Installing a Remote Starter

reekolaDecember 26, 2007

I received a remote starter for Christmas and will be installing it myself (hopefully) on my '90 Nissan Maxima (automatic)when it warms up a little here in Denver (Got 1 foot of snow on Christmas day at my house, with 3-6" coming tomorrow!). Haven't opened the box yet, but was wondering how easy it is to install and if there is anything I should know beforehand.

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas (I'm not going to be politically correct, because I'm tired of all the "PC"ers slowly disallowing all of our beliefs and trying to clone us into nonentities by making us all the same - sorry, I'm venting)and Happy New Year to all on this site!

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This is only my opinion, but I am adverse to a remote starter. I know these can be convenient and offers some 'techno-show', but is the potential hazard worth it?

I am not confortable with starting an automotive engine without being at the controls to handle a problem. Admittedly, I have experienced very few situations that would have been bad for a remote start, however, it only takes one time to commit much grief.

1. Once while driving a carbureated V8 Ford, the throttle linkage fell apart just as I shifted into 3rd gear (manual tranny) and the throttle fully opemed. I had the presence of mind to leave it gear, apply the brake and move off the roadway, then shut off the ignition. In fact, I shut it off before completely getting off the road and coasted to the side of the road. When the throttle fell open, the fuel mix went too rich and the engine ran poorly thus limiting its power and provided me a moment of thinking/reation time. If something like this had happened on a remote start, there would have been engine parts scattered about.

2. In more recent times, a friend of mine remote started his car on a very cold winter morning and apparently, it did not drop back from the throttle start position. As it warmed, the egnine speed increased (and the fuel mix may have been too rich). As a result, the first indication he had of trouble was the fire truck pulling into his driveway to douse his car which was in flames. It cooked his asphalt driveway where the car sat. The insurance investigator believed that the catalytic convertor overheated.

3. Suppose that you are under the hood and up to your elbows in drive belts when a child (or family dog) finds the remote and pushes the button.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 6:03AM
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I've known a few guys that had them and liked them. Wouldn't mind having one myself.

Got to watch out on cars made over the last 20+ years though. The electronics can be pretty persnickety. Especially have to watch out if it has a factory alarm or engine disabling system to prevent theft.

Hope your installation goes without problems. Sounds like a neat gizmo in your situation.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 7:53AM
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Just a little fyi, jim. The #3 situation on a remote started can't happen. When the hood is open the pin switch
grounds out the system preventing a faults start. there is
also a switch under the dash, or where ever you put it that
in the off position disables the entire system.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 9:22PM
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I forgot the best thing about a remote starter. It forces
you to maintain your engine and keep it maintained so it
starts first time EVERY time ALL the time. I've had one
for years. They work and do as advertized. You could
install it yourself if you have a good idea of auto wiring
and how to take your dash board apart. You will also need
a second person to time your pin switch unless you can get
to your ignition key and back under the hood in less then
10 seconds. On a scale of difficulty from one to ten i'd give it a 6. The only hard part is finding tach pulse. If you can program your V.C.R. you should be fine. They do have 800 numbers you can call. Once you get it installed and working properly you will love it and will make sure your next car gets one too. Nice gift.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:01PM
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By golly olly, I just put one (Dec. 31) into the kids 92 geo storm and it only took about 2 hours, according to the book. Now in real life...about 4 1/2. Denver, Colorado, cold, come ooooooooon. Here Minot, North Dakota, we have cold, it was about 2 degrees when I did it, but then I guess that 115000btu tube heater in the garage did kind of help. Other than time and the ability to stand on my head under the dash of this thing, dificulty is fairly easy (4) and the thing works fine. The brand is a Ready Remote. I put one into a dodge shadow a few years ago for the heck of it, what a pain in that vehicle, but then again, it only works about three times and died, it was a bulldog brand. This time I stayed away from that brand when I bought it, bought it a target for $59. Has a decent instruction video and wireing diagrams.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 7:41PM
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Thanks lamguy and other posters! I think I have the same one (it was purchased from Target). I guess "cold" is relative to what you're used to. I glanced through the installation manual (and haven't had time yet to view the CD). I asked a mechanic shop for hints on self installation. They said it's better to solder the connecting wires to the existing wires vs. some other method that just pierces into the existing wires - better connection that will last longer. I guess it depends on how far under the dash the connection is. My car is old, so I don't really care how it looks or if the box is not hidden under the dash, if it makes accessing the wires easier. I called a couple of places to see what they would charge to install. A couple said they don't install them due to liability concerns and one said they charge labor rate of $95/hr. and estimated 2-3 hours. I'll try it myself, since I don't want to spend that much. Well, I'll let you know when it gets done - not sure when I'll be able to get to it. Do you know if you can set the rear window defroster to go on by itself when remote starting?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:25PM
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NO to the rear defroster. Actually yes but it is behond the
home owner install. You need other relays and more wiring.
Not something that is mentioned in the remote install.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:35PM
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Yep, I soldered all of the connections. The only one that really bothered me to do was the connection to the starter wire. They want you to cut the starter wire to make sure that the wire is the right one, just didn't turn my crank to go cutting wires and after I cut it, there just isn't very much extra wire to put it back together with another wire added in. The cost of labor is why I bought this one at Target to do it myself, to put $200-$300 into a car I spent only $400 for is foolish.
As far as cold goes, we were both brought up in Albuquerque, but then got this invotation from Uncle Sam (I was in the AF) to go a northern base and Minot is where we call home now, been here since 1980. I'll bet you wouldn't want to go out and BBQ at zero degrees, but I have been out there and with short sleeves on. Still when we go to Albq. it still gets cold at night, different cold though. Hope you have as easy of a time putting the starter in as I did.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 6:55PM
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