Remote starters are a HUGE part of our business here at WSS. We take pride in staying on top of this rising technology. From entry level systems to full blown flagship smartphone-integrated packages.
But let’s back up a step and start from the very beginning. First thing is first… WHAT IS A REMOTE STARTER?! Glad you asked! “Remote starters” are a remote-operated device that will start your vehicle from the comfort of your home/office/etc. without you having to walk out in the cold (or hot!). If you leave the heat or A/C on, it turns on when the engine does. Your car can warm up (or cool down) so it’s nice and comfortable when you get in. A bonus is once the car is warmed, it will start to thaw any ice on the windshield, too. And in hot climates, the seats will be cooled off and you can touch your steering wheel without needing oven mitts.
Many modern vehicles will also need what’s called a data module, along with the remote start system. This is because of factory theft-deterrent devices built into the vehicle. For instance, a 2005 Honda Accord has a transponder chip hidden inside the key for the car. If the vehicle does not recognize that the chip is next to the ignition, the vehicle will not start. Rather than leaving a key in the vehicle (which is a bad idea!), we install a data module that sends out the same signal as the chip in the key only when you ask the vehicle to start via the remote. This only temporarily bypasses the factory theft deterrence, and does not make the vehicle any easier to steal, but it is necessary in order for a remote start to function properly.
The next question is how do they operate? There are many different styles of remote starters, but the main idea for a standard system is this: press a button on the remote and your ignition starts. Your parking lights flash to signal it has received the command. To prevent a thief from driving off in your running car, the vehicle remains locked until YOU unlock it. You must also turn the key in the ignition before you can put the car in gear, or the engine will shut off. If you change your mind, the remote starter can also turn off the engine, or the brake pedal will also act as a kill switch. These features are standard on all remote start systems we sell, but there are MANY other additional options available.
One option to keep in mind with all of the systems that we sell is range. When we refer to “range,” we are talking about the maximum distance between you and your vehicle to where the remote start will still work. When outside of this range, the remote start will do nothing. Now, range is VERY dependent on surroundings and even the way the signal is being delivered. Remote starters will always give you an approximate range, but here’s the inside scoop. What they don’t tell you on the box is that your range is affected by literally everything. From the structural integrity of the building you are in, to the number of vehicles in the way (for instance: in a Rite Aid parking lot), everything can cut down on the total range the system will be able to achieve. Beyond that, think of the range more as an oval than a circle around the vehicle. Remote starters have more range directly in front or behind the vehicle, and less from the sides. While our entry level system typically works from anyone’s house, it is because of these reasons that you never want to overlook the opportunities to use your remote starter in places other than your house.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you to think about. You wake up in the morning. It’s 18 degrees outside and snowing. You remote start your car, and about ten minutes later you only have to brave the cold for a few seconds before you are in a comfortably warm car. Now it’s later in the day and you are getting ready to leave work. It’s warmer than it was when you woke up, but it’s still 29 degrees. You had to park around the corner so your basic remote starter will not reach the vehicle, and now you are getting in your car freezing cold! Are those icicles on the seats?! Remember, that 300 foot system you bought is now getting about 50-75 feet since it has to travel through a concrete wall and there are 3 other cars in the way. The range is diminished with each obstacle it has to pass through.
The main benefit with a remote starter is convenience and making your drive easier. You are able to get in a warm car in the morning at home when it’s frigid outside… Wouldn’t you want to be able to remote start your car from anywhere you travel throughout the day? It’s still cold at 2pm! The solution to this problem is purchasing an upgraded system with better range.
We hope you have learned something in reading this, and as always, if you have any other questions or concerns please contact us HERE or call us at the store at (410) 857-5300!
Here are a few key points about remote start systems at WSS:
- We are the acknowledged leader in remote starts in the Baltimore area. We install more systems per store than any other retailer in the area. Our expertise continues to draw customers from Westminster, Eldersburg, Manchester, Hampstead, Taneytown, Finksburg, Reisterstown, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Damascus, Littlestown, Hanover and even York Pennsylvania!
- We have been specializing in this longer than anyone around; over twenty-six years!
- We test these systems in our own cars.
- We are always looking for new and better products.
- Compustar is the current leader in the remote start category. Their product is the finest available. This is our featured line.
- We use the highest quality data integration modules to allow us to make fewer connections in your car and give you a more reliable, longer lasting remote start.
- We test our systems for range and try to give a more reasonable range that is attainable. We have seen many low cost systems that tout range of “over 1000 ft” that would not start the vehicle from 30 feet away!
- Our technicians are very skilled in remote start installations. A proper installation will make your life much more convenient. Bad installations can cause serious damage to your vehicle, so choose wisely whom to trust!
- We have been serving this community for over 47 years.
- Mobile Electronics Magazine has awarded us one of the Top Mobile Electronics Retailers in North America for six years running.