Remote Start FAQ

Remote Car Starter FAQ – What you need to know about your new system from Cartronix or before you purchase.


You want your vehicle to start every day correct? You want a reliable system with a lifetime warranty correct? You want wires soldered and not junk connectors correct?

What is a interface module / security bypass and why do I need one?

Most (but not all) new and late model vehicles (cars, trucks, suv’s) have factory immobilizer (anti-theft) system which comes from the factory to prevent a vehicle being started without the specific owner’s key in the ignition. These factory anti-theft systems ignition modules help prevent your vehicle from being stolen. However, these systems also prevent your vehicle from being remote started unless you install an Interface Bypass / Security bypass Override Module. Interface devices can be complex for do-it-yourself installations depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Here at Cartronix, Inc we use the latest in technology to program your vehicle to make sure it will work with your factory computer system. Each vehicle we install a remote car starter on generally uses a Interface Bypass / Security bypass Override module and we use computer software to make sure our remote car starters work properly with your vehicle. Most of these units need to be programmed with a computer with the latest software.

What about the Remote (key-fob) ?

remote car starter fobA remote starter system uses a radio-frequency signal from a remote transmitter (just like your aftermarket key fob) and uses it to trigger a series of relays/modules that will switch the ignition circuits on to simulate the sequence that is performed when starting your car with a key or push start. A traditional keychain-style remote transmitter (key fob) has long been the only method for triggering remote starter systems. But know you have many choices. Cartronix, Inc also sells remote car starter systems that allows you to utilize your iPhone, Blackberry or Android to control your remote start system. Additionally, soon you will also be able to control your system via the internet from your home or office.

How long does a Remote (key-fob) last?

Remotes (key-fob) will still be the primary means of activating your remote starter system for the near future, it is important that you know how they work and how you should care for them. We currently sell two types of remotes: 1-way communication and 2-way communication. 1-way remotes are the kind of remotes most of us are used to. These remote are handheld with 1 to 4 buttons on them. A normal 1-way remote will last approximately 2 years with normal use. Normal use is considered 7 uses per day. Remember your Remote (key-fob) does not like water and if does get wet it will destroy the unit and void the warranty.

If your remote ceases to work, the first line of defense is to replace the battery. The most common types of battery used in 1-way remotes are the A23 battery (it looks like a miniature AAA battery) or a CR2032 battery (it looks like a camera battery or a small nickel). Some of our older remotes have a very small screw on the back of the remote that must be removed in order to access the battery. On our more recent remotes the front and back halves of the remote case snap together and can also be separated by gently prying the two halves apart with a flat-blade screwdriver or butter knife. We also have some remotes that will charge with a computer, laptop using the usb port on the side of the remote. We also offer a LIFE TIME BATTERY REPLACEMENT PROGRAM at a very low cost, please inquiry when purchasing your remote car starter.

What is a Valet Switch?

Besides the remote control (key-fob), the Valet switch is probably the most important part of your system. This small, inexpensive switch is required to do the following on your system:

Override your alarm or remote car start system in the event that your remote does not work or has been lost. Program new remotes or delete lost remotes. Change or Program features of the system (how it operates and extra remote car start options.) To enter/exit valet mode (turns off all security/remote car start features temporarily for vehicle servicing)

This switch will be mounted in a spot that is accessible and easy to reach but not totally obvious. The most common place is on the driver’s kick panel. Some installers do not feel it is necessary to install this switch or show the customer where it is. We here at Cartronix, Inc. install this switch on every remote car starter and security system we install. If you find yourself without a valet switch you will first need to contact the original installation technician to have them finish the install. If this is not possible, you will need to contact us and set up an appointment to have a Valet switch installed

Hood Pin Switch

We have found many local company’s and installers seem to skip this step when installing a remote car start system, this step does take more time due to running wiring to the hood and some installers like to take short cuts when installing remote car starters – PLEASE MAKE SURE WHEN PURCHASING A SYSTEM YOU CAN THE COMPANY IF THEY PROVIDE A HOOD PIN SWITCH! The hood pin switch is safety feature, being that if your hood is open and your are getting your vehicle services the remote car starter system will not activate or start the car remotely. Check your hood pin switch frequently to ensure it moves freely and is not loose. A mis-adjusted or rusted hood pin switch is the most common cause for remote start not working. You may want to consider spraying the hood pin switch periodically with rust-inhibitor to ensure proper operation.

Remote Car Starter Appointment