Our Top Pick for 2017: Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System
Read our full review.
When it’s cold outside, no one wants to trudge out to a car that is the same temperature inside as it is outside. Fortunately, in 1983 American Motors produced the first automatic car start system. Today, the remote car starter has come a long way from its 80s origin; you can even remotely start your car in the confines of your Smart home. With the world of remote car starters expanding constantly, there are now a myriad of choices on the marketplace. To make your decision of a new remote car starter easier, we’ve compiled four different models for you to consider; three that serve as some of the best on the market and one that is perfect if you’re not looking to spend a lot of cash but need a strong feature set. Just remember, installing one of these devices into your car typically requires soldering and electrical linkage, so it’s best to have it done by a professional.
Table of contents
- #1 Gold Pick (1st Place Winner)
- #2 Silver Pick (2nd Place Runner-Up)
- #3 Bronze Pick (3rd Place)
- #4 Budget Pick (Best Cheap)
One LCD Remote
5-button LCD Transmitter
1-way Keyless Entry
One 4-button Remote
1 Mile Range
Two 5-button Transmitters
Multi-level Security Arming
4-channel Vehicle Security System
2000 Ft. Operating Range
Door And Trunk Triggers
31 Programmable Options
Remote Start And Keyless Entry
Up To 24 Different Functions On Two Cars
Easy Connection To Mobile Start Ms-3 Module
#1 Gold pick (Winner): Viper 5706V 2-Way Car Security with Remote Start System
View it on Amazon for $203.75*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Many remember the iconic 1980s commercial where a computer generated snake defends a beautiful woman’s car from a would-be car thief. Since its 1982 inception, Viper has become a brand that’s synonymous with auto security. They have a wide array of products that ensure your vehicle’s security including, window tint, keyless entry systems, Smartphone-based security systems, and of course, remote car starters. Our Gold Pick, like many Gold Picks before it is a critical and consumer darling that blends the worlds of remote starting, with top of the line vehicle security.
To start, the Viper 5706V comes with two remote starters; one has a large LCD screen that utilizes a two way style of communication and a five button LCD-less remote starter that works like a standard remote starter. Both models of remote incorporate several key functions that will allow you to not only start your car, but to arm or disarm your car’s alarm as well. The two buttons on the face of the LCD remote will let you unlock and disarm your alarm or lock and arm the security system. In addition to these functions, you’ll find the starter button along the side.
When it comes to the screen’s functionality, there are several great options on this remote. Firstly, both of these remotes have a one mile range, so you’ll be able to start your car from up to 20 city blocks away. Once you car is started, the two way system will immediately notify you by providing the current RPMs of the engine. The value of this system is two-fold. First, you’ll know your car is running; thusly the warm up process will have begun, and you’ll have a more comfortable car when you arrive in it. Secondly, you’ll be able to detect any strange RPM variances in your engine; in this situation, the car will either automatically shut off or attempt to restart the engine. The LED also displays when the car is locked and unlocked by means of a large padlock icon that is animated. You’ll also be treated to an audio beep that will serve as an audio notification when your eyes need to be elsewhere.
Amazingly, the remote is chargeable through a USB port, which is perfect considering the current proliferation of the technology. Also, the LCD is well incorporated into the security aspect of the system. Someone knock a little too hard into your car? The security system’s shock sensors will pick it up and notify you. Has someone opened your door? You’ll receive a notification on the LCD stating, “Door Open.” Is someone trying to raise your car up to steal the tires or hoist it onto a flatbed? The security system will send a security warning in that situation as well. With so many layers of protection, you see why we selected this remote starter as our Gold Pick; simply put, you get so much more than just a method of starting your car remotely.
When you start your car, the viper will set the temperature and cooling to a pre-set comfort level. In addition to this, you can also pop the trunk, turn on heated seats, and defrost your car with this system. You can even set the system not to perform the audible “chirp” when you first arm the system (in case you don’t want to disturb your neighbors).The remote without the LCD has all of the functionality of the screened remote, save for the visuals and the audio cues.
