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Remote starter - a good Christmas gift?

Looking for feedback from some smart people. My husband has a rare lung condition which makes breathing difficult and painful in cold air. I would love for him to have a remote starter for his Grand Caravan to make winter mornings in Maine more comfortable. Is this a good idea? How much should I expect to spend? How much will installation be? Thanks!

In view of his medical condition, this could be a very useful accessory for your husband. I would just caution you to not “cheap out” with this device. The cheaper ones can be troublesome and there is a considerable range of quality with devices such as this. Look for an independent installer who has been in business for at least three years. Avoid the chain operations like Best Buy.

Normally I suggest avoiding anything other than a factory-installed remote starter, but in this case it may be appropriate. Just follow VDCdriver’s advice regarding an installer.

The potential for damage to the vehicle’s electrical system is great if the installer makes mistakes or takes short cuts, and once the damage is done it’s very difficult to repair. I’d want some sort of warranty.

If you are planning to keep the car for a while, this is a great idea.

I have a high-quality aftermarket starter, which was installed by a high-quality shop. I’m very happy with it.

When I had the starter installed, I asked them to make the minimum amount of connections possible- don’t connect to the car’s horn, don’t connect to the trunk latch, or any of those other things (they didn’t mind because the installation job became easier). In the future if there are any problems, there will be fewer wires to chase.

My aftermarket starter has a very impressive range- I can be sitting at my desk and start the car in the parking lot. Many factory remote starters don’t have such good range.

Good advice! I would also make sure he car is properly “tuned up”; the ignition sytem, battery and fuel sytem are all functioning as they shoud, and the car has the proper eith of oil in the crankcase. All these allow he car to start quickly.

It’s a good idea that has gone mainstream. Try to have it installed at a place that sells them. That is just my idea, I don’t know if it’s a best idea.

anywhere from $200-$1000 depending on how fancy you wanna get. I spent $250 on one for my Civic about 5~6 years ago and I love it.