The Best Remote Starters

Remote starters were once a premium option reserved for luxury vehicles, but now you can install your own remote starter on nearly any vehicle made in the last 10 to 20 years. Remote start functionality is no longer limited to high-end luxury vehicles and is becoming more commonplace among all new makes and models. Your trusted vehicle doesn’t have to be left out, though, just because it’s a few years old. Aftermarket remote starters can be easy to install and work just as well, if not better, than those offered by car manufacturers.

We reviewed dozens of remote starters and have identified the best available for adding remote functionality to your vehicle. As we looked at these remote starters we considered factors such as installation requirements, integrated vehicle functions, and incorporated remote control devices in choosing our top picks. We then laid out a detailed list of many more great options to help you find the right remote starter for your vehicle.

Best Remote Starter Overall
Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm
Universal compatibility, long-range transmission, and incredible functionality make the Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm a top buy.

After careful consideration, we chose the Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm as our overall top pick. It’s a highly-regarded universal system that can be installed on nearly any modern vehicle, and it comes with two remote key fobs with LCD screens.

The 5 Top-Rated Remote Starters

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Remote Starter OverallCompustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm4.4
Best Remote Starter for Ford TrucksStart-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks4.7
Best Budget Remote StarterFortin EVO GM Car Starter System4.5
Best Remote Starter for Toyota TacomaMPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma4.4
Best Remote Starter for Jeep WranglerStart-X Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler4.7

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Remote Starter Overall: Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm

Universal compatibility and extensive functionality are the main selling points of the Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm. This kit includes a 2-way interactive LCD remote, a backup 1-way remote, a control module, sensors, and an alarm siren. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, other parts may be necessary for installation. Check the Amazon customer questions and answers for installation information on many common vehicles, or take your vehicle to an automotive electronics professional for guidance or professional installation.

Once installed, this remote starter has it all. The 2-way interactive LCD remote provides audible and visual signals that let you know what commands you have successfully sent to your vehicle. The provided remotes can transmit up to 3000 feet from your car. This device is capable of incorporating multiple shock sensors that, when placed around your vehicle, can notify you if something impacts your vehicle and sound the provided 105-decibel alarm.

And, of course, this can be used to remotely start your vehicle so that you can warm it up before you head out. It’s also possible to program in door lock functionality as well as trunk operation, hood latch control, and more. The remote key fob can function as a keyless entry device as well. This remote starter has been made to work with gasoline and diesel vehicles, as well as automatic and manual transmissions.

Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm Key Features:

  • Universal compatibility across nearly all modern vehicles
  • 3000-foot remote control range
  • Provides visible and audible notification of commands
  • 105-decibel alarm siren included

Best Remote Starter for Ford Trucks: Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks

Best Remote Starter for Ford Trucks
Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks
The Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks is a plug and play device that’ll take no more than a few minutes to install.

The Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks is as easy to install as can be, and it is simple to operate as well. This is a plug and play device that requires no wire rerouting or cutting. The provided video guide shows you step-by-step how to install and program this remote starter in under 5 minutes. Once operational, your factory-provided remote key fobs will now have remote start functionality that can fire up your engine with an easy to remember button sequence.

This remote starter can be installed on 2015-2019 Ford F-150 trucks, 2017-2019 F-250, F-350, F-450, and Ranger trucks, 2018-2019 Expeditions, 2015-2019 Edges, and 2014-2019 Fusions. No-honk functionality can be programmed in so that when you remotely start your vehicle early in the morning you won’t disturb your neighbors. This device works with gasoline and diesel engines as well as push-button and turn-key starting vehicles.

Start-X Remote Starter for Ford Trucks Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation with video guidance
  • No-honk remote start function
  • For F-150, F-250, Ranger, Expedition, Edge, and Fusion vehicles
  • Works with OEM key fobs

Best Budget Remote Starter: Fortin EVO GM Car Starter System

Best Budget Remote Starter
Fortin EVO GM Car Starter System
The Fortin EVO GM Car Starter System is an affordable remote start kit for GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet vehicles.

