Instal remote starter: How to Install a Remote Starter in a Car (with Pictures)

Can You Install a Remote Starter on Your Car Yourself?

Tips, Tricks & Trends

Topping many holiday gift lists this year, remote starters are convenient to have this time of year. They’re popular car features, especially among drivers living in more extreme climates. Do remote starter kits cost a lot? And can you install them yourself? We’ll point you in the right direction. Remote start kits are popular Being able to start …

Desiree Homer

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Topping many holiday gift lists this year, remote starters are convenient to have this time of year. They’re popular car features, especially among drivers living in more extreme climates. Do remote starter kits cost a lot? And can you install them yourself? We’ll point you in the right direction.

Remote start kits are popular

One-click — anywhere and with any car. Start your vehicle from the comfort of your home and have a perfectly warmed interior and defrosted windows this winter. We are breaking down how to gift a remote car starter this holiday season on the blog!

— P.C. Richard and Son (@PCRichardandSon) December 5, 2020

Being able to start your vehicle to blast the air conditioner and cool it down on a hot summer day or get it toasty on a frigid winter morning without setting foot outside is a priceless gift. But before you buy one, you’ll need to consider your budget. There are a variety of remote kits from which to choose. Some are more basic, and others are high-tech with added features that work with a vehicle’s in-cabin tech.

Expect to shell out anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the make and model of the vehicle you want to outfit.

Anyone can technically install a remote starter

Remote starting kits are relatively cheap. Just browsing on Amazon, you can probably find an entry-level version for $40. But you have to consider additional costs if your vehicle requires a more substantial unit. Then comes the cost of installation.

The good news is, if you can read a wiring diagram of instructions and have a reasonable degree of patience, you can install a remote starter yourself. The key is knowing how to use a test light to identify key wiring and make decent splices. But by installing the remote starter yourself, you can save well over $100, according to Auto Service Costs.

Professional installation might be the way to go

Some vehicles have antitheft systems, which can make a remote starter installation a bit tricky. There are a few brands of remote starting kits that claim to bypass antitheft systems, but you might want to steer clear of those. Some model vehicles come with other technology features that may require a few extra installation steps.

But there are remote kits that offer all the wiring and instructions needed, even for these complicated models. It essentially comes down to your comfort level and confidence to do it yourself. If you’re unsure, you can always have a professional handle the installation for anywhere from $150 to $900, according to Safewise.

Online resources for beginner-friendly installs

Here’s your chance to win a Viper Remote Start + FREE Install! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

— P.C. Richard and Son (@PCRichardandSon) October 5, 2015


If you’re buying a remote starter for yourself or someone else, don’t worry too much about tackling the install. Step-by-step tutorial videos abound online to help you navigate the wiring instructions, which are perfect for beginners.

YouTube is always a good place to start for guidance. But even a general Google search of remote installation instructions provides a host of other valuable websites offering basic help. Even those with little electronic or mechanical experience find hooking up remote starter kits simple. And if you try it yourself and fail, you can always contact a professional for help. But if you can manage it, you might save $100 to $200.

Nothing says you care like the gift of a remote car starter. And because of their popularity, they’re relatively easy to find. Each kit comes with detailed instructions, so even a novice can handle the installation. They’ll leave more money in your wallet for other holiday gift-giving.

Installing Remote Starters | Training Wheels Driving School

Imagine having the ability to turn your vehicle on, heat up the engine, and have the heater turned up to full-blast before even stepping outside—that is what it’s like to have a remote starter in your life. Such an addition may seem like too big of an upgrade to do by yourself, but with some quick know-how and the proper tools and parts, it’s possible to install a remote starter all on your own. Buying new cars with this feature built in or simply paying for a professional upgrade can be costly, but follow our quick guide and your current vehicle will be ready to go!

Choosing Your Remote Starter

While there are methods available for installing remote starters in manual transmission vehicles, the installation process is much easier for automatic transmission vehicles. However, before you set out to buy a new remote starter, you need to ensure it works with your car. Modern vehicles have a wide range of complex electrical equipment, which could impede whether you’re able to install a remote starter into your vehicle. With this in mind, read the starter’s application notes thoroughly. If the starter unit’s manufacturer clearly states the unit can work with your vehicle, you likely won’t have trouble installing the unit.

Supplies and Tools

For the actual installation, some remote starters come with all the supplies and tools you need whereas others may necessitate additional nuts, bolts, and electrical connectors. To complete your installation, you’ll need these items or possibly more:

  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Hand tools, such as sockets, ratchets, screwdrivers, and wrenches
  • A solder, soldering iron, and flux (rosin core solders have the best results)

Rather than use a soldering iron, you could instead crimp the connections with a crimping tool and some butt connectors.

