You love the remote start feature on your car, but you’ve noticed it won’t let you use it more than two times. Why does a remote start not work more than twice?
Why Can I Only Remote Start My Car Twice?
Most remote starts will only let you use them twice before having to be reset. This design feature is programmed into the remote to keep your garage from filling up with carbon monoxide or wasting fuel. To your remote start, you must insert the key/push button to start the car.
It’s also possible to extend the run time on your remote start or disable this feature, depending on the manufacturer.
Since they were introduced in 2002, the remote start feature has become a standard option on many American cars. They are so convenient that many drivers are installing remote start in their vehicles if they didn’t come with this feature.
Whether warming your car up in the bone-chilling cold of a winter’s day or keeping your car cool while you get ready to leave work, this option is in high demand.
But did you know there is a lot more to this feature than its ability to start your vehicle without you being in your car? This article will discuss some of the safety features that engineers have programmed into your remote start, like why it won’t work more than twice at a time.
Remote Starting Your Car: Why You Can Only Do It Twice
Imagine that your car is parked in an enclosed garage overnight while the temperature outside has dropped to nearly zero.
You get up and smile because instead of facing the cold temps, walking out to your garage, and starting your car. You can point the remote, hold a button, and enjoy a warmed-up vehicle minutes later.
What happens if you get delayed by a phone call or something while your car is running? The car shuts off and has to be remotely started again.
After two unsuccessful remote starts, the computer will not allow the car to be remote. It can be an aggravation, but there is a reason why this feature is programmed into remote start applications.
This feature is designed to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming too strong and overpowering you or seeping into your house. The feature also prevents a host of legal issues for the companies that make remote starters.
In addition, while your car is running, it is also burning gasoline.
So, the computer shutting down your car and not allowing continuous remote starts is a good thing because it saves you money by not burning through the fuel in your gas tank.
What are Other Safety Features Programmed into Remote Starters?
There are reasons why a remote start functions the way it does, most of which are for your protection.
If your vehicle runs outside while you are inside your home, it might be possible for a would-be robber to carjack your car for a joyride.
This scenario was one of the first problems the engineers at GM had to overcome, so they put their heads together and decided that a car had to be locked FIRST before the signal could be received for the remote start to work.
The second problem to solve is what to do if a car thief breaks the window and decides to drive away with your car. (when a push-button ignition powers it).
The only way to prevent this is to program a kill switch. The engineers decided that if the brake pedal was depressed (required for the car to start), the only way to bypass the lockout was with a key inserted or the push button engaged.
And as we all know, a push-button ignition requires the car fob to be nearby. This safety feature is why you get in your remote-started vehicle, and the car dies as soon as your foot hits the brake pedal.
Accidental Start Protection
This situation doesn’t seem like an issue, but believe me, it is.
What is to keep someone from starting your car as a joke and letting all the gas run dry because it runs all day? The engineers thought about this and designed two features for your remote start system.
Since your vehicle’s remote signal is sent via radio waves, you must be close to your car to start it. The radio signal is most potent when your remote is close, but it also implies intent (meaning you intended for the remote to start to be activated).
This feature prevents people from picking up the keys off your desk and starting your car as a prank.
The second solution was to limit the running time so that if somehow the remote start was engaged accidentally (without intent), the most the car would run would be ten-fifteen minutes before shutting down.
While there are hacks to increase the amount of time, most owners just stick with the pre-programmed time limits.
And now that many remote starting systems can be run from smartphones, the security has improved considerably (because you need a pin).
What are Some Reasons A Remote Start Might not Work?
Several reasons could be affecting the ability of your remote to send a signal to your vehicle.
The Remote is Too Far Away
The distance that your remote is to your car matters. As we discussed before, close proximity implies intent, so the car must be visible to the remote so that 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.
The Battery is Going Bad
A small battery in the fob powers the circuits of a remote. The battery doesn’t cost much and can be changed relatively easily.
But 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.
- An owner can only remote start twice for safety reasons.
- A key must be inserted, or a push-button pressed for the system to reset.
- A bad battery can affect a remote’s ability.