Dec 28 2010

Skipping a remote car starter :/

Shane and I briefly looked into getting a remote car starter as a Christmas gift to ourselves this year. It’s cold and we now have two little kids, so having a warmed-up car before getting in sounded like a great idea.

He checked some rates online, and it looked like it would be around $150 or so installed. But when he actually called places, the rate was much higher. I guess we have some sort of security device that they’d have to work around, and that takes more time.

There are models that you can install yourself, but 1. we don’t know what we’re doing 2. we could easily screw up our car and 3. we’d have to install it in the freezing cold. Pfft.

It got to the point where I questioned if it would actually be worth it. It would primarily be me who got the most benefit, since I do most of the driving (Shane takes public transit to work and walks or catches a ride to the train stop).

Plus, if the car is running for awhile, it still isn’t that warm inside. The car doesn’t really get warm until we’ve been driving for a few minutes.

I don’t plan on taking both kids out in public by myself too frequently in these cold, germy early days. So that would make the cost-per-use pretty high.

The other factor in me hesitating — we ideally will live in a place with a garage by next winter. In theory. Maybe.

So for now, I guess we’ll save our few hundred bucks and I’ll plan my outings around the warmer days of the week. I could also run out and start the car and run back in, assuming I can trust Johnny not to do anything to his baby sister. He’s gentle and loves her very much…but yeah. He’s only 2 and a lot of crazyness can happen in a minute, so I’d better not do that.

Oh well. I really, really don’t like winter.

5 Responses to “Skipping a remote car starter :/”

  1. On these cold Iowa days, I wish my CRV had automatic start!

    About 11 years ago, my then boyfriend had a remote start put in my car. It worked wonderfully for about 2 months then quit. Then my alternator went out-not sure if they were related, but I think they were.

    About 5 years ago, my husband had remote start put in my 03 Cavalier. It worked well for about a year, then that car started having issues. Eventually, it stopped working altogether.

    I think the after-market starters are bad for vehicles. My husband has it in his truck (pre-installed) and loves it. I’m so jealous :)

    Good call not to put on in!

  2. Several years ago I got a remote start installed after-market on my 5 year old Focus. It worked perfectly and in fact, still works perfectly now that the car is 10.5 years old! Never had any problems with it.

    Several family members have also gotten remote starts installed after-market and have had no problems with theirs.

    I now have the remote start on my 08 Milan also installed after-market and have never had a problem with it.

    Once I had a remote start, I could never go back to a car without one. I absolutely LOVE it. It’s perfect for winter and it does warm the car up. but the best part? When it’s summer and the car is a bazillion degrees from baking in the sun, I start it up and it’s so much safer to load my kiddos in when we’re ready.

    I understand your hesitations and deciding to wait to see about your future living situation. Just wanted to let you know that we have always thought it was well worth the cost and have had no problems with them. (We spent about $200-$300 on each.)

    By the way, congrats on your newest family member!
    Mary @ Tips & Treasures´s last post ..Absent

  3. Don’t feel too bad about not getting a remote starter. I really wanted one too, but my longtime mechanice said he would never install one because they cause so many problems with the starter and alternator.
    Trixie´s last post ..The We Are So Done With Holiday Foods! Menu

  4. I totally respect your choice to not have one installed but I did want to share that we LOVE ours. We had one installed on my old Windstar and got one put in my Odyssey. Both worked and still work beautifully. My first I had for over 5 years and my second is on it’s 3rd year.

    One thing I will tell you…if you do change your mind. Do not buy one from Target or Walmart or any of those mass retailers. Go to a place that sells and installs them. The ones you buy and can install yourself are a rip off. They tend to break because they are cheaply made…to keep the costs down. The other ones are just like the ones the dealers put in. Yes it’s expensive…ours was $350…but in my opinion…totally 100% worth it! We live in New Jersey and I can’t live without it. And not just in the winter. I love it in the summer too…helps bring that hot car temp down!!!

    But as I said…totally respect your choice, not trying to sway you, but if you do change your mind…my advice is don’t cheap out on it…go with a good quality one.

    Congrats on Vivienne! Loved reading your birth story!

  5. Safer to put your kids in the car if you have one installed?
    Lol, alrighty then.
    Remote starters are Bad for the environment. Suck it up and don’t get one. They are for idiots. Gas wasters….

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

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