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      The popular question, How much is a remote car starter? Here at Toonstra's we are asked this simple question on a daily basis.

Unfortunately it isn't that simple anymore, it is essential that you choose the proper equipment that will integrate with your vehicles on board computer system to insure years of continuous operation.  


"A Remote Starter" is simply a generic module with an antenna receiver and remotes. If your vehicle is built after 1999, most likely it will require several additional parts and a interface module to complete the installation. That sale for $99.00 in the weekly flyer looks great, but your only a 3rd the way there. As well most shops will not install a product purchased at another place of business. At Toonstra's we stick to certain brands of products, this allows up to master all aspects of the unit, programming features, wire schematic, and remote paring. This allows us to be more efficient when prepping and during installation as well saves customer additional labor costs not to mention our included labor/unit warranty on all of our supplied products.


"A Interface Module" is a computer programmed module that is designed to link between the remote starter and vehicle. It will control commands such as start without key present, arm/disarm factory security, trunk, brake status and door pin/hood status. In all modern vehicles there is technology embedded in the key. When a key is inserted into ignition switch it activates the key to send a signal to vehicle to insure its the proper key, if vehicle does not detect the correct key it will not allow vehicle to start. This technology varies between manufacturer but the overall idea is the same. So needless to say, 99% of the vehicles coming into the shop today require an interface module.

"A Combo Unit" is considered to be the latest and greatest in the remote start industry. Just as it sounds, Combo Unit. Both remote starter and interface module all-in-one.  Vehicle Make, model and specific parameters are all programmed into unit prior to installation. Combo units are generally sold without remote controls but add on remote kits can be purchased separately. All-In-One units make installation a little smoother for installers, don't have to mate the Interface and starter together, unit takes up less space and is more compact. Unit can be removed and re-programmed in the future for a different vehicle.

"What are my Options?"

That's a great question! Glad you asked. The overall result is the same, depending on unit of choice your vehicle can start when a button is activated on a remote, a function is activated on a smart phone app or possibly when the lock button is pushed 3 times on a factory key fob. Those are 3 types of methods to activate a remote starter. Other options are, how much range is required? Does the vehicle need to start vehicle front the 18th floor of a highrise? Or just out side the house? Does the remote need to confirm the vehicle has started? This would be considered a 2-Way unit, when any button is pushed on remote it sends a signal to the antenna in vehicle, from there the antenna will send a signal back to the remote to indicate the vehicle has indeed started. Remotes will beep, flash LED or even show a picture on a LCD style remote to indicate confirmation (differs between manufacturer). One way remotes are simply how it sounds, remote will send out signal and hope for the best. Generally parking lights are triggered on vehicle when it receives signal so this is a good indication vehicle has started. I use the word “range” even though I hate to. Manufacturers have no choice but to put “500-foot range” or “3,000-foot range” on their packaging. It is important to keep in mind that these are absolutely perfect numbers – in environments with no RF interference, no walls, no windows and no buildings to go around… In other words, the middle of the desert! Please keep this in mind when choosing yours!

Does my vehicle cost more?

Here at Toonstra's we do our best to fit as many vehicle makes and models under that same pricing structure. Although it is always best to contact us to confirm specific vehicle estimate. Pricing down below is a guideline, certain vehicles will require additional parts and labor. Options such as Heated seat activation and rear defrost activation would be at an additional cost.

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