Can You Put A Remote Start in An Older Car?

Can You Put A Remote Start in An Older Car?

Car manufacturers have embraced the new technology and added new features to newly manufactured vehicles, like remote starters.

Can You Put A Remote Start in An Older Car All You Need to Know

A remote starter lets you start the car engine from a distance, warming or cooling the car’s temperatures.

But what happens to the older cars? Can you put a remote starter in your old car? Get to learn everything about remote starters for old vehicles, including their pros and cons.

You Can Put a Remote Starter in Your Old Car

Most new cars come with an installed remote starter.

Seeing your neighbor start their new Audi car’s engine from their balcony on a cold winter morning can easily make you feel left out.

Luckily, you can install a remote starter in your old model and keep up with the Williamsons, thanks to the aftermarket options.

However, don’t be quick to call your mechanic because remote starters are not one size fits all.

Most cars built before 2005 don’t have these starters, so you will need a professional to fix one.

Be sure to get the best because cheap remote starters can cause more harm than good.

If your car was manufactured in the mid-2000s or later, it probably has a dealer-installed remote starter from the manufacturer.

Other Features You Will Get from The Aftermarket Starter

Aftermarket remote starters have similar features to the manufacturer-installed remote starters.

Besides being able to warm or cool your car from the balcony, you get an advanced security system that you can connect to your smartphone.

You will also enjoy keyless entry to your old model Audi, and you can now brag about how good the start command is with your fellow motorists.


You must do your due diligence before buying an aftermarket remote starter. Some won’t have these advanced features.

Also, refrain from the urge of DIYs on remote starters. It is complicated to fix one, so you need an expert. Besides, having an expert fit your remote car starter gives you a warranty.

Can You Add a Remote Starter to Cars with Manual Transmissions?

Can You Put A Remote Start in An Older Car? - All You Need to Know

If you recently bought your manual transmission car, you cannot have it fitted with a remote starter for safety reasons.

Unlike automatic vehicles, these use a mechanical shift linkage without a wired sensor for remote starters. Therefore, the starter cannot verify if the car is in neutral gear.

Fitting a remote starter to cars with manual transmissions can be risky.

If you left the vehicle on gear mode and pressed the start button on your remote, it could jerk the car forward.

When this happens, the vehicle will heat anything in front of it, even the owner, and leave them dead.


Some mechanics will convince you about safe remote starters for manual transmission engines.

However, avoid installing these starters in your car, even if they have built-in fail-safes.

Cost of Installing a Remote Start in An Old Car

You could spend as little as $200 to $300 on aftermarket remote start systems. Others cost as much as $800, depending on the model and type.

Factors Affecting the Price of Remote Starters

  1. Remote starter features- the more advanced features the starter has, the more expensive it will be. For example, two-way remote starters are more expensive.
  2. Remote effectiveness- long-range remote starters cost more than short-range ones. The farther away you can start your car’s engine using the remote, the more money you will pay for it.
  3. Added features on the remote- some remotes allow car owners to lower their vehicle windows for cooling, and others are compatible with smartphones.
  4. Installation requirements- the more complicated it is to install the remote starter in your car, the more you will pay.


It is normal to want to save some coins on your purchases, but don’t be tempted to buy low-quality remote starters or generic ones.

These will be less effective on your car and can cause accidents.

Advantages of Putting a Remote Starter in An Old Car

Besides remote starters being expensive, they benefit car owners in many ways.

Improve Comfort

Remote starters can be helpful during winter and summer.

They allow you to start the car while in the house and let it warm, so you won’t suffer in the cold. You can also cool the vehicle during summer.

You can also defrost the winter snow before driving. Snow builds up on the headlights and breaks, making it hard to drive the vehicle.

Encourages You to Care for Your Engine

Motorists are encouraged to warm up the engine before driving.

However, it can be tempting to take off immediately after you switch on your car during winter or summer to avoid sitting in the heat or cold waiting for the car to warm.

A remote starter allows you to turn on the engine as you dress up.

Using the remote also saves you the hustle of going up and down your apartment staircases to turn the car on.

It Adds Security to Your Car

Besides starting your engine from the comfort of your home, a remote starter can alert you when someone gets too close to your car.

It also allows motorists to locate their cars, making it easy to find lost vehicles.

It Saves You Time

Since you don’t have to walk to the parking to start and warm your car’s engine, you can do other tasks as it warms up.

For example, you can finish writing your tomorrow’s to-do list in the office as you warm the engine or spend a few minutes with your kids before they leave for school.

Can You Put A Remote Start in An Older Car? - All You Need to Know

Disadvantages of Fitting a Remote Starter in Your Old Car

 While fitting your old car with a remote starter makes life easier, it has some downsides.

Generic Remote Starters Are Dangerous

If your car does not come fitted with a remote starter, you are more likely to get a generic one installed.

It is a disadvantage that you can hardly tell between a legitimate and generic remote starter unless you have it fitted by the automaker.

Installing the Remote Starter Is Complicated

Remote starters require the knowledge of an expert to install because they have many instructions to follow.

There are few experienced mechanics to install these remotes, and it also takes a lot of time for a successful fitting.

They Are Expensive

You will spend hundreds of dollars to buy and install an aftermarket remote starter.

Mechanics also charge depending on the complexity of the remote starter installation and the features of the remote.


Although you can get remote starters from quality brands, it is unsafe to fit your car with another brand’s remote.

Remember, every automaker designs tools that are only compatible with their vehicles, so a BMW remote starter won’t be ideal for your Audi.


You can put a remote starter in your old car. They increase the comfort of your vehicle by regulating the temperatures during winters and summers and also save you time.

Remote starters will also improve your engine’s health because you can let it warm as you wind up your day at the office.

However, only buy high-quality remote starters from your car’s manufacturer.

Generic remotes are less compatible with your engine, increasing the chances of failure and leading to fatal accidents.