How Remote Car Starters Work

In simple terms, we know that a remote car starter turns on your vehicle with the use of a remote device. Aside from simple starting, these starter systems have multiple functionalities such as increasing your car’s security protocol or improving the overall convenience and efficiency of car use. Their wide array of features makes them one of the most sought inventions so today, we will be discussing how remote car starters work.

The basics:How Remote Car Starters Work?

A remote starter unit has an assembly that connects to the ignition assembly and radio receiver of your car. When you push a button on the key fob or your remote control, the starter is activated by sending a signal to the starter component. This signal has an encrypted frequency which makes it difficult to be deciphered by thieves who want to start your car without your authorization.

The starter component must be connected to the ignition switch and power, starter, break, ground, and tachometer wires for it to work properly. It might look complicated at first because of the presence of a lot of wiring that needs to be connected, but all of these wires can be found in exactly the same location within your car. Pushing a button will make this starter component receive a signal that acts on your commands. It may start the engine of your car, automatically lock or unlock the doors, pre-heat or pre-cool the interior and much more.

Issuing and displaying of commands

Some remote car starter systems have two-way LCD remotes which display and let you see if your car has obeyed the command you have issued using the remote. It can show you alerts in case of suspicious activities against your car, the interior temperature of the vehicle, as well as simple locking and unlocking of doors. These are just some features of how remote car starters work.

Alarm system and security

Thieving and carnapping can be easily prevented with the use of remote car starter units. For starters, the primary security feature they can give you, of course, is that they automatically lock all the doors on your car. In addition, forceful opening or tampering with your vehicle sends some starter systems into panic mode where the parking lights continuously flash while the horn of the car beeps loudly.

Many available aftermarket remote starter systems have a starter kill option. This feature lets you shut down your ignition system in cases where your car is being tampered with or hotwired. With this option, it would be impossible to turn on your vehicle again unless the thief has your keys. Another brilliant feature in the starter kill option is that stepping on the brake pedal will automatically shut down the engine of your vehicle if the key is not in the ignition slot.

Inclusive with a remote starter system is also a tamper switch which is placed under the hood of the vehicle. This option also shuts down the engine if someone attempts to open the hood of your car.

All of these security measures guarantee that only the car owner can drive the vehicle after it has been started with the remote.

Smartphones as alternative to remotes

Most starter systems are controlled using a remote transmitter included in the package. However, it is also possible to control your vehicle through the use of your smart devices. With the use of modern apps, smartphones may act as alternative two-way transmitters which let you monitor the condition of your vehicle.


Initially, most remote start systems have been designed with Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) feature. This RKE feature, as we all know, allows you to lock or unlock the doors of your car with a simple push of a button. Sounds really convenient, right?

However, with the introduction of PKE or Passive Keyless entry (PKE) systems, convenience in handling your car has been further stepped up. Unlike RKE remotes, PKE devices will not require you to push a button in the key fob to open your car. What it does is that the transponder in the key fob sends a signal to the receiver in the starter system installed in your car to unlock or lock the doors or even start the engine of your vehicle. Even though the key fob is in your pockets or not in your hands, the starter system will do these things as you approach the vehicle or walk away from it.