text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
      lang: en_US


Imagine being able to start your car, let the engine warm up, and have ice-cold AC or your heater running full-blast before you even step outside - that's the advantage of a remote starter. And while it may seem like a big upgrade, with a little know-how and the right parts and tools, you can install one yourself.

Choosing a Remote Starter

Although there are ways to install a remote starter on a vehicle with a manual transmission, it's easiest if you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission.

Before you purchase a remote starter, make sure it will work with your vehicle. Today's vehicles play host to a variety of complex electronic equipment, some of which may impede your ability to install a remote starter on your vehicle. Read the application notes carefully. If the manufacturer of the remote starting unit clearly states that their unit will work on your vehicle, chances are you won't have any trouble with the installation.

Tools & Supplies

Some remote starting units come with all the tools and supplies needed to complete the installation. Other units may require additional electrical connectors, nuts, and bolts. You will need the following items, and perhaps more, to complete the installation.

Basic hand tools, including wrenches, ratchets and sockets, and screwdrivers

A soldering iron, solder, and flux - use rosin core solder for best results

In lieu of a soldering iron, you may elect to crimp the connections using butt connectors and an adequate crimping tool

The Installation

Specific installation instructions should be included with your remote starter unit. If your unit did not come with any instructions at all, you may be able to find them with a quick Internet search. Before you start, be sure to have a workshop manual for your specific vehicle on hand.
  • 1. Read the instructions carefully. To complete the installation, you will need to be able to locate specific wires on your vehicle’s wiring harness.
  • 2. Locate your vehicle's 12V constant wire. You can accomplish this task using a multimeter.
  • 3. Locate your vehicle's ignition wire, or 'key on' 12V power source. This wire only has voltage going to it when the key is turned.
  • 4. Read the remote starter's instructions carefully a second time, and a third, if necessary.
  • 5. If your remote starter unit requires you to locate wires other than a 12V constant and 'key on' 12V power source, locate those wires now. Consult your workshop manual, if necessary
  • 6. Formulate a plan to attach the wires on the remote starter unit to the appropriate wires on your wiring harness. DO NOT attempt to lengthen the wires on the remote start unit.
  • 7. Determine where you will mount the remote starter unit. Many installers put the unit under the dash, near the steering column. DO NOT mount the unit anywhere it will be exposed to heat or vibration, like inside the engine compartment.
  • 8. Execute the plan from step 6. Connect the wires and mount the remote starter unit.
  • 9. Test the unit to ensure you completed the installation correctly.

  • For more specific instructions, consult the documentation that came with your remote starter unit.

    Troubleshooting the Remote Start

    Be sure to test your unit after installation.

    Your remote starter unit should turn the car's engine just as quickly as if you were using the key to start it. If the starter turns slower with the remote starter than it does with the key, double check all your electrical connections to ensure that they do not draw more power than they should.

    If the unit does not work at all, double and triple check all your electrical connections to ensure that they are properly connected to the vehicle's wiring harness.

    Finishing Up

    All remote starter installations are different, based on the remote starter unit and the specific vehicle application. With a little planning and foresight, your installation should go smoothly. If you run into trouble, or simply want a professional to complete the installation, the boys are here to help. If you need assistance with your remote starter installation, give your local Pep Boys a visit to select your starter and schedule a service appointment.