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Remote Start

Leasing a new car tomorrow. Should I buy the dealer installed remote start for $550 or go to Best Buy and get one for <$200.

I’m leaning on the latter unless someone has a good reason to fund the dealer.

And no, the dealer won’t “throw it in”, they’ve already thrown in other stuff.

If you haven’t signed the papers at the time you read this, I strongly recommend not leasing. It’s a no-win situation or you and a guaranteed win for the dealer. At the end of the lease, after you’ve made years of payments, they’ll take the car back and you’ll be left with nothing, nada, zip, no car and no cash. And of you exceed the mileage limitation you’ll pay another large amount of cash. And if there’s a ding, you’ll need to pay their prices to get it repaired… no negotiating allowed.

If you insist on leasing and you insist on a remote start system, you MUST have it installed by the dealer. Your lease will probably prohibit having any modifications done anywhere else… and if you do anyway and you have problems, you’ll have even bigger trouble… they’ll almost certainly void any coverage. After all, you will NOT own the car, the dealer will. This will NOT be your car. This will be the DEALER’S car, that you’ll only be renting under very strict constraints. You will NOT have the same rights that an owner would.

I urge you to reconsider if it isn’t too late.

We have seen many issues related to aftermarket starters, I would go for the dealer installed and not have to worry about under warranty repairs. We just leased a car this year, first time ever, but pretty much a break even situation compared to our last vehicle that made it 11 years, and after 11 years of leasing as I calculate costs, no maintenance costs or worries except for oil changes.

I would avoid any remote start system, but if you must get one I’d have the dealer sell and install it. Especially if it’s a leased car, if there are any issues it’s in their hands.

Only you can determine if leasing is the right choice for you. There are many reasons why it might make sense for you. I don’t really think it’s a wise financial decision for an individual, but then I also don’t understand why anyone over 30 rents a house instead of owning one.

@asemaster Like I said the lease cost over 11 years (considering we keep getting a $200 per month lease on future deals), and demise of the vehicle works out even, wife is an 8k miles per year, mileage is a considerable factor so the 12k per year is not a problem.

And of course like any new car, damage magnet, Wifey got rear ended at a stoplight while stopped $2800 in repairs. Gas mileage instantly decreased and oil is now dirtier than I think it should be for 2k miles, and a former car that got pushed up on a landscaping boulder had a trans leaking problem after every 6 months getting it fixed under warranty that only went away after we traded it in.

I am like honey don’t worry about it, a couple of more years we wil get a new one and not have to worry about it.

Had we bought the car I would be worried about milking enough years out of it to make it worthwhile.

I agree with everything that ok4450 said, and I will add that my friend’s experience with having a remote start system installed on his new car was proof that you should have this job done at the dealership. Further, even if the dealership is suggesting an aftermarket company’s remote start system, make sure that the one you have installed is the genuine one from the car’s manufacturer.

Shortly after getting his car back from the installation process, my friend’s Rav-4 began exhibiting bizarre, random electrical problems. After 2 visits to the dealership failed to eliminate these problems, I composed a demand letter to Toyota, informing them of our intention to file a Lemon Law complaint if the 3rd repair attempt was unsuccessful.

Because NJ’s Lemon Law is so pro-consumer, the result of my demand letter was that Toyota sent both their Regional Maintenance Supervisor and a Japanese engineer to the dealership to repair this new car. Within about 3 hours, they fixed it, even though a solution had eluded the dealership’s own mechanics on two prior attempts. If they had not fixed it on this 3rd attempt, my friend would have demanded (and would have received) a full refund of his purchase price, including registration fees, so Toyota corporate was very motivated to repair it on this last possible repair attempt.

How does this relate to the OP?
Because if the installation had been done anywhere other than the dealership, then the Lemon Law would not apply, and–in fact–if my friend had succumbed to the dealer’s recommendation to allow them to install a “superior” aftermarket brand of remote starter, rather than the genuine Toyota article, the Lemon Law also would not have applied.