The Installation Process

The remote starter you purchase should have come with specific instructions, but if not, you can likely find them through a quick Google search. Before starting, make sure you have your vehicle’s manual on hand, and take the following steps:

  1. Read your starter unit’s instructions thoroughly. To install the unit, you have to locate certain wires on the vehicle’s wiring harness.
  2. Find the vehicle’s 12V constant wire, which you can do with a multimeter.
  3. Find the ignition wire, or the “key on” 12V power source, which only has voltage when the key in the ignition is turned.
  4. Now, read the starter unit’s instructions a second and third time if necessary.
  5. If the starter unit says to find wires in addition to the 12V constant and the “key on” power source, find them now, consulting your owner’s manual if need be.
  6. Develop a plan for attaching the starter unit’s wires to the right wires on the vehicle’s wiring harness, which should definitely not include lengthening the starter unit’s wires.
  7. Establish where you’ll be mounting the starter unit. Most installers place the unit beneath the dash and close to the steering column, but make sure you don’t mount the starter unit where it’ll be exposed to vibration or heat, such as within the engine compartment.
  8. Implement the plan you developed in step 6, connecting the wires and mounting the unit.
  9. Test the starter unit to make sure you’ve finished the installation correctly.


After installing the starter unit, make sure you test the unit—the vehicle’s engine should turn on just as fast as if a key were being used to do it. If the remote starter turns the starter sluggishly compared to the key, go back and double check your connections to make sure they’re not drawing any more power than they should be. If the remote starter doesn’t work in any way, go over all the electrical connections multiple times to ensure they’re connected properly to the wiring harness.

If you have a teen driver in the house in need of behind the wheel training, we can help! Training Wheels is a Ventnor driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers the way of the road. For more information, please click here.

Copyright: fotokot197 / 123RF Stock Photo

How to install a remote starter on a vehicle

Remote starters are not available as a factory option on vehicles, but they can be installed aftermarket by anyone with the proper tools and a deep understanding of automotive electrical systems. It is important to remember that Vehicles may be equipped with an additional factory security system and/or ignition immobilizer which must be connected in order for the remote start to work properly. If the car is equipped with an immobilizer, additional equipment will be required.


  • 1
    Under the hood:
  • 2
    How to Install a Remote Starter on a Motorcycle
  • 3
    Items you will need
  • 4
    How to Install Remote Starter in Ford
  • 5
    Items you will need
  • 6
    How to Install Remote Starter for Toyota Corolla
  • 7
    Items you will need

Under the hood:

  • How to Install a Remote Starter on a Motorcycle
  • How to Install Remote Starter in Ford
  • How to Install Remote Starter for Toyota Corolla

How to Install a Remote Starter on a Motorcycle

Plan a route from the alarm power source to ignition. Remove any moldings or pieces that obstruct access and identify where to attach the wire. Disconnect the battery by removing the negative terminal.

Route and secure the wire through the frame and panels of the motorcycle. The wire must not run along hot areas. Secure the wire with tie-down straps.

Determine the correct wires to connect in the manufacturer’s documentation. Strip the ends of the wire and solder the connections by pressing them out and then twisting them together. Wire caps are an acceptable alternative as silicone gel seals the caps. Wrap bare ends or caps with duct tape.

Tap the ignition wires using the T-tap according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Connect all ground wires and make sure the tees are secure.

Program the alarm module to control the auxiliary wire for the console. Turn on simple slide switches or use the programming port and software to assign an accessory.

Connect the negative cable back to the battery terminal and put the bike in neutral. Turn on the remote to make sure it works and the starter disengages properly.

Items you will need

How to Install Remote Starter in Ford

Use pliers to remove the four pins holding the heater cover in place.

Install the remote starter on the plastic strip on the inside of the air vent with a thin layer of rubber adhesive.

Open the car hood and screw the hood pin from the remote starter kit to the plastic clip next to the car hood latch. Secure the hood pin with 6″ steel bolts and an adjustable wrench.

Run the gray wire from the remote starter through the heat exchanger and into the car’s hood. You may need to use a wire hanger to push the wire through the duct.

Run the gray wire through the hood, routing it along the vehicle’s existing wiring harness on the driver’s side of the hood.

Attach the gray wire to the hood pin by wrapping the ends of the wire around the hood pin.

Run the red wire from the remote starter to the vehicle’s wiring harness – the large harness running down the steering column.

Solder the end of the red wire to the middle of the ignition wire harness and wrap the connection area with electrical tape.

Install the remote starter antenna on the top of the dashboard on the driver’s side with rubber cement.

Run a wire from the antenna under the dash to the remote starter installed in the thermal duct. Insert the antenna wire into the remote starter.

