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Car owners who live in areas where there’s cold weather know how inconvenient it is sitting in a frozen car waiting for it to warm up. That is unless you have a remote starter on your vehicle. In the most basic sense, a remote starter allows you to start your vehicle’s engine remotely, this way you can warm up your car and its interior before getting inside. It also works great if you live in warm weather climates, allowing you to cool off your seats and cabin before getting on your way.

While some new vehicles come equipped from the factory with some form of remote starting, most vehicles leave the dealership lot without the convenience. Luckily there are plenty of aftermarket options to serve your needs if a remote starter sounds appealing to you.

Along with being able to remotely start your car, some kits will serve as alarm systems, allowing you to lock/unlock your doors remotely, pop the trunk, and more.

If you’re in the market for a remote starter system, take a look at our list of the 10 best kits currently available. To learn more about remote starter systems, refer to our table of contents.

Updated on 12/4/2019 with new products!

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1. Editor's Pick: Compustar 1-Way Remote Start and Security System (CS700-AS)

compustar cs700as remote starter

The Compustar CS700-AS is an all-in-one remote start and alarm bundle boasting 1,000-feet max range and is diesel-engine safe. Each kit comes with a pair of 1-way transmitter remotes, featuring 4 buttons and an LED indicator light. To help prevent against theft is a 105dB+ 6-tone alarm siren, providing plenty of sound coverage if someone tries to break into your vehicle. The dual-stage shock sensor will trigger the alarm when it detects external impact.

For the price, the CS700-AS is our Editor’s Pick. It may not be as feature rich as other products, but it’s an affordable remote start and alarm bundle. The company does offer a 1-year warranty on its remotes.

2. Avital Remote Start System (4103LX)

avital remote start system

This is a remote start with keyless entry system that includes 2 remote transmitters with dedicated AUX outputs. Although a bypass module is needed for installation, this kit does use Virtual Tach, which eliminates the need for a tach wire in most installations. Each remote can also be used to lock, unlock, and pop the trunk in addition to being a remote start.

Panic mode on this system can sound the alarm and flash your parking lights, while valet mode will not arm the security system with the remote transmitter. Like other remote start systems, it’s highly recommended for a professional to install this kit, especially since a bypass module is needed.

3. Viper Responder LC3 2-Way Remote Start and Alarm System (5706V)

viper 2-way car security with remote start system

If you have ever been in the market for a car alarm, you have likely heard of Viper. The company also offers a few remote starter options, including the Responder LC3 which is a 2-way remote start and alarm system. Boasting an impressive 1-mile range, this kit’s primary remote features a large LCD with an onboard lithium-ion battery with micro USB recharging. The system also includes a 1-way long range remote.

Although expensive, the remote allows you to command and monitor your vehicle unlike any other kit on the market. Along with clear text labels on the large LCD screen, there’s Priority User Interface that uses 5 buttons to control 24 functions. When in remote start mode, the Responder LC3 will display temperature if Active Temp Check has been selected. This way, you can see the actual temperature of your vehicle’s interior before trying to get inside.

Other features incorporated into this system include D2D Serial Data Port, Virtual Tach, Flex Relays Onboard for Remote Start and Light Flash, Control Center, and Priority User Interface and Features, which includes SmartStart, Timer Start, Runtime Reset, TempCheck, and Silent Mode2 siren-less alarming modes.

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4. Crimestopper Cool Start 2-Way Remote Start System (RS7-G5)

crimestopper 2-way remote start rs7-g5

Capable of working up to 3,000 feet away is Crimestopper’s Cool Start 2-Way Remote Start System. This system is a 2-way FM/FM paging remote engine starting system that uses a 2-way rechargeable LCD transmitter and a 1-way sidekick transmitter to operate. The 2-way transmitter features a brushed aluminum and titanium finish, along with a standard USB and wall charger. On the LCD pager, there is an out-of-range notification along with a remote start run time countdown. The display also has notifications for real time confirmation of lock, unlock, and trunk pop.

Other features on this system include twin data ports, tachometer sensing, horn honk, and extra auxiliary outputs through data when used with a data module. This remote starter kit is compatible with manual transmissions, diesel engines, and OEM remotes.

Crimestopper also offers 1-way kits for 1,500- and 2,000-feet ranges.

5. Viper 1-Way Remote Car Starter (4105V)

viper 1-way remote start system

An entry-level system from Viper is its 1-way Remote Car Starter. This is a remote start and keyless entry system designed to work on fuel injected, diesel, and hybrid vehicles, but only equipped with an automatic transmission. This kit comes with a pair of 4-button 1-way transmitters that work up to 1,500 feet away. The remote also allows you to lock and unlock your vehicle, as well as arming and disarming a factory security system in most cars. With two auxiliary channels, you can add other functions such as opening your trunk or lowering your windows.

