Remote vehicle starters are very handy devices to have during the winter months. My current vehicle doesn't have one but the previous one did and I certainly missed it last winter. So, being a do-it-yourselfer, I started to look into finding one to install myself and avoid repeating last year's starter-less winter.
Modern remote starter systems come with a wide range of features such as integrated security, long-range vehicle starting capability, and two-way remotes that provide the owner with current vehicle status like the doors are locked, the engine is running, and so forth.
My vehicle is a 2009 GMC Sierra. It seems to be an easy installation candidate but after reading through various blogs, review sites, and such I started to have second thoughts about doing it. The Sierra does not have a factory security system, but it does have power locks and remote keyless entry. The ideal remote starter would integrate well with those features and maybe add additional ones.
I'm technically inclined and have a wide base of experience but, in the widest sense, installation of a remote starter requires integrating a new component into the existing system. That requires cutting or splicing wires that, if done incorrectly, could result in major problems.
In the end, I think leaving it to a professional is the better choice.
Three things I will look for include the manufacturer, warranty, and experience. The manufacturer should be one that makes remote starters; not one that slaps their name on another device. I want the main unit to be warranted for as long as I own the Sierra by the place that installs it. That way, I should not be caught in the middle should problems arise. Lastly, the business must be experienced and have a good reputation.
Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in computer repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.