There’s no reason to spend big bucks on a remote start system, at least not for the select GMC, Chevrolet, and Cadillac vehicles that are compatible with the Fortin EVO GM Car Starter System. This kit can be installed in a wide range of GM vehicles that have automatic transmissions and use standard turn-key starts. This unit will sync with your factory-provided key fob, enabling remote start by pushing the lock button three times in a row.

Alternatively, you could also use an RF kit to program a separate remote device to work with your vehicle. Either way, you must have one of the following vehicles in order to use this budget-friendly remote starter: 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade, 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche, 2008-2017 Chevrolet Express models, 2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado models, 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban, 2007-2014 Chevrolet Savanna, 2008-2017 GMC Sierra 1500, 2007-2013 GMC Sierra 2500, 2007-2014 GMC Sierra 3500, 2007-2014 GMC Sierra HD, and 2007-2014 GMC Yukon.

Fortin EVO GM Car Starter System Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation
  • For use on automatic transmissions only
  • For a number of Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles
  • Remote start using factory key fob or RF kit

Best Remote Starter for Toyota Tacoma: MPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma

Best Remote Starter for Toyota Tacoma
MPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma
Easy to install and operate, the MPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma is an upgrade all Tacoma owners should consider.

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the best selling pickup trucks in America, but it hasn’t been treated to remote start functionality until now. The MPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma is a modern taco driver’s remote start solution. Using a plug-in T-harness, this kit installs easily without any unnecessary wire cutting or dashboard dismantling. Everything you need to complete the installation is included in this kit.

By default, this unit is designed to work with your existing factory-provided key fobs to enable remote start functionality— all you’ll have to do is press the lock button three times in a row to fire up the engine. Alternatively, this device can be paired with Evo remotes with extended-range transmitters if you want to upgrade your key fob. There is also space for a smartphone interface module that can be linked with your smartphone so that you can control everything from your remote engine start to your door locks with your smartphone.

MPC Plug-n-Play for Toyota Tacoma Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation with additional wiring
  • For 2016-2019 Toyota Tacomas
  • Optional smartphone compatibility and long-range fobs
  • Functions with your factory-provided key fobs

Best Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler: Start-X Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler

Best Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler
Start-X Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler
Add another mod to your Jeep, one you’re sure to use every time you drive, with the Start-X Remote Starter for jeep Wrangler.

Wrangler owners are notorious for modifying their vehicles. It’s a Jeep thing, after all. Though it may not be as eye-catching as 35″ mud-terrain tires or a new bash plate, the Start-X Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler is an upgrade that Jeep owners will certainly appreciate. With this modification, you can remotely start your car before you head off to work, or before you get out of your tent on a chilly morning in the wilderness. Warm up the Wrangler before you ride!

The plug and play installation is fairly straightforward. This device does require a bit of dashboard disassembly in order to install it, but any Jeep owner worth her salt knows how to take apart their vehicle, or at least isn’t scared to try. The remote starter can be installed on any 2007-2018 Wrangler so long as it has power locks. Those of you who got the base model with zero options cannot use this device because the necessary electronics just aren’t there.

Though this remote starter works fine with your OEM key fobs, you can additionally add in smartphone functionality or purchase additional long-range key fobs if you desire. With a smartphone, the range is essentially limitless, as long as you have cell service. If you frequent the backwoods where no cellphone towers reach, you’d be better off using a standard or long-range key fob.

Start-X Remote Starter for Jeep Wrangler Key Features:

  • Plug and play installation with dashboard disassembly
  • For 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • Works with factory-provided fob
  • Optional smartphone and additional fob functionality

Who Should Buy a Remote Starter

Anyone who has sat in their vehicle for 10 minutes waiting for the engine to warm up so that they can defrost their ice-covered windshield has at one point or another wished that they had the forethought to warm up their car before they had needed to leave. It’s at this point that drivers decide whether they should wait for the ice to melt and be 10 minutes late to work or school, or whether driving unsafely with a foggy and icy windshield is worth saving those few minutes.