For added versatility, this remote start is compatible with Viper’s SmartStart module, which allows you to use your smartphone to start your car without any limitations on range. For added security, the transmitters use a clone-safe, code-hopping technology.

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6. Compustar Remote Starter Kit (CS-6900AS)

compustar cs6900-as

A slightly more affordable option from Compustar is its CS6900-S kit. This is an all-in-one remote start bundle that includes a 2-way interactive LCD remote with a maximum range of 3,000 feet. Safe to use on diesel engines, the CS6900-S includes the CM600-AS control module, shock sensor, siren, LED, and a backup 1-way remote. Like the other Compustar product we took a look at for this list, you’ll get a 1-year remote warranty with the product.

Since it does feature an LCD remote, users can receive both visual and audible confirmations on the status of their vehicle. Lock, unlock, and even pop your trunk remotely with this kit. To remotely start your vehicle, simply hold down the key button for 2.5 seconds, which helps prevent accidental remote starting.

7. EASYGUARD Remote Starter Kit (EC002NS)

easyguard smart key remote starter

A comprehensive, but expensive solution is offered by EASYGUARD with its EC002 system. This multi-function car alarm system features PKE-passive keyless entry, push start button, remote engine start, and touch password entry backup. It’s a universal package that will fit most vehicles on the market and can help make an older vehicle feel more modern. Some vehicles will require a bypass module for installation, and diesel vehicles may require an extra timer delay switch.

The PKE-passive keyless entry system will automatically unlock a car door when the key fob is within 3 to 6 feet. It will also automatically lock the doors when the key fob is 6 to 9 feet away from the vehicle.

Each kit includes two transmitters equipped with three buttons (arm/panic mode, start button/trunk release, disarm) each along with an LED indicator. There is even a place to put a spare key blade.

If you’re looking for a package that offers more than just remote start, this is a great kit.

8. Python LCD 2-Way Security and Remote Start System

python 2-way lcd security and remote start system

Although it’s a more expensive option, Python also offers a 2-way security and remote start system that has an impressive 1-mile range. Each kit comes with 2 remotes, one of which is a 2-way remote with an LCD screen, while the backup remote is a 5-button, 1-way unit. This kit features a Stinger DoubleGuard shock sensor, Revenger 6-tone siren, 4 auxiliary channels, separate ESP2 and D2D ports, and onboard remote start relays. It is also compatible with Directed SmartStart technology and vehicles with a manual transmission.

The primary remote can confirm commands with tones, vibration, text, and icon displays. With SmartStart compatibility, you can remote start, lock, or unlock your vehicle with your smartphone with no limitations on range. This add-on is sold separately however.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, Python also has a basic remote start system (4103P) that simply adds remote starting capability to your vehicle.

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9. Crimestopper Car Alarm with Remote Start (SP-402)

crimestopper car alarm with remote start sp-402

Another offering from Crimestopper is an affordable all-in-one alarm system that features remote start, keyless entry, and engine disable. This package comes with two 5-button transmitters sporting a stylish brushed aluminum and titanium silver finish. Operable up to 2,300 feet away, this is a 1-way system that includes a dual-stage shock sensor, starter kill output, and a 25-watt single-tone siren.

This kit is packed with the latest in remote start technology, such as tachometer sensing or tachless sensing modes, and has a 2-way data port for an easy connection to a data module for installation. Programmable features include remote panic protection, arm and disarm chirps for passive and active arming mode, car jak protection, as well as auto lock and unlock.

For added versatility, this kit can be converted to a 2-way system with the addition of an antenna and 2-way remote pager.

10. Compustar 1-Way Remote Start (CS800-S)

compustar cs800-s 1-way remote start

Another kit from Compustar is the affordable CS800-S, which is a 1-way remote start system with keyless entry. The kit comes with a single 4-button transmitter with LED indicator, along with a 4-button sidekick transmitter. The remotes have a range of 1,000 feet and along with remote start and keyless entry, other features include trunk release and cold/hot automatic start.

This kit can safely be installed on diesel engines and you can pair this with a DroneMobile add-on (DR-3400) to add smartphone control and GPS tracking.

A vehicle bypass module is not included with this kit.

What is a Remote Starter?

In the most basic sense, a remote starter will allow you to start your vehicle remotely, without having to physically get near or inside your vehicle and turning a key. Remote starters are handy when you want to warm up your vehicle prior to entering, or even cool it down on a real hot, sunny day. For this to work, remote starter kits feature a wireless starting device that must be installed in your vehicle. That wireless starting device is equipped with a radio receiver that waits for a signal from a transmitter (remote). Some newer remote starter kits are even compatible with a smartphone app, allowing you to use your phone to start your car from any distance.

If you’re in the market for a remote starter, you’ll notice that several kits will come with additional features such as a security system, or a keyless entry system. These packages are great if you’re looking to add an alarm to your car or some form of security system if your vehicle didn’t already come with one.