The Viper 5706V is a truly great remote car starter/security system, and the reviews on Amazon serve to illustrate that fact. Of the 226 reviews on the site, 82 percent are of a four or five star rating. Here is an example of a five star review:
“This worked better than my expectations! This works for almost any vehicle with automatic transmission (I am told). So satisfied was I, that I also installed a VIPER proximity alarm, which is great for when you use your convertible with the top down on your Jeep in the summertime.”
#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): AVITAL 5303L Secure Remote Start System
View it on Amazon for N/A*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Our Silver Pick entry is manufactured Directed Electronics; the same company that puts out the Viper brand of security systems. As a matter of fact, this model of remote car starter has many of the same features that the Gold Pick has, save for a few really cool security options that really shine in dire situations.
Like our Gold Pick, the Avital 5303L comes with both an LCD enabled controller and a standard buttoned controller. Also like the gold winner, the system of operation for this security/remote starter system is of the two-way style.
Of these theft prevention systems, the most impressive is the starter kill function. If any suspicious activity is happening to your vehicle you will get a report. This report is highly detailed and will tell you precisely where the tampering is happening on the car, all the way up to a tilt sensor readout. This is where the starter kill comes in. If your car is being messed with, you have the option of making the car completely un-startable, which will make stealing it next to impossible, which in turn, will allow you to contact the appropriate authorities.
To further your sense of security, there is also a panic mode that will sound the six siren alarm and flash the lights intermittently to dissuade thieves. In addition to all of these features, when you do engage the remote starter, the car will idle for a preset amount of time. If anyone decides that this is a prime time to tamper with your vehicle, the system will automatically shut the automobile down if there is no key or key fob present.
Of course, you’re looking for a remote starter and this unit, security features aside, really shines in this area. The remote has a more vivid LCD screen than the Viper model that utilizes printed on features to illustrate your cars status. When you start your car remotely, the red car illustration on the remote will start to emit stylized gas. This quick feature gives you a visual cue that will help you know what’s going on in your vehicle.
The LCD will also keep track of the amount of time that you’ve had your car running and it will also give you access to numerous in-car features. These features include, trunk access, door access, keyless entry (if you have a car that supports it), and heated seat controls.
75 percent of the reviews on Amazon indicate that this remote car starter/security system is of a four or five star level of quality. As mentioned previously, these types of devices are difficult to install, so here is a five star review from a professional installer:
“I have been an installer for 15 years and have been using DEI products the whole time. It is designed to be installed by a professional and if you can’t do it, don’t give the system 1 star. There is a reason why the shops that install them exist, it’s complicated and it gets even more complicated as the newer vehicles come out. Also, you can’t do 90% of new cars without a bypass or canbus module installed along with the remote starter. This is a quality product and I order them to install for friends and family.”
#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Crimestopper RS4-G5 Cool Start 1-Way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System
View it on Amazon for $44.36*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Crimestopper has been in operation for more than 30 years now, and during that period has developed a large selection of auto security and convenience products. Our Bronze Pick, Crimestopper’s one way keyless entry system, has many great features that will not only help you start your car from great distances, but also provide you with a sense of extra convenience as well. Unlike the previous models of remote car starters, this device doesn’t have the same degree of security that the others have, despite the Crimestopper name. Fortunately, you can add two way communications to this device via an additional kit from the manufacturer.
Similarly to the other remote starters on our list, this unit comes with two remotes. Unlike the others, both of these remotes are simple LCD-less devices that support the remote starting profile of the device. The remotes contain brushed metal accents and five function buttons to control various functions on your vehicle. To start, each remote has an impressive range of 2,000 feet. To put this into perspective this is the length of six full-sized football fields; a great range for those situations such as, when you’re cooking out and you have to walk a bit to get back to the parking lot.
The shape of these remotes is very reminiscent of the remotes that you’d find from your car’s manufacturer. The button setup is also very intuitive; you have two lock and unlock buttons at the top, a “trunk pop” button to open your trunk and a starter button to get your car warmed up in the middle, and a button marked “VEH” which will help you find your vehicle positioned at the bottom of these buttons. In addition to these individualized car settings, you also have an additional 31 programmable options with this remote that will help you fine-tune your vehicle experience.
