What is a remote start?
Wikipedia sums it up as a radio controlled device, which is installed in a vehicle by the factory or an aftermarket installer to preheat or cool the vehicle before the owner gets into it. Once activated, by pushing a button on a special keychain remote, it starts the vehicle automatically for a predetermined time. Different models have keyless entry as well. Most newer vehicles need some kind of bypass module to bypass the factory anti-theft system, so the vehicle can be started without the ignition key in the ignition, this is bypassed only to start the vehicle, which after it is running returns to its original state. Having a remote starter installed in a vehicle will usually not void the factory warranty when installed properly. Couldn't have said it better myself :)
What to consider when buying a remote start.
You want to make sure the device you purchase will work for the areas/scenarios you are most frequently in. For what we need, we can use a unit that does not have as much "range" as other units because rarely are our cars parked blocks away from where we are, typically they are always in our line of sight. That being said some of the more basic units that operate in distances of 500-1000ft will be perfectly fine. City dwellers and or people who work in large buildings may need to step up to units that have a few thousand foot range, not necessarily because they will be one mile away, but rather because they need a unit that has a stronger transmitting signal.
With remote starts you definitely get what you pay for! Yes a lot of companies outsource or buy parts from China for remote starts but chances are some of the more well known/established brands in the industry have some R&D behind their products which will definitely put them heads and shoulders above the rest! We are a dealer for Directed's Python and Avital lines of remote starters and security products, but have also had good luck installing other brands such as Viper, Autostart, Clifford, AstroStart, Automate, Compustar, Omega, Voxx, and more.
Time to get geared up for the remote start season! What better way to shake the rust off than on a 1990-1997 NA Mazda Miata. No bypasses/immobilizers needed to get the remote start functioning. However, if you have a manual transmission car a relay will be needed if you don't want to completely bypass the clutch switch to start the car. You will have to toss in a regular single pole double throw(SPDT) relay to simulate this.
Here is the unit we are going to be installing, Ready Remote Remote Start model number 24921 by Directed Electronics. It's a great unit for this particular application because it's essentially just a remote starter with the ability to only unlock doors. It's not a full keyless entry unit like the Avital/Python 4103 which would be the next notch up in their product line. For this install being that our car has manual locks, we are going to skip over that part of the install.
Part 2, Installation