As the weather gets colder, we get a lot of phone calls from our remote car starter clients (There are over 3000 of them!). Many people do not use the systems as much in the summer, so when that first cool fall day arrives, they hit the magical button on their remote….. and nothing happens…. Nada…. Zip…. RELAX! In most cases it is something very normal and simple to correct. Let’s walk through the possible causes and their solutions.
1. System is in valet mode – Our biggest selling brand is Compustar and they have a feature called “Valet Mode.” Valet mode temporarily eliminates the ability to start the vehicle remotely and is used primarily when the vehicle is being serviced to protect a mechanic. Valet mode is entered by pressing 2 buttons on the remote simultaneously. We have seen this happen accidentally when the remote is in a purse or pocket. If you own a Compustar system and it will still lock and unlock the doors, but it does not flash the parking lights and the remote starter stopped working, this may be the culprit. To get the system out of valet mode, try pressing the lock and trunk buttons at the same time for 1/2 a second. Problem solved!
Many remote starter systems will use a switch to put the system in valet mode. If you have a brand other than Compustar you should look for a small toggle switch and see if it accidentally got flipped.
2. Batteries are dead in the remote – This is another common problem when your remote starter has stopped working. If your remote has an LED that illuminates when you push a button. If the LED fils to light or is dim, you may just need some new batteries for your remote. Any reputable car audio retailer or jeweler, or even Radio Shack should be able to help you with this.
3. Remote lost programming – On rare occasions a remote control may lose programming. This means the remote starter does not recognize the commands from the remote. The first thing to do here is to speak to the facility that installed your remote starter. They should be able to help you through this.
4. Remote is broken – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Call the store that did your installation and most of the time they should be able to get you a replacement remote. If you have moved you can also contact the manufacturer of the remote car starter and see if they can refer you to a local dealer.
5. Broken or failed hood pin switch – Any reputable remote car starter facility should be utilizing a switch that disables the car from being remote started if the good is up. This is to protect someone who is working under the hood of your vehicle. If this part fails, it needs to be replaced in order for the car to remote start. This is typically something that will involve an appointment with the facility that did your installation.
6. Remote is in 2nd car mode – Some remote car starters have the ability to control 2 vehicles from 1 remote. An example of this would be husband and wife both having remote car starters but not wanting to carry two remotes. If your remote has this feature and it was accidentally put into 2nd car mode, it will not communicate with your vehicle. Many times the owner’s manual for your system will address this and show you how to take it out of 2nd car mode. If not, again, contact the facility that did your installation. If this is the problem, it is a quick fix.
We have been installing remote starters for a long time: Over 20 years and over 3000 units installed! They are one of those things that once you have one, you won’t know how you got along without it. When installed by a high quality facility (like WSS Westminster Speed and Sound!) you will get many years of enjoyment out of it. From out experience, nearly all “failures” fall into one of the categories above and are very easy to fix. If you are considering a remote starter for your vehicle, find yourself a great facility and you will not be sorry. We believe that WSS Westminster Speed and Sound is one of those facilities.
To learn more about our facility and our remote car starters, we urge you to stop in during regular business hours. We will be happy to spend all the time you need to educate you on all the options and considerations when buying a remote car starter.