Despite the one way nature of this remote starter system, you can convert this device into a two way transmitter without having to change much of your car’s hardware. Simply purchase the additional two way transmitter, swap out the one way antenna in favor of the two way device, and switch the five button remotes in favor of the two new two way remotes (including one that features an LCD).
Insofar as Amazon reviews, this remote car starter has a positive rating level of 82 percent. Most purchasers really appreciate the range of this device and how easy it is to control things like the trunk and sliding car doors. Here is one five star testimonial:
“Excellent range for entry level systems. I’m consistently able to remote start from roughly 200 yards (that’s 2 football fields) through walls. A plethora of options (Diesel, Manual Mode, Auto-Lock, Multi-Vehicle, Turbo Timer, 2 Way Upgrade Available, etc.) not common in this price range.”
#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote
View it on Amazon for $48.38*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Another device from Avital, this remote car starter has all of the features that you can expect from a mid-level remote car starter system, at a very reasonable price point. Surprisingly, this remote system even incorporates some great security features into its suite of features, though it does not include a alarm. Altogether, this is an excellent remote car starter; especially, if you are ballin’ on a budget.
Just like our other picks, this ballin’ pick includes two keyless remotes that will allow you to access the system’s functions from more than 1,000 feet away. Each remote will allow you to use the four face buttons to lock and unlock your car, pop the trunk, and of course, start the ignition. In addition to these face features, you can depress multiple buttons, albeit somewhat awkwardly, and access additional functionality.
Pressing two of the face buttons simultaneously, will start up your rear defroster; a feature that is very useful on those incredibly cold northern days. Also, the remote starter will start warming up your car for a period of ten minutes before shutting the car down again; this is a great option as it will prevent over-idling and reduce excess emissions. Also, you’ll need to place the key in the ignition before pressing the brake or gas, as this will turn the car off. This is a safety feature that will deter any opportunists from entering your started car and driving off.
As mentioned previously, despite not being a security system, this remote car system does have some security options. Like the other Avital product on our list, this device does feature starter kill; simply lock the car and no one will be able to start the car by turning over the engine. In addition to this, simply hold the lock button and you will activate panic mode, which will cause the trunk to blare and the lights to blink, hopefully deterring intruders. Unfortunately, since you have to access these different functions by utilizing the buttons that already have functions, it is very easy to accidentally enable rear defrosting and panic mode, simply by hitting the keys for an extended period of time in your pocket.
On Amazon, 75 percent of the reviews are positive for this remote car starting system. Here is one review that highlights one of the features of this starter:
“The remote works well and has a great radius. When I get ready to pack my lunch for work, I just walk to where I keep my keys, push the button, and my car starts right up. My truck will stay on but will shut off if I press on the brake before turning my key to actually start the truck. It’s set to where if the truck is on, and the key hasn’t been inserted into the ignition, it will shut off on its own.”
Does My New Remote Car Starter Have a Cutoff Safety Switch?
A cutoff safety switch is a very important component in any remote starting system. This switch allows you to safely lift your hood and manually turn off the remote starting mechanism. This will allow you to do work on the car without worrying about accidentally bumping the remote starter’s “start car” button. The inside of a hood can be a dangerous place for fingers, hands, or even your face, so having this option that will protect these appendages is of a supremely beneficial value.
Engine Speed Sensing
This sensor type provides key information that you’ll need to have when starting your car from a large range. Unfortunately, sometimes when you start your car, you can have issues that can be of real detriment to the insides of your car. When you are starting up your car, the engine speed sensing apparatus will detect the RPMs that your engine is achieving, if the engine is behaving erratically, the engine speed sensing monitor will send you the information. Some models will even detect if the engine hasn’t started properly and will begin the startup sequence again.
The range on a remote car starting system can vary greatly. As a rule, err more on the side of caution and get as much range as possible on a remote car starter. You may wonder why you would need to start your car when you are a mile away, but having this option will allow you to have a warmed car when you arrive. Also, distance can vary based on where you’re at, the area’s topography, and any obstructions between you and your vehicle. Also, you’ll be using your car at more than just work and home, so having the extra range will provide additional options when you can’t find a parking space and need to do a bit of walking in the cold.
