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The Ultimate Guide to Remote Car Starters in Rochester, NY


Every Rochesterian, whether a native or a recent transplant, will agree that winters in Rochester, NY can be challenging. The snow and cold always looks picturesque from inside your warm and cozy house, but it’s usually a different, and much colder, story when you need to go somewhere.

Hate getting in a cold car or having to wear multiple layers just to wait for your car to feel comfortably warm?

It may be time to consider remote car starter installation in Rochester, NY from an experienced company you can trust.

Before you run out and buy a remote car starter as soon as the temperatures plummets below freezing or even if you’re hesitant to purchase a car starter, it’s important to learn more, weigh your options, and gather enough information to make a solid decision. Let the professionals at Tim’s Trim, Inc., guide you in making a decision for you, this winter.

Benefits of Remote Car Starter Installation

Many people, when trying to decide whether or not to have a remote car starter installed, ask if they really need one. While remote car starters are not as important to have in your car like essential safety features, a remote car starter can definitely make your driving experience more pleasant. If you’re on the fence about installing a car starter or want to convince a friend or loved one to have one installed, consider the following benefits:

Your Car’s Interior is the Perfect Temperature, Every Time

When we think of remote car starters, we often think of warming up the car on a cold day, which sounds too good to pass up if you have ever experienced a winter day in Rochester. Starting a cold car from the warmth of your home makes your morning commute that much better. Rather than sitting in a cold car, watching your breath fog up the windows, your car is already toasty warm.

Remote car starters are also great once summer arrives. On a hot summer day, it may take a long time for your car to cool down and believe it or not, driving while feeling overheated can contribute to road rage incidents. Wouldn’t you like to play it safe and stay cool behind the wheel?

Warming Up Your Engine

Although there are mixed reviews about how long you should warm up your engine on a cold day, even warming your engine for a few minutes before you take off down the driveway can help your car run better. A remote car starter can aid in getting a head start on warming your engine without setting a foot outside, just don’t leave your car running for an unnecessary length of time like 15 or 20 minutes. Does it take you a couple of minutes to punch out at work and say goodbye to your co-workers? It’s the perfect amount of time to get your engine warmed and ready to go.

Safer Travels

Ever drive on the 490 (we’re conveniently located off exit 7B heading west)  and notice a car covered in snow and ice with just a small space scraped away for the driver to see where he or she is going? Many of us have been that driver, especially on sub-zero days, when we are running late, and our defrost doesn’t seem to be working fast enough, but it’s unsafe and can significantly decrease your visibility. One of the great things about a remote car starter is that your car will be mostly defrosted (if not completely) by the time you’re ready to hit the road.

Your Car is Secure

If you manually start your car to warm up, there’s a good chance you could find it missing when you go back out to your vehicle (even if you have an extra set of keys to lock up your car). Remote car starters will start your vehicle, but you can’t drive your car until the key is in the ignition.

Remote Car Starters and Car Alarm Combinations

Take a look at the Rochester Police Department Crime Map, and you’ll notice that a significant number of vehicles are stolen each year in the Rochester, NY area; maybe you were even one of the unlucky ones. According to data released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the average number of cars reported stolen in Rochester is between 700 and 800. Although motor vehicle theft in Rochester is not as large as a problem than other parts of the country, it’s still a hassle and even a little scary, if it happens to you.

When the weather is cold, and you have your unattended car running in the driveway to warm up, it’s more or less an invitation for a car thief to take your car for a spin, especially is you have the doors unlocked. Even if you lock up your car with your spare set of keys, it won’t necessarily deter a skilled thief. Does it mean you need to stop warming up your car on a cold day? Of course not, there’s just a safer and more secure way to do it, especially if you invest in a remote car starter with a car alarm feature.

Using a Remote Car Starter in Vehicles with Built-in Security

Most cars on the road these days have a built-in security system which requires a key fob, built by the manufacturers, to disengage an alarm before unlocking your vehicle. While this doesn’t necessarily deter a determined car thief from taking your vehicle, it can be harder to get away unnoticed. So how does a remote starter work with these built-in car alarms?

Bypassing a factory setting can be a complicated process, but the skilled technicians at Tim’s Trim have a lot of experience with working will all types of security systems. Your valet starter is also an essential tool when you have a remote car starter and a car alarm system. By activating your valet mode, you can shut down any alarm system and remote starter while still having the ability to use the keyless entry to lock and unlock your doors.

Another great feature on remote starters is the ability “kill the engine” and keep your car locked, from inside the safety of your home, particularly if you notice someone lurking around your running car. While many people assume that a remote car starter can make your car an easier target for a break-in or theft, it is typically more difficult, especially when the remote starter is installed properly.

How is a Remote Car Starter Installed?

Have you been considering having a remote car starter installed, but have been hesitant, thinking it will wreck the interior of your car or bring the value way down? If installed properly, a remote car starter will go unnoticed and may actually increase your resale value when you’re ready to sell it later on down the road.

A remote car starter installation requires having a decent grasp on electronics, wiring, and how to remove panels (like your dashboard). If you struggle to hook up speakers to your receiver at home or reading diagrams aren’t one of your strengths, don’t even think about installing a remote car starter; you’ll just make it worse, and you could end up wrecking your car’s built-in security system.

Remote car starter installations vary, depending on your vehicle. If you have an older car with fewer electronic features, it may be an easier install, but if you have a new vehicle with all the “bells and whistles,” the install may take longer and be more complicated.

