You have a car with manual locks, but you’d love a remote start. Is that even possible? Can you install remote start on a car without power locks?
Can You Install Remote Start On A Car Without Power Locks?
It is possible to add a remote start to a vehicle equipped with manual locks. Many car owners prefer to install complete keyless entry systems (lock/unlock) that include remote start. If your car has a manual shift, a remote start can be added with some adjustments to the clutch and other systems.
Remote start has become a relatively common option for many American car owners. Many drivers depend on their remote start, whether it is warming up their car on a bitterly cold winter’s day or activating the air-conditioning to battle the sun’s rays.
In most applications, owners must lock their cars before activating the starter, but what about cars without power windows and locks? This article will discuss the viability of adding a remote start to a base model or older vehicle. With this added option, you can enjoy the benefits of this great option and get spoiled like the rest of the driving public.
What is a Remote Start?
A remote start allows an owner to press a button on their key fob that sends a signal to a receiver in the car, which engages the engine.
Most remote start units will allow the car to run for 10 – 15 minutes before shutting down. The key must be inserted into the lock cylinder or push button.
Installing Remote Start On A Car Without Power Locks
A car with manual locks can be modified to have a remote start unit attached to it. However, most car owners purchase a keyless entry system that includes remote start.
This modification allows the car to be locked for the remote ignition to be engaged so that no one comes across your running car and gets the idea that it might be worth trying to steal.
While there are other security systems that come with remote start units, a locked door certainly makes it a lot tougher.
What Does a Remote Start with Keyless Entry Cost to Install?
A keyless entry system that includes a remote car starter will cost a few hundred dollars to install, depending on whether the door hardware needs to be replaced.
(If the door needs to be modified or swapped out, you should expect the cost to rise).
You should always use a certified technician to perform the swap. This modification is not a job that you want to do yourself.
Can You Install Remote Start on a Manual Shift Vehicle?
Yes, you can install a remote start on a stick shift, but it isn’t easy. Since a manual shift vehicle has to be parked with the car in gear, and the emergency brake engaged, any remote system would have to bypass these areas (clutch, parking brake, and transmission) for the unit to work correctly.
A technician would need to disable the clutch, wire the remote start to a sensor in the parking brake (to ensure that it is not on), and verify the gearshift is in neutral. Many owners choose not to install the upgrade due to the required extensive rewiring.
It is hazardous to leave a manual shift car in neutral with the emergency brake off because there is nothing to stop it from rolling off on its own.
Can Someone Steal My Car While it is Running?
Safety measures are programmed into remote starter systems to prevent a would-be thief from stealing your car. If the car is locked, the only way a carjacker could get into your car is to break the window.
Even if they get in, the car shuts down when a brake pedal is depressed. (This is why the car stops running when you first get in after remote starting it). The car has to verify that you are the rightful owner before it gives permission to be driven.
Can Installing a Remote Start Mess Up Your Car?
Your engine will react the same way whether you start it with a key or a remote start signal.
While the car runs for several minutes while you finish your morning prep, the engine will not suffer. You will pay more for gasoline, especially if you use the remote start often.
There are some remote start systems that require the ECU (electronic control unit) to be reprogrammed.
You should take the car to a certified technician with experience installing these types of systems. Despite what the internet might tell you, adding a remote start to your vehicle is not a job you want to try and tackle yourself.
Why Doesn’t Remote Start Work All the Time?
There are a couple of reasons why your remote start might not work correctly.
The Remote is Too Far Away
Because a keyless entry or remote start uses radio signals to communicate with your car, the distance your remote is to your car matters. The car must be visible to the remote so the radio signal can be received.
If you are standing on the other side of a building or in a parking garage filled with concrete, don’t expect your car to be able to receive the signal because obstructions will get in the way.
The Battery is Going Bad
The fob draws its power source from a small battery inside the housing. If the battery is not working correctly, there isn’t enough juice to power the signal for the remote start.
Changing the battery will cost you about ten bucks, and most parts guys can do it in about thirty seconds.
- Remote start can be added to a car without power door locks.
- Remote start units are included in keyless entry systems.
- The installation will cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the system involved.
- Security measures are programmed into remote start systems to prevent car theft.
- Remote start can be added to manual shift vehicles, but it is perilous to do so due to the chance of the car moving by itself.