter to buy, we explored range, one-way vs. two-way communication, and signal strength.. Transmitter range is critical, allowing you to remote start further out than Walmart sized parking lots (think, inside of residential and commercial buildings).

The longer the range, the more effective. Our #1 range pick is the Compustar CS7900-AS at 3000 feet or roughly half of a mile. Even the best remote car starter at Best Buy should come close to this range.

One-way vs. two-way communication for remote start systems should be a key focal point. Two-way communication remote starters issue an audible chime or visual alert when your car registers the command, eliminating all of the guesswork. one-way communication sends no signal from the car to your vehicle. On occasion, remote starts may fail, leaving you in the lurch. The Compustar CS7900-AS and the Avital 4105L lead the pack.

Best Remote Car Starters Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Range
    Range is very important. The longer the range, the further from the car you could comfortably be to remote start it. If you are frequently in residential or commercial buildings next to larger parking lots, a 3000-foot (0.5-mile range) device like the Compustar CS7900-AS’ could be the one for you. If you are mainly a homebody with regular trips between home and driveway, a 1500 foot range option like the Avital 4105L is more than sufficient.
  2. One-way vs. Two-way Communication
    Two-way remote starters are highly recommended to learn whether or not your car received the command after hitting the start button. Some even use LCD screens with updates on what is running. If you opt for one-way confirmation, you will be left guessing until you arrive at your vehicle. Kudos to two-way systems with visual and audible alerts. Note, these are generally more expensive.
  3. LCD Screen
    LCD screens are great to understand what is happening with your vehicle. Some, like the Compustar CS7900, are able to indicate in-car temperatures, lock status, and other status indicators.
  4. Smartphone Compatibility
    Two of the picks on our list, the Prestige APS997Z and the Viper 5305V, have smartphone app compatibility, which allows you to remotely start your vehicle that way. It is a nice alternative to key fobs, which could be misplaced every now and then.

Remote Car Starters FAQs

Are remote starters worth it?

Yes, a lot of remote car starters reviews do sing their praises for good reason. It beats having to enter your vehicle and wait for several minutes before windows defrost and your cabin to reach a comfortable temperature. Many remote starter systems are also packed with anti-theft features such as impact sensing, GPS tracking, and engine stops, a near must when living or working in unsafe neighborhoods. Keep in mind, professional installation may be required depending on the complexity.

Does Remote Start kill battery?

No, remote starting does not kill your battery unless you leave your car unattended with the engine running for hours. If you suspect or are afraid of overvoltage, check your floating voltage by using a Digital Volt Ohm Meter (DVOM) with the car turned off.

Does remote start turn on AC?

Yes, some remote car starters could automatically set your car to cool or heat to make it cool or warm enough to enter in blistering temperatures. No more scorching hot steering wheels and seats to worry about with these security systems.

What should I look for when buying a remote car starter?

Our go tos are range, one-way vs. two-way communication, and signal strength.Even the best remote car starter reviews at CNET and the best remote car starter at Consumer Reports would agree to all of a combination of these.

Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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