One Way vs. Two Way

When shopping, you may notice that many of these systems are labeled as one-way or two-way systems. One-way systems are more affordable because they’re only capable of sending a signal from the key fob to the starter receiver that has been installed in the vehicle. Essentially, one-way systems don’t receive information back from the vehicle, which means it can only receives signals.

Knowing that, you can probably guess what two-way systems are. These more expensive kits also receive information from the vehicle, so they can keep you updated when certain functions are active. In the most basic form, this could be LED lights providing updates on a remote, while some kits have LCD displays that can send messages or even imagery to let you know the status of your car.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to you on whether you want to spend extra for a two-way system. Two-way alarm systems will notify you if your alarm has been triggered, or if the doors, hood, or trunk have been opened. This extra layer of security may be important to you.

What You Need to Know

When you’re shopping for a remote starter kit, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you’ll need to determine whether or not you want to purchase a security system with your remote starter kit. There are several options for standalone remote starter kits, which are extremely basic and simply add the functionality of being able to start your vehicle remotely. If your car already has a security system, this may be your best option.

Pay close attention to make sure a particular kit or system is compatible with your car. Some remote starter kits won’t work on vehicles with manual transmissions, or diesel vehicles. You’ll need something that’s compatible with your car.

The most important factor is to keep in mind that it’s highly recommended to have your remote starter kit installed by a professional. This is especially true if you’re purchasing an alarm system package, as they are fairly complicated and requires extensive wiring knowledge.

Speaking of alarm system kits, you may be wondering if there are any benefits to purchasing an alarm system without a remote starter. An obvious answer to this would be whether or not you need a remote starter—if you don’t, then you can save some money and just simply purchase an alarm. But if you find that the price of a particular system is comparable with a product that includes a remote starter, you may be wondering if there are any cons to adding it on.

To answer this, you need to be aware that remote starters add complexity to an alarm system, and this could affect how much it costs to install a particular kit. In fact, some installers may not even be willing to install a remote starter on your car. In addition, there’s naturally a higher chance of something failing with the added remote starter. In other words, if you know for a fact you’ll never use the remote starter, you’re better off purchasing an alarm system without one.

Compustar Remote Starter Reviews

While most modern vehicles these days come with security or keyless entry systems, very few offer remote start as an option. If you’re looking to add a remote starter system to your new or old vehicle, Compustar is a great place to start. The company specializes in mobile electronics featuring best-in-class components, including Atmel processors for speed, efficiency, and performance. In addition, Compustar’s products come with a limited lifetime warranty and you’ll find plenty of support with over 2,000 retailers across North America.

We’ll take a look at two of Compustar’s most popular products.

Compustar CS6900-AS 2-Way Remote Start & Security System

compustar cs6900-as

The Compustar CS6900-AS is an all-in-one 2-way remote start and alarm bundle, featuring a maximum range of 3,000 feet. The package includes the CM600 control module, shock sensor, siren, LED, a 2-way interactive LCD remote with a one-year warranty, and a backup 1-way remote. The alarm siren is rated at 105 dB and the entire system offers 2-way alarm alerts. This kit will send a notification to the LCD remote if the alarm is set off, or if the shock sensor is activated.

Along with the security system, installing the CS6900-AS will allow you to remotely start your vehicle by simply holding down the key button for 2.5 seconds. The transmitter will then show a live notification to let you know when the vehicle has successfully started. Other buttons on the remote include lock, unlock, and the ability to pop your trunk.

The Compustar CS6900-AS is compatible with diesel engines.

Featuring long-range capability, this remote starter and security system is an affordable upgrade to any vehicle. Not only will the alarm system help prevent theft, the remote starter will allow you to cool or heat up your vehicle ahead of time.

Prior to installing the system, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any safety features your vehicle already has. Speak to a professional installer or authorized retailer if you’re unclear on any possible conflicts.

This system does not work on vehicles with manual transmissions.

Compustar CS700-AS 1-Way Remote Start & Security System

compustar cs700-as

A more affordable system from Compustar is the CS700-AS, which is a 1-way remote start and security system. It has a shorter range than the CS6900-AS, rated at 1,000 feet. It also lacks the fancy LCD remote; instead you get a 4-button transmitter with an LED light. Each package includes two 1-way remotes, CM600 control module, shock sensor, siren, and LED. Along with keyless entry, the CS700-AS includes remote start and is diesel-engine safe. The alarm siren is also rated at 105 dB, just like the CS6900-AS.

This system is one of the most popular remote starter kits available on Amazon and it’s recommended to have it installed by a professional. Modern vehicles may have existing features that conflict with the security system or remote starter.

Overall, the CS700-AS is an attractive open since it’s more affordable and has a decent range. Some vehicles may requires a bypass module, so keep that in mind since it could be an additional cost. Some users do note that the exposed buttons on the remote have led to their vehicles inadvertently starting while the remote was in their pockets.

Like the CS6900-AS, the CS700-AS is not compatible with vehicles that have a manual transmission.

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