It’s Monday morning. Your alarm goes off. You wake from a cozy, warm deep sleep. You roll out of bed, complete your AM routine, stumble to the kitchen and sip your warm cup of perked coffee. You’re dressed and ready to go, and then there it is, staring at you in the driveway. Your freezing cold car. Winter is here and there is no escaping that bitter cold that burns your skin the second you step outside.
So what are your options? You don’t want to start your car and let it run with the keys in the driveway. You definitely don’t want to sit in it, gripping a frozen steering wheel while your nose gets frostbite. If these are your only options, chances are it’s the worst part of your day.
Unless… you invest in a remote car starter! If your car didn’t already come with one, don’t stress, you can still have one installed. If your car did come with one, then consider buying a remote starter as a Christmas gift for your loved one this year! Nothing is more thoughtful than a gift that says, “Wishing you toasty buns this winter season!”
Safety Tip: Always turn on your vehicle in a properly ventilated or outdoor area. Carbon monoxide, a substance produced by gasoline, is life threatening to humans and animals. It is undetectable (without the proper device) because it is invisible and unscented.
Here are 5 remote car starters to make you hate winter a little less:
1. The Python Basic Remote Starter: It’s exactly how it sounds. A one button, one way, up to ¼ mile range remote car starter. The basic remote starter is the most standard option you can get in terms of car starters, but it does the trick and at an affordable price! It retails at approximately $229.00 +/-. On one hand, it’s a great idea for the person who doesn’t want to see too many buttons and prefers something simple! On the other hand, you are paying quite a bit of money for a remote that only offers one feature.
2. The Avital 4103 Remote Start is a step up from a basic starter with keyless entry, which retails for approximately $199.00 +/-. It is a 4-button remote, which allows you to automatically start your car from 2,000 feet away. These 4-buttons include: a trunk opener, lock/unlock buttons, remote car starter, and an auxiliary button, which you can program to open and close either your van’s sliding doors or your trunk. The best part about the Avital 4103? It has more features and costs less money.
Safety Tip: Some remote car starters can be programmed by your installer to keep your engine on for a specific amount of time. The standard time to keep your engine running is 12 minutes. However, you can ask to let it run longer (not recommended). After the time has elapsed, your vehicle will shut itself off.
3. Viper’s LED 2-Way Remote Car Starter: Now we start getting into a more snazzier remote car starter! Viper’s LED 2-Way does everything the 1-way does but with a little something extra. It has LED lights on each button that light up confirming your car has received the remote signal. It also comes in 7 different colour options, which is a great, personalized touch for any Christmas gift! If you want to give with a little extra sparkle, the LED 2-Way is a great choice! Viper’s LED 2-Way retails for approximately $449.00 +/-.
4. The AutoStart LCD 2-Way Remote Start System: Now this is luxury. This remote starter has a computer-like LCD screen with priority icons that communicate with your vehicle. It has a 5200 feet range so when your car is parked down the street you can still start it while staying toasty inside. The LCD 2-Way also has a timer for your remote car starter. It will count down how much time you have left before the car turns itself off! If you’ve been really good this year, Santa will probably bring you the LCD 2-Way. If you’ve been bad, it costs about $549.00 +/-.
5. Directed’s SmartStart: The most innovative way to communicate with your car today…but also the priciest! SmartStart is an app you download to your mobile phone that allows you to remote start your car from anywhere you can get a signal! You can download the app software for FREE on android and iPhone. After downloading it, you need to purchase the module so that it can be installed in your vehicle (see each package for price details). SmartStart has a ton of other features as well: Lock/Disarm your vehicle, trunk release, panic, control aux channels, a parking meter alarm, vehicle status updates and more. It also allows other phones to connect to the same vehicle. If you have a shared vehicle in your home more than one family member can use the app! SmartStart has different package options that allow you to choose which one best suits your needs.
SmartStart Basic Package: This package offers one-year of activation for $69.49. Features include: lock/unlock, remote start, trunk release, panic, control aux channels, a parking meter alarm, and vehicle status updates. You also have to purchase the basic module to be installed in the vehicle for an additional $279.99. The Secure 1 Package is a great idea to give that special someone because it offers the option of testing SmartStart for a year. If they love it, they can just renew or upgrade after the one-year activation is up!
GPS Premium 1 Package: It’s called “Premium” for a reason. If you haven’t already put it together, this package comes with a GPS tracking system for your vehicle. The Premium package comes with everything the basic package does, in addition to the following: speed gage, speed alert, vehicle locator, social check-in, lockdown, a Wi-Fi hotspot for the vehicle, and Directed’s Motor Club. Locked out? Need a tow? Dead battery? Motor Club offers 24/7/365 roadside assistance. This package costs $99.99 for 1 year of activation plus the $349.99 GPS module.
Now that you have purchased the product, you need someone to install it in your vehicle. The installation price for a remote car starter varies depending on the make and year of your car. Labour starts at $100. Remember to take that into account in the overall cost.
Saving Tip: Buy and install your remote car starter at one place. For example, Viper has preferred dealers who they work with directly. These dealers can give you an estimate for exactly what your vehicle needs. Buying it and installing it at one shop can get you a package deal.
If you are looking for a thoughtful gift this Christmas, go with a remote car starter. This is the kind of gift that makes such a big difference on someone’s every day routine. Or perhaps treat yourself to one! If your car doesn’t already have one it is never too late to have a remote car starter installed. Consider it tomorrow morning when you are shivering in your snow-covered vehicle. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it!
By: Amandalina Letterio
*Images taken from manufacturers website
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