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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. Also, check out our best car accessories list to see our top picks.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Speaking of workhorse, check out the best roll on truck bed liner if you need something that can withstand harsh sunlight and heavy loads.
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 ultimate in music for your car, consider upgrading to the best car stereo too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.