You don’t have to put yourself in that position with a remote starter. With a remote starter, you can turn your engine on and defrost the windshield while you’re eating breakfast inside the comfort of your home. Likewise, if you live where the weather gets hot, a remote starter can help you cool down your car, with the aid of your vehicle’s automatic climate control, for several minutes before you ever get into the vehicle. Anyone with a car made after the mid-2000s can install a remote starter in their vehicle, and they should.

Most remote starters are very easy to install on your own, and professionals can take care of the difficult ones for you. The same car professionals who install car alarm systems and satellite radios can help you with your new remote starter.

Best Remote Starter Overall
Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm
Universal compatibility, long-range transmission, and incredible functionality make the Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm a top buy.

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important considerations to think through before purchasing a remote starter.

  • Vehicle match. You must make sure to purchase a remote starter that works for your specific vehicle. It is important to double-check the product information to ensure that your vehicle’s make, model, year, and components are listed to be sure you purchase the correct product. Some remote starters even require that your vehicle has specific options such as push-button start and electronic door locks for the device to function. Additional components may need to be purchased for some vehicles.
  • Installation. Installation can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours depending on the type of remote starter your purchase. Your vehicle’s design may be the cause of a difficult installation, but there may be remote starters that are easier to install than the first one you come upon in your research. Find the simplest solution you can, or prepare to take a difficult-to-install starter to your local car electronics specialist for professional installation.
  • Remote control device. There are three ways remote starters can give you remote control of your vehicle. They may provide new key fobs with their installation kit that must be used for remote functionality to work. Some remote starters can alter the functionalist of your existing factory key fobs. Others are able to give you smartphone remote control over your vehicle.
  • Remote control functions. The core ability of any remote starter is its ability to remotely start your vehicle’s engine. Many remote starters also can give you remote control over door locks, trunk access, and the alarm, while other capabilities like keyless entry and climate control may also be offered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a remote starter and how does it work?

Remote starters are modules that can be installed in your vehicle that give you the power to remotely start your car’s engine without having to be physically inside of the vehicle. Some remote starters are plug and play, while others require wire manipulation to fully install. They can alter the remote abilities of your factory key fob, give you smartphone control over your vehicle, and/or they come packaged with their own key fobs that enhance the remote functionality of your vehicle.

Is a remote starter bad for your engine?

Not at all. When properly installed, a remote starter can actually be beneficial for your engine. One of the most common reasons to get a remote starter is so that you can warm up your engine and the passenger cabin before driving off on a cold winter day. Warming up your engine before driving it is beneficial for your vehicle’s drivetrain.

Can you add remote start to any car?

Nearly any car manufactured in the mid-2000s through present-day can be retrofitted with a remote starter. Older vehicles do not have the necessary computer programming and electronics for the remote start to function, but all modern cars do.

How long does it take to install a remote starter?

This depends on your vehicle and the exact remote starter that you purchase. Many modern remote starters are easy to install plug and play devices that can take as little as a few minutes to completely install. Some vehicles are not as easily modifiable and may require you to access components behind your dashboard, or even cut wires in order to fully install remote start functionality. The most difficult installations can take a few hours, and some are best left to the professionals who can guarantee their work.

Other Remote Starters We Reviewed

Best Remote Starter Overall
Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm
Universal compatibility, long-range transmission, and incredible functionality make the Compustar CS7900 Remote Start and Alarm a top buy.

We looked at 20 other remote starters. Even though they didn’t make our five best remote starter list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for improving the remote functionality of your vehicle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Universal Remote Starters

Car Alarm Systems Remote Engine Start

Car Alarm Systems Remote Engine Start

Giving you full control of your vehicle with the provided key fobs and your own Apple or Samsung smartphone, the Car Alarm Systems Remote Engine Start kit is a convenient modification that any car owner can benefit from. You can remotely start your car, open the trunk, trigger the alarm, and more with this handy tool.

