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Remote car starters and car alarms are must-have add-ons to vehicles because these gadgets make the lives of drivers and their passengers easier, more comfortable and more secure in many ways. With the wide range of options in these products, however, choosing the most suitable remote car starter and car alarm for your requirements can be challenging.

Top Ten Things to Look For in a Remote Car Starter

The best remote car starter should meet the needs and wants of its users with features like safety switch, engine speed sensor, and keyless entry, among others.

#1 Choose a reliable manufacturer

Check the manufacturer’s reputation as an expert in the production of car safety and security accessories in general and remote car starters in particular. The general rule is that the more reliable its reputation among retailers and customers, the more likely that its line of remote car starters is of the highest quality.

#2 Ask for product warranty

Look for a manufacturer and/or retailer that provide warranty on their remote car starters during the entire duration of your car ownership. Most reputable establishments, however, will provide a one-year or a two-year warranty with a replacement plan – truly, an acceptable arrangement.

#3 Ask about new car warranty

Keep in mind that the installation of an aftermarket remote car starter should not void the warranty on the car itself. The Magnuson Moss Act prevents car dealers from voiding warranties for this purpose.

#4 Look for an engine speed sensor

Look for a remote car starter with a fully functional engine speed sensor, which obviously monitors the engine’s revolution per minute (RPM). The device should be able to accurately detect the engine’s RPM to ensure that, indeed, it has started or that the engine has the appropriate RPM lest it goes into over-revolution, thus, resulting in its damage.

#5 Find a longer transmitter range

The longer the transmitter range of the remote car starter, the better the actual performance of the remote car starter and the greater the convenience for its user. An 800-feet range is sufficient for the purpose although many models also have longer transmission ranges for up to a mile.

#6 Look for a hood safety switch

Ask for the hood safety switch in the remote car starters being offered. It is installed under the hood as a safety measure against the engine starting up with the use of the remote whenever the car’s hood is up. Think of the scenario: While your mechanic is working on the engine, it automatically starts when you accidentally pressed on the remote – accidents are bound to happen.

#7 Ask about additional features

Manufacturers of remote car starters offer add-on features like keyless entry, heated seats, and rear defrost, all of which are designed for greater convenience for users.

#8 Go for professional installation

Although do-it-yourself installation of remote car starters is possible, it is inadvisable considering the complexity of car systems. For example, bypassing the built-in security measures in a ’06 Trailblazer or integrating the transponder into the ’04 Ford requires professional installation services for best results – and at reasonable fees, too.

Opt for a specialist shop

Chain stores may carry a wide range of remote car starters but their staff members are ill-equipped, to say the least, to install these devices and provide for effective results. For example, the device’s transponder may be attached to the car using crimp connectors but doing so will produce less than satisfactory results – soldering the wires, as is standard procedure in a specialist shop, is the best option.

Have the device purchased and installed in one place

Buying and then having the remote car starter installed in a single place means that resolving issues after installation becomes easier since you will only coordinate with a single establishment.

Top Three Things to Look For in a Car Alarm

In terms of choosing the best car alarm, the abovementioned tips for remote car starters including buying from a reliable manufacturer, asking about warranty, and choosing professional installation also apply. But since these are essentially two different devices, their desirable features will be different, too.

These are the top three things to consider in a satisfactory car alarm aside from the standard loud alarm sounds at the sign of authorized entry:

#1 Sensors

Choosing an advanced car alarm with features tailored to your requirements is a good idea. Said features can include the addition of door pins and/or magnetic switches to monitor activities on the rear and side doors, of accessory outputs for the automatic operation of trunk release, and of automatic window roll-up, to name a few.

These sensors can be considered as add-ons to the standard car alarm:

A radar sensor works by emitting an adjustable invisible field designed to cover the entire vehicle such that whenever an object comes within the field, the alarm sounds. This is not recommended for its impracticality (i.e., even a leaf or a stray dog can trigger the alarm).

A glass break sensor will be triggered by high-pitched frequencies causing by breaking the glass. Since a standard car alarm already has a shock sensor, which detects a sharp impact on the car’s windows, it is also considered unnecessary in most cases.

A motion sensor detects jacking action on the car, which will sound the alarm. Again, it is an unnecessary add-on since the shock sensor will suffice for the job.
An additional shock sensor is a good idea when the car has a camper shell.

#2 Piezo siren

The Piezo siren is designed as an interior siren and as an added alarm – a definite must-have for car owners with good intent on security.

#3 Battery back-up

The battery back-up works by sounding the alarm even when the battery cables are cut off. Unless you have a show-quality car, then it is unnecessary since thieves will not go through the trouble of cutting off the battery cables to steal your car.

The bottom line: Buy your remote car starter and car alarm with a reputable manufacturer putting its brand on the product. Buy it from a specialist shop that will provide the standard warranty, the experienced staff for its installation, and the after-installation services!

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