Turning off a remote starter for the summer

I have a 1WARM-PRO Compustar remote starter on my 2006 CR-V. It sucks the charge out of my battery so I have to plug in my battery all winter when I’m at home to keep it charged.
Every summer I go to the starter shop to have my remote starter turned off. Up until this year, the guy did something to turn it off that took a couple of minutes and he never charged me. He no longer works there.
The new guy wants to charge me $40 because he says he has to go under the dashboard. The other guy never went under the dashboard.
Any ideas on how I could do this myself? Thanks!

You want someone to do something to keep your battery from being drained and you want them to do it for free . Do you work for free ?

Perhaps for $80 he’ll put in a switch for you.
For a bit more he might even diagnose why the system is draining your battery. I know a lot of people with remote starter systems, and none of them have battery drain problems. That parasitic drain should not be considered normal.

You have to keep your car plugged into a charger every night and you haven’t had that fixed? I’m not sure what the problem is but having it diagnosed and repaired would take care of your summer and winter problems. Maybe the other guy found a job where he gets paid?

Surely your owner’s manual that came with the remote starter shows a schematic or install instructions. Sit down with a cup of coffee and read them, once you figure out how it’s wired it should be pretty easy to disable it.

But $40 is a pretty reasonable minimum charge for anything automotive. Why not just pay him and be done with it?

I don’t work for free but the fix was so simple that the other guy never charged us. Took less than a minute each time. The new guy has no idea what do except disconnect the wires.

We have been to four specialists to diagnose the battery charge drain problem and the consensus was the remote starter (turning it off solves the problem immediately). Plugging in the battery every night solved my dead battery problem (had a new battery put in but it soon drained as well). Makes no sense to us either.

The booklet we received only has the instructions for programming the remote. No wiring.

It’s $40 twice a year when the other guy was doing it for free… so I was just asking in case anyone knew. I get what you’re all saying.

Thanks very much.

“I know a lot of people with remote starter systems, and none of them have battery drain problems. That parasitic drain should not be considered normal.”

While some systems on a car will drain energy from the battery when the car is parked (the security system comes to mind), there is no reason why a remote start system should be draining the battery’s charge when it is not actually being used to start the engine.

To me, this sounds like just one more example of why “aftermarket” systems are not a good bargain.

Well let’s back up a little bit then. Since disconnecting the remote start solves your dead battery problem the issue is obviously with the remote start. The system is faulty or improperly installed. How long have you had this system? I would return to the original installer and see if they will correct the problem.

My guess, there is a fuse somewhere, or can be disconnected at fuse box if it is a piggyback tap.

I have factory remote start and never had an issue. Agree that you should not use an after-market remote. Something wrong.

I think that defective remote start system is costing you a lot of money, more than it would cost to replace it.

I’m making a lot of guesses, but here is my calculation:

If the battery drains in 8 hours, assuming a 100 amp-hour battery, that is
100 amp-hour x 12v / 8 hours = 150 watts

150 watts over a period of 6 months is
150 watts x 24 hr/day x 30 day/mo x 6 mo = 650 kW-hours.

Allowing for 50% losses in the charger that is 1300 kW-hours.
assuming 20 cents per kW-hour, that is costing you, per winter,
$260 in electricity costs.

But actually it is higher, as the cost in gasoline to provide
that 150 watts while driving is much higher than a home outlet
would cost.


“To me, this sounds like just one more example of why “aftermarket” systems are not a good bargain.”

I agree 100%. I have been railing about aftermarket systems, especially remote starters and security systems, for years. They are defective right out of the box. Couple that with a bad installation and you will have problems until it’s removed.

But, depending on exactly how the installer butchered the OEM wiring at the time of installation, it is possible that removing the system won’t even cure the problem.

Someone should have considered the possibility of a parasitic draw due to being the unit not being wired up correctly.

It also sounds like you prefer the remote start to allow the car to run and be fully warmed up when you hop in.
My suggestion would be to disconnect the unit and just drive the car in the winter. Elevated RPMs will warm it up quickly assuming the thermostat is working correctly and preferred over allowing the engine to idle for 15-30 minutes to achieve the same result.

Based on the one minute part of the story I assume that if the remote was kept a simple ON/OFF switch could be easily added to continue with the same old, same old. I can’t tell you where to add it as I have no knowledge of the unit or wiring.

If the remote was kept my preference would be to find the cause of the problem (excessive parasitic draw) instead of treating the symptom of run down batteries.

If you could post the wiring schematic for the starter and how it was wired into your car, somebody here may have an idea. But without that info, it’s pretty much guess-work.

This has to be quite a current drain to run down the battery overnight. My concern would be that too much current would be passing through a wire not heavy enough or fused adequately to protect the wire. This could lead to a fire. I would permanently disconnect the remote starter system.

BTW…letting an engine sit and idle for 10 to 15 minutes in the wintertime is shortening the life of the engine.

If the old friend of yours did the disconnect job quickly and easily from under the hood, he probably just pulled the main fuse or the main power tap to the aftermarket starter unit. Look under the hood for a wire or fuse harness that looks different than the factory wiring or fuses.

Thank you everyone. Lots to consider to try to fix this problem. Hadn’t even considered the cost of electricity. Thanks for the calculations.
We don’t run the car for more than 5 minutes before driving off. The battery doesn’t drain overnight. It takes several days but eventually the car just won’t start.
Will get it disconnected this week and then figure out what to do.

Now, you’ll apparently have to pay money each year to turn it on/off. It seems that you have paid money chasing down electrical problems. The current setup–unless fixed, for more money–will cost you batteries and alternators, going forward.

I’d recommend that you sit down and “inventory” and assign a dollar value to the convenience remote start gives you. Then, tally up all the increased costs (including fuel burn) associated with having it installed.

The benefits might not be worth the expenses incurred.

BTW....letting an engine sit and idle for 10 to 15 minutes in the wintertime is shortening the life of the engine.

I didn’t “disagree” on this one, because maybe you have Info I don’t…but could you please reveal what data you’re citing? Everything I’ve seen lately says that, for a modern* car, there’s nothing intrinsically “hard” about idiling. Even Tom and Ray said this, in their newspaper column around 5 years ago.

*(By which I mean EFI and a HO2S, a close-coupled cat that gets up to light-off temp in seconds after start-up.)