Want to know the basics behind a remote car starter installation? With a basic remote car starter (or the core module), the “brain” of the remote starter is installed underneath the dashboard, and the wireless antenna is typically installed behind the rearview mirror. Listen to Patrick from Tim’s Trims discuss the basics of a remote car starter and where the components are installed.

How Does Keyless Entry Work?

If your vehicle was manufactured within the last decade or so, there’s a good chance you have a key fob which unlocks and locks your car and also engages or disengages your vehicle’s built-in security system. It’s such a common feature these days that many car owners probably don’t think twice about how the convenient key fob works.

Your keyless entry system has two components: a transmitter unit (the driver’s key fob) and a receiver unit, which is in the car. The transmitter and receiver communicate through the same radio frequency, and the transmitter sends a specific pass code to the receiver; these codes either lock or unlock a vehicle or engage or disengage the alarm system. Cars with remote starters work the same way, by communicating with a transmitter and receiver.

Benefits of Installation of a Remote Car Starter by a Rochester, NY Professional

The DIY movement is huge, right now. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save money by doing something on your own, but there are some things that are better left to professionals, like remote car starter installation. Sure, you can watch the countless “how to” videos on YouTube and purchase expensive manuals, but unless you’re extremely ambitious, have a lot of time on your hands, and feel confident working with complex wiring and electronic systems, a DIY installation is a bad idea. Need convincing? Here are some benefits to getting a professional install:

It Will Be Done Right the First Time

Browse online and you can purchase a remote car starter kit (with instructions) that are designed to be installed by you. While these remote car starters are fine and probably do the trick, they are typically not as high quality as the brands the professionals install.

Even if you know your way around a car, a remote starter can be complicated. The newer the car, the more electronic features, and wiring you’ll have to bypass and hope you get it right the first time. Unless you’re extremely lucky, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to go back and retrace your steps to see why a certain component isn’t working. Professionals will install it correctly the first time and if not (for some reason), they will make sure everything works before handing your keys over.

No Guesswork on Your Part

Although a majority of remote starters work the same way, the way they are installed are not. So even when you consult the internet for installation tips, a successful installation depends on make and model of your vehicle. While some DIY projects are fine with a “good enough” result, remote car starters must be installed properly, and there’s no room for guesswork.

Your Safety and Car’s Warranty Will Not Be at Risk

Do you have a friend who has done a little work on cars and offers to install your remote car starter in exchange for a six-pack? Might sound too good to pass up, especially when you’ve found a remote car starter kit for under $100. Resist the urge to say “yes.”

Yes, your friend has good intentions, and he or she may be really good with cars, but wouldn’t it be awful if, during the installation, an important safety component feature was unknowingly damaged? Additionally, if you take your car back to the dealership to have something fixed under warranty and they can determine that your problem is directly related to a DIY install, they may not be able to honor the warranty. It’s simply not worth the risk

A Professional Will Make Sure You Know How it Works

Even if you’ve successfully figured out how to install a remote car starter on your own, you may not know how it works or how to fix any problems that arise; troubleshooting forums can only take you so far. When you have a remote car starter professionally installed, the sales associate will walk you through the process, briefly explaining the components, and then show you how it works after the install is completed.

A high-quality, professional installation company will leave without any questions and are happy to answer any that many come up after you have left the parking lot.

Professionals Stand Behind Their Services

It’s important for a remote car starter to be installed correctly on the first try and to work flawlessly after installation; professionals will strive to make this happen. While their reputation could be at risk if an install goes wrong, customer satisfaction and safety is important to many installation companies. They take pride in the products they sell and to sell them; they need to stand behind their product, believing in the quality.

Don’t You Have Better Things to Do?

You still think that you could install a remote starter on your own? Don’t you have better things to do with your time? Rather than spending hours installing a remote car starter (which may or may not work) and taking multiple trips to the auto parts store, why not let a professional team do the install and spend your day relaxing?

Cost of Remote Starter Installation in Rochester, NY

One of the main reasons that car owners can’t decide whether or not to get a remote starter is the price. Like all extra features on a vehicle, it all comes down to personal preference and a budget. If you’re content to run out to your car on frigid Rochester mornings to start your car and hope it’s still in the driveway when you come back out, you probably won’t be considering a remote starter anytime soon.

If you’re ready to run out and buy a remote car starter today, it’s important to think about the cost before buying the first one you find. With a quick internet search or a trip to a big box store like Wal-Mart, you may find a remote starter kit with a price tag well below $100. While the price may seem right, you are bound to encounter problems. For instance, who will install the remote starter? We’ve already mentioned the many reasons why a professional install is better. While some of these stores offer an install, the quality, overall, may not be as good and they may not offer a warranty. Finally, if you find a remote starter kit for a great deal (again, under $100), don’t bring it to your trusted mechanic or professional install company and expect them to install it for you.

Many professional install companies have a certain brand of systems, such as Compustar, that they will only sell and install. When it comes down to specific costs, it’s best to shop around the Rochester area, avoiding the big box stores that don’t specialize in installations. Although you may have a budget, prepare to spend around $200 – $300. Remember, the price will vary depending on the type of car you drive and if you want specific features such as multi-car use.

When selecting a professional remote car starter installation company in Rochester, make sure that there are no hidden fees. Select a company who lays out all the costs and tells you whether or not certain services and warranties are included in the final price.

Although Rochester, NY mornings in the winter can feel brutally cold and be a rough way to start the day, a remote car starter can start your day out right with a little warmth, without the hassle of bundling up or the worry about your safety.


© 2012 Tims Trim Inc.