With a leased car, all of this could get even more complicated, simply because the lessee doesn’t actually own the car, and he could wind up paying more at the end of the lease because he caused damage to the leasing company’s car.

Leasing might make sense if the car is for business, and can therefore be deducted as a business expense. For somebody who will use the car only for his own purposes, leasing is a losing proposition, IMHO. And–IMHO-- whether buying or leasing, having any type of aftermarket equipment installed on a new car is like putting your own head in a noose.

Leasing is a personal choice but adding things to a lease car that did not come from the factory is just throwing money away.

If you are leasing your only choice is either get the dealer installed one, or not have one at all.

There are many many reasons why leasing is a better option than buying, but those things are often intangible, or measured my metrics other than just dollars and cents.

Factory Installed Remote-Start Has Worked Flawlessly On Our GM Cars, But I Have Helped Relatives With Problems Resulting From After-Market Kits And I Personally Wouldn’t Use One, Regardless Of Where It’s Installed Or Who Does The Work.

If I really wanted remote-start I’d make sure it was a factory installed option on the vehicle or a " genuine* one from the car’s manufacturer, " as VDCdriver mentioned (If there is such thing made and available.) and have it installed by the selling dealer.

Otherwise, start the car from inside the car.

As for leasing a car, I never would, but experience is the best teacher. You should know by the end of the lease whether or not it works for you and is something you’d want to repeat.


If you have a remote starter, please don’t start your vehicle when there is a person near it. It scares the daylights out of a person! A couple of weeks ago I approached my car, parked next to an empty vehicle, at the grocery store. When the empty vehicle started I was terrified that there was actually someone there that I hadn’t seen. Nearly gave me a heart attack.

I have never seen an aftermarket remote start system that was worth owning. I have been removing this type of “junk” since the late 70’s and there has been very little improvement in quality even though electronics, as a whole, has improved by leaps and bounds.

@missileman‌ so you would pay double for the dealer installed oem version?


If I wanted a remote start system installed on my car (I don’t, actually), the only one that I would settle for is the OEM equipment, installed at the dealership. My recollection is that the cost of the Toyota remote start system might have been a bit more than the supposedly superior aftermarket system, but it was definitely NOT double the cost of the aftermarket system.

Good point about the leasing. Modifying a leased car with an aftermarket system is like knocking down a wall or two in a rented house–not a good idea.

Other than agreeing with a lot of prior comments I will only add this about remote start systems.
The make of car is not known but for the sake of discussion call it a Toyota.

Some remote starters may be a Toyota sanctioned kit installed by a Toyota dealer with a full warranty in the event a problem develops due to the installation or the kit.

Some dealers have aftermarket kits installed by an aftermarket company with a tech who will drop in and possibly do them right out in the parking lot. Those would not be Toyota authorized and could possibly null and void some warranty repair procedures if the remote start is blamed in even the most thinly veiled way possible.
A dealer installed kit does not necessarily mean “the real deal”.

If you have the dealer do it you should make sure where that kit is being sourced from and who is actually installing it.

I’ve seen some problems due to those parking lot installations with wires strung everywhere and haphazardly attached with Scotch Locks.
One I remember that had quit working had wires strung around the brake pedal. Eventually the constant tugging started fraying the wires and pulling them loose.

Thanks every one for the comments. I just leased a subaru crosstrek 2015. Sounds like the consensus is the oem part installed by the dealer.

So any objections to buying the oem part on ebay or another site and taking it to the dealer? My 1st thought is that although they’ll install it, they won’t warranty it. Any thoughts on that one?

Just checked my notes. The subaru remote start installed is $600. It’s a dinky 1 way key fob that looks like the $99 one from best buy.

A get why the genuine and doing it at the dealer. But crap, that’s a huge difference!

You’ve been warned. You do not own the car. You are not the owner. A part purchased on EBay is not the same as a dealer-supplied part. If you insist on living dangerously, than you cannot be helped.

Sorry for being so blunt. Sincere best of luck.