- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 9/21/2021
A remote car starter is a great way to help keep you warm on those cold winter mornings. Just press the button on your fob and your vehicle's engine turns over. Sounds simple right? Unfortunately, like with all automotive systems, a remote starter can sometimes go awry. Here are some useful troubleshooting tips for when your remote starter refuses to work.
1. Remote Isn't Being Used Properly
Different brand starters have different starting procedures. Some remotes require only a single push of the button, while others require two. Then there are remotes that require you to hold the button down for several seconds in order to start the engine. If your remote starter isn't working, be sure that you're using the remote properly.
2. Check Your Fob Battery
If your remote starter system isn't working properly, try replacing the battery in your fob. You can find replacement key fob batteries at Batteries Plus. Most remote starter fobs run on 2032 lithium coin cell batteries.
3. Vehicle is Not in Park
This one may seem obvious, but if your vehicle is not in "Park" your remote starter will not work.
4. Your Key Fob is in the Car
If your vehicle's regular key fob is stored in the vehicle, the remote start won't work. Take the fob out of the vehicle and try using your remote start again.
5. Too Many Remote Start Attempts
If you use your remote start twice in quick succession, the system will not work. You can fix this by getting into the vehicle, inserting the key into the ignition and turning it to "ON" then "OFF" again. After doing that, get back out of the vehicle and try using the remote start again.
6. Check the Hood
All remote starters come equipped with a safety feature that prevents them from operating if someone is working under the hood. A hood pin switch or tilt switch will let your vehicle know if the hood is unlatched and prevent the remote starter from operating. If you're having issues with your remote starter, make sure that your hood is securely latched.
It's also possible that the pin or tilt switch itself has become broken or disconnected. If this is the case, you can have it replaced at most mobile electronics stores.
7. Hazard Lights are On
If your hazard lights are turned on, it will prevent your remote starter from working. Turn them off and your starter should function properly.
8. Coolant and Oil Pressure
If the coolant temperature in your vehicle is too high or the oil pressure is too low, your remote starter system will be disabled. Allow the vehicle to cool down for five to ten minutes and then check your coolant and oil levels again. Add coolant or oil if necessary before trying the restart again.
9. Your Remote Starter is in Valet Mode
Many remote starter systems have a safety feature called "valet mode" which temporarily disables the remote starting capabilities. Valet mode is typically engaged by pressing a combination of buttons on the remote. You can usually tell if this mode is engaged by paying attention to your vehicle's parking lights. If they don't flash when locking or unlocking your doors with the remote starter controller, you're probably in valet mode. Disengage this mode and your remote starter should work fine.
10. Remote Starter Switch is Off
While many systems feature the valet mode mentioned above, others feature a remote starter switch that will disable the remote starter system. In the course of normal operation, this switch will often get bumped to "OFF." Typically, this switch can be found under your dashboard or in one of the vehicle's fuse boxes. Once you locate it, all you have to do is flip the switch back to "ON" and your system should work normally again.
Batteries Plus is your car and truck headquarters. Visit our automotive page for a large selection of batteries, headlight bulbs, accessories and more. Batteries Plus also offers a number of vehicle services, such as free battery testing, battery installation and key fob programming. Visit us online or stop into your nearest location today.
Want to know more? Visit the Batteries Plus blog for more informative articles, including "How Do You Keep a Car Battery from Dying When Not in Use?"