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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife is trying to talk me into installing or having a remote starting system in her 2002 GMC Envoy.
What am I getting myself in for? To me this doesn't seem a necessary "upgrade" Anyone have experience with these after market units and what should I be looking for? How difficult of an installation? Unplug the wiring harness and plug in the unit? Go or no go.
Appreciate a comment or two or three. Dealer purchase or local auto outlets?

DG
 

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I like them in the winter but don't use them much other than that. It's nice to get into a warm vehicle and have the ice on the window come off easier because the glass is warm. I don't know much about brands or anything but don't get the cheapest one you can find, I learned the hard way, it didn't work after not even a year. I had a friend at midas that installed one with a lifetime warranty. The one on my new truck was installed by the dealer as repayment for messing up my cap (no carpet liner). I was going to have one installed before that but the dealer would have been pretty expensive, also I don't know if it will mess with your warranty if you have an outside contractor or yourself install it.
 

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If there is a Stereo shop or a Car / Truck Customizes in your area that does good work, I would go to them for the installation. Other than that, I will advise you that it is not a simple plug and unplug wiring installation.

The GM trucks comes from the factory with a theft lock system that makes it almost impossible to just cut into the wiring harness and install a couple of wires and start a vehicle. What they used to call Hot Wiring.

The box comes with a set of instructions and will tell you that you have to take apart the covers over the steering colum. Of which, when I did mine, they fell apart and required replacement. Not a good thing to have to do on a new vehicle.

Then when you get the primary wires installed, they give you a 1 800 number and you have to call them and give them your VIN number and they will tell you what color wires to cut and what color wires to splice. If they didn't do that, you would have thief's with the auto start boxes stealing vehicles all over the place.

Then you have to put everything back together and hope that you didn't cut the wrong wires. Or again, it will require another trip to the GM garage and a couple of hundred dollars to fix!
 

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I know a guy at church that bought one for his wife's explorer. The thing would crank sometimes and run all night without being activated. Sometimes the alarm would prevent the vehicle from cranking, she's been left stranded too. He finally had it removed. I wouldn't have one.
 

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That sounds like a bad installation or a cheap unit or a combination of the two. I have never had any problems like that. Most units if not all of them will shut off after 15 minutes if you don't put your key in the ignition. I did have a problem with my truck starting by itself but it was because I had my keys in my pocket and pushed the button accidentally, on my new unit you have to push the button twice rapidly to get it to turn on and I haven't had any problems with it.
 

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I have a remote control starter for all my vehicles...It is my nephew. He runs out and starts it, then runs back in the house. No wires, No expense....All kidding aside, I would want one if I lived in a very cold place but I don't. It was 80 degrees today. I went hunting in my shorts and flip flops again.
 

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I used to think it was a pansy upgrade, however my 07 Sierra has it and I love it. My vehicle sits outside so I start it each morning before work in the winter. if I lived somewhere that actually gets snow and lots of cold I would love it even more. Heated seats rock too. When its in the teens outside it makes life much better!
 

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Have them on several of the vehicles here. We love them, and consider them a necessity. The problem with the guy that had it starting on it's own, was not a problem with the remote, he had inadvertently programed it to start at a certain temp and did not realize what it was doing. I own a Diesel and sometimes drive it and leave it parked all day in temps way below zero. If it gets too cold it will not start so I set it to start when the temp of the engine drops to 15 degrees. Then when it reaches running temp it shuts off. That way when we come out it will start and we can come home. My wife can start her car 20 minutes before she leaves her office and that way her car is warm when she gets outside. That's very important to a lady. My son has the most powerful one on his truck. While he was in class his last year in high school he would just reach into his pocket and push the button 15 to 20 minutes before lunch bell. His unit is a two way unit, it sends back a signal to confirm that the truck started. On his fab there is a little car and when his truck is running it will show smoke coming from the exhaust. This lets him know it is running, and his unit works from 1500 feet. That means he can use it from anywhere inside the school. His truck would be warm when he went out side to drive to the local eating place. He always had a load of girls in the truck with him since he was the only senior with auto start and had the only warm vehicle at lunch time.

But the most important thing is that in the morning, we can start our vehicles from inside and not have to go outside when it is below zero. Like this morning it was -35, so we just hit the buttons from inside and can hear them start. That way they are warm when we go out to leave.

Also one of the biggest thing I like about them, is that when the temp is cold we can leave them running when we go into the store while we go in for a few things. They can not be driven away since there is no key inside them, and they are locked. Just in case someone did break in and try to steal them, as soon as they touch the brake to put them in gear they shut off. Also if some one should break into your vehicle the fab you have in your pocket will go into alarm and let you know someone is messing with your vehicle.

As for installation, don't try it your self, unless you are familiar with auto electrical systems. It's more than just unplugging a few wires and plugging in the system. All of my systems were soldered into place. The one on the wife's SUV was the first one we bought. Hers is the basic unit, with the shortest working distance. She has to be within 500 feet of her car for it to work. So she just walks to the door of her building and pushes the button. Then she can look out the window and see the exhaust coming from the tail pipe to confirm that it is running. Hers can be programed to start at a preset temp, or time also, and her fab works as a key-less entry as well. It can be programed to continue to run when we go into a store so I can pull the key from the ignition and it will continue to run. My son's unit is top if the line (He paid for it himself also) His unit will do everything his Mom's unit will plus it has a 1500ft range, with two way transmission to confirm it started. His also has the anti theft system, that warns him of someone is tampering with his vehicle. My unit is like my son's except it is set up for a Diesel, with a time delay for the glow plug to get hot and shut off, before starting, it also turns on my heated seats.

They are great, will never buy a car without one. Even if I lived down south I would still want one to start the AC before I went out. I have one ordered for my Suzuki Samurai. That way when I use it to run my trap line and spend the night at the cabin, I know it will start in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fans:
Really appreciated your shared knowledge and opinions. We live in Northern Illinois and the temperatures can get about -20 in January. I'm sure going to give this remote starter theme a good looking over and I'd bet I'll have at least one remote unit installed in a vehicle. Thanks again.
DG
 
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