Starting your car remotely is helpful, especially during cold weather. But your remote start may not work at times because it is disabled. What causes this to happen, and how can it be fixed? We did research to bring you the following information on this topic and much more.
There are several reasons your remote start may be disabled, including:
- Defective hood switches or sensors
- Problem with batteries
- Vehicle not in park mode
- Hazard lights on
- Coolant and pressure issues
- Check engine light on
- Malfunctioned programming
- Too many start attempts or improper start attempts
- Problems with key fob
- Starter switch off
Keep reading to learn the reasons why your remote start can be disabled and how to fix this problem. We will also cover the costs of fixing your remote starter and more.
What Causes Disabled Remote Start And How Can You Fix It?
It can be very frustrating when the message "Remote start disabled—system fault" appears on your dashboard. Or maybe you aren't near your car and want to start it before driving, but your remote start isn't working.
You will have to fix the issue before you can drive your car. The following are reasons your remote start may be disabled and what you can do about it:
Defective Hood Switches Or Sensors
The hood switch or sensor is a device installed under the hood of your car. It’s a safety device that prevents the engine from starting when the hood is up.
This means your car cannot accidentally start when someone is working on the engine. You also cannot start your car when the hood is not closed.
If you suspect your hood to be the problem, check if the pin switch is still intact. If it’s still there, check if it can move freely without it being too loose.
Adjust it if it's out of place, or replace it if missing or rusty. And remember to regularly spray a rust inhibitor on the switch to prevent it from rusting.
Problem With Batteries
Your remote start may not function because the batteries in the key fob are dying. You may also have installed the battery improperly or used the wrong batteries.
To fix the problem, you can reinstall the batteries correctly or purchase batteries compatible with your key fob.
Vehicle Not In Park Mode
If your car is in drive or reverse, you will not be able to start it properly—or you might be able to start it, but it will switch off after a few seconds.
Before exiting your car, make sure you put it in park mode. To solve the issue, disengage and then engage it in park mode.
Hazard Lights On
The hazard lights in your car alert other motorists that you intend to stop. If you leave them on after leaving your car, your car may not respond to the key fob. Turn off the lights, and your starter should work again.
Coolant And Pressure Issues
High temperatures or low pressure can prevent your car from starting remotely. If you have just driven your car, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before remote starting it. Also, if the coolant and oil levels are low, add more until you reach the required level.
Check Engine Light On
The "check engine" light is a safety feature like the hood switch. It can prevent you from accidentally starting your car when a mechanic or someone else is working on it.
When the check engine light illuminates, you will probably not be able to use remote start. The light will need to go off so that you can use the feature.
You should make certain all is well with your car or have it checked by a professional to get the check engine light switched off. You can also check the gas cap to make sure it's closed and try restarting your car.
Most vehicles today are installed with a data module that allows the starter to communicate with your vehicle’s computer. After programming the remote starter, it responds to the computer accordingly.
Factors such as a dying battery or battery change can deprogram your remote starter. You might have to take your car to your dealer to get the starter reprogramed.
Too Many Start Attempts
If you press the remote start button too many times successively, the system will not respond. To fix this problem, insert the key in the ignition and turn the car ON and OFF. Then get out of your car and try using the starter again.
Improper Start Attempts
Remote starters start differently depending on the type of vehicle. Some systems require you to press the fob only once.
With some systems, you have to press it twice. Others require you to press the button for a few seconds. Check your manual to find out the correct procedure for starting your remote correctly.
Remote Starter Is In Valet Mode
If you press a combination of buttons simultaneously on your starter key, the remote system will be disabled. You may end up putting it in valet mode.
You can tell if your car is in this mode when the parking lights do not flash when you lock or unlock the doors remotely.
There are several ways to disengage from this mode. Try inserting the key in the ignition and starting the engine. Then press the brake pedal ten times and release it within a span of 10 seconds.
When the parking lights flash, you have succeeded in exiting out of valet mode. Take the key out the ignition and try remote starting your car again.
Key Fob Is In Your Car
Your remote start will be disabled if your regular key fob is inside your car. For it to work again, get the fob out of your car.
Starter Switch Is Off
Some remote starters come with a switch that can disable the remote fob. It’s usually under the dash or driver’s seat or in the fuse box.
It’s difficult to access this key, but sometimes you can bump it accidentally, turning it OFF. You only have to turn this switch ON for your remote starter to work.
Cost Of Repairing Remote Starter
The cost of installing a remote starter depends on several factors, including the cost of the starter or bypass module. You could try to install it yourself to save costs.
But to avoid costly mistakes, it’s best to leave it to a professional to install it. To professionally have your starter installed, the price ranges from $150 to $500.
The cost of a basic remote starter that only starts, locks, and unlocks your car is between $60 and $80. This cost does not include labor.
For a remote starter with added features such as an alarm and keyless entry, you’ll pay between $75 and $130. For a starter that has all these features plus a security system pager, you are likely to pay between $140 and $190.
It will cost you between $50 and $250 reprogram your starter. However, the model and brand of your car can impact the price. Extra features on your remote fob are other factors that determine the cost.
Most of the problems causing the remote starter to be disabled do not cost anything to repair. To correct most of these issues, you can try easy fixes, such as turning off the hazard lights, replacing the batteries, or correctly installing the batteries.
There are several reasons your remote starter can be disabled. Solutions have been provided to help you troubleshoot the problem. Some problems you can tackle on your own, but some issues—like programming your starter—require the help of a professional.
The main determinants of repair costs for a remote starter are the model and brand of your car. The extra features also determine how much you will pay for repairs.
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