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Living in Ottawa, we understand that we have to do things a little differently than our neighbours to the south. While winter tires aren’t mandatory in Ontario, they might as well be in Ottawa. You wouldn’t last five minutes in one of our winters without them. Add to that winter wiper blades, a survival kit in your trunk, and copious amounts of washer fluid and you’re starting to be ready for the colder months in the National Capital Region.

However, there’s one thing that tops the wishlist of many local car owners as the season starts to cool, and that’s a remote car starter. 

Sure it’s not critical, in the way proper tires are, but one of these handy little gizmos goes a long way in making the best of a cold situation. 

However, despite the fact they are very affordable, straightforward to install, and workable in almost any vehicle on the road, there is a lot of misunderstanding about aftermarket remote car starters.

Although, if you can’t bear another winter of sitting in an ice-cold vehicle, while it works it’s way to warm, this is the year to finally make a move. It’s time for you to get a remote car starter. And in this post were going to equip you with what you need to know about aftermarket remote car starters.

A Technology Overview

Let’s begin with the basics. Aftermarket car starters come in two varieties, one-way and two-way systems, and as you’ll soon see, the difference is pretty self-explanatory.

A one-way car starter allows the owner to use the remote to send a signal to the vehicle to start the engine. At this point, you assume your car is running, and when you get out to it, it will be nice and toasty and ready to go. With a two-way system, the owner uses the remote to send a signal to start the engine. When the vehicle successfully gets itself started, it sends a message back to confirm. Depending on the system, the confirmation will be a particular tone or an LED light on the remote. 

While one-way systems are usually a little lower in price, we regularly get feedback from customers who purchased a one-way and wished that they had invested a little more in the two-way. The common complaint is that very occasionally, the engine doesn’t start, and with a one-way remote, you only realize it when you get to the car. With a two-way car starter, you are advised a moment after pressing the button if the start was successful. And, if nothing happens, you can push it again and know the vehicle is warming up. 

As specialized installers, we’ve seen this product line develop as new technologies became available to make better use of basic car starter systems. One of the more exciting applications we can now offer customers is the ability to manage your car via a smartphone app. Both Clifford SmartStart and Autostart SmartStart use a graphic interface to give you control of remote starting, unlocking doors, arming the alarm, popping the trunk, and engaging the panic option from anywhere. We can also enable either of them to work on multiple cars, which is perfect for families that sometimes need to switch vehicles. Both these smartphone options also allow you to find your vehicle using GPS on the app, enabling parents to confirm that the kids did go where they said they were going. 

Dispelling the Myths About Aftermarket Remote Car Starters

We’ve heard them all. And no matter how many times we set the record straight, these half-truths and outright misconceptions keep coming up. So we’re going to tackle a few of the most pervasive right here.

Myth 1:

Adding a Remote Car Starter Will Void your Warranty

There are a lot of misconceptions out there that adding aftermarket parts to your vehicle will mean that the dealer will no longer honour the warranty. In Canada, the Canadian Competition Act, not to mention the Consumer Protection Acts in each province, prevents this from happening. The only exceptions are if you were to purchase a low-quality product that damages the vehicle, or if you have your aftermarket product installed by someone unqualified. At Sipan Tire and Rims, we carry only industry tested and certified products. Not to mention, our technicians are some of the highest qualified in the country for installing aftermarket parts. An aftermarket remote car starter installed here will never void your vehicle’s warranty.

Myth 2:

Aftermarket Remote Car Starters are easy to install, so I might as well do it myself

Indeed, adding an aftermarket starter is not the most complicated operation you can perform on your car. However, as vehicle electronic-systems advance and become more sophisticated, the opportunity for error continues to increase. Having one of our trained professionals install your remote starter means you can be sure it’s done right and never worry about voiding the warranty. 

Myth 3:

Remote Car Starters are Bad for Your Car

While it’s true that cars today do not need to warm up to the same extent as they did 30 years ago, giving your engine at least five minutes before driving in the cold is still a good practice. First and foremost, it gets the oil to the optimum temperature and moving around the drivetrain. It also warms the cabin, which means the operator (this means you) is comfortable and able to control the vehicle without rubbing their hands together. And of course, heating the car also ensures that all the windows have a chance properly clear and defog, making the vehicle safer to operate. 

Myth 4:

I drive a stick-shift, so I can’t have a remote car starter

A manual transmission indeed adds an extra layer of complexity to having a remote car starter. That said, there are straightforward workarounds to ensure those of you who like shifting gears can still have a warm car waiting for you. The process is slightly different depending on the remote system and make of car, but our specialists can walk you through the process for your make and model. 

Myth 5:

Diesel engines are not compatible with remote starters

This one has been around for a while, and it’s simply not true. Given that diesel engines actually take longer to warm up in general, remote car starters can be great to get your motor up and going at any time of year. 

Myth 6:

A remote car starter makes my car less secure

We regularly get questions from customers worried that warming their car up in the driveway makes them a target for thieves. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In the old days, people would go outside and start the car to let it warm up. Anyone walking by would be able to hop in and drive away. With a remote car starter, your keys are safely inside, and anyone who jumps in will find the car immobilized before they can go anywhere. It’s comfort and security. 

If you’ve had enough of climbing into a cold car every morning, we’re here to help. At Sipan Tire and Rims, our automotive professionals are some of the best in Canada. We guarantee we can help you find the right aftermarket car starter for your vehicle and ensure the installation is seamless. Our shop is continually rated among the best in Ottawa because we love what we do, and we go to great lengths to make sure our customers are satisfied with the final product. Give us a call at 613-695-8866 or drop by today.