In the automotive industry, new gadgets are constantly being designed and built for vehicles. From convenience items like the latest smartphone holders and ice scrapers to performance items like blind spot mirrors and heads-up displays, there is really something for everyone. One of the most useful gadgets that improve your commute is the remote start.
According to 12 Volt Solutions, these little devices let you start your car from a limited distance, so you can get in when it is the ideal temperature. The remote device connects to your car’s computer. They are run through a radio-controlled device you connect to your key ring. Some are integrated with your car’s key fob, so you only need one device attached to your key ring. All you have to do is push the button to start the car and let the car warm up or cool down. If you live in an area where it gets snowy and cold, or hot and humid, having a remote starter will change your life.
Advantages of Remote Starters
There are several reasons to get a remote start. Before adding one to your car, you should weigh the benefits to see if it is the right thing for you and your driving needs.
People who live in a part of the world where the temperature gets cold will immediately understand why remote starts are good ideas. If you have ever gotten into a car when it’s been sitting in frigid temperatures, you know how cold it can be. Driving with mittens, hats, and parkas is not easy. But when you get into a toasty warm car, you can relax and focus on driving.
The same goes for people who live in areas that have excessively hot weather. Getting into a stifling hot car can actually be dangerous. And, it takes time for the air conditioning to cool the car. Cooling the car in advance with a remote starter also cools the seat belts, so you are less likely to burn yourself on the smoking hot metal.
Deicing the Windows
If it’s been snowing all day while you are at work, your remote start can help you get the ice off of your windshield before you go home for the day. If you do not have a remote start, you have to use your scraper to remove the ice and snow from your car. This can be frustrating, as you reach over the hood and get snow on your coat and then in your car. But, with a remote start, you no longer have to worry about this.
Remote starts will automatically lock your car when you start it up. Your added security comes from being able to get into the car, without worrying that someone has climbed in after you started it. You also get the security of being in a comfortable temperature, so you do not have to wait before you drive away. And, you also get added security of not having to get out and scrape your car.
If you worry about someone stealing your car after you’ve started it with the remote, you don’t have to worry. The car will only drive if the key is in it. If someone steps on the pedals, the engine will stop, unless the remote fob is in the car.
When you install a remote start, you increase the value of your car. Some new cars come with it already installed, but not with older models. They don’t add a lot of value to a vehicle, but everything little thing helps when you are looking to sell it.
Disadvantages of Remote Starters
As with nearly every product, when there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. There aren’t many with remote starts, but it is good to be honest about what they do and don’t do for your vehicle.
Wear and Tear on the Engine
Some people believe that letting a car idle for a long time is not good for the engine. It probably isn’t wise to use the remote everyday because it can be rough on the engine. Most people do not use their remote starters everyday. Instead, they only use them on the days when the weather is extreme. Pay attention to your engine lights and oil use, if you do use your remote more often than not.
Wasting Gas and Adding Emissions
The engine warms up as it runs. And your engine will use fuel when idling, but you aren’t going anywhere. You might notice your fuel economy decreasing if you use your remote too often. If you do not like the idea of wasting fuel to get into a warm or cool car, then only use the remote on the extreme days.
When you burn more gas, you do add to the CO2 emissions. You can make up your carbon footprint in other ways. Maybe you should trade your gas-powered vehicle for an electric one? They still get hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
Increasing the Chance of Freak Accidents
Remote starters run your car when you aren’t around. This means that things can happen in your car, and you aren’t there to stop them. For example, if you have a vehicle with a manual transmission, the remote start will only work when your car is in neutral. That means that your vehicle could potentially roll away if you do not have the parking brake engaged.
Preparing the Car Before You Exit
Another issue that some people with remote starts do not like is thinking ahead. Before you exit your car, you have to set it for the conditions you are expecting later in the day. It is easy to forget to turn on the defrost or set the heat on the desired temperature when you aren’t getting into your car until eight or nine hours later. If you forget, then the remote start is useless.