Key Features:

  • Enables smartphone vehicle functions
  • YouTube installation video provided
  • Includes two remote control fobs

Cost: $110

Compustar 4900S Remote Start

Compustar 4900S Remote Start

The Compustar 4900S Remote Start comes with two 4-button remote key fobs that have an amazing 3000-foot working range. This kit is smartphone compatible. The control module comes with a lifetime warranty, and the key fobs are backed by a one-year warranty.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with smartphone control
  • Diesel engine safe
  • Includes two 4-button remotes

Cost: $120

EASYGUARD Remote Start Push Start

EASYGUARD Remote Start Push Start

Customize your convenience with the EASYGUARD Remote Start Push Start. This product works with push-button start vehicles and can be paired with the included touch keypad for convenient numerical entry code access much like what can be found on premium Ford vehicles.

Key Features:

  • Includes passive keyless entry
  • Works with push-button start vehicles
  • Includes optional touch keypad entry

Cost: $130

Prestige Remote Start and Alarm

Prestige Remote Start and Alarm

With a one-mile range, the Prestige Remote Start and Alarm is immensely powerful. This transmitter can be activated while you’re inside your home or at the grocery store, allowing you to ensure your doors are locked or give the car a chance to warm up as you make the walk over to your vehicle.

Key Features:

  • Includes two 5-button key fobs
  • One key fob has an LCD screen
  • Optional smartphone control

Cost: $130

Ford Remote Starters

ISSYAUTO Ford Truck Remote Starter

ISSYAUTO Ford Truck Remote Starter

There are a number of ways to use your ISSYAUTO Ford Truck Remote Starter. This can operate your doors, start your engine, activate climate control, and more! The whole suite of modern Ford trucks and SUVs are compatible with this remote starter.

Key Features:

  • Quick plug and play installation
  • For Ford Trucks and SUVs
  • Climate control functionality

Cost: $115

Kicky Ride Remote Start for Ford and Lincoln

Kicky Ride Remote Start for Ford and Lincoln

The Kicky Ride Remote Start for Ford and Lincoln vehicles is a game-changer for those who want modern conveniences added to their aging automobiles. What’s handy is that this remote starter has a valet mode that can be used to temporarily disable its functionality for valets, service mechanics, or friends who borrow your vehicle.

Key Features:

  • Easy plug and play with installation support
  • Valet mode allows you to temporarily disable functions
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $130

Start-X Remote Starter for Ford F-150 and SUVs

Start-X Remote Starter for Ford F-150 and SUVs

Simply plug the Start-X Remote Starter for Ford F-150 and SUVs into the OBD2 port and you are ready to remotely control your vehicle. Like other Ford remote starters, this device can control many functions from door locks to engine start-up and climate control.

Key Features:

  • OBD2 Port plug and play with no wiring
  • Works on F-150, Expedition, and Edge vehicles
  • Diesel engine safe

Cost: $125

Nissan Remote Starters

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Frontier

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Frontier

Simple to install with only four vehicle plugs that need to be connected under the dash and steering wheel, the Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Frontier is an easy way to add remote start functionally to your 2008-2019 Frontier.

Key Features:

  • Remotely turns on engine, engine shuts off automatically after 15 minutes
  • Works on 2008-2019 Frontier models
  • 10-minute plug and play install

Cost: $220

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Sedans and SUVs

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Sedans and SUVs

By connecting the 5 provided plugs to your vehicle, the Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Sedans and SUVs is able to connect to your factory key fobs to enable remote start control. All you need to do is press the lock button on your fob three times to start the car’s engine.

Key Features:

  • Works with factory key fob remotes
  • Works on Altima, Maxima, Murano, and Pathfinder models
  • 10-minute plug and play install

Cost: $160

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Titan

Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Titan

Just like the previous Nissan-compatible models, this Start-X Remote Starter for Nissan Titan uses a few plug and play plugs to enable remote start from your own factory key fobs. This works with 2008-2015 Nissan Titan models.

Key Features:

  • Works with factory key fob remotes
  • Works on 2008-2015 Nissan Titans
  • 10-minute plug and play install

Cost: $220

Toyota Remote Starters

MPC Factory Remote Start Kit

MPC Factory Remote Start Kit

This MPC Factory Remote Start Kit works for Toyota Corollas from model years 2014-2019. This installation is partially plug-and-play with minor additional wiring. This will allow your factory key fob to remotely start your vehicle.