Items you will need

  • remote starter kit

  • Pliers

  • rubber cement

  • Two 6″ steel bolts

  • adjustable wrench

  • soldering iron

  • electrical tape

How to Install Remote Starter for Toyota Corolla

Remove the panel under the instrument panel. This will give you access to the Corolla ignition wiring. Locate the power, ignition, accessory, and starter wires in the main ignition harness. An audio wire can also be found in this harness if needed for installation. Check all wires with a digital multimeter and remove a small amount of insulation from them.

Remove the protective panel from the driver’s side. This will provide access to the door lock and unlock wires, as well as parking lights, brake lights, and protective wires. Once these wires are found and tested to work with a DMM, the wires can be stripped of their insulation.

Connect the remote start wiring to the appropriate wires in the vehicle. Solder all connections and seal them with electrical tape. If possible, run all spare wires near the factory harnesses and connect them with nylon ties.

Install the antenna on the windshield. For maximum range, mount the antenna as close to the center of the windshield as possible.

Check the device for correct operation. Verify that Remote Start is working properly and that all installed features are working properly. Set the factory alarm, if equipped, and make sure it does not go off when the vehicle is started.

Items You’ll Need

How Car Remote Starters Work

Some new cars leave the factory with a remote starter feature, and the benefits of this feature are easy to use. By warming up the engine before you even get in the car, you ensure that all oxygen sensors are warmed up and emission controls are working at peak efficiency from the moment you leave the road. In addition, on a cold winter morning, you can also slip into the already warm passenger compartment and enjoy the cold air before heading out on a long summer drive to work in stop-and-go conditions.

Although OEM car remote starters are relatively new, these devices have been available in the aftermarket for a long time. Often combined with car alarms, keyless entry systems, and other similar devices, they are also available as separate devices.

How much do car remote starters cost?

When you buy a new car with a remote starter, the cost is usually hidden somewhere in the fine print. Compared to the cost of everything else, it’s usually not that big of a deal.

Relatively speaking, autostarting a remote car is not that expensive, but there are two costs associated with it: the price of a remote start kit and the installation cost. While you can find a basic remote starter online for less than $100, this is just an installation kit. And the thing is, installing a remote car starter can be quite a chore, especially if your car has anti-theft measures built into it.

Reputable installers typically charge about $400 for a remote starter and labor to install it. Cheaper options are often available, especially if you can find a deal through a site like Groupon, but research what you’re getting.

For example, what at first glance looks like a particularly good deal may only involve a very simple remote starter, and adding any extra options may result in a much more expensive final bill.

How do remote starters work?

Remote vehicle starters are devices that allow the vehicle to be started without the driver or key being physically present. This feat is accomplished with a component that is connected to the ignition system and equipped with a radio receiver. When this component receives a signal from a paired transmitter, which usually takes the form of a key fob, it will activate the starter.

Since the vehicle’s remote starter simulates the same action that occurs when the ignition key is turned, these systems have several limitations. First, they usually don’t work well with carbureted vehicles. Special carburetor kits are available for some remote starters, but these kits are usually not suitable for particularly temperamental vehicles that require a lot of fiddling with gas or choke. If the vehicle requires manual intervention, such as pressing the gas pedal to reset the high idle, remote starters are especially problematic.

Newer vehicles that ship from the factory with anti-theft measures built in usually require some type of bypass component to get the remote starter to work without a key in the ignition.

Learn more about choosing a remote start kit.

Additional remote start features

In addition to simply starting the car remotely, some remote starters offer many other features and integration with other related devices. Some common features include:

  • Reversible consoles
  • Keyless entry
  • Disable starter
  • Car alarm / security
  • Dome light remote activation
  • Smartphone app control
  • Vehicle search
  • Auxiliary remote outputs

Two way remote control for remote starters

Basic remote car starters use a simple transmitter/receiver setup that allows you to start your car with the push of a button. On systems that use two-way remote controls, the remote control can send and receive information. This feature allows the remote to display information such as the car’s internal temperature, which can be invaluable if you wait to get out until it has warmed up or cooled down to a comfortable level.

Integrated Starter Disable

Because it requires a remote vehicle starter to be connected to the ignition system to operate, some of these devices can also disable the ignition system. If the starter disable feature is enabled, this will generally prevent the vehicle from being hot-plugged. Some car remote starters also have even more advanced features that can be activated if the car is hijacked or hijacked, which usually disables the alarm and then disables the starter after the car is turned off.

Remote vehicle start using smartphone apps

Vehicle remote controls usually come with one or more remote controls that are also designed to function as key keys, but some of these systems can also be operated via a smartphone app.