GM Remote Start: Can You Extend The Run Time?

Remote starting is an especially convenient feature of the latest vehicles, especially if you live in colder climates where running outside to start your car can be a real drag. However, a GM vehicle will only run for 15 minutes following a remote start. Is there any way to extend the time?

You can extend the remote start function of your GM vehicle by pressing the lock button and then holding down the remote start button for 4 seconds — just as you did to originally start the vehicle. You can perform this procedure two more times for a start-up time limit of one hour total. 

That’s the general idea, but there are some other things to know about extending the remote start time. Let’s take a closer look at the remote start procedure and how to keep your vehicle running for as long as possible.

How Does Remote Start Work?

Hand using remote key to unlocked car

Remote start is an easy and convenient way to start your car from afar to let it heat up before you need to leave the comfort of your home. This is a life saver in the cold winter months, when going outside is hard enough without having to get into a frozen vehicle.

Remote start is an automatic feature included in all GM vehicles after 2019. Prior to 2019, it was a feature available in some models.

To use the remote start feature, simply grab your key fob and press the lock button. Then, press and hold the remote start button for about 4 seconds. You should hear your vehicle start up. 

Once you’ve initiated the remote start, your vehicle will run for a total of 15 minutes on its own. After 15 minutes, if you haven’t put the car in Reverse or Drive, it will turn itself back off. 

Can You Extend the Run Time of Remote Start?

If you need your car to warm up for longer than 15 minutes, it’s possible to extend the run time of a remote start in GM vehicles. All you have to do is repeat the remote start process after about 15 minutes.

However, there will be no indication from the car that you’ve performed this action, so you’ll just have to trust that it’s been completed and that your vehicle will run for an additional 15 minutes — or 30 minutes total.

If you’re having issues turning on your remote start, you can read our troubleshooting guide here.

How Many Times Can You Extend the Remote Start?

Sometimes, even 30 minutes isn’t enough time to get your vehicle warmed up, especially when you live somewhere with sub-zero temperatures. In these cases, you can actually extend your vehicle’s remote start up to 3 times following the original remote start. 

Since each remote start procedure adds 15 minutes to the remote start, this means that you have a total of one hour where your car will run on its own using the remote start. If you still haven’t put your car in Reverse or Drive after one hour, it will power off.

Additionally, you can only extend the remote start one time without the key fob being in the car. That means that if you need more than 30 minutes to warm up your vehicle, you’ll have to put the key fob in the vehicle at some point within the first 30 minutes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to continue to extend the warm-up sequence. 

This is for safety purposes, since leaving a car running for longer than half an hour unattended is never advised. It’s therefore best to plan to use no more than 30 minutes to warm up your vehicle — and if you need more time, run out and put the key fob in your GM, checking the status of the car as you do so. 

Final Thoughts

Hand press remote car

All in all, the GM remote start feature is a great way to get your car warmed up and ready to go while you finish your morning routine. The initial process is 15 minutes, but it can be extended up to 30 minutes without much effort. You can extend your remote start two more times after that, but in order for the vehicle to run for the full hour, the key fob must be in the vehicle by the 30-minute mark.