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Auto starter

Im thinking of putting an auto starter in my car. Ive never been in a car with one. what goes into installing one of these? if anyone knows where I can get instructions that would be good.

They can be tricky, and in the newer cars, if not factory installed, virtually impossible. Depending on the age of your Dakota, you might be able to do it without too many problems…But there is a lot of wire splicing before it’s over…

My best advise is to have it professionally installed preferably by someone who is MECP (mobile electronics certified professional) certified. You will save yourself time, headaches, and aggravation. Plus maybe get some kind of warranty if there is a problem. That’s my 2 cents worth on that.

Frankly I would recommend rethinking that idea.

It is not all that good for the car.  Cars do better by being driven not idling in the drive.  That idle time is hard on the engine. Consider an electric heater for your car if possible. That would give you immediate heat and be easier on your car. 

 If you insist on having one, I strongly recommend having it installed by a professional with experience. There are far too many problems with those that have not been installed properly.  The newer the car the more complex the installation.

I agree that this job is not a DIY project.

If you can get a Chrysler OEM remote starter, it is possible that it would be more or less a “plug and play” installation. However, that depends on the age of this mystery-vintage Dakota. If it is more than…let’s say…6 years old, it is likely that wire splicing will be necessary–and there is where the biggest risks lie.

Yes, a certified installer is a good idea, but this is still not without pitfalls. About 2 years ago, a woman posted her woes on this board after having a certified installer do the job on her nearly-new CR-V. Unfortunately, the guy did a shoemaker job and wound up burning out the wiring for the lighting in her console area. Honda (rightly) would not pay for this under warranty, and the installer claimed that he did nothing wrong. She wound up paying something like $700 out of her own pocket because of the installation that had been botched by a certified installer.

A very close friend of mine had a genuine Toyota OEM remote starter installed on his three month old Rav-4 at the Toyota dealership. The dealer called in a certified installer from a local shop to do the job. And–guess what? Even though this was truly a “plug and play” installation, it was still screwed up by the certified installer. The result was weird phantom problems ranging from a random no-start condition when using the ignition key, to activation of the 4-way flashers while driving, to other strange electrical malfunctions.

After two failed repair attempts, I sent a strongly-worded certified letter to Toyota corporate, informing them that they had one more repair attempt before I would invoke the NJ Lemon Law, and would demand a new replacement vehicle. That resulted in Toyota sending both their regional repair supervisor and a Japanese engineer to the dealership in order to examine the car. After about 3 hours, they did figure out how the certified installer had screwed up the installation.

Are you sure that you want a remote starter?

I never recommend the installation of any aftermarket components since they generally become future headaches. The makers of these products usually close up shop shortly after you install them so service is almost non-existent. I would carefully rethink your decision to install a remote starter since you now have some excellent advice concerning them.

You might also want to check the laws in your area. Where I live it’s illegal to have an unoccupied car running. Remember ignorance is no excuse.

Thanks for the advice. I had never herd any bad revues before now. I only knew one person with an auto starter and he never said anything good or bad. My assumption was that it would be much like a radio where you just get the proper adapter harness and away we go.
I will definitely look into this some more and if I do get one I will just have it installed. I don’t need to cause any weird electrical problems in my car.
And it’s a 2004 dakota. Sorry I left that out.

" If I do get one I will just have it installed. I don’t need to cause any weird electrical problems in my car."

What we are trying to tell you is that the installation has the potential to cause weird electrical problems in your car–no matter who installs it.