Local Ordinance, Safety, and other Vehicle Idling Concerns
Anytime you are going to be idling your car, there are local ordinance and safety concerns. Does your city have ordinances in place on car idling? Many cities have limitations such as only being able to have your car idling in one place for about three minutes before you are served up an annoyingly expensive fine. These ordinances are typically curtailed somewhat during inclement weather where it’ll take your car a little longer to heat up; you can maybe expect a ten minute allotment in this situation.
Another concern that you should consider when picking a remote starting system for your car is the enclosure that you house you car in on a daily basis. Is it well ventilated? If not, the carbon monoxide emissions that your car generates can be very detrimental to your well-being. If you are planning on buying one of these items, be sure that your garage is ventilated enough to safely dissipate any produced gasses.
Also, there is cost associated with idling. If you have your car running for five minutes, that’s expending gas that you’ll definitely start to notice at the pump, and while that may be offset by your not having to sit in a sub zero car, it’s definitely something that you might want to consider; especially if gas prices start to sail upward again.
Finally, indefinitely idling your vehicle enlarges your carbon footprint as the chemicals that our cars produce are not only bad for us in the immediate, but also bad for the environment; thusly, keeping your car from idling for extended periods of time is a good choice when it can be avoided.
Not all remote car starters include security features, though those that do can actually be incorporated into current manufacturer security systems; as a matter of fact, the horn can even be made to activate when you are looking for where you parked your car.
Included Extra Features
There are a bevy of features that can come pre-installed on your remote car starter that are completely unassociated with the device’s primary purpose. These extra features, add a degree of convenience and even luxury to the purchase of one of these types of remote systems. Just keep in mind that typically more feature-rich devices will cost more money to purchase and have installed.
• Heated Seats – While this is included in many luxury vehicles, heated seats certainly have a great practical purpose when the temperature dips down into the extremes. When you are seeking out a new remote car starter, definitely consider one that will allow you to turn on your heated seats at maximum distance. You’ll be thankful you did.
• Window Defrost – When it gets truly frightful out there, defrosting a set of windows when you get in the car can be the difference between arriving to work late and arriving with some time to spare. Since having your car start the defrost cycle while you are drinking your coffee can cut a lot of time off of your commute, consider grabbing a remote car starter that will also defrost your windows.
• Trunk Release – Many standard car remotes have this feature, and it tends to come in handy when you have your hands full. In the interest of simplification, it’s a great idea to have this functionality in your remote car starter remote.
• Two-Way Communication – Though it might sound like a walkie-talkie style feature, two-way communication actually refers to the back and forth communication system that links your car to your remote. When this system is available, when you start your car, you’ll be able to get instant confirmation. While this might seem relatively useless, it’s a perfect confirmation that everything is alright if your car is out of line of sight.
• Smartphone Compatability – As with many modern devices, Smartphone compatability is being baked into many remote car starter systems. Rather than use a remote, you’ll be able to start your car straight from your Bluetooth or Internet enabled Smartphone. For this method, you may have reduced range and some manufacturers include an annual fee for the service.
When looking for a new remote car starter, one of your primary goals should be establishing all of the particulars as they pertain to warranty. Does the installation of a particular style of remote car starter void your warranty? Most likely not, but it’s always best to be 100 percent sure where your vehicle’s manufacturer stands on this subject. Also, does the manufacturer of the starter system cover the device for the life of the vehicle? Many manufacturers do, but don’t cover the remote with more than a two year warranty. When purchasing one of these types of systems it is absolutely important to get a grip on all of the warranty information before you complete your purchase.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
When it comes to remote car starting, convenience is the name of the game. No one wants to have to sit in a cold car and drive to work in freezing temperatures, and in this regard, this style of device really excels. Hopefully, the items in our reviews section really will help you make a decision when it comes to purchasing a remote starter, and hopefully if these devices don’t work for your needs, our pre-purchase considerations portion section will help make the buying process easier for you. In any situation, don’t neglect to do your own research and due diligence to help you find a remote starter that will serve you well for years.