Key Features:

  • Plug in T-harness installation
  • For 2014-2019 Toyota Corolla
  • Works with factory remote

Cost: $210

Start-X Complete Plug N Play

Start-X Complete Plug N Play

Zero wire splicing is required with the Start-X Complete Plug N Play remote starter. Some disassembly of your vehicle is required, but there’s no fussing about with wires. This plugs in as a T-harness unit, giving your factory key fobs the ability to remotely start your truck.

Key Features:

  • Plug in T-harness installation with no wiring
  • For 2010-2017 Toyota Tundra
  • Works with factory remote

Cost: $190

Start-X Plug N Play Remote Starter

Start-X Plug N Play Remote Starter

The Start-X Plug N Play Remote Starter is key fob and smartphone compatible for 2011-2020 Toyota Sienna and 2010-2019 Toyota 4Runner vehicles. This complete kit includes a panel-removal tool and zip ties to help you install it correctly and cleanly.

Key Features:

  • Made for push-start vehicles only
  • Works for Toyota Sienna and 4Runner
  • Smartphone compatibility

Cost: $160

Remote Starters for Other Brands

MPC Factory Remote Starter for Honda

MPC Factory Remote Starter for Honda

The MPC Factory Remote Starter for Honda is a complete installation kit that includes a data interface bypass module, a remote starter, and a T-harness. It is smartphone compatible and must be installed on CR-Vs with existing keyless entry systems.

Key Features:

  • Adds on to existing keyless entry vehicles
  • For 2012-2015 Honda CR-V
  • Smartphone compatibility

Cost: $190

MPC Remote Start for Kia and Hyundai

MPC Remote Start for Hyundai

This MPC Remote Start for Kia and Hyundai works across a wide range of vehicles. It works for Santa Fe, Elantra, Tuscon, Sonata, and Accent models from varying model years, so be sure to check the product information to see if your exact model year is included.

Key Features:

  • Adds on to existing keyless entry vehicles
  • For multiple Hyundai and Kia vehicles
  • Smartphone compatibility

Cost: $190

Start-X Chevrolet and GMC Remote Starter

Start-X Chevrolet and GMC Remote Starter

A smartphone compatible remote starter, the Start-X Chevrolet and GMC Remote Starter can be a convenient upgrade for those who own a 2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2007-2013 GMC Sierra truck.

Key Features:

  • T-harness plug and play installation
  • For Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks
  • Works with factors key fobs and smartphones

Cost: $150

Start-X Remote Start for Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler

Start-X Remote Start for Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler

Made for the latest generation of offroad Jeep vehicles, the Start-X Remote Start for Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler requires that your vehicle be fitted with factory push-button start and power door locks.

Key Features:

  • Made for vehicles with existing push-button start
  • For 2018-202 Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator vehicles
  • Factory power locks are required

Cost: $145

Budget Remote Starters

Avital Remote Start System

Avital Remote Start System

With a little bit of wiring you can install this Avital Remote Start System on just about any vehicle. Two key fobs are included which allow you to remotely start your car, control the door locks, open the trunk, and trigger the alarm.

Key Features:

  • Two 4-button key fobs included
  • Working range of up to a 1/2 mile
  • Dual-zone impact sensor for alarm

Cost: $50

Crimestopper Remote Start

Crimestopper Remote Start

The Crimestopper Remote Start has impressive functionality for the price point. Aside from remotely starting your vehicle and locking its doors, this can also be used for keyless entry and it has a Mobile Start port where you can add in smartphone connectivity if you desire.

Key Features:

  • Two 5-button key fobs included
  • Working range of up to 2000 feet
  • Mobile Start port

Cost: $55

EASYGUARD Passive Entry Remote Start

EASYGUARD Passive Entry Remote Start

The EASYGUARD Passive Entry Remote Start works with nearly any modern gasoline-powered vehicle with push-button start. Passive keyless entry, door locks, remote start, climate control, and more can be operated remotely with this installation kit and the provided key fobs.

Key Features:

  • Made for push-button start vehicles
  • Compatible with nearly any gasoline vehicle
  • Works with automatic and manual transmissions